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.