Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 8-17

It's beginning to look and feel like FALL!
Wow!  That was quick!

Another week goes into the history column.

When I left off last Sunday…

 Oh, wait…I realize I haven’t written since…sorry, the summer doldrums have hit big time…I’ll be back soon…in the meantime, read these…"Summer Doldrums" 
"Father, Forgive Me" to understand what happens around here in the summertime. This year we are not bothered by heat...but, still...the summer gets long sometimes.

Back to what I was saying…

Last Sunday, we were still “brake-less” in the farm truck.  After a little brainstorming with the kids around the supper table Saturday evening, we figured we’d have to have it towed and repaired.   There’s this guy with a tow truck…and he could take it to this other guy…and then, maybe, just maybe we’d be back on the road by this week’s market…

The Boss just didn’t seem real keen on that whole idea, so he checked a little more, watched some Youtube and decided to take on the job himself.  A little fieldtrip for parts…a few minutes of heart-stopping action as he put it in the shop (Wait! The door! STOP!  The freezer!)…a little crawling on the floor  

…and my expert brake-pumping help
Apparently I am very good at braking
it has been suggested that I get my own pedal on the passenger side.
and he had it back on the road in short order.
Yay, Boss!

 And, the parts bill?    $20. Really. Definitely, a YAY!

Then, we processed broilers…again.
hauling broilers for processing 
Given Gus' propensity for "helping" he spends processing day in the barn
Isn't this a pathetic face?
yes, the door is tied shut...he will open it otherwise
After processing, we moved the mid-sized birds out back and on Friday another batch arrived at the Post Office.
broilers settling in new pen

Gus helped by "cleaning" the chick waterer

newly arrived chick
It always amazes me that those little fluff-balls not much bigger than a marshmallow will grow large enough to feed a hungry family in just eight weeks!
Fine eating!
-TLeightonWomack photo

And it rained…again. We got over a half an inch this time and it really seemed to make a big difference in the growth in the gardens and the fields. The fall crops are looking great! Unfortunately, the weeds are growing well, too.

The rain changed the Boss’ plan to “shoot” the Rockingham County Fair. So he worked on the tractor instead.
after the truck repair...tractor tire repair
it's always something!
This is the third year we’ve done this at the request of the General Manager.  Last year, one of the Boss’ photos garnered an award from the International Association of Fairs and Expositions. Here’s that story. Thanks for the opportunity, Jeff!

The Rockingham County Fair is Virginia’s largest Agricultural fair and in 2012 was America’s top agricultural fair (IAFE Div. 1)  It’s impressive to say the least.

Here are a few random fair shots.  I hope to have a couple of posts in the next week or so about the fair.

This year the Fair invested in a new poultry barn AND a whole new building to house a poultry exhibit. 

Poultry production has had an enormous influence on Valley life in the past 75 years and the exhibit is outstanding. There is MUCH more to the fair than Ferris wheels, blue ribbons and cotton candy! You could learn a lot at the fair. Oh…wait, do you sense a blog post coming?

After a day at the Fair, it was back to the business at hand.  Planting, picking, packing, weeding, seeding, feeding…

This may be the cure for my summer doldrums
seeds for fall and winter!

Despite the ruined corn
the butterfly is pretty!

On one of my trips out to feed the lambs, I discovered that we had suffered some sort of invasion overnight.  Marauding critters (groundhogs or coons, I reckon) had gotten into the poor, struggling corn and had themselves a ball.  Now, this has happened in the past (read this),  but we had seen no evidence of any predators in quite some time (and we trapped countless critters last year) and we got complacent…and the corn wasn’t looking all that great anyway.  I honestly thought that the crop was a total loss and that thought just added to whole “summer doldrums” that I’d been struggling with all week.  However, on closer investigation, there will actually be some corn to harvest both for our own use and for Winter Sales.  Hooray!
 (guess what we’re doing tomorrow after the feed/town run)

there are a lot of squashes hiding under the leaves
In other crop news, the bumper crop of butternut squash is becoming evident as the vines begin to die back.  In another couple weeks, we will harvest the squash, allowing them to cure prior to sale at the Market. We’re going to need a BIG storage spot this year!

just a few grapes

 …and despite the Polar Vortex and the cold snap during the Spring, there are even a few grapes along the lane where the wandering deer herd of Mbrook can’t reach them. We see the herd on a regular basis, and while I think the dogs have kept them from visiting here on the hill, they were spotted at the Post Office the other day. And, no…I do not know why deer would go to the Post Office, particularly the Mbrook Post Office! (no offense to Mbrook of course)

the sauce tomatoes are especially prolific
despite the blighted leaves

The rain got the tomato crop ripening and there are tomatoes everywhere.  We made sauce this week, took bunches to Market and still have more to process.  It looks like we will be freezing the next batch for Winter Sales. Yes, tomatoes will freeze.  Now, you couldn’t use them in a salad or on a sandwich, but they are perfect for chili, soups and stews. And, while you could just buy them at the store, we like putting up our own produce and our customers appreciate our efforts. So, that’s job #1 this week…because, like it or not, Winter is going to make a return visit.

The week was capped off with another amazing Market.

The crowds have been unbelievable this year and the Market (as a whole) is on course to set an all-time sales record. Personally, despite a very slow start, our sales have been astounding.  We get constant requests to grow more, more, more.  It is both encouraging and humbling to hear folks rave about the food we produce here on the hill.  

THANK YOU to all our faithful customers!

It looks like a dark, possibly rainy start to a Sunday…but, nobody is going to complain about rain…no way!

Sunday sunrise from the front porch  8-17

Hope you’re having a

Happy Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by.  Be sure to come visit us again, soon. 

...and if you haven't "liked" us on Facebook, do that right now. Seriously.  You can keep up with what's happening here on the hill even when I don't get around to blogging.


  1. Yes, you are good at braking. I would have hit something for sure when I learned to drive if you hadn't grabbed the dashboard. (That's only half sarcastic, I really did use your hand flying for the dash as a gauge for if I should be slowing down. Oops. lol)

    1. So glad I could be there for you. But, let me say...I am SO glad those days of teaching kids to drive are over! LOL

  2. Hi Barbara!
    Somehow I have lost your email address. Re-did my address book, and there you weren't. Crud. I am slowly detangling myself from google/google+/picasa. So switched my gmail contacts to my Apple contacts book. Send me your email to my regular gmail account, and I'll send you my personal email. That sounds like Private Eye speak! Not too be confused with Privet Eye, which is what I wrote first.
    AND I have switched from Blogger to Wordpress. . Do come visit when you get a chance. I am sorry you were/are? stuck in the doldrums. I am not feeling great today and it has me down, too. Plus, my brother was diagnosed with prostate cancer last week. Oh well, onward and downward!

    1. I will send it to you ASAP (well, okay, after supper)
      I can't figure out the whole google/google+ thing, so you're one up on me! Some days the whole social media/cyberworld just totally baffles me. What happened to carrier pigeons and quill pens?
      I will come visit you at your new cyber address. I hadn't seen anything from you and was wondering where you were. I am scared to make the shift from blogger to WP, although I've heard lots of good stuff about it.
      Hope you'll feel better soon!
      Personally, I think I see light at the end of the tunnel. I must admit, the whole Robin Williams story really, really bothered me.
      (this is getting far too long, and far too personal for blogger...I'll write you later!)
      But, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother. Prayers are sent on his behalf.