Sunday, July 3, 2016

Sunday Walkabout 7-3

Yep...she's going to fit right in!
Here it is…Sunday again.

Another week has simply flown by!

(and I wasn’t even aware that we were having that much fun)

Last week I alluded to the fact that much of our life is the same thing over and over again. In reality a lot of living is repetitious and that’s perfectly understandable and acceptable. The sameness and routine are both comforting and necessary. It can be a challenge to keep it interesting, though. All that to say, there is a lot of routine stuff that must happen that never makes it to a blog post. (because do you really want to read “we did chores…again” FOURTEEN times in every post?) But, you must realize that lots of other work goes on around here on a routine basis.

This week we hit the perfect combination of dry weather and kids’ work schedules to get the last load of hay. Thanks to Toughchick, the Man, and Blondie the barn is packed to the rafters with hay. Thanks, y'all! I can honestly say we have never had this much hay in the barn this time of year before.  I hesitate to state that we’re ready for winter…but, we do have plenty of hay. (and there’s a wagonload sitting in storage in the hay guy’s barn)
the only hay helpers who didn't balk at having their photo taken

Wednesday was a very busy day.

As the calendar will attest, time is indeed marching on. It was time to get the last of the brassicas picked so the Boss could get that garden ready for the fall potato crop. Since we had already harvested close to 400 pounds of broccoli, nearly 70 pounds of cauliflower and countless cabbages, I figured I could get it done in short order. (Only to find I seriously need to work on my job estimation skills).

last cabbage
Because not only did I harvest about twenty pounds of “baby broccoli”, there were at least the same number of cabbages and one enormous cauliflower that I had somehow previously overlooked. Then, the harvest needed to be cleaned up and placed in cold storage for sale. And, I hauled all the waste and scraps to the hens, who enjoyed them immensely.

"baby broccoli"
the little florets that form after the main head is cut

Two hours later, I was finally finishing up.

And, I hadn’t even planned on that job. Yep, pretty much the story of my life most days…

hoophouse ready for replanting

I eventually got to the hoophouse to get some major planting done and the Boss hooked up the bush-hog in order to clear out the old broccoli plants. By bush-hogging the plants, we add organic matter to the soil, building the nutritive value for the next crop. On the down-side, the entire farm smells like a gigantic pot of kimchi as the plants wilt in the hot summer sun.

bush hogging broccoli garden

mowed brassicas

two days later

With that project completed, he turned his attention to burning the pile of stuff that had accumulated between the gardens. While it was just tree trimmings and spent plants, it had become quite an eyesore. And, the Boss does love a good bonfire. Things are looking much tidier around here now.

burning brush
...and dang, we're all out of marshmallows!

In a nod to the unusual, we headed off to a nearby farm after supper to look at lambs. I say unusual, because it is rare that we head anywhere after supper. The kids laugh at us for being like chickens.  They say that when evening starts to come, we are inclined to “tuck our heads under our wings and call it a night”. And, I won’t argue with that one. I've never been a nightowl and neither has the Boss, so early nights are fine by me.

But, that’s what was going to work for the other fella, so off we went. As we drove, we talked about the beautiful light and how we live in such a beautiful place…

Mbrk Road on a June evening

when all of a sudden, the Boss let out this weird exclamation. I looked over to see what had happened, and there was a bird…sitting, rather dazed and confused on the seat of the truck.

our little "passenger"

Apparently, it had hit the Boss’ arm as he indicated something on the horizon. It didn’t seem injured, so I put it out the open window on the other side…hoping it took my advice to “fly and be free”. But, that was weird! I don’t know how many miles we’ve driven through the countryside with the windows opened over the years and we have never had that experience before.

"shopping" at Suffangus Farm
The rest of our much-anticipated “lamb shopping” trip went off without a hitch. We picked up two pretty little ewe lambs that will join the ewe flock in the fall and hopefully produce some great lambchops for next year. (just to be perfectly clear here—these girls are for breeding, NOT for eating)
new ewe lambs

moving to the barn

checking out the new girls
Meet "Clarice" and "Felicity"

This season we will have twenty ewes to breed. While I know this doesn’t sound impressive, I am excited that we have finally reached my goal. I can’t wait to see what kind of lambchop crop we get out of this group of ewes. Since demand for lamb is at an all-time high, we are hoping that our increased numbers will mean that we won’t run out of inventory in the future. And, lambing season should be interesting to say the least.

And, I guess someone should tell Angus that we’re less than a month away from breeding season. (pretty sure that will make his day)

Before we knew it, it was time to harvest again.

picking beans
We picked the first green beans of the season. While I feel safe in saying we both count green beans among our favorites, and there is no denying that they are immensely popular at the Market, picking them is NOT our favorite job. Make that, it’s not my back’s favorite job. This post will tell you a little more about picking beans.  One of our Market friends told about his unusual method for picking beans. I kind of hope we get a chance to try it because I’m pretty sure it will make a great (and amusing) blog post.

The potato crop is looking pretty amazing. (and we sold every single potato on Saturday)

fortunately the Colorado Potato Beetles don't eat the tubers

harvest begins
 The first peppers are ripening.

And, we finally started harvesting the big, sweet onions that I started from seed last summer. They are beautiful as well as tasty. I'm claiming success on that experiment!

But, we are still waiting on the squash and cucumbers…and the tomatoes…

Market was incredibly busy. We ran out of a lot of things early in the morning. That is always a good news/bad news sort of thing. All in all, we ended up with a fairly impressive total and most of the broccoli ended up in someone else’s refrigerator. (that is definitely a plus)
those beans didn't last too long...

As our customers headed off to enjoy a three-day weekend, we are scanning the weather forecast hoping that the 4th of July will be dry. Not because we have picnic plans or want to set off fireworks, but, because the early potato crop needs to come out of the ground, the next planting of squash and cukes need to go in and there are at least fifteen other odd jobs that need our attention…

But, for right now, I’m heading to the barn to formalize the lamb introductions and start another day on the hill.

I hope you’re having a Happy Sunday! 


Thanks for stopping by…come back and “visit” real soon.


  1. That's a great shot of the new lamb at the beginning of your post. How did you choose the names? (I am just making an assumption that Clarice ties in with "The Silence of the Lambs"...shudder!) Great day at the market and there is nothing more wonderful than new potatoes with butter, salt and pepper! -Jenn

    1. Hi Jenn!
      I should probably stick with numbers for the sheep, but it's kind of funny to give them names and they all have different personalities, so it seems appropriate. And, the one at the beginning...definitely a character.
      I try to pick odd and unusual names (not anyone I know) I would hate to be fussing at the sheep and have the neighbors think I was talking about them! I actually picked the name Clarice for the little girl reindeer in Rudolph. Didn't even think of the Silence of the lambs movie until I looked up the spelling. (that made my kids laugh at me... haha) Definitely a little to creepy/crazy for my tastes.

  2. I particularly love that last shot Barbara, which shows your farm in the lovely sunshine - and at its best I am sure.

  3. Clarice & Felicity do look adorable (love the names too). I am sure they will fit right in. I always love reading your weekly roundup. There is soooo very much to do on a farm... day in... day out! And yes, I agree, You do live in a very picturesque and beautiful place.