|The Williams Farm
This year Woody has been adding irrigation drip tape everywhere and surprise! lots more stuff growing despite the drought.
Flowers: sunflowers, zinnias everywhere!
Veggies: tomatos, beans, some squash tho bugs still not our friends, okra, carrots, corn.............. lots going in the freezer for the fall.
Wow. Starting to feel more like farmers after only 3 years!
PS that's a real photo of our flowers above, show down from above on them.
Wow. 2012 is starting out kinda amazing. (knock wood). We overwintered sweet onions and are pulling out zillions. (must google how to store onions) The carrots are ready to pull - how many carrots can one family use? but they are so... CARROTTY! Yum. Also picking spinach and English Peas - the turnips are about done. The brocolli and the Brussel sprouts, unfortunately, were demolished by bugs. It happens.
We've set out lots of tomatoes, peppers and cukes, and the potatoes are looking good though we have to check daily for what we think are potato bug larvae.
Bush and pole beans growing, and I think we'll have our first yellow squash for supper tonight. Now the footrace begins - planting more, and processing what we harvest just as fast....
Hot. Dry. Hot. Dry.
We're trying to keep up with watering - installing drip irrigation as fast as we can and hoping our baby seedlings can make it. It's not so bad if we think about what we can learn from all this.
When son Andy was born, he did everything by the book (Dr. Spock) - sitting up, weaning, sleeping thru the night.... so I assumed I was a great parent. When Mike was born and no one slept thru the night for 2 years I realized sometimes it's more about luck of the draw and rolling with it.
Last year was way too wet and the squash bugs were monstrous - an hour a day in the evening picking off bugs and eggs. But we STILL have squash in the freezer from a great crop. Beans were total failures - we just got a few bags in the freezer. No bugs tho. Potatoes were great last year so we planted more - but have been slammed with potato bugs. (Internet said try sprinkling wheat bran on the leaves which seems to have worked great.)
This year incredibly hot very early, and no rain at all to speak of (well, not counting the tornado and the windstorms...) We can't seem to keep much squash alive and the ones that are making it are crawling with squash bugs. The beans on the other hand seem grateful for the heat and are bright green and happy with a little water each day.
I've never grown onions before but they were doing pretty well I thought until I turned my back on them. One rain in something like 2 weeks, with lightning, and the next day they are consumed by grass weeds. So, I harvested and they are pretty good but will try to set out earlier next year. Ditto carrots -
I thought we'd started tomatoes way too early - I got back logged by starting in February as there wasn't time to pot them all up and get them thru the greenhouse - then the ground was too cold to set them out. Finally it warmed (yeah for soil thermometerse) and we started planting and now I have my first tomatoes this week. My dad would be proud. But next year I should start on March 1 starting my seed.
luck? Inexperience? Saved by grace and internet wisdom....
Stil harvesting spinach after 6 weeks - what a great thing to have fresh spinach almost daily for salads or braising....
In other news of
Bad: Goats like tulips.
Good: 13 eggs in one day!
I wake up in the middle of the night trying to find a place to put all these thoughts. Gracie, my sweet cat of 15 years, died a violent death last Friday. A fair amount of death in the country is violent - my dogs eats a chicken, we kill a snake, set out tons of mousetraps, and so on.
While she was old, I didn't feel like it was her time yet. If she had been a second faster, she'd have made it up the tree, away from the vicious dog going after her. But she didn't. If it hadn't been that dog, it might have been a coyote another night. You have to be fastest, in the country, to survive.
It was pretty tough at the after-hours vet's office, giving the go-ahead to put down my kitty. Of course it was. Do I want my dear friend, the owner of the perpetrator dog, to feel that same pain and put her dog down? Do two wrongs make a right? Do I think an eye for an eye, or a pet for a pet, will bring Gracie back?
No. But it still wakes me up at night.
Here's my Facebook post from last week which kinda tells the story. I'm a little edgy as the roofers are here now for a fourth week:
I need someone to write a country woman's country song: Not about trucks or dogs, but about how when you re-roof, the attic snake goes to the hen house and eats your eggs, and if you relocate the snake you start to get mice in kitchen and ya gotta wash the whole kitchen down. It's too freaking hot to get the blues - and it's only 9:20 in the morning.
(Susan J) To the Beatles' song: All you need is Love. In your case: "All you need are cats, All you need are cats.' I've got rats that now wave at me from the shrub next to the dining room. The other one was lazying on my bird feeder hook. Larry t...hinks it's one and the same. Nope, the one on the shrub had lipstick on.
(Mark S) You got them early morning snake bit blues.
(Marty A) I almost hare a songggg!!!!!! :)
(Elizabeth Z) I'll get right on it! Heck, you've practically written it, yourself! Eaten any figs lately?
(Brevard) You relocated the snake to the kitchen??? Why not Alabama or SC???? The IMPACT awards luncheon is probably looking reeeeaaalllly good now :) Miss you.
(me again) The first 4 or 5 snakes we took across the road behind the barn. Then they started getting wiser so we thought the 5th one - really big snake - we'd take down the road a bit further. Heck someone dropped a beagle off with us, we can drop ...a snake off somewhere, right? but the snake started to move out of the coop and was half in and half out - Woody grabbed the tail, I grabbed the clippers. I thought about it briefly and grabbed the tail from Woody and gave him the clippers and looked away. Eeeeewwwww looks like they filmed Halloween 2 in there instead of in the side yard! Front half of the snake crawled away. Decided it was time for a little adult beverage (or 3) sipped in the kiddie pool under the pecan trees. Found the top half of the snake in with the hose later when I went to cut it off. Just another day in the country. @Brevard - yeah, IMPACT sounds pretty low key some days!!! @Whitney - my big girl shoes are BOOTS now!
(Deb) I think you've got the beginnings of a new career
(Woody) The roofers made holes in the floor
So the attic snake went out the door
Now the mice have moved in
There's no eggs in the bin
And I can't take this heat wave no more. (with 6 "likes)
(Nadine) I can hear the tune now. Yeah, It's too freeeeekin hot to get the blues yeah, ...Oh it's only 9:20 in the am AAAAAnd It's too freeeeekin hot to get those blues oh yeah....... I think it's a hit!
(David) Hey, that sounds like a good theme for s song.
(Joe) I bet you didn't imagine you'd be dealing with such things even a few years ago.
(Patience) I can just hear it now..."Let me tell ya'll the news, It's too freaking hot to get the blues..the snake is in the henhouse and the mice are in the food..." Think Wynnona or even Loretta! hang in there Linda, its hot here too.
(Susan J) I think your dealing with a book now about life in the wilds...just sayin.
Still living in a place of too much to do, and a tendency to think "too little time, when will I get it done?" The grass needs mowing, should start more transplants, should water the garden, should pull those weeds before they take over, what if I trained those muscadines over the garage door, and did I remember to feed the dog?
.....And then comes the ahhhhhhhhh yes there is a lot to do but all anyone has is time. Feed the dog, water things that feed you, collect the eggs, and do what's in front of me. I'm never bored, and this work feels real in a way that moving papers - even meaningful ones - in an office never could. Odd sunburns - don't care. Occasional ticks - don't care. Whipoorwill songs - care. Finding asparagus shoots - care. Ahhhhhh.
I always hated how fast life was going by. We used to joke about it and call it "the pneumatic tube of the week" - it would be Sunday night, then it would be Friday evening.
Fall was the season that reminded the most that things lose their color and die. The wind turns harsh and the sunlight goes away and I can't remember what it was like in the summer. Lots of times a beach trip in October was all the summer I felt like I'd had.
This year is so wonderfully different. I spent hours outside in the summer until my face was bright red and I was gasping for air and water - always with a smile. Fall brought so many colors and it was great to begin to see things without all the vines and overgrowth of summer in the way. You can walk through the woods much more easily. Winter this year has been bitterly cold - so unusual for us to be this cold this long. But it felt good on my face - alive, somehow. And really, if it snows, no one can expect you to do any yardwork!
Here's a poem from my cousin Pam Hasagawa which speaks to ths.
Of all the seasons, and I am a lover of seasons,
I prefer spring and autumn.
As I am now in the autumn of my turn at life,
the beauty of the leaves and colors pleases me even more.
An arboretum is nearby, and while
I (thought I) had no time for it in my middle decades,
now it draws me there in all seasons,
most powerfully, the garden of Japanese maples.
Last fall I noticed that rapid changes of degree
created patterns on larger leaves such as elm and oak
showing when the warmth abruptly went south,
or at least that is what I surmised.
This year it was the pear trees whose leaves
astonished me by their coloring from yellow to crimson.
I had been so taken by their beauty in spring, when they
burst into flower, that their fall beauty evaded me.
I wonder how much beauty I have missed by not
looking more closely at each season. And I'm thankful for
Those who have gently shared their love of nature with
me, so that I too could view the beauty of her attributes.