Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Thinking About the Garden

The garden and seed catalogs started making their way to our mailbox over the last couple weeks. 
The perfect time to start thinking about what we want to do with the garden this year. Things we will do differently, things we will do the same, and new things we will try. 

I started by making a list of "everything" we have ever planted in our days together here at the farm. Out of that list, I pulled out what we will not raise again. On that list we have the following:

  • Eggplant - we tried and just don't care for it. Regardless, we try a "new to us" vegetable every year. 
  • Spinach - we try every year and have no success. We'll save that for farmer's market trips
  • Watermelon - Neither of us care much for it, we just wanted to see if we could raise it. Mission accomplished. 
  • Artichokes - To much space, for to little yield.  
  • Brussel Sprouts - Until I learn a way to cook them that we enjoy, they are in the same category as eggplant. 

Then, there is the exciting part of the list. What new things we are going to try.

  • Pea's that aren't a snap pea - Each year we raise pea's, but get a very low yield and really struggle getting them to grow. Every year, we raise snap peas. This year we are going to try something new.
  • Sweet Potatoes. I've looked at the plants at the green house, and think about adding them to the garden. This year we will follow through with trying them!
  • Broom Corn. My friend Carla, from The River, shared some of the broom corn they raised last year, and I am so excited to plant some ourselves this year.
  • Alpine Strawberries. This is a challenge, as we don't know where we will plant these, but Jessica from Oregon Transplant has me so inspired to try these little berries.
  • Shallots. Why not?
  • Beans for drying. Again, why not? Something fun to try for one summer.
  • And...... Fooled You Pepper. For my husband, a jalapeno that isn't hot! Our jalapenos were so blazing hot last year, I couldn't bare them. 

And, what I am most excited about is blueberries! My husband has a lot of research to do on how we need to prepare our soil, but I think this will be fun. My parents tried and were successful, until the deer made the blueberries come to an end. We don't have as many issue with deer, and what we do have, I think Mr. C. is going to be good at helping out with. 

Are you planning your garden yet? Are you trying anything new?

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Our New Family Member


We decided it was time to add a new member to our family. Please say hi to "Mr. C."!

We thought Queen of the Farm needed a friend. Someone that would run and play with her.

An run, and play they do! They have become the best of friends more easily than we had hoped.

Mr. C. has been learning the ropes and getting along with everyone. He accidentally got locked in the chicken coop yesterday, and while he gobbled up all the chicken feed, not a feather was hurt on a single chicken. Good boy, Mr. C.!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Winter Scenes

The weather outside has been frightful! Ever since Christmas Day! We have had these fairly seasonal cold snaps, and then it warms up, and rains.... rain, freezing rain, and sleet. At least one major occurrence each week. 

I have always lived in the midwest, so you would think I would be used to winters. But, after so many years of city, then town life, this country life is another thing entirely. The roads get maintained so much more slowly. It still truly amazes me how long it takes for even the county roads to get cleared. 

I am a believer in staying home if you don't need to be out on the roads, so the trucks can do their jobs.  I think during the ice storms, I may not be alone in that practice. The days when I have still had to go to work, I am the only car out there, which is creepy in it's own way.  I am hoping with the big storm on the way for tomorrow, we might get to stay home?!

On to some winter farm photo's....

This first picture was earlier in the season, when we had a nice covering of snow. 

You know it's exciting to get sand  on the road when I text a picture of the sand to my husband!

We have so much ice everywhere, but it's hard to capture in a photo. Except for here by the chicken coop. Believe me, the ladies are not impressed. They will only leave the coop if we leave the big "people" door open, and the temperature meets with their approval.

The snow depth out in the fields is decreasing. 

Just remember, if you end up out in the ice, walk like a penguin!

Be safe out there!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Looking Ahead in 2017

In November, I had my 5 year anniversary of blogging. It hardly seems possible it has been that long!

It's been a lot of fun along the way. Sharing recipes, gardening experiences, road trips, what our critters are up too.... And more! 
I cherish the friends I have made along the way, you all mean so much to me.

But, it may be time for a change. Some of you may have noticed that I took away the option for anonymous comments. I never used to allow them, but had complaints, so I then allowed them. But due to the quality of some peoples comments, they are no longer allowed. I had such rudeness over the past month or so, I came very close to walking away from all blog activity. But, my sister talked me off the ledge, handled the responses, and all is good again. Thanks... Sis.

But, this does have me wondering if I want to change things up a bit. Since Truckin' Man switched jobs and is local instead of over the road, I don't have quite as much online time as I used to. All of this leads me to wondering... What do you want to see here?  Do you want the same assortment? Or more garden, recipes, farm life. If recipes, anything specific? For two years, I have been following Trim Healthy Mama, which I haven't talked about on here, which has low carb recipes, among many others. Or "Cooking for Two" recipes? Cookbook reviews is something else I have considered doing more of.

If you have a moment, please comment or drop an email and let me know what sounds interesting to you! I want to hear wants of interest to you in your day! Even if it's just to say that you like the mix of what I currently have, I'd love to hear from you!

Hope 2017 is off to a great start for everyone!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

The Last Part of Our Journey

Happy New Year!!!
Life has been so busy, I can't believe how long it has been since my last post. I realized I never shared with you the last part of our journey to Tennessee. So, lets get going!

As we were trying to get away from the smoke in the mountains, we just headed straight west, rather than northwest like we normally do. From the passenger seat, I was researching where we should go next. If there was anything we could find spontaneously to do without knowing the area. We decided to just travel for a while without any destination and see what we found. We stopped at several antique stores. Truckin' Man would be happy wandering through these all day long, so he was a happy man.

As we were reaching a point where we needed to know what was next, I remembered a place I had seen on the map. On the Tennessee/Kentucky border, not far from Illinois, is Between the Lakes National Recreation Area. We are so glad we stopped! Since we hadn't researched the area at all ahead of time, we stopped first at the visitor center and took in lots of history about the area.

Since closing time was quickly approaching, we quickly headed out to to drive through the Elk & Bison Prairie. What a treat this was. Since we hadn't planned this stop, we didn't have any expectations, but it sure did not disappoint. With more than 80 Bison, we were enjoying them through the prairie. 

The 72 Elk were a little more elusive, but we did get to enjoy a few.

I had never been so up close to an Elk before. Quite impressive!

We did the motor trail a second time, and I found this guy watching us from afar. I am guessing his family was nearby.

It seemed most other places around Land Between the Lakes (LBL) closed for the season November 1st, so we didn't hang around, but it is a beautiful area that we will definitely visit again!

We made our last tourist stop in the town of Galena, Illinois. Galena is a cute little town FULL of history, stores, and restaurants! We shopped, and shopped, and shopped! We shopped until we could carry no more bags.  All so fun, but one gem in particular was Galena Canning Company. My foodie friends, if you are ever in this town, please stop, taste, and shop! 

Here is one photo I took for instagram while we were shopping. Jars of tasty goodies everywhere!
This is an easy day trip for us, so we will definitely be going back.... soon!

Happy New Year, and thanks for being here with me in 2016!