Sunday, June 7, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 6-7-15

foggy sunrise after nearly a week of rain
I would like to claim that the past week was highly productive…but, alas, weather and unexpected events conspired against us and many of our plans had to be revised.

However, we did indeed have one major success.

tomato plant
The tomato plants finally got planted, trellised, and mulched!  …and yes, the irrigation tape was placed as well.  It was a long, hot, sweaty job in the blazing sun, complete with sweltering humidity and breezes that felt like furnace blasts.  But, we got it done!  Hooray! 
tilling for tomatoes

putting in posts for trellis

digging holes for plants

installing irrigation tape

color-coding the pots was a BRILLIANT idea (even if it was mine)

setting the plants

delivering the mulch

applying the mulch

the finished job

Now, grow little tomatoes, GROW!

little paste tomatoes

rain arrived right on time

We spent the rest of the week rejoicing that we did this job on Monday rather than our usual “Monday stuff” because it started raining late that night and we didn’t see the sun (or an end of the raindrops) until the end of the week.

Friday morning...just like the rest of the week

Since it was raining, the Boss went on the re-scheduled town run with me so we could haul the feed in the trailer.  He also needed some parts to repair the irrigation system and he wanted to investigate his options when it came to hardwood mulch.

cleaning out the flower bed
Over the weekend we cleared out the side flower bed.  While this was not exactly a FARM job, it had become imperative to my mental health. It was starting to look like a jungle and the beautiful rose bushes we planted earlier in the year were in danger of being overtaken by invasive plants. The side door leads to the kitchen and it’s the most used door in the house, so there’s no way to avoid what was rapidly becoming an eyesore.

Years ago, Blondie and I decided that the side of the house would be a great place for a dyeing garden.  Now, I don’t mean a garden of plants that were withering and dead…we planted all sorts of things with the hopes of one day having a place to gather herbs and such that she could use to dye wool prior to spinning and weaving.  It was actually great for a while.  She lamented over the fact that the madder (the root is used to make anything from vibrant yellow to orange and brilliant red) never seemed to grow very well.

Life moved on…and so did Blondie. 

The madder, however, finally sprang to life.
load of madder
Winding itself over everything else in the garden, it took over like kudzu, its scratchy tendrils covering all the other plants.  Even the dog cave under the porch was even in danger of being overtaken. (pretty sure Gus and Ellie wouldn’t like that!)  Unbelievably, the clear out wasn’t difficult and it was one of the Boss’ “half-hour jobs” that really didn’t take much more than an half hour!  Finding the perfect mulch may prove to be slightly more difficult.  The type we originally used isn’t available anymore, so decisions will have to be made. I reckon we will get to this soon, but mulching isn’t a real good job for a rainy day anyway.

Gus checking out the dog cave

And, rain was becoming the story of the week.  At one point they were predicting 3 inches…and possible flooding.  That’s not the kind of forecast anyone wants to hear, particularly during the growing season. But, that was nothing compared to the totals in Texas and parts of the west. Many disasters have been reported, all due to too much rain. Thankfully, we’re not facing anything like that.

The cold, rainy weather gave us an opportunity to visit with Toughchick and GB#1.  It's amazing to see how much he has changed in just a week or so.
GB#1 thought it was hilarious that it was too cold and wet for his first weeding session

first load of lambs to the processor

Thursday saw us hauling lambs to the processors through what the weather page called “heavy drizzle”, although downpour seemed a bit more accurate.
I'm not a big fan of interstate travel
particularly when it looks like THIS!
It was not a pleasant trip up the interstate, but we made it there and back without any difficulty.  Now, we just have to wait a week or so before we can pick up all those lovely lamb chops, sausage and roasts.

Suddenly, it was time to harvest for Market once again.

While I was picking, I was aware of a great deal of commotion outside.  The hens seemed to be clucking with a different tone than normal and there were lots of crows caw-cawing. I’m fairly certain that the crows have a nest somewhere along the property line and they have become a huge nuisance. Not only did they feast (repeatedly) on the strawberries,   last week I saw a crow dive into the chicken yard and steal a freshly laid egg off the ground!

Something made me look up.  There…on TOP of the hoophouse…was the outline of a CAT! 

Yes, that is a little kitty behind on TOP of the hoophouse!

Apparently, Tess has decided to take the crow problem into her own paws and was patrolling the area.     Every time the crow would fly by, Tess would lunge at it.  The crow would call out and the chickens would cluck in terror, running for cover.  So much for a quiet life in the country!  Eventually the skirmish subsided and things returned to normal. You just never know what’s going to happen around here.

patrolling the hoophouse

the sentry

the birdhouse is also under surveillance 

Friday afternoon
same view as above
The rains finally began to let up and we actually saw blue sky by the end of the day.  But, the copious amounts of precipitation (we’ve had about 2 ½ inches in less than a week) and the warm temperatures brought a whole new set of “issues”.

MUD is an issue, too

The grass and weeds grew overnight.  Seriously, it is phenomenal.  However, the week was too wet to get into the garden and pull weeds, so we will probably have to haul out machetes to gain some sort of control out there this week. (I exaggerate only slightly) And, you can’t even tell the Boss did any mowing…

The warm, moist weather also brought on a new flush of potato beetles.  If left to their own devices, they will totally destroy the plants.  Without plenty of green matter above the soil line, the tubers will not be able to develop underneath. The battle for garden dominance will continue.

potato beetle larvae 

Good news/bad news
the potatoes are blooming---GOOD
the potato beetles are eating the blossoms---BAD

After a very foggy start, Saturday’s Market was beautiful.

Everyone was SO glad for a bright sunny day and pleasant temperatures. As usual, we had very little left at the end of the day.  Our customers are the greatest!

Salad or stir-fry...
I can't decide what kind of meal the leftovers will be

This week will find us playing catch-up since the rain threw our schedule into disarray. There are all sorts of plants waiting to go into the garden and the hoophouses.  Once those are planted, it will be time to get the fall brassica crop started.  The succession plantings of cucurbits need to be seeded as well. We picked up two bales of potting soil when we were in town and I can only hope that it is enough.

Here’s to a Happy Sunday!

Thanks for stopping by.  Hope you’ll come visit us again real soon.

Apparently, no one told Flo it's impolite to "talk" with food in your mouth!
But, forage is excellent after all the rain.


  1. Your prices, based on the one picture, look VERY reasonable. I love the Sunday Walk about. So nice to see the photos and catch up. I hope the rains are over for everyone. Poor Texas. :)

    1. Thanks so much, Bobbi!
      We try to keep our prices in line with the local groceries.
      Hope you'll keep visiting with us.

  2. My admiration for all your hard work knows no bounds Barbara - you make it all sound so easy and yet I am sure it is all so fulfilling. Hope the sun in shining.

    1. Thank you SO much, Pat!
      It IS indeed rewarding, but not always easy.
      ...and YES, we did see the sun today!

  3. You know that Kenny Chesney song: She Thinks My Tractor's Sexy? New version: She Thinks This Half a Steering Wheel That's Not Attached to Any Kind of Farm Equipment Whatsoever is Sexy.

    Just Sayin'
    :) m & jb

    1. Have I told you lately that I totally love your sense of humor?
      Thank you for making me Laugh Out Loud, my friend.
      Have a wonderful week.

  4. I do love reading and seeing your Sunday Walkabout. It always so very interesting.

    1. Thanks for reading! Thanks for commenting!
      I love how the internet allows us to visit with folks from such very different places, doing such very different things.