Raised Beds and Potatoes
July 5, 2013, 9:01 pm
Filed under: July 2013 | Tags: , ,
Red potatoes starting to bloom

Red potatoes starting to bloom

July 5, 2013

Our raised beds are the only part of our gardening efforts that are positive this year. I plant a few potatoes for early summer eating, to hold us over until the main crop is ready later in the season.

I like the early red ones in potato salad or cooked with the skins on and smothered in hamburger gravy. It is a yummy treat that I remember from my childhood. My mother loved them too.

In the rear of the photograph, you can see the ripening speltz. They will be ready to harvest later in the month. It is neat to see the “amber waves of grain” as it ripens in the sun….. those days that we see the sun around all the raindrops. 😮

Summer flowers are blooming around the yard. The purple cone flowers are some of my favorites. I guess they like all this rain, as much as,the grass. The lawn looks pretty good as do our pastures. I think it is good to focus on the successes now and then. It will help keep a man sane!


Backyard Chicken … Yum!
July 4, 2013, 11:53 am
Filed under: July 2013
Chickens almost ready to go to freezer camp

Chickens almost ready to go to freezer camp

July 4, 2013

These chickens are doing great. We started out with 25 chicks and still have 22. The three we lost along the way is just part of the process sometimes. One got its head stuck in the wire somehow and died. The other two we lost were the result of our cold spring and them piling up on each other for warmth.

The 22 are almost ready to be butchered. They are approaching seven weeks old. They will dress out around 4 to 5 pounds. That is some nice meat I will tell you 😮

Butchering day will start early while it is still somewhat cool. Dressed birds will be cooled in ice water then packed in ice for 24 hours. I like them to go through rigor mortis before cuting and packaging for the freezer. I believe it makes them even more tender.

This is a pretty good way to raise over a hundred pounds of protein for your family in just seven weeks. It is fairly easy, but having the portable pens is the best way that I have found to raise them. The pen is moved each day allowing the birds access to new grass, ground and bugs. Their feeder is kept full, but the free ranging, keeps the birds content and clean. This year’s rains have made it a bit muddy at times, but that is the exception not the rule.

This pen can be pulled around a backyard and does not require a farm. The lawn, after the birds have passed over it, will not need fertilized for quite a while! It is not messy and should be considered by anyone wanting to raise part of their own food.

Move them daily, keep the water and feeders full and fresh. Watch them grow … and enjoy. Another blog will describe the butchering process so stay tuned. This pen for 25 birds is 8×8 feet and as high as a roll of chicken wire just to make it easy. I did build it a bit heavy to move…but no raccoons have broken into our pen either … They like chicken too!


Time and the Tides
July 3, 2013, 9:29 am
Filed under: July 2013
Cody, wetting a line.

Cody, wetting a line.

July 3, 2013

Time and the tides wait for no man – Geoffrey Chaucer

This statement is so very true…. Our son and his faimly came home for a visit from Montana. It has been too many years since we have seen them. The grandkids have grown like kids do, but it makes you stop and wonder where the years went.

The hay still stands in our meadows. The rainy weather making it impossible to make hay. The corn is trying to grow in the saturated soil. It is at least enjoying the hot muggy days. I am not.

I feel as if I am wishing my life away as I wait for haymaking weather. I keep checking the ten day forecast. The symbols for storms and rain are all that I see. I look at my grandchildren and other markers for aging and realize that rain or not, another day is passing by… I need to seize it!

My grandson has no problem finding all sorts of things to do. He runs from here to there excitedly discovering lots of things on the farm. He helps with chores, pets the animals, yet finds plenty of time to sit and fish. I think at his young age, he has life figured out. He knows to rush when you need to, but leave time for resting and all the really important things that life brings.

I watch him fish and it makes me slow down. I remember when my oldest son would fish too. There was nothing in his life more important than fishing. I wish I would have taken more time to sit and fish with him. Those days are gone, never to be re-gained. He is now the one busy, trying to make ends meet…. but he is smart enough to still spend time fishing.

All is not lost for me. My fun and enjoyment comes from farming. I drown myself in it and am very happy. There is no work in it for me. I feed the animals and look after them. I talk to and touch them often. I watch my plants and crops grow. I make plans for many seasonal things, often planning two or even three years ahead.

It seems like “only yesterday ” for so many things, yet time has slipped away and even my red hair is mostly gray. I vow today to try and live more for each day. I want to make the most of them, take more time for friends and family, engage in writing more and doggone it … spend a little time fishing…. even though I really don’t like to fish 😮