Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 6-15

The big news this week…

It rained!

Rain is a big topic of summertime conversation around here. No, I stand corrected.  Rain is THE topic of conversation around here in the summer.  Living in a farming community,  weather permeates every thought, every conversation and affects every single thing we attempt to do. Back in 2010, Luke Bryan recorded a song “Rain is a Good Thing”…and every summer since we hear it repeatedly on the radio.  Some years I am in total agreement with it----like 2011---read this. Read this.

But, last year was a far different story---we really could have used an ark…or a really big umbrella!  Read "I Beg to Differ" about last year's growing season.

I’m really hoping that this year we will see some sort of happy medium.

In the past week, we got nearly 2 inches of rain.  It was not too torrential, we missed the wind and hail…I guess we could be like Goldilocks and say “it was just right”. But, we probably won’t because we’re seeing hot, Hot, HOT weather predicted in the upcoming week and that already has our attention. The hot weather will bring with it the unsettled atmosphere that is conducive to big thunder-boomers…so, the weather conversations will shift to worrying over the distinct possibilities of storm damage.  
It’s always something…

Doesn't it look nice after the rain?
Lots and lots of planting got done this week.  The gardens are nearly full. And, despite the "Gus attack",
the Brussels sprouts actually survived and got transplanted.  Now…about all those replacements I started…when I thought Gus killed all my precious little plants…they are thriving, too.   We may be overtaken by Brussels sprouts plants this fall!
planting Brussels sprouts

the back garden in the early morning

baby Walla-Walla onions
The onions got weeded for the final time…the big, sweet onions of summer are almost ready for harvesting. They will be followed by red onions and the “keeper” onions that will last through the winter. The onion harvest will take place around the first of July.

The Boss pulled the first “test garlic” and deemed the crop ready for harvest sometime in the upcoming week.  Just another thing to add to THE LIST along with an increasing number of other things.  

But, the predicted hot weather means that Waylon’s annual “hair-cut” just moved to the top of THE LIST. You can  read about Waylon HERE.
woolly Waylon

All the rain caused the cabbages to swell in utter ripeness…so, today we have a situation of “the oxen in the ditch”…and will be doing a little “desperation harvesting” this afternoon. Did you know that cabbages will "explode" if left in the garden too long?  It's true.  They will split right in half, rendering the head useless for sale. Can't have that happen!
look close...
you can see a dog underneath just chillin' in the shade

So, it’s time to fire up the reefer for additional cooler storage. Yes, we really do have the body to a refrigerated tractor trailer sitting in our yard…did you read these?

It's not the most picturesque part of the farm, but it does a great job at keeping us COOL.  I keep hoping to landscape around it, or paint a mural…or something…but…you know how that goes. Maybe next year…

a great place for snoozing on a hot afternoon

Speaking of the reefer…it has become known as “the dog bunker”.  We’re not sure which one figured out that it makes a great, shady, quiet place for naps. (I think it was Gus when he was small) But, they have dug themselves a comfy looking spot underneath where they snooze during the hot parts of the day.  It’s more than a little comical to see them clamoring out from underneath, doing this modified army-crawl, to alert us to visitors at the gate, lane traffic or errant crows. 

When I noted the potato blossoms for my  Thankful post,  it got the Boss thinking about potatoes and the eating thereof…

Check out the surprise I found on the kitchen table!
  He knows me well…why bother with a box of chocolates when he knows I'd be much more impressed with a box of freshly-dug, cleaned potatoes?!  I do love me some 'taters!

Since they passed our stringent taste testing, we will have new potatoes for next week’s Market. YAY!

Thursday morning started out with the discovery of a hole in the broiler pen---and a trail of feathers leading off to the fenceline.  That’s never a good sign!  One thing I didn’t mention in my post about chickens earlier in the week was predation. (did you read it?)  There are all sorts of varmints out there that love chicken for supper as much as we do.  While we make every effort to provide safety and shelter for the birds, we do have losses on occasion.  That’s costly and aggravating, but just a fact of pastured poultry.
repairing the field pen

The hole-y chicken pen required a trip to town since we used up the last of the chicken wire on some other renovation project.  In a perfect world, every farm would have an endless supply of chicken wire, fence wire (and posts) duct/electrical tape and baler twine.  I’m pretty sure you could fix EVERYTHING with those items!

With the pen fixed, it was time to take on the jungle that is the hoophouses.  Every three or four weeks, the Boss pulls out the spent crops and I plant in the new ones.  It is amazing just how much everything (especially the weeds) will grow in that amount of time. New lettuce, spinach, arugula and kale are growing as you read.

In addition to the new potatoes, this week we will probably start picking green beans…and squash…and cucumbers!  Yes, the cucumber vines are starting to form little, itty-bitty cucumbers.  I love the garden discoveries of summertime. 

baby zucchini

little green bean

tiny cucumber

Oh…I almost forgot.  The processor called on Thursday afternoon.  When were we coming to get our meat?  It was all done and waiting… They really wanted us to get it ASAP, their freezers were nearing capacity. But, Friday is our picking/packing day…  But, it really would be nice to have chops and sausage for Market.  So, we started extra early, picked and packed quickly, ate lunch and headed out to pick up the meat.  
rain on the Interstate
not fun!
We drove through 3 thunderstorms on the Interstate and dealt with the crazy Friday afternoon traffic,but we missed the ten-mile back-up following and accident, and made it back home in time for afternoon chores.  The freezer is well-stocked and everything is looks delicious.  This time we tried something new.  Center-cut leg steaks.
 The picture doesn’t really do it justice (sorry, Boss...but, you really need to smell it and see the tender juicy-ness) and words fail to describe its delicious-ness.  All I can say is THANK YOU to Gore's Meats  for the great job they did for us once again.  They are the best!

While this has nothing to do with our farm…I found this guy particularly inspiring.  Watch the video...
That's one tough, creative farmer!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a

Happy Sunday!

M'brook in summer

Come visit us again real soon!


  1. I swear we were just bemoaning yet another snow storm. How in the world did it get to be the middle of summer already? I read a blog Called It's All About Purple. She wrote what I think was a hysterical post about Junior the Squirrel. Thought you might enjoy it, too. So here is the link.

    I hope you have a super satisfying week!

    1. That is a great blog, Maureen! I'll have to add it to my reading list. :)
      I know what you mean about winter...that is now suddenly summer. They say time flies when you're having FUN (they also say something about time going faster when you get old, too). Hmmm, what does that say about ME? Ha
      Have a great week!

  2. It is exactly the same here Barbara, the weather is always the main topic of conversation. Our potatoes are not in flower even yet.
    We buy Jersey Royals to eat - they are not as delicious this year and it seems that they no longer use seaweed as a fertiliser and this has altered the taste. We used to have potatoes with mint and butter just as a supper on their own but not any more.

  3. Fun to see all the baby vegetables and life on the farm.