Well, Hello There!

I'm so glad you came to visit my cottage.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

In a Hurry?

Seems the pumpkins are in a hurry to be carved or eaten, not sure which at this point.  They are quickly turning orange and I, the goat herder, egg gatherer, bean picker, and garden decorator, hummm, Jill of all things homesteading, but Matron of none, am not sure how to progress with this little beauties. Got some web searching to do.  I am planning on canning pumpkin pie filling for the obvious PIES, but also for bread, cookies and maybe even brownies. I'm thinking strongly and  probably much too hard and long on a pumpkin brownie recipe. You know probably more than I do about types of brownies, but in my limited knowledge there are fudge, cake, and even the blondies.  So I've decided to name mine "Jackies". :>)  Another future project for this old gal to figure out. 

I've got the most beautiful daylilies blooming. They are a real weakness of mine and have been ever since I was in the Lufkin Hemerocallis Society.  It was great fun and a sinful indulgence for me to visit those vast day lily farms on our excursions, because I would spend funds needed at  home on the next color of daylily. LOL  So I got a stronghold on it and have just in the last two years allowed myself the luxury of buying some more varieties to add to my line-up.  Warning: Lots of photos below!

Yeppers! I snuck in that hydrangea photo.  Made you look!  LOL  I have one hydrangea that has 3 colors of blooms on it.  Very unusual since I've not added anything to the soil around it.  I love drying them and using them in arrangements here and there throughout the house.  They keep their color so well when dried.

Today is hot hot and more hot!  I tried working outside for a bit, but it was just too hot. Good time to add photos to the blog I thought as I turned a fan on high.  :>)  Before it got too hot this morning, I picked another dishpan of Cherokee Trail of Tears beans to make bean pico de gallo or relish. I guess it could be called just about anything. I blanched the beans which turn a gorgeous purple hue and then cooled them off with cold ice water, then let them drain.  While they were draining, I diced up 3 of our homegrown Mammoth Jalapeno peppers, 1/2 a purple onion, a large tomato, and 1/2 a can of black olives.  It's good on just about anything. We are going to top some of our remaining gourmet lettuce from the cold frame beds.  The dogs didn't destroy all the lettuce thank goodness. Since they are so good at laying in the raised beds, I've collected up all my garden trowels and forks and stuck them in every available 'dogie lounge' in the beds. So far it's working.

Sounds are coming from my tummy. It must be lunch time!  Getting dirty makes me hungry. :>)))

Sunday, May 22, 2011

I Kid You Not...

... it's a kid's life here at the farm.  Play and sleep, sleep and play.  There's no time for them to be worrisome or bothered.  We could all take a lesson from these little kids, whether goat kids or my little human grandkids. Abi, Sarah, and Lizzi came for a visit and they played until they were so tired. The tractor was the best feature on the farm this time. I think Sarah 'drove' it the most. Such sounds she was making while she pretended to roam the country side. They all three climbed it like a jungle-gym, but the old Ferguson didn't mind. I think it was fate (or whatever I should call it... maybe devine providence?) that the tractor and I have the same last name. Of course I added another last name in 1973, but I'm a Ferguson all the same. Thankfully, I don't have two big black tires hanging on the side of me, but I have an inner tube on the front. LOL That's close enough.
It's always much more enjoyable to see the farm through a child's eyes. It turns from something that requires a lot of work into something magical. The girls made a play like lemonade stand with real lemonade and planted up several plants. Abi potted up some sweet potato vine in a hanging basket, Sarah potted up some Mexican heather, and Lizzi potted up some purple basil.  They love to plant things. I think maybe they have a little bit of this MiMi in there somewhere.
While the 3 little girls  played up a storm, the 3 little boys played too.  Evidenly it's joyful to be a kid!  It takes a kid to help us remember how to play and to be happy. 
Tira, the 1/2 Corgi, tried to stay hidden the whole time the girls were here.  She came out after they left as if to say "All that giggling and for WHAT?"  Tira was born old I think.  She's not much on playing, just laying.

Speaking of laying, I think it's time for a nap.  This old lady is not a kid!

Instead of getting dirty today, I think I'll just make a list of things to plant. LOL

A Berry Pickin' Day

It was a berry good day today!  I didn't realize that my wild berry patch had produced so well.  Reidel and I picked for quite awhile... well until I had to lay down to pick the last batch. :>)  It's back breaking work, but well worth it to have that delicious pie later for supper. I make the pie crust pie in that I layer a crust, then berries, then crust, then berries... you get the picture. Each layer of crust is browned before adding more berries, then the last pie crust is brushed with real butter and then sprinkled with sugar. Personally, I like the dumpling berry cobblers, but since this is Reidel's favorite that's what I make. After all, I would have mowed down those prickly berry vines years ago, but he saw the benefit of having them so talked me out of it.  Now I'm glad. Sometimes husbands do know best ladies. LOL  Case in point, I wanted this barn/house to have the garage facing the street.  The hubster said he'd rather the garage be at the back so no one could see if we were home or not. So I agreed. I love it!! We can sit out on the driveway and watch the sunset and believe me they are beautiful almost every night.

Picking the berries was fun. I tested out the theory that 'drinking fresh goat's milk that the goats had eaten poison ivy vines thereby offsetting my extreme allergy to poison ivy'... worked!  There was the dreaded vines all in with the berries and not one blister did I have afterwards. I'm a happy camper or I should say berry picker. There's so many benefits to a fresh organic life that I don't understand why everyone doesn't want to live that way. :>)
Ahhh, the pie.  Now that's a work of art.  Brings back so many memories of being at my Granny's house.  Funny how a smell or taste can suddenly hurl one back to long ago. 

If you can't get dirty today... go berry picking! You'll have lovely purple fingers.

In the Garden

Reidel, my husband of 36 yrs now, and I had a great day working in the garden.  The Cherokee Trail of Tears beans needed something to run on, so since this is Tallowberry Creek Farm, we cut some tallowberry tree limbs to serve as braces on the willow branch arbor or tipi. I sure liked how it turned out and the beans are already trying to find a hold for their little tendrils.
This is a pre-bean photo. :>)  I've already picked a cooking of them and they are wonderful. I usually don't like a dark bean, but they have marvelous flavor so they are definite keeper.  I'll save seeds for next year's planting. 

Remember... Get Dirty... grow something!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Just KIDding...

Wow! I forgot how much fun a passle of new goat kids could be. So far there are five and their energy level is only something I could dream of.  Seemingly I can't get anything done for watching their antics on the balance beam, games of follow the leader, and then I do believe they are playing donkey kong.  It's got to be a game about donkeys because they are standing still and all of a sudden they throw their back legs straight out. I fully expect to hear a 'heeehawww' any day now.

Monday was the day for disbudding their horns.  I hate disbudding day!!, but it has to be done to not only protect them but me too.  Gave all of them a booster shot to ward off illness and gave them a big heaping dose of hugs and kisses.  I've decided on keeping the 4th generation Mini Nubians, Shiloh and Tobie. I didn't have to talk to myself much to say Yes.  :>)  I will start everyone on their coccidiosis treatments at 3 wks of age. With our land being so wet all the time, I have to use every precautionary measure to insure they stay healthy.  I wish that only organic and holistic methods worked for me, but sometimes at my best effort I can't justify my wanting to stay stictly organic with my goat friends having worm levels that make them unhealthy.  I worm with the 'nasty' stuff 2x's per year and in between I use Molly's Herbal wormers.  However, I do have one specific fenced in area that they are put in after they have had their medicine so as to keep it off the other areas.  Can I be forgiven now?! :>)

I get to pick Cherokee Trail of Tears beans tomorrow. That's exciting!  The baby pumpkins are really growing. I can almost see them growing while I'm bent down to see how they are doing.  I sure hope the wild bunnies don't like them. So far I think the wild bunnies like to eat the food the tame bunnies throw out because I can't find any signs thru the years of them bothing anything.  They are nice neighbors it seems. I sure love seeing them scamper when we drive in at night from church.  Especially the babies.  I guess I'm a baby lover. Baby anything gives me that warm fuzzy feeling.  Reidel and I have been so busy we having gotten to plant anything else. The corn needs to be planted pronto.  The best field of corn we ever grew was the one planted in June. Three hundred sixty plus ears of corn were harvested.  So it's not too late to plant corn here in this swamp. LOL  The eggplant is looking so beautiful and looks promising. I think maybe I'm watching it too closely.  A watched eggplant doesn't grow or some such foolishness as that is happening.

In picking up a farm journal at the feed store today, I found an article about using wastewater biosolids and turning them into compost. HUH?  The guy said he knew it was natural because there were butterflies, lizards, and bees frequented the veggies.  Holy smokes! Before I even knew anything about organic, we grew everything with commercial fertilizers and we had butterflies, lizards, and bees.  I guess I'm being petty, but that has nothing to do with your method of growing things is natural. Does he ever stop to think of what was in that fecal matter that he is turning into compost???  It has to be tested for pathogens!!!  IF we have to test to see if pathogens are in what we are using doesn't it stand to reason that something smells like the south end of a north bound mule???!!! Sometimes it just escapes my pea brain how people can try to sell things as natural and organic when they don't seem to know their way around a wet paper sack.  Yea, the plants look devine, but think about what their little 'feet' are standing in! Forgive me my ranting.  I just have an aversion to using human waste as fertilizer.  It's done in foreign countries, but nope, not going to happen here on my farm. I've said my piece and I've counted to three.

This is the week before Mother's Day, so I'm working 3 days extra at the flower shop to help out.  I can't wait for you to see the berries we picked on Tuesday, but that post will have to wait for another day.  Until then, get down and get dirty... ya know what comes next... GROW something!