Thursday, June 30, 2016

TREE SWING, INSPIRATION THURSDAY

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, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Tree swing, image via Pinterest
While on the subject recently of "things in trees" at the farm for Inspiration Thursday posts (last week the platform, the week before the hammock), we were looking at images online.  We saw this and both of our inner children screamed "WE WANT ONE!".  

Of course, we have a Grand Nephew (Great Nephew?) and some more someday, so we want the farm to be a place for everyone to enjoy.  It doesn't just have to be for our inner child, it can be for actual children too...we just have to make sure the branch and the rope support "adult weight", LOL!

I'm currently clearing the perfect area (lots of trees) and while any two near each other work for hammocks, a swing like this has to have just the right branch to hang from.  We'll see what happens!

Be inspired!


Wednesday, June 29, 2016

SLOW GROWING FIG TREE

This is our fig tree...

Fig tree
It's been in the ground 3 years now...and it's not growing very fast.  For some reason, this one has only grown maybe a foot?  If that?  We always thought they were faster growing but not this one.

Perhaps it's the soil and it will just take longer for the roots to break through the heavy clay.  Or perhaps I need to do a special kick-starter fertilizer? 

Figs on a fig tree
It is producing figs, albeit not very many, and we have to fight the birds for the ones that are on there.  Hoping we'll get at least a few this season.  I LOVE figs, 2nd Man is not a big fan but I say he just hasn't eaten the right fig dish yet!

I think figs are such a great compliment to other things like cheese, honey, nuts, other fruits, etc.

Anyone out there have any fig tree growing experience and/or advice?


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

RED GARDEN TRELLIS CAGES

  A couple of weeks or so ago, I posted a picture of some boxes of things that I had ordered.  Here is what some of them were...


These great, powder coated, red trellises.  I ordered the tomato towers (set of two) first.  Then we decided to go ahead and get some more so that we had them all matching (in case we can't find them later). The two tomato towers, a bean tower and a set of three eggplant/pepper cages.

Red Cucumber Trellis
Also got a 4 foot square cucumber trellis, you plant them seedlings at the base and as they grow up the trellis, the cukes hang down along the angle.

Red Eggplant Cages
I put in the eggplant cages (the eggplants were struggling, I think too much water but they have since perked up...

Red Tomato Cage
And when I first ordered the two tomato cages that started it all, the plants were small.  I thought I'd be able to put these up when I was out there.  

Oops!  Plants are too big now.  Sigh.  


The really great thing about these is that they fold completely flat!  Easy to move around and of course, easy to take down after the season is over and we can hang them up in the barn until the next time they are needed.







I found them at Gardeners Supply (images above courtesy of gardeners.com).  We don't get anything for mentioning them, just our own personal choice. They also sell the same ones at Amazon here (perhaps better shipping rates).

The reviews are really positive for them so we hope they do well for us.  Probably one of those cases where we'll have to use them for a full season to get a good evaluation but on first glance, they seem to be well constructed and look like they'll last for awhile.

Red Tomato Cage
Then this past weekend, when I stopped at the local Home Depot for some weedeater supplies, I found regular (though taller and sturdier) conical shaped tomato cages in the same red powder coated material!  I put them over the okra plants so they will have something to grow up and inside of. I'll pick up some more soon just to have them for future beds.

Since red is so prevalent at the farm in our inside decorating (and red barns/beehive/someday house), we figured why not make it all match, ha.


Monday, June 27, 2016

YARD BACK UNDER CONTROL

So the day started off kinda worrisome...the clouds built up, got dark, it rained for a bit (after I started mowing) and then it would stop...  


It did this on and off most of the day.  I'd like to say it cooled things off, but nope, it just made it more humid.  But at least it didn't stop the work...


I got the front mowed, finally it's all back under control.  
I edged again as well...


I got the trails along the fence line done...


The trails are back too...


And I was able (with the help of 2nd Family's dog "Blue", ha) to get in and around a couple of trees that we love (not sure what they are, but there are two, side by side, just like this one, we call them "the two sisters").  

The trees need pruning but that will have to come sometime later...

 

Also got this area back under control, it's near the dewberry patch...


By the end of the day, it was blue skies and everything was neat again.  I also did some work in the garden and a couple of 'future' flower beds, more on those things later...


And as many of you said, I took time to enjoy the beauty out there.  Bees were buzzing everywhere, saw some butterflies and dragonflies all around, and these are growing wild in several spots around the property.  

Yellow flowers make me smile...

Sunday, June 26, 2016

SHARK WEEK 2016

Well, we don't have to worry about THIS at the farm, thankfully...or I'd never get ANYTHING done...*and 2nd Man would have a "FOR SALE" sign up!


Bwahahahaha!

It's time for Discovery Channel's annual tradition, which has pretty much turned into our annual tradition, SHARK WEEK!  For those interested, CLICK HERE for this year's schedule of programming. 

We love the weeklong series of shows...from the safety of our couch of course.  Shark Week has become a sort of cultural phenomenon now, even AMAZON has a bunch of Shark Week stuff for sale (we found some t-shirts we really want).

It's been a good weekend, I'll have updates during the week, today I had a nice "day off", we ran errands, got our hair cut, did some shopping, and best of all, I slept in AND took a nap!  Sometimes we need those days!

Of course the farm still has scorpions, and black widows, and snakes, and mice, and fire ants, and wasps...hmm...


Saturday, June 25, 2016

TIRED BUT HAPPY

I feel like...


...these cats...


They were like this when I got back...obviously they had a rough day and needed some sleep.

It was a long hot day with moments of light rain...


...but I came back into town to this meal of meatloaf, green beans and mashed potatoes...

Life was good today...for the cats and for me!


OFF TO THE FARM

Off to the farm today, it's been a dry week so it should be good out there...HOT...


I'm hoping I don't have to mow (mowed it pretty short last weekend), I'd rather use my time to finish edging (have to put on the bee suit and mow around the hives) and then work in the garden. 

Have to get the drip irrigation set up, that's my number one priority. 

Then I'll just roam around and figure out other things to do.

I'd like to get as much done as possible today and then have a day off tomorrow, I need a break, a day of doing nothing...it's going to be a long, hot Summer...


Friday, June 24, 2016

GREEN PLUMS MYSTERY


Saw these at the store the other day...


Green Plums! 

They were small, smaller than a pingpong ball and pretty firm.  I wasn't sure if they were supposed to be like that, or pulled early for some "culinary" reason?  Has anyone ever seen these?  

What would they be used for?  Anyone used them?  After our post about the green tomatoes the other day, this is interesting...maybe similar?



Thursday, June 23, 2016

TREE PLATFORM, INSPIRATION THURSDAY

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, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

Tree platform, image via Pinterest
While this is an Oak tree (we believe) we have a few trees on the property that have a shape like this. And while this is a waaaay in the future dream, we saw this and it was one thing that we thought we'd love to have in one of the trees.  There is a large tree (mesquite) shaped like this that is very near the future pond site.  We were talking once about how cool it would be to have a perch up high to see the water from a higher elevation. 

So when we saw this picture, this is sort of what we pictured in our head.  A place to just sit and relax, above OR below.  Again, not in our near future but this is not only to share with others but to have a record of what we like.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

USES FOR GREEN TOMATOES

I had to cut a renegade branch on the tomato vine down near the bottom and there were some green tomatoes on it...

Green tomatoes
Not that we could have done much with these three little guys, but it made us wonder, what CAN be done (if anything) with green tomatoes?

Of course we know there are the ubiquitous "Fried Green Tomatoes" (have eaten them but never made them) but we were just wondering if anyone had any other uses for green tomatoes?  

Or anyone ever grown a tomato plant JUST for using its green tomatoes?


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

GARDEN IS COMING IN

After the series of unfortunate events on Friday/Saturday, I thought I'd share some good stuff.  The garden is coming along nicely!

Homestead Tomatoes
These are the homestead tomatoes...the plant is covered in tomatoes and blooms...

Roma Tomatoes
What is this peaking out?  
This is on the Roma tomato plant and one is ripe!

JalapeƱo Plant
And here are a couple of jalapeƱos almost ready too...

Herb raised bed
The herb bed is clicking right along, I trimmed all of these after I took the picture.  Always nice to have fresh herbs.  I harvested the purple basil for the first time and we haven't used it yet. Guessing it's the same as regular basil...

I didn't get the pictures, but the eggplants have bounced back and are doing well, and we have now added two okra plants to another empty bed.

I wasn't able to get the drip irrigation set up, just ran out of time after all the drama turned my "to do" list upside down.  Believe it or not, we have not manually watered the garden at all this season.  We've had enough rain and while I was worried about not watering this week (2nd Family will always help if needed), we had a nice rain Sunday and another shower today.  


Monday, June 20, 2016

WHAT A WEEKEND

I took Friday off, so that I could get the mowing and edging done.  I had a whole list of things to do.  I started mowing first.  Little did I know what the day would have in store for me.

I took a break on the porch, sitting in the rocker.  It was hot.  WAY hot.

I started rocking to try for some sort of breeze.

Little did I know...


...there was a wasp nest behind me.  I got stung on the back of the neck.  It was a quick sting, I think I got hit at an angle, perhaps a glancing blow.  

I got back on the mower.  

Had to stop every 10 minutes or so, get off and clean off the mower deck.  

As I was mowing, I decided to take down some bushes around a tree...


After that, while driving around I thought, what is that white line I was creating?  Were we putting in grid lines for football?  No...


...I struck a paint can that I couldn't see in the bushes.  It was a glancing blow but ripped it open, spilling paint onto the rear wheel which I then proceeded to carry around the yard.  Lovely.

On one of the next stops, I got off to clean the mower deck again but decided to drive to the shade.  I got back on...

click...click...click...


Dead battery!  

And of course, it was in the middle of the property, sun and heat beating down.  I walked 2 acres back to the barn to get the tools to take the battery out.  Got that done loaded in the car and headed out...


...to Tractor Supply.  Great store and great deal on batteries for all sorts of farm and garden devices and tools.  I drove back to the farm and put the battery back in. Nothing like an extra hour and half of doing nothing productive in the heat and humidity...

So I got back on and kept mowing, going around the yard by the house.  Now there were new lines!  This time wet lines.  Strange because it had been a week of hot, 90+ degree weather with no rain.  Plus it was dry when I parked the car earlier in the morning...


I traced the wet back to the house and then I heard a noise.  
Leaning down to look underneath I found this...


...water gushing like a geyser from a broken pipe!

Quick (long) run up the driveway to the pumphouse so I could turn off the main water to the house and the water stopped.  I called "R" (from 2nd Family), who was a plumber earlier in his life and he said he would come check it out Saturday.  I finished for the day because, really, after wasps, heat, dead batteries and floods, what was the point?

I went back Saturday and it was better, once I got there, though I was still feeing a bit overwhelmed with it all.

"R" got the water pipe fixed.  Apparently a hairline crack, possibly from an old freeze, just finally gave out and split.  Thankfully, it happened while I was there to see it and stop it.  No water damage inside the house so that's good.

Oh and I killed the wasps...


I got the yard mowed...



...and most everything edged...


...and I came home to a steak and potatoes dinner (and a glass or two of wine). 

Sunday was the Father's Day party we went to for 2nd Man's brother and family and as luck would have it, a freak thunderstorm popped up out of nowhere and according to 2nd Family, dumped almost 2 inches of rain on the farm.  I say "luck" because that's good for watering since, believe it or not, things were getting a bit dry out there.  

Garden update tomorrow!

Hope your weekend went better!


Sunday, June 19, 2016

FATHERS DAY 2016


Much love to both our Fathers who are no longer with us.  I sure could have used my Dad's help at the farm, he was a woodworker extraordinaire who could have done so many cool things for us at the farm.  He was one of those Dad's that knew how to do a little plumbing, a little electrical, a little auto repair, etc.  

This afternoon we are off to 2nd Man's brother's house for a Father's Day celebration for him (he has three children and two of them are parents as well) so lots of Dads around.  The sweetest thing from 2nd Man's niece, who is a Mom herself, when I said we aren't Dads but we are glad to be there...she said "Uncles are just as great as Fathers".  Aww....!

Menu is fajitas and all the fixings, 2nd Man made Mexican rice and charro beans.  I made a red tomato blender salsa and a green tomatillo salsa.

For those wondering about the farm drama, it's all fixed, thankfully, and I'll have  an update tonight if it's not too late when we get back. 

Happy Father's Day to all of you out there!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

NEW CALF ON THE BLOCK










Saw this sweet new baby yesterday at the farm.  Cutie!  It made the day much more enjoyable than it was quickly becoming (more on that later).  I swear, baby calves are adorable!






He/she was a bit nervous when I went to the fence line to try say hello.  I didn't want to scare it away so I mowed elsewhere.

Off to the farm again, to deal with edging, working in the garden, and hopefully planting some things.  Also have to figure out what we're going to do about the big drama (I will give you a hint, it involves water!)

Friday, June 17, 2016

WHAT A DAY

All SORTS of problems.  Sigh.  

More on that later in a longer update...


Look at this morning's post for the before on this spot...I did get mowing and some edging done.  Not finished though, I couldn't because of the other things that happened, just ran out of time...

Double Decker Tacos
I did however get to come home to a great meal of homemade "double decker" chicken tacos so that was a good end to the day.  

Update:  Double decker tacos...just like at Taco Bell (only better and homemade).  You simply take a flour tortilla, spread some refried beans on it, take a crunchy taco shell, fill it with whatever you like, we used shredded and seasoned chicken, pico de gallo, lettuce, cilantro and queso fresco (crumbling cheese).  Then you just put the filled, crunchy taco in the middle of the refried bean covered tortilla and fold up around it.  DOUBLE DECKER!

Back out in the morning to finish edging, work on the garden and deal with the other issues.  It seems like it's always something but hey, if it wasn't, life would be boring, right?