Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Garden goodness

3 of the 5 tangerines this year.
                 I hope that all my farm girl sisters had a wonderful Christmas  and here is to a Happy New Year. We are calling this Christmas Christmas in July because it is so warm here.  IN the 80's for the past week.   It is supposed to get cold this weekend   like in the 40's,  but for some reason I don't think it will.
                 I have been getting eggs ready for this years show. and have been busy cutting and cleaning them.   I have two major one to do and hope to get them done on this week yet.  I also have a few that I need to finish.  hopefully this afternoon.
               I made leek, sweet potato soup with white sweet potatoes.  It is sooo tasty.  really love the flavor that it has.  I made the stock from the duck remains from Christmas dinner.
                                            Skinned Luffa sponges from the garden
               I still have about 6 left on the vine and hope that they finish growing before it gets too cold.  I also got lots of seeds for next year.  I also want to grow some bird house gourds next year and use them for decorations.
             Well,  Christmas day we got a surprise.   not something we were expecting at all.  My dh  took the dogs for a walk and this tiny 6 week old kitten came running across the street and barreled over my dogs  and climbed up the DH 's leg.   So we are now the proud parents of a 7 week old orange tabby male by the name of Christmas Miracle Tiger.  Tig for short.  The other two cats are about to kills us but they will get over it.
  Even I have to admit that he is cute.  but oh does he have energy.

                             Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                             See you next week. down on the farm.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

The week before Christmas

                                                   Completed art quilts

              Well,  this was a busy week in which I got several projects done.   I have the art quilts quilted,  just need to add the eyes, buttons and snow to  the one quilt.  I also worked on getting other projects done and got some new projects lined up for the new year.
            Here is the Christmas quilt made from all the swaps  from Mary Jane's Quilt swap  I really love the way that it turned out and can not wait for the valentine fabric swap. ( I already found my material.)
          The chickens have stopped molting and are starting to lay again.  Looking forward to some more fresh eggs.
         Had the lessons and carols at church on Sunday and I was in charge of the luncheon after as well.  Made a wonderful pork roast and Scripture Bread.  and Christmas Eve service is tonight. The weather has been very warm,  think it is going to be in the low 80's tomorrow.  and rain.  Typical Fla.
          I have been working on the dollhouse also.  the lights are up and working and the house in nearly reassembled.  I am ordering the missing pieces so that I can hopefully have it done before the new year.

            Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
     See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Mad as a Wet Hen

                                                              OH  OOPS
           Well,  I did have this really cute little  1/4 scale lighthouse (Dollhouse) that I had made several years ago.   Seems like the people who helped my ex move did not care about the value of such things.  so they smashed it.    I don't think that I have all the pieces,  but I do have most.

          So  along with trying to get my quilt done this week,  (thanks to the December quilt swap group for all the lovely fabrics)  I am trying to rebuild the doll house.  I have to go back and check the electrical connections,  since  each room has light in it.
             As you can see,  it was pretty well banged up and there is a lot of work to do to get it back to where it belongs.  But the first floor has been sorted out somewhat and is getting re-glued back into place.
            Hopefully I will get in done in the next week or so.   I have to order parts too because some are missing or broken beyond repair.  I do remember that the class I took cost over 200 dollars at the time.  and I had added furniture to it as well. (which is mostly missing.)  so probably worth close to 500 dollars after I finished.
          It is raining again and is supposed to rain all week, which is good. I need to harvest some leeks and some lettuce tomorrow,  and  I am going to try to make some potato leek soup from scratch.

                              Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                              See you next week. down on the farm.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Getting ready for Christmas

New Wall hanging
          Well as you can see,  I have been busy in the barn working on lots of quilting,  I have managed to get two things done so far, and I am working on the next two which I hope to have done, by Saturday.  Then I have a  full size quilt to do, and hopefully that will get done next week.  But of course,  for all the time I spend out on the farm in the barn I have no decorations up here at the house.  So  In the next few days , I hope to get that done as well.

          I have also started working on the farm plans for the next 5 and 10 years.   Mother did write them but they are way out of date and I need to update and get everything rolling again.  This will take some time, but will be well worth it.   On top of that trying to get the rezoning done, for the house and we have the plans being drawn for the house now.  I think I have a plate full for the farm.

         The chickens have been molting,  and it looks like someone destroyed a feather pillow outside the coop.  I hope they finish soon so that I can start getting some eggs again.  I really don't want to have to buy eggs for cooking.  but I have been collecting feathers for art projects. ( Hum)

 The second of the finished wall hangings.  They are three dimensional and I had a lot of fun doing them.  the other two are small quilts more like wall hangings  which I want to put together.  I have one ready to be quilted and hope to get the other ready today.  They are both applique. and are lots of fun.
  I still have to figure out how to hook them together,  but there is the top of the one.

                                        Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                                        Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                                         See you next week. down on the farm.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

A little of this, a little of that.

                                                Roses by the front door.

Well, what a week.   I ave been super busy trying to get some Christmas quilting done. as wel as trying to get a secret Santa done for one of my beading groups.   I have not even come up for air.   I should have the secret Santa done this week,  and in the mail and  two quilted wall hangings done also.  I still have the Christmas swap quilt from Mary Jane's Farm Swaps to get done.

   The weather is finally getting a bit cold which is nice,  Although it means getting the heater out for the house and the barn,  so that it is comfortable to work in.  But at least it does not snow here,  ( not often anyway.)   But it does rain  and that cold is always damp,  which really eats into your bones.

Hope to finish the east side of the farm this month with cutting out trees and vines that don't belong in the Pines.  So that next month we can start on the west side and clean up from all the harvesting that was done 2 years ago.  Should be able
to have some nice fires to get rid of the old wood.  AS you can see there is alot to do to get that side cleaned up.

  Did get another Deer so that was two for this year.  Have some great deer sausage so some good chili will be getting made this winter.   Love making homemade chili with der meat or white chili with turkey from the farm.

                                         Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                                        Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                                         See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Turkey talk

                                           Hawkeye checking out the chicken yard

                                    Well,  I am back from Texas, and had lots of fun seeing old friends.  Got to visit with my friends at the Wild West Bead Club, which I had been a member at,( well I am going to renew my membership even though I live in a different state.)   Also ate dinner with several other friends one night..  and got everything done that I wanted to do.

                                   I have been working on the farm since I got back,  getting a good woodshed up for the firewood  that we cut last month.  it is now split and stacked under the shed and up off the ground.  Next we need to get back into the pine trees and get the rest of the small volunteers out so that the others grow strong.  I also need to get the vines out ,  That in itself is a never ending battle.  But the vines can take over and really hurt the trees, if not kill them .   Since this is my income  I have to keep working on  it.

                                 The winter garden is looking really good.  lettuce is up, along with all the garlic, and squash.  The sweet potatoes are still going strong and  the herbs look really good.  We have had two cold nights,(down into the upper 30's),  but it is going to warm up again.  I pulled two sweet  potatoes for dinner tomorrow, and also have acorn squash to go with it.   Oh,  No turkey this year,  I decided on Brisket.
   Oranges are getting ripe as well as the tangerines and lemons,  and I think that the figs might be ready also.

   Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving  with family and friends.

                 Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                 Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                 See you next week. down on the farm.


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Fellow Sister visits

                                                     Butterflies in the garden

               Yesterday was a very fun day for me.  One of the farm girls, Red Tractor Lady, ( Winnie)  came out to the farm.  and we had the best time walking around and looking at everything that  I have done out there.  Yes we certainly gabbed a lot, but ... well,  what did you expect from Farm Girls.

     I am wanting to build my house out there,  and I am having to deal with the people at zoning,  who are really getting me mad.  but better then that is the group  Alachua County Forever.  which is who runs the conservation on the farm, screwed up the zoning to start with.   So,  now I don't know if I get to build my house or not.   I AM NOT AMUSED.

  I am going to Texas tomorrow to visit with family and friends.  and hopefully I will have a great time.  and be able to calm down somewhat.  but of course, before I go I have tons of stuff to get done.  Especially at the farm.  So  I need to do that so that I can feel  some sense of accomplishment.   I also need to get my Class schedules in the mail so that I can teach at the shows.  And that needs to get done. sooner rather then later.

    Check out the Luffa sponges growing.  this is only three of the 7 that are on the vine.  they are getting pretty big. :)

   This is the clock egg that I will be teaching the day after I get home from Texas.

                 Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                 Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                 See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November Already

                                    Beautiful fall leaves in Blue Ridge, Ga.

                       Well, November is upon us.  and the weather has cooled down some,  but we still get some pretty warm days.  I do wish that the weather would get just a bit cooler,  as I reall like the temps in the low 80's.
                     I have been busy cleaning up the studio and getting ready for some new projects.  These are things that I just want to try my had at once and then move on to something else.  but of course, my quilting and everything else are being put on hold while I try to get these done.   I am hoping to get back to quilting this week and get started on my material swap quilt that I got from Mary Jane's Swap group.  I really want to get it done before Thanksgiving  so that I have it to display in the house after that.  I also have some wall hanging and some small quilt blocks that I would like to get done.
And this does not include getting all the other quilts that I have done.  I will be busy for a while.

                 I have been working with my friend to get ready for the shows that we are planning to attend this next year.  We hope to have all the classes boxed and ready by the end of Feb,  beginning of March so that we know what we have and how much of each so that we are not scrambling at the last few weeks trying to get merchandise in to use. I also have been busy teaching  classes in my egg art and have been quite busy with all of that.  All I can say,  it keeps me out of trouble  :)

                 What I have been working on,  the top is a mosaic cross,  made from some old dishes that my mother had, and the bottom is a copy of a Faberge egg  made with a real egg and deco clay  and the top opens just like the real one done by Carl Faberge.

             Well,  that's all the news from the south,  
                 Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                 See you next week. down on the farm.


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Cooler Temperature at last.

                                                              A cool looking mushroom

                 Well,  not much happened on the farm this week due to the fact that we attended a wedding in Blue Ridge Ga.    The weather up there was wonderful,  the temp that morning in the low 30's  and yes it was an outside wedding,  but the weather cooperated and it was beautiful.  They have a wonderful quilt shop there and equally wonderful Fly fishing store,  where they can teach you how to make your own fly fishing rod.  I think something just got added to my bucket list. 

                  I am working on classes for the coming year for the different shows that I go to and also working on getting my other websites up and running a bit better.  But I have several projects that I want to get done out at the farm in the next two weeks and I am just going to have to get started.

                I am impatiently waiting for the garden to start growing and hoping that I have lots of sweet potatoes hiding in that plot.  ( we have harvested 2 so far and they have been wonderfully sweet,)  I also harvested as few carrots  that I had left.
   Shall we say that they were a little weird?

                  On a sad note,  I lost one of the chickens this week and I have no idea why.  But I will certainly miss her as she was sort of the ring leader of everything,  and was my best escape artist.  RIP Daisy,  you will be missed.    I am going to get with my chicken supplier, ( a very nice young lady that works at my local Tractor Supply)  and try to get two more chickens in the next few weeks.   Of course I will show them off.

                  Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
                 Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                 See you next week. down on the farm.


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Another Busy Week

                                               Picture of one of my finished quilts

               As you can see,  I have been busy at the quilting machine.  This is a nice tabletop quilt  that I found in one of the quilting magazines,  but they had it done in Pink.  Pink is just not my color,  so I went for blue.  I really love the way the colors turned out
             I have been super busy,  designing classes and small projects that I really have not done much on the farm.  Although I am there every day,  I have locked myself in the barn/ studio to do all this work.  I think I am finally at the end of the worst of it,  now just to finish up some projects.  And of course that involves lots of beadwork.,  My favorite thing to do.

           I have also been working on my stamp collection,  I collect only Vatican City stamps.   I don't know why, I just like them.  So  I am just about caught up on that,  just a few more to catalog and then I am done for a while.

            The big 30K generator just kick in for its weekly check run.   I believe in being prepared for any type of weather or emergency.   It is rather comforting to hear  Big Bertha  start up every week.  She runs for 20 minutes and does a self check.  if anything major does not seem right,  she has a monitor that will flash a red light, and she can also communicate with my electrician.   Nice!!!!! 

   I am not sure the name of this flower.   It is rather big and multiplies well,  but I do know that the butterflies love it,  especially tiger wing butterflies.   I have also seen Monarchs,  and Swallowtails sipping at the flowers.  I have a good stand of them next to the farm house door,  and I love to stand there and watch the butterflies.

   I did get the garden planted,  now to keep my fingers crossed,  that everything will grow.  We have 3 types of winter squash,  lettuce and garlic in, and the Jalapenos are still going strong  along with the sweet potatoes.  Yum.

      Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
                 Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                 See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Busy Busy as a Bee

                                           Look who I found lurking outside the barn door?

               Back from the Show,  with plenty of new ideas and projects to try.  And yet I still have tons of my own stuff that I want to do.  So,  instead of slowing down,  I seem to be getting busier.   But sometimes I think I like that way of life.   I have several classes that I will be teaching in the next few weeks.

               I am getting ready to plant garlic and lettuce in the garden for the fall crops.   I am going to try to keep the one tomato plant left alive and maybe try to add another one just to see how long they will grow and if I can keep them alive over winter.   I am hoping that the rain has slowed down a bit,  so that the ground dries up some, ( Nothing like soggy ground to plant in)    The weather has certainly been cooler,  which has been nice.    I spent several hours just weeding around the house.  and still have a bit more to do,  but it certainly looks better.   Time to get a load of mulch on the beds before it turns too cold.

             I also got two quilts worked on in the past two days.  I am very happy how they turned out and now I can get started on all my Christmas sewing.
          That is my long arm free form machine,  which I love  and can totally zone out when I am quilting.

            Add to all of that ,  I am taking a marketing class, to try and help my business become more profitable.   That is something I have needed to do for a long time.  and I finally got the chance to do it,  so I have added one more thing into my already busy schedule.  So  I am taking the class,  teaching classes,  adding to my inventory in the business, and trying to garden and quilt, and getting ready for Nine Lessons and Carols at Church.  ( Christmas will be here sooner then we realize)  and trying to keep up with all my swaps and also just doing regular run of the mill stuff like laundry and house cleaning and cooking.    Busier then a bee.

      Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
                 Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
                 See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Cool Weather is coming

                                                Making treasure from trash

             Upon waking this morning, and stepping out side,  there was a very nice cool breeze in the air.  I really enjoyed it very much, and now I have started planning all the fall chores that need to get done  this year.   This is the best time to  transplant trees,  and work in the trees at the farm.  and also get a lot of burning done to help  with the debris left from the tree harvest two years ago.

          I also got a lot of things picked up in the workshop and I am pleased with the way it is looking.   I still have some things to finish but in all everything is done.
                 A good view of the new quilting area  with  several quilts ready to be worked on.  If I get them done  I can get to using up some of my stash  that is in the plastic tubs  ( or at least that's the plan)  and yes that is an old school desk sitting there.
              We are starting to pack up for the trip up to the Ohio Egg Show,  which is this weekend.   Hopefully everything will go smoothly  and the show will be fun.   Now that I can relax from doing all the eggs.  I can get with other things that I want to do. 

Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
             See you next week. down on the farm.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Organization I hope

                                         Flower on the Sweet Potatoe Vine

              Well,  this week I finally had enough of my work shop.   I decided that I needed to do some cleaning up and organizing and getting stuff out from underfoot.  So I have been busy building some book shelves and some storage cabinets for all my paper crafting supplies and quilting supplies.   I am not done yet, but I certainly have made some progress with what I do have done.

               I also managed to finish a small quilt top and get it ready for the quilt machine.  I have another one that is almost done and I hope to finish it soon and get it ready also,  so that I have two to quilt and then get the machine going.   Getting the quilting supplies organized  certainly helped me see what quilts I still have to work on before I start another one.

             We actually got a cold front through here on Monday, and the temperature has been very nice.  It did rain a bit yesterday,  and is supposed to rain today.  but not the big rain that we have been having.  2.5 inches is a lot of rain with the ground already saturated like it is

           This is who greeted me over by the chicken coop this week.  I have seen over 11 turkeys in the past few days and some of those were pullets from this year.  This big old tom was sure strutting his stuff.  I don't know who he was trying to impress,   me or the chickens.  I did enjoy watching him dance around.

                Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
             See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Rain Rain Go Away!!

                                             Luffa Flower on the vine,  complete with ant.

               Well,  with all the rain this week,  ( 2-3  inches a day)  we are now swimming to the chick coop and the vegetable garden.  This was the first day that we have really had sunshine in over a week,  and its supposed to pour tomarrow.

               I have been working on some other quilting to get it done, and also working on my paintings.  and of course,  trying to get other stuff done as well.  The tractor is still not back from the shop and the grass is really getting towards hay height,  and with all the rain,  I don't think we will be mowing anytime soon.

           Found a dead Red tailed Hawk out on the road today.  Eric,  one of my workers,  put it up in a tree to decompose, and hopefully we will have tail feathers  soon.  I am sorry to see him dead,  as I love watching them fly through the trees at the farm and down the lane.   So far this week I have seen 2 deer and close to 14 turkeys walking through the fields.   It will be hunting season soon,  and population control will be in effect.
                With all the rain,  I had not been in the garden and today,  I had to harvest some way overgrown Okra.  Going to try frying them up tonight, (not all of them)  and have them with dinner.   There are still about 15 or so left on the vine, because they are still small.

               Ordered some heirloom garlic and lettuces to plant in the winter garden.  Hopefully they will grow and not rot from all the rain.  The project for this week is to start cleaning the garden and get it ready for fall planting.  I still have Sweet potatoes, and Beans growing,  Along with peppers ( Jalapeno, tequila sunrise,and mini bells)  as well as Okra, and tomato plant ( one)  .  Going to try to start some heirloom tomatoes and see if I can keep them growing thru the winter.  I hope that I can.

          Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
             See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Not one of my Better Weeks

                                              Photo of the old barn,  about 100 years old

                   With all the rain that we have been having this week,  not only did I not mow,  but the mower is not working again.  Monday was 2 inches,  Tuesday was 1.999 inches.  Wednesday was 2.3 inches.   Ummm I am beginning to think that I need web feet. and yes it is starting to rain again.
             So  I thought ,  I need to get something accomplished,  so I will work on this quilt that I have been working on forever.  Ok.  I guess the day that i measured everything,  my brain took leave of its math abilities.  because nothing was measured right and nothing was matching up.  I have taken out more seams and reworked more squares then I ever thought I would need to do,  or that was even possible.  But finally after spending over 20 hours on it,  it is finally coming together.  I hope to have it ready for the quilting machine on Monday.  Whee!!!

          I hope to pull off getting several more done as I have a fabric stash that my mother started.  and I have quilts that I have fabric for,  just waiting for me to cut them out and sew them together.
And of course I joined up for the Christmas fabric swap.    so whats one more to do in the grand scheme of things.  :)

         I have been trying to catch photos of some of the beautiful butterflies that are visiting my butterfly garden.  but of course,  when I see them I don't have my camera,  and by the time I grab the camera,  they have flitted off.  So much for any luck there.

     So last night I was working on a decorated egg for the show coming up and I broke it.  I have no idea if I can get it back together or not.  but if not,  there is alot of work that went down the drain.
   Here is a nice photo of  Lacey, ( silver lace Whyndott) and Hawkeye  ( Americana)  out in their tractor looking for grubs and worms.

              Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
              Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
             See you next week. down on the farm.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Crazy farm week.

                                     Figs growing on a fig tree.

                    Well,  it has been a busy few days at the  farm.  We have been replacing the culverts in the driveways into the farm.  Actually we have one just about done.  We still have the cement apron to do and backfill with crushed limestone.    That should happen today.

                   I put up another 7 pints of pickles, but I think we are at the end of that for this year, ass the plants seem to be dying off   My squash is already dead, and so are two tomato plants.  Of course they are the heirloom ones.   I keep hoping that they might come back as the stem is still green.  ( keeping my fingers crossed)   My grape vines have leaves, but don't seem to be getting any taller.  and I fertalized the citrus trees,  5 minutes before it rained.  And my new Peach trees are dead.  I am not having good luck with the weather. Too Hot and too Wet.  Also my Loofha  sponges are blooming like crazy,  but no gourds hanging yet.  And the birdhouse gourds died.    And the broccoli plants grew but never produced.

                  And of course,  we have had lots of butterflies coming through,  and where is my camera.  In my purse.  not in my pocket.  so do I have any photos to help me identify them.  Nooooo.    Arrrggghhh!

                 I had to run to Tractor Supply to get Chicken crumble and treats ( mealworms and harvest delight) and saw this in the parking lot.  The owner did say she was still  a work in progress
               And yes the tag on the side does say Dodge Brothers.   I would love to have something like this for the farm.

              I start the mowing again on Saturday.  Every nine days is a good time frame.  altho I felt like I was making hay the last time since it had been longer.

           Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
See you next week. down on the farm.



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Moringa, and other musings

                                                     Sunflower from the garden this year.

           Well,  I finished off last week by putting up 4 quarts of spicy pickles and 4 quarts of spicy figs.   They have jalapenos in them.  They canned up nicely, and sealed but the steam from the jalapenos just about did me in.

           I went to the farmers market on Saturday,  and found a new herb,  at least new to me.  It is called Moringa.  and is actually a tree, where you harvest the leaves, bark, flowers , fruit, seed and roots.  All of these can e used to make medicines.  Moringa is native to the sub-Himalayan areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.  It will also go in the tropics.     Here in Fla.  it will grow  but will freeze back in winter if planted outside.

       Moringa leaves are the most nutritious part of the plant.  The leaves can be dried and added to food  such as soups,  smoothies, meats and vegetables.  or they can be used fresh and eaten like spinach.    It aids in numerous diseases such as arthritis,  joint pain, asthma, constipation, high blood pressure and bacterial infections,  just to name a few.

       I bought two small trees to grow,  and I am going to try to keep them in large pots so that I can move them into a sheltered area when the temp gets too low.   I hope to be able to harvest every few weeks,  as the tree actually grows quite quickly.

     My chicks have been laying for about a month or so and we are getting about 5 eggs a day,   when the last two get old enough,  which should be this month,  we wil be getting about 7 a day,  which will be good ,  since we  have 3 families that we are supplying.

    I ended up mowing for 3 hours today,  and did not get done, so Friday will be another day on the mower for me.  And of course by Monday,  the grass will be back up to my mid calves.  Another big storm today,  and there is a   tropical storm Danny,  heading this way.   More Rain    !!!!!

   Well,  thats all the news from the south,  
Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
See you next week. down on the farm.


Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The farm house

             Hello again.   Yes this is a photo of the farm house as it looks now.  I recently added the front deck on but it is too hot to sit out right now. Will feel much better in winter.  
             The tractor is due back soon.  Seems I was a bit silly, and did not check to see that the gas line was open.  I apparently caught it with my foot.   Silly Me.   I will know next time.  Well,  hopefully there will not be a next time.  But you can see in the photo the grass is growing  tall again.  Time to mow.

            This week I also built a mulch container, for building a mulch pile.  It is nothing fancy.   Just about 4 pallets screwed together,  but it will work well for the time being.  Mixing can be done with the loader on the front of the tractor,  unless I really feel the need to work out the arms and then a pitchfork will do.
           Twice this week I have seen turkeys up next to the house.  Two toms and two hens,  They have been looking for good insects to eat.  they certainly get the chickens up and looking at them  wanting to know what is going on.   The chickens have been out in their tractor several times this week,  usually up under the shade of a few big oak trees,  but I know that there are lots of good grubs under there and some good earthworms.  So they have been quite happy.
           I have some more pickles to put up and I think I am also going to try pickling some figs.  I have had them,  but never tried to pickle them,  and I want to try.   Hopefully that is on tomarrows to do list.  I have been house cleaning the farm house,  getting rid of the ever present cobwebs and dust,  along with all the dirt we track in to get water and gator aid to drink all day.  I need to stock up on that as well.

         Hope everyone is having a great week  .  Happy" farming" to all the farm girl sisters out there.
See you next week. down on the farm.


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

the Week in review.

                  Well.  as you can see from the photo,  I finally got to put up some bread and butter pickles this week.  Not a lot,  but better that nothing.  With all the rain that we have had  I have not had too much coming from the garden.  Most is rotting on the vine.
                 Another problem this week,  was while I am out cutting the grass  ( yes, in the rain)  the mower just quits on me.  When I try to restart it,  it makes a dreadful noise and cuts off again.  So  I get down and open the hood,  and then try to start it again.  Well,  the whole engine and the radiator start to shake like nobodies business.  and the engine cuts off.   I am thinking a motor mount has broken,  and this tractor is only two years old!!!!   I am not amused.   You really cannot weld a motor mount back on  with this type of engine,  I better get a new tractor.    It has gone to the shop.

         And then if that were not bad enough,  I go into sew these really cute baby bibs  that I found on line,  and half way thru the sewing machine decides that it is not going to play anymore.   It is not picking up the bobbin thread. So it is in the shop, and won't be done for about two weeks.   I finished the baby bibs by hand.  (not amused)

        Oh my,  I just looked out the window and the SUN is shinning,  for the first time in a week.   I think I almost forgot what is was like to see sunshine.

       The only good thing  this week is that we finally got the boat back from being repaired.  and it did not cost an arm or a leg and maybe if it quits raining for any length of time,,we can go fishing.  That would be fun.

     I am going to be a good farm girl and go clean and organize my recyclables as today is garbage day and I need to get them out.
      Have a wonderful farm girl week and I will see you later.


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Air Conditioning AT Last

                  Well,  We got the air conditioning in the house on Monday.  It already feels so much better in there.  Now I can actually get in there and work.  So I am happy.   
                I am working right now on one of my art projects because I have a show coming up next month.  and I need to get alot of stuff done.  Work continues on the farm,  but still as a snails pace because of the weather.   It is still raining every day, and wet grass is not good for cutting,  and really not good for getting other stuff done.  Like using chain saws.
               We are getting ready to replace the culverts into the farm from the main road.   This involves getting the county to give us the correct elevation and correct drainage length before we can start.   That in itself  will be a big project.    After we get them in,  we are going back and adding cement to the ends to keep them from collapsing. 
              Then hopefully we will be working on the big group of trees,  there is lots to burn in there an lots to either cut down or pull out by the roots  (sweet gum trees) .  They are very opportunistic. and love to take over.
  All of those have just sprung up in the lat year.   Ugg.  You can also see the beginning of another compost pile,  which I hope to have in better shape in the next week.
          I hope you  have a good week  and I will see you next week,  down on the farm.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

too hot to even think.

            It has been so hot and humid, that I have done nothing at the farm this week.  I have been working on some of my art projects as I do have a show coming up in September.  We did get the chicken tractor done,  and the girls were quite happy to be out and about  looking for new worms and the like.  The photo is of two of my girls,  Lacey,  a silver lace Wyandotte, and  Hawkeye, my beautiful Americana.  They were enjoying their free time as I cleaned the chicken coop and spruced up the cage.

    There is a small house on the farm.  I did live there when I was single,  but not enough room now for two humans and 4 pets.  We are going to get an air conditioner ( window unit)  installed this week.  It has become way too hot in the house, to even be comfortable there.  and since I love to do my crochet there, I have not done any in a while.

  I am trying to get a farm management system going,  whereby things that need to be done,  are listed and taken care of in a more  organized manner.  This includes the harvesting of the trees, when they are ready,  the cleaning of the property, and the management of new growth in the hammock area.  I have several species of trees, that are not found in the area very often because they made good lumber and were often harvested for that reason.  They include the Shumard Oak, White Oak, and Turkey Oak  They grow up to 60 feet and have about a 40 foot span.   Very straight and the canopy does not grow large in a forest.  (These are all good for landscape trees).

I also have abundent wildlife.  There is a good flock or two of wild turkeys, and lots of deer.  Also racoons, armidillos, and possums, Coyote, and a Bobcat that frequents the area.  So I am always kept intertained with what I see out there. 

  I mentioned the house there.  My Dad built the house around an old one room house that was there when he purchased the farm.  He enclosed the back porch and made that the kitchen. ( it may have been an outdoor kitchen to start with.) and added plumbing and another bedroom to the house.  I was but a wee thing and altho I did try to help.  I think I hid more nails then handed them to dad.
  Yep that's me and Dad  Working on the farm house and that would be in the late 50's .  Yes the fireplace still works.  Just no air conditioning.

   So come join me for more reminiscensing  and fun down on the farm.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Rain and lots of it.

It has been raining everyday for over 2 weeks.  I am not complaining, because we can use the rain,  and I know that it won't always rain,  but these rain showers bring lighting and thunder and move in rather quickly.
     Of course with all the rain, the garden is doing good,  Squash the size of footballs.  Tomatoes,  some with some good size splits in them, and the sweet potatoes  and beans are just running like crazy.  Several watermelon and cantalope are on the vine,  and they should be ready soon.
      So the rain is good.   Except for mowing.  The tractor busted a part on the midline PTO and  went in for service .  They had it for about 2 weeks while they waited for the part to come in.  Well,  the grass in the fields got sooo high,  that when we finally got it back,  It took several hours to cut and of course I did not get finished because a storm rolled in, and it has been raining ever since.   That means that when I get out there again,  I will be mowing what did not get done,  and what I did already all over again.  At least I like to mow.
   I also got started with the help of my farm boys as I affectionately call them, building a tractor for the chickens.   It should be done soon and then I can take my girls for a walk.   So my girls are not completely free range, but that has a lot to do with the other critters that we have in the area.   Dogs that are dumped by collage students and become somewhat feral,  coyote ( at least 2) and a bobcat.  Not to mention, a bald eagle and several pairs of hawks that would also like to eat.  Since the eggs are being divided between 3 families.  I want to keep them alive.  So this nice big tractor will serve that purpose.  I will be able to move it anywhere I want and the girls can eat all the bugs and goodies to their hearts desire.  and then back into the cage at night for protection.
    I have been taking photos of the changes at the farm,  and some of the plants and flowers that we have.   I did find some mushrooms the other day.  but I have no clue as to weather they are eatible or not.  So I guess I will go on a quest to determine what we have and if they could be eaten.  I do know of a weed here that is eatible.  It is called rattlesnake weed and grows very  fast and quick.  If you take a spade or pitchfork to get it up , you will find tubers on the roots.    I have cleaned the tubers and pickled them for a nice sweet pickled radish tasting root.  Not bad.   I know that I can also use Chinese vinegar and soysauce to pickle them and that is good also.
   So there is a bit of farm life in the south right now.  hope you enjoy the day  in the life of a tree farmer.

Thursday, July 9, 2015


          Well, it has been a few years since I have blogged, and a lot has happened in that time.  I thought maybe now would be a good time to change the direction of this blog to what I do on a regular basis, which is farming.   I inherited my Dads farm,  We raise trees  for pulpwood and lumber..  This seems like a easy job,  but really it is not.
          I spend my days now  on the back of a tractor. mowing between rows of trees.  When I am not doing that I am busy taking care of my 8 chickens, and a wonderful vegetable garden. Or working in the fruit trees that I planted.  ( no fruit yet).
          Here in the south, it rains almost every day.  and that really does not help with the mowing.  First.  I won't mow during a thunder storm.  ( silly me,  I don't happen to like lighting)  and Second with all that rain,  you no sooner get done with half the field,  and you have to start over,  because  the grass has already grown three feet.
          Plus I am fighting 30years of neglect.  ( lets not even visit that problem).  But I am having to go through where all the trees  are planted and remove dead trees,  massive vines and  volunteer trees that have sprung up all over the place.  it is a massive  undertaking to get all of it cleaned up the way I want.  I have a vision of the farm and the way I think my Dad would have run it had he not died so young.  I am working hard to try and make that vision become a reality.  But it takes time and so time I give it in order to see the results I want.
          I will be blogging about my successes and failures of getting this farm where I want it to be and all the interesting things that happen along the way.
          So come join me for my adventures and photos of my farm. and enjoy the views of northern Fla.