Friday, March 16, 2018


I just wanted to share with you all that today is 2nd Man's birthday.  It's 50 something, ha.  

Happy birthday to the man I love!

Thank you for coming along with me on this crazy farm adventure.  I know it's slow going but you are patient and supportive and I can't imagine my life any other way.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Are we going to do this anytime soon?  LOL, no, there is way too much else to do/spend money on. But this is just too pretty not to share.  Love the idea of putting potted and hanging flowers all inside a gazebo like structure. With the open top, it's not really a place for protection from the elements but it sure would be a nice spot to relax and read a book!

Be inspired!

Wednesday, March 14, 2018


We made some traditional cabbage with bacon and onions using our fresh from the garden cabbage.  There isn' t much of a recipe.  Cabbage, onions, bacon and balsamic vinegary. 

First we cut out the core, the tough center part. Easiest way is to cut in half and then remove a triangle shape at the base. 

We used two of the smaller heads.  Just took a knife and shredded it up.  

Next, dice up a small onion.
Set all aside.

Fry about six slices of bacon until cooked.
Remove it from the pan but leave the bacon drippings.

Add the diced onion and sauté until golden and softened.

Add the sliced up cabbage.  Don't worry if it looks too full, it definitely cooks down. 

Turn it in the skillet so it gets coated in the bacon fat and the onions get distributed throughout. 

Cook about 10 minutes over medium heat until the cabbage is softened and starting to turn golden. Add about 1 TBSP of balsamic vinegar and stir.  It's a great combination.

Break up the bacon and add while the cabbage mixture is still hot.  Stir a few times to mix everything up in the pan.  

Cabbage and onions with bacon
Dish it up and serve as a side dish. Here we had it with some pork chops and gravy. Oh it's so good.  It's actually good enough to be its own main dish.  We could eat this for lunch or dinner any day.


Tuesday, March 13, 2018


We're constantly amazed how much water can fall from the sky.  

The farm was spared the heaviest rains from Harvey last Summer that inundated Houston and the surrounding areas.  But a couple weeks ago, a few days of heavy rain at the farm caused more standing water than we saw out there after Harvey. 

This is where we normally park.

This is under Barnabas where we want to put an outdoor dining area.  Kind of hard to see but there was standing water everywhere.  We might have to rethink how we want to do things there.  

This was a couple weekends ago when I had to move the mower out for the dealer to pick it up.  I drove through the "driest"part of the yard.

This is the pasture of the property that is directly behind the garden.  Thankfully the garden site was chosen because it is higher.  

This is in one part of the yard.
Notice how deep the one boot is.  

And this was our driveway.  The water naturally runs along the sides and down to the road and then down the hill to elsewhere.  But we're a bit concerned about the driveway in the future.  We'd hate to get stuck.  Oh, speaking of...

The trail cam picked up this.  You see the truck?  That's one truck PULLING another truck and trailer that got stuck after picking up our mower!  Oops!

I parked the mower in the high and dry side of the yard but they slipped over into one of those flooded side areas and got stuck.  

They left these ruts.  Not terrible, we're not upset, I'll just buy a few bags of soil/sand and fill it in.  I'm actually more worried about needing to mow soon and so I need things to dry up and get the mower back so that I CAN mow.  

We're constantly amazed about the rains we get the last few years.  Five years ago it was so dry, we went almost an entire year with no measurable rain.  I'll lave to find some of those pictures.  It's surreal.

And watching what is going on in South Africa is so alarming.  One of our fellow bloggers, Dani from the blog Eco Footprint is currently going through it...she lives near Cape Town and they are approaching Day Zero.  That's the day when they effectively run out of free usable water and will be limited to about 6 gallons per person per day.

That's this much for ALL uses.  It sounds like a lot but it's not just for drinking but also for washing clothes, cleaning, showering, food prep, pets, watering plants, etc.  How we can have so much and other areas have none is just incredible.  Hang in there Dani!  Wish we could send it your way!

Monday, March 12, 2018


It rained Sunday and a front came through that has dropped our overnight temps into the 40's!  Go figure!  They say this will be the last cold snap until next Fall.  Hard to imagine we'll have seven months or more before we ever get that cold again.  

If the Zen Machine doesn't get back from the "doctor" soon, it's going to be a jungle.  Hopefully it will be ready this week...which means this coming weekend will be mowing.  Yay?

The goal this past weekend was to work on the irrigation (though this looks like a mess, ha).  I cut the pieces needed for our "snip n drip" system.  I also had to throw away the four valve manifold (above) because it had cracked in the freeze.  My fault for leaving it outside even after I disconnected the hoses.  Lesson learned.  

This is what we use.  I've blogged about it before, it's the "Snip n Drip" system from It's more of a soaker hose set up as opposed to a drip system but it works well for us.  Two things I've learned by trial and error, just keep the pressure low (i.e. don't put the faucet on high) and don't water for long periods of time (it is a "soaker" after all).

They are just SO easy to use.  You cut the regular hose (non watering part between the beds) to length, then cut the soaker (the part in the bed) to length, and screw them both together using this connector.  Just repeat on each section and put an end cap on when you are done with that run. 

This is a picture from last year.  I put the irrigation down after I had planted and put down the straw mulch.  This time I'm going to cover the soaker hoses with the straw. That should keep the direct sun off of them and they'll last longer.  

Dig hose end digital timer
We also needed a new hose end timer.  There are a bunch on the market, many of them with fancy features we won't use.  This is the "new" version of the one we've had for the last few years so we figured why mess with something else when we can get the one that has worked so well for us.  It's got a couple new features that will help, the main one being a battery indicator.  That's important when you are only there once a week.  At least we'll know when it's getting close to time for new batteries so it doesn't run out and stop watering.  

Above is the link (affiliate) to the one we bought. 

Snip n drip irrigation plan
Here is the plan. It always helps me to draw it out and figure out where to put the connectors, which part will be the end of the line, how many connectors to have etc.  While it's drawn out in detail on paper (I'm old fashioned like that, ha), I did this to share a sense of what the plan looks like.  We'll do two runs to cover all the beds we're using. 

This weekend will be PLANTING!

Sunday, March 11, 2018


Look what we saw at the farm...
(as always you can click to enlarge)

This beautiful hawk came to visit us, sitting in a tree in the front yard...

It was so fast, I tried to get some good pics...

Hawk taking off
But it took flight and was gone.  I wanted some in flight pictures but I glanced down at the camera to get the zoom feature ready and looked back up and there was nothing but a small dot in the distance.  

They are fast, but wow they are beautiful creatures, that's for sure!  You would not want to be on the other end of those talons. 

Hope you are having a good weekend.  It's raining today, ugh, but at least we got some things accomplished at the farm yesterday.  We made the most of the time there.  

More on that tomorrow!

Friday, March 9, 2018


During our unusually harsh Winter, I forgot to flip the birdbath over, it filled with water in the rain and then in our 15 degree weather... broke.  And not in several large pieces where it could be glued together.  No, it had to be many small pieces.  I haven't thrown it away yet though, much to 2nd Man's dismay. 

Maybe a future art project? 

And speaking of, any suggestions for this part of it?  This is the base of the birdbath and it just seems too pretty to throw out.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, March 8, 2018


Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Regular blog readers know that I have an obsession fondness for flowers and benches.  Here's the best of both words.  The best part of this is we are halfway here!  I moved a concrete bench almost identical to this over to the future bee yard.  It's sitting in a spot like this. I'd love to plant some flowers that could grow like this, even if they are annuals. 

In my head, when I moved the bench to where it is now, this is what I imagined. The area is part shaded, part sun.  

What kind of flowers are these? Any suggestions for something similar?  I didn't want lower flowers around it, I kind of wanted it surrounded just like this, that fills in and is tall-ish.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018


Time for another quick and easy sheet pan meal.  What we love about this is how quick and easy it goes together and cools quickly.  

Sheet pan veggies
This is a package of pre-cut veggies they sell at our local grocery. They call them "grilling vegetables" but we call them "quick prep after all day at work" ha!  It's a mixture of green, red, and yellow bell peppers, red onion, some mushrooms and zucchini and yellow squash.  I just put them on a sheet pan and toss with salt and pepper (use any seasoning you like).  

Sheet pan veggies and sausage 
Our sheet pan is non stick so we don't even use oil but if you had a regular sheet pan, you might drizzle a bit of olive oil or similar prior to tossing. Then I slice up a 1lb package of sausage (we like "Holmes Sausage" brand) and scatter it over the top.   

Sheet pan meal out of the oven
You can toss again if you'd like.  Now place the whole pan in a preheated 425 degree oven.  That's it.  I roast this for about 30 minutes or until sausage has browned and vegetables are roasted and tender.

Sheet pan sausage and vegetables
Plate it up and serve. A nice serving of meat and veggies. By using the pre-chopped veggies, I can have dinner on the table in about 35 minutes. Oh and the container of veggies we get costs $5 and the sausage I get when it's on sale is about $3 pkg. That means it's an $8 meal. Not a bad deal for some great flavors and pretty on the plate to boot!


Monday, March 5, 2018


It was a good day Saturday, contrary to this photo...

It was overcast and looked like it might rain at any moment.  But it was cool and breezy and the rain held off until Sunday so it was fine.

I figured it was a good day to get to the garden and start working. I had already weeded the beds (though there weren't very many weeds, thankfully).

I also cleared out both the cabbage bed and the collard greens bed (see yesterday's post).

First thing I did was add some compost...

Then I used a shovel and mixed it into the existing soil. Turning it in and bringing the bottom to the top and vice versa...

Then I topped each bed off with a blend that is specifically made for raised beds and used the rake to  smooth it all out and make it ready...

Here is the end result...  

Cleaned out and soil is ready.  The plan this year is spread out over three weekends so that plants miss the cold weather.  Our last possible frost date is the 15th (though as screwy as the weather has been who knows, we could have an April freeze). 

This weekend was soil prep
(getting the soil and compost mixed together and ready for planting).

Next weekend will be irrigation prep
(getting all the water hoses hooked back up, determining where and setting the timer, etc).

The following weekend will be planting
(seeds and seedlings, you know, the fun stuff).

That puts us with plants in the ground earlier than last year and hopefully before the rains come.

Now we're planning what we're going to plant this season.  Tomatoes of course, more pickling cukes, and this year, a pepper bed with a variety of peppers instead of just jalapeños.  And of course herbs.

Also planting some carrots and beets.

Spring fever has arrived!