Sunday, June 8, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 6-8

 “AND what is so rare as a day in June?
Then, if ever, come perfect days…”
                                              -James Russell Lowell

June brings with it some of the most brilliant and beautiful skies of the year. 

When I was a child, it was a near certainty of life that at least once during the month, my grandmother would begin to quote one of her favorite poems. And now, many years after her passing, I find myself remembering snippets of verse every June.  Here’s the entire poem.

This week we had some beautiful, summery weather.  It was bright and hot and slightly breezy.

haymaking at neighbor's
  The kind of weather that is perfect for haymaking. Saturday was a gorgeous day for the neighbor daughter’s outdoor wedding. I’m trying to put a positive spin on it and not give into any sort of “rain-covetousness” that often happens this time of year as we watch the storms fire up all around us, dropping precious moisture everywhere but here on the hill. We did get a little rain and it was greatly appreciated.  There is nothing like rain to make the whole place feel brand-new. (on the other hand, we pray for those we know who felt the devastating effects of too much rain and wind and hail!)

the okra is loving the hot, dry weather
look at 'em pop!

planting the winter squash
The winter squash was planted and mulched in.  They seem to have adjusted well despite the white, hot sunshine. There should be an abundance of butternut squash come September!
checking the irrigation on the winter squash
(Waylon is "supervising")

Tuesday, we hauled lambs to Edinburg to be processed.  We had about 800 pounds of lamb in the back of the truck that will be processed into chops and roasts and sausage (and other goodies).  We’ll go back in about 2 weeks to pick up the load of deliciousness.  But, speaking of rain…it poured on the way to the processors.  We had never delivered lambs in the rain before.  And, quite honestly, I don’t want to do that again.  They were wet and smelly…and totally uncooperative. …and I hit my head trying to get them to go the right direction.  But, that job is done.  Until next time.  We haul lambs four times throughout the season, hopefully the next batch will behave a little better. I suppose it says something about us that I spent the majority of the trip checking the radar to see if we were getting the deluge at home. (we weren’t)

The rest of the week went as weeks generally do around here in the summer.  Too quickly.  

when lambs hang back from the feeders...
they're probably sick

A fair amount of time was spent doctoring a couple of sick lambs. Both seem to have recovered, and I will spare you the details…but, I’m not real fond of farming when it involves maggots. Just sayin’… 
never a good sign

Then, when the Boss went to bushhog the front fields, the PTO shaft broke.  That required a trip to town.  The trip to town proved to be a learning experience as we found that tractor parts are NOT necessarily universal in fit.  A little online shopping got the right part on the way and the Boss will be back bushhogging by mid-week. Of course, my town trip now involves a visit to the farm store to return the unneeded part. (not the first time that’s happened--and I'm fairly certain it won't be the last)

welcome to my Friday office

As always, Friday was spent picking and packing.  

aren't these chard stems beautiful?

Here are a few of the items we took this week...
baby walla walla onions



bright lights chard

chinese cabbage
garlic scapes
(don't know what a scape is?
read this!)

We had lots of vegetables for Saturday’s Market.  However, we were still sold-out of most stuff by 10AM. 
the Market stand is getting pretty crowded
(and there's more in the trailer)
Yes, this week we will be planting more, more, more lettuce, spinach and other greens. …it won’t be long for squash and green beans, either.
lots of transplants in the greenhouse

bean blossoms

The upcoming week promises more of the same, although we are hoping for at least a little rain, as there is a chance every single day.  That fact means that our hay guy won’t be making hay this week! He won’t take a chance with the hay getting wet. His delay is a good thing, we need to clean up/re-organize the barn before stacking any hay.

So…there you have it.  Just another week on the hill.

my favorite view of Mbrook

Thanks for stoppin' by!  Sure hope you enjoyed your visit...and...

  have a Happy Sunday!

Come back and visit again real soon!


  1. Barbara, I ALWAYS enjoy visiting here! Read that beautiful poem. It put me in mind of my mother's favorite poem, The Daffodils, by William Wordsworth. "And then my heart forever thrills, And dances with the daffodils." She was also fond of The Song of Hiawatha.
    This may be a foolish question, but do you, um, take Sundays off? My maternal grandmother got her family through the depression and the war by means of a farm in South Jersey. I don't think she worked Sundays -right down to not knitting.
    One day she was away on a Sunday and my mother knit away furiously and quite productively, only to find she had made a mistake in the very first row. She had to uh, un-knit? deknitify? all those rows! And my grandmother said, "See?"
    Today is so beautiful out I can hardly stand it. A foretaste of Heaven? Yeah, baby!

    1. I'll have to look up "the Daffodils". I really admire people who can quote from memory. My grandmother could recite all sorts of poetry, Scripture, literary passages and told great stories. Me, I'm doing good to remember my name some days. lol
      As for your question about Sundays (not foolish at all!) We take it "easy" on Sundays, but don't observe the Sabbath, if that is what you wondered. Living in the Bible belt, many of our friends and neighbors refuse to do anything but the absolute essentials on Sundays. So, it seems rather disrespectful for us to be out there tilling and mowing or moving sheep and chickens and generally making a racket. Plus, it's a good excuse to do "whatever we want" and get a little rest. We still do all the farm chores and I take the opportunity to get caught up on some of the inside stuff…you know, the real fun like laundry and cleaning. Hope that answers your question.
      Love your grandmother story! But, I feel your mother’s pain…having to “un-knit” is a terrible disaster.
      Enjoy your beautiful day!

    2. The Daffodils by William Wordsworth

      I wandered lonely as a cloud
      That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
      When all at once I saw a crowd,
      A host, of golden daffodils;
      Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
      Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

      Continuous as the stars that shine
      And twinkle on the milky way,
      They stretched in never-ending line
      Along the margin of a bay:
      Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
      Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

      The waves beside them danced; but they
      Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
      A poet could not but be gay,
      In such a jocund company:
      I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
      What wealth the show to me had brought:

      For oft, when on my couch I lie
      In vacant or in pensive mood,
      They flash upon that inward eye
      Which is the bliss of solitude;
      And then my heart with pleasure fills,
      And dances with the daffodils.

  2. Isn't it heartening that your stand on the Farmers' Market sells out so quickly.
    I am afraid lambs and maggots often go together!

    1. Yes, Pat, it is greatly encouraging when the Market goes well!
      I wish lambs and maggots didn't go together. This was the first time in our 14 or so years of shepherding that I had to experience that. UGH I could have really done without the experience.
      Hope you're having a wonderful day!