Sunday, July 15, 2012

Triple Creek Farm, July 14, 2012


All of the hard work is starting to pay off.  Sometimes everything you touch goes wrong and other days they go right.  I know in my heart of hearts everything I want to get completed will not be done.  But, I do keep on trying to put may too much on the plate and wonder why I as always running behind.  The garden is starting to come in and that adds preserving the crops to my list of daily chores.  I bake all the bread we eat, cook almost all of our meals from scratch and make a humble attempt at keeping house.  Add in laundry, taking care of our small flock and yard work, all of this fills my days completely.  I am not complaining!  When I see it written down like this I am pleased that a Grandmother is still able to do all of these things.

IN THE KITCHEN

I have always enjoyed a "Claussen" pickle and wondered if I could find a recipe to make them.  I found a recipe which I could make as few as 1 quart and I made a quart.  I can open the jar and taste it on the 20th of July.  If they have the taste I am looking for I will make more.

Blackberries are being picked from our vines, I have frozen a number of berries and now Mr. Bootsie is making blackberry jelly and syrup.  I help him out by getting the juice prepared.

Tomatoes are starting to be plentiful and I do enjoy a bowl of tomato basil soup.  Mr. Bootsie is not a fan of tomato basil and so I will be making him cream of tomato basil soup.

ON THE FARM

Tuesday, the builder completed the basic construction on the pole barn.  By nightfall Tuesday,  I had onions spread out and drying.  I am so excited as I have always had to do things like this on my porch.  Now I have a place to do things which are farm related in a farm building.  Mr. Bootsie will be putting his own personal touch on the building finishing it off to fit our needs.

We had one compost pile that needed to be worked.  It had not been turned as much as it should have been and we started moving it into the chicken run for the girls to work.  The ducks really get into working the compost.  They work it so much it comes out of the fence and I just scoop it up.

IN THE COOP

Idgie is on and off the nest.  She is staying in the nesting box at night time.  She is coming out in the run a little but she is on the nest quite a lot.  The 4 peeps are really growing up and I still do not know if they are hens or roosters.  We are still waiting to name them.

Mr. Bootsie came in with the wire for the the covering on the duck run.  He is going to set a post in the center and put the wire up.  This is going to be different to how we did the first run so we will be learning as we go along.  I hope this works the way he thinks that it will.

The heat took toll of the girls and we really did not get a lot of eggs this week.  The egg count was 37. This summer will be a wait and see because we do not know how much hot weather we will be having.  I feel really good we did not loose any of the chickens as I am hearing about a lot of farmers loosing quite a number of chickens.

The ducks may be growing up.  There have been no eggs but we are starting to see some changes in the way they are behaving.  I am thinking that I may be able to take them to the garden with me, as they are starting to follow me around.  It would be a treat having them walk around with me.

IN THE GARDEN

I planted late string beans.  I did not get a good spring crop as the heat just cooked the plants and the beetles thought that I had planted the beans for them.  I do not use sprays so you do loose some crops.  I have found the Fels-Naptha soap and I am going to make a spray from that.

This week I picked blackberries, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant, okra, pole beans and found a few butter beans.  I am having a problem with the squash but there is enough coming in to satisfy our desire for fresh squash.  There is one climbing squash plant which is loaded.  I do hope it brings us a few.

Cleaning out from the early planting and getting ready to start other things.  Our garden keeps me moving all the time.  Mr. Bootsie has been finding the tomato horned worm but he will not pick them he calls me to come and get them.  Says he doesn't want to ruin a plant.  We are still fighting the squash bug.  This year has been a little easier than last year was.  Not picking anywhere as many adults and there have not been a lot of eggs.

IN CLOSING

I see all the work we are doing and I am so pleased everything is moving forward.  I look around and yes, there is progress.  We are so lucky to be here and to be able to enjoy our farm.  My heart breaks when I hear of those who are losing their farms and I am so concerned there will be many this year as the conditions are against you if you are planning on this year's crop to save you.  The corn in Virginia is not as good as many had hoped it would be.  There is already talk animal grain will be going up.  I tried my hand at growing a small amount of the corn which would help with feed for the flock.  I think I am going to get a crop even with it being blown down.  But as I was always told, any thing we can do,  will help.