Monday, August 15, 2011

August on the farm

So, I'm beginning to think the months have become confused.  July was beastly hot and dry; I only had to cut the grass twice that month.  Now August has had cool nights and low 80's day temps.  July's temps were like August is supposed to be and August has been more like September.  What is up with that??

Arliss and I have been watching the garden a lot lately.  Sometimes I go a day or two without checking it, but he seems to check it daily.  I think he is just waiting for the pumpkin to be ready to pick.

We took the afternoon Sunday and went on a walk around the farm.  I have learned to take a basket, a pair of scissors and a paring knife when I go walking on the farm.

 Arliss brought a bottle of water and we were off.

 We walked around the cow yard and checked for the wild apples and nuts my mother-in-law and I found last month.

We found elderberries, hickory nuts, and apples that I cannot identify.  As we walked we checked the wild grapes for signs of that they were ready to pick.  We also found some more wild apples at the back of the fields and out by the pond.

On the way back to the house we also found what might have been currants in the same area my mother-in-law found gooseberries.

We passed the pear tree and found a few that were ripe as well.  By the time we came back we had a basket of all sorts of wild fruit.  We were tired but content with all we had found.

The wild grapes have a few more weeks and then I will be making grape juice and jam.  The apples that haven't been devoured by the Japanese beetles have been picked and the pears are getting closer and closer to being ready.

Today I made wild fruit jam and Travis made an apple pie from scratch.  I was so impressed as he measured and prepared the dough from scratch, rolling it out and getting the dish ready for the apples.  I cannot believe how quickly the pie was eaten by the family.  The pie dish is now drying in the dish drainer.

There are only seven days until school starts and I am not ready for summer to be over.  I have so loved having the boys home.  Watching them grow and discover and mature each day.

The best job I have ever had is the one I will never get a paycheck for--being a mom.

Happy last days of summer break..
with love from the farm.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Surprise, surprise, surprise!!!

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all grown from store potatoes that grew eyes
I cannot help but hear Gomer Pyle when I say the word surprise.  Gomer would have been very impressed with what I found today in our garden.
With all of the rain that the Midwest has received in the past week I went to check on the garden.  Between the heat and the rain it has been hard to get out there and check on the progress of my veggies.
This morning I took Arliss with me and we went to attack the crabgrass and see how the potatoes were doing.
Arliss dug carefully around the potato plants to see if we had any potatoes ready to bring to the house.  He was delighted to find so many large potatoes and I was pleased to see how careful he was to not damage the plants.
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such a yummy find!!  I hear homemade gyros calling!!
As I continued to clear the weeds I got to the cucumbers and found not 1 but 3 ready to pick cucumbers.  We were also impressed with how well the cucumber teepees were in keeping the cucumbers off the ground.
We cleared away the weeds from the tomatoes, carrots, and peppers and then moved on to the cabbage and broccoli.  Arliss was psyched to find a small zucchini growing on one of the plants.  It was a bit of a scavenger hunt through the crabgrass, but it was fun seeing how many things were truly growing.
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the smallest potato Arliss found
When Arliss went to check the corn and pumpkin plants he suddenly exclaimed, "Oh my gosh!!"  I looked over expecting to see him picking up a large garter snake.  He was frozen in place so I went over with my hoe to see if I needed to protect him.
There in front of him was a pumpkin, not a teeny one either, this one was bigger than a basketball, nearly the size of the half bushel basket we were collecting the potatoes and cucumbers in.  Item Thumbnail

"Can we pick it?" He asked with eager anticipation.
"Is it orange?"
"No," he answered dejectedly.
"Then we need to wait. When it's orange it will be ready," I chuckled as I watched his face decide that it would never turn orange.

He did decide it would be worth the wait if he could show Travis so he ran off quick as a rabbit to find his brother.  Even the quickly-turning-into-a-teenager Travis was impressed with the size of the pumpkin and all of other bounty.

Oh and if you hear a squeal of delight in October, just know it is Arliss whooping it up because the pumpkin is FINALLY ready.

Sending love and fresh cucumber kisses from the farm.