Sunday, July 5, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 7-5-15

Well, here we are again. 

It’s Sunday and you’re here to find out what’s been happening on the hill…and I’m sorry to report…we really didn’t do a whole lot of interesting stuff this week. A lot of stuff, but nothing really interesting.


I’ll come up with something!

Let’s see.  Oh, when I closed last week’s post it was so I could get back to working on the latest baby shower. 

I’m glad to report that it went off quite well.  Blondie was hoping for “lots of stuff” for her soon-to-arrive little guy…and I think it’s pretty safe to say that she did indeed get lots of stuff.  Now, to endure the count-down until arrival day. Six weeks will fly by, I hope!

lots of presents

lots of food

cool punch
grandmas and great-grandmas

can't believe both my girls are mamas!

With all the baby showers behind us, I could renew my focus on the farm.  When I got back from the feed run on Monday, the Boss was hauling the next batch of squash and cucumber plants out to the garden.  We must have been on a roll, because we got all of them planted before lunchtime! 

planting summer squash

I did a fair amount of picking on Monday afternoon.  The veggies are starting to roll in and if I don’t check on them every single day, we find ourselves with overgrown beans and canoe-sized zucchinis.  (and NOBODY wants that)

While I was picking, I noticed the Boss had the tractor out…and a shovel…and he was sitting on the ground.  What was he doing?

The dogs enjoy daytime napping under the reefer in the heat of the day (it’s cool and dark and when the cooling unit is running on the reefer it makes a relaxing little hum).  But, the space is really too small for such big dogs and they have to do an army crawl thing to get underneath.  So, the Boss enlarged it for them (isn’t he nice?)…and then Gus had to give his opinion on the project.  Apparently, he approved! The only problem…really, really dirty farm dogs.

winter squash blossoms
Later in my rounds, I thought the winter squash plants looked like they were shrinking.  Just the day before they had looked beautiful.  They were even blooming.  But, now they seemed to be smaller. Smaller? Plants don’t shrink! Closer investigation revealed that they weren’t actually shrinking.
this leaf was definitely eaten

"shrinking" plants

 Something had eaten them.  Eaten a lot of them. Oh bother!  My best guess is a rabbit.  I had seen one hopping through the long grass at dusk the other evening.  My list of suspects also includes a fat little groundhog I saw scurrying through the fence the same afternoon. Bugs are one thing, varmints are another. This job was beyond me, so I called for reinforcement. The Boss put up some versa-net (short, electric fence) to deter the critters.  So far, it seems to have worked. Although we need another little piece to provide complete protection.  I’m pretty sure we have some more somewhere, but neither one of us has been able to locate it.  Thankfully, the plants are making a comeback and that tragedy was averted.
protected squash

Look!  A baby butternut!

working on the "lamb hauler"

Then the Boss made a flying trip to Lexington to take advantage of a sale and complete his newly designed “lamb hauler”.  While it’s not truly completed, it will be ready in time for our lamb hauling trip next week. Then later that day, he finalized his tractor trading and is in some sort of mowing heaven.  Since I don’t really understand garden tractors or why he’s so thrilled with this, I’ll leave it at…he thinks he found the ultimate mowing machine for our needs. Yay for that!

While the Boss experimented with the new mower, I headed to the hoophouse for a quiet afternoon of transplanting.  I truly enjoy the time I spend in the hoophouse, planting all those little plants and listening to my music.  
heading to work in hh#2

I was planting along when suddenly I heard a lot of commotion and a lot of yelling.  What?  I walked out of the hoophouse to see all the lambs in the garden and the Boss in hot pursuit, yelling as he ran.  Somehow, in the thrill of mowing, the gate didn’t get closed…and, well…you know what happened. It was bedlam and the Boss was not a happy camper.

NOT the sight you want to see
thankfully, there's nothing planted there right now

Thankfully our lambs think that anytime they see Mama with a bucket and she is calling “sheeeeeep” it means a meal is coming.  It only took a couple of attempts (we’re talking lambs, so nothing happens on the first try) and they were back where they belonged.  …and they only ate a couple of leaves off the broccoli and green beans.  Yay…another disaster averted!

The Boss headed back to his mowing.  I turned on my tunes and started planting again.  Blam, blam….baaaaa, baaaa. *sigh*  The lambs finally figured out they were NOT getting a meal and I could hear them butting each other and the empty feeders in protest.  (Yes, I can identify an incredible number of farm events simply by sound…being a shepherd is very much like being a mother.  You develop a “gift” of super-duper hearing/sight and smell detection.)  So, I simply turned the music up to drown them out.  Then, I could hear them baa-ing and running. Okay, so they went elsewhere.  Good riddance…and I kept planting. But, then my afternoon of quiet planting came to a screeching halt when I heard the distinctive click of the gate latch and frightened, screaming lamb voices.

The sudden, relentless din required investigation, so I stopped again and headed out to the lamb paddock. In the general melee that followed the escape, two lambs had managed to lock themselves inside the feed corral when all the other lambs headed out to pasture. To a lamb, separation from the rest of the flock is a true emergency situation. Thus, the terrorized screaming. By the time I got there, they were bouncing off the gates, the fence and each other in some terrified frenzy to escape. They nearly ran me over getting through the gate. Sheesh! Sheep!
trapped lambs

I never did finish in the hoophouse, although I just have one bed left to plant. Maybe I’ll get to that tomorrow.
you have to look real close to see all the transplants

It’s also time to pull out, till and re-plant another bunch of stuff, so I reckon you can guess what’s on our to-do list for this week.
just a few more transplants

Speaking of our to-do list, it is growing by the moment.  It’s that time of year where we know there is absolutely no way we will get everything done, but we have to give it our best shot.

There are tomatoes to tie, beans to pick, transplants to fertilize and harden off, a million weeds to pull…just to list a few things.  I should probably make some attempt at housework, get caught up on farm paperwork and start some more seeds for the succession plantings. The Boss is hoping to bush hog, mow the garden and make preparations for onion harvest. Oh, and I should order some stuff for fall/winter planting.

…and find out where that chicken keeps getting out.

We have one hen (I think it’s the same one) who apparently wants to be TRULY free-range.  It’s really annoying to have to chase her all around all the time. (she can’t stay out---something will eat her for sure) And, after she flew in Gus’ face last week, he won’t really help anymore.  He just follows behind her, looking for the little “tasty morsels” she leaves behind.  And, I do not mean eggs. Gus is definitely a farm dog…and a gross farm dog at that.   Seriously, a fence repair is definitely in order!

As we approached the weekend, our collective sense of concern became heightened.  The weather…oh the weather…was becoming a concern (again) and Saturday would be the Fourth of July.  By some weird quirk of the calendar, the whole “Fourth of July on a Market Saturday” had only occurred twice before in the 23 year history of the Market. And, oddly enough, we’ve been there for every one of those holiday markets. (that says something for the length of our tenure as market vendors, I guess)
Between the weather and the holiday, we really didn’t have high expectations when we left for Market.
leaving for Market on the Fourth of July

We try (emphasize that word TRY) to have faith that the good Lord will supply all our needs when we head out to the Market on a Saturday.  And, I have to admit… sometimes that’s really (REALLY) hard. But, quite honestly, what else can you do?  We’ve grown this stuff, it’s ready for harvest.  We HAVE to take it to the Market as this is our chosen venue.
almost ready for opening
(oops, forgot the eggs)

Well, I’m here to testify that faith (even just a little bit) pays off.  It was an incredible Market! We actually could have sold far more (if we had it) and the weather held and it never rained.  The band today was unbelievable, too. Music adds so much to the Market atmosphere. I can’t believe we’ve been next door neighbors to the Goodson Band for nearly 20 years and today was the first time we actually heard them perform. Rock on, y’all! Want to see pics from the Market?  Click here.

A lot of customers sounded just a little disappointed when we said we didn’t have any exciting plans for the Fourth of July.  It’s been a long time since we indulged in late night celebrations and fireworks are really scary to farm animals.  So, after the Market, we chilled…did afternoon chores…ate a delicious supper of homegrown goodness…and went to sleep (quite possibly before it was fully dark). Perhaps it’s not exciting…but, it IS a good life.

green beans
...and millions of teeny, tiny weeds
Sundays are always a little slower around here.  Although, I did see that the green beans need picking (again) and that means we need to can off a few for our own winter use. We could really use a couple loaves of bread…

 …and wait…is that a ripe tomato?
heirloom tomatoes
well worth the wait!

Well, I think my plan for the day might have just taken a slight detour.

Have a Happy Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by. (you wouldn’t feel like snapping a few green beans…would you?)

upper garden on a summer afternoon

Come by and visit again real soon!


  1. Your baby butternut squash is absolutely adorable. I'm growing Acorn squash and Kabocha aka Japanese pumpkin. The Kabocha is doing amazingly well; we are likely to have anywhere from 10 to 14 squash come the harvest season.

    1. Well, good for you! All the best wishes for your harvest.

  2. Hey friend,
    'Bout as American Good Life as it gets. Excellent post and pix. Excellent Sunday visit.
    xo, m & jb

    1. Glad you stopped by! Thanks for the kind words.
      Hope all is well with you.

  3. Love reading (and seeing) your adventures. I pray daily that one day soon we can be living that kind of life. And we were in bed before the fireworks ourselves! :) Have a great week!

  4. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to post such a nice comment.
    I do hope that you get to live your dream!
    Have a great week yourself and come back and "visit" again soon.

  5. What a gorgeous place you live in!! Wow!!

    1. Thanks, Amy! We were incredibly blessed when we ended up here on our hill. :)
      I hope you'll come "visit" us again.