Sunday, July 9, 2017

Around the Farm

The last time I checked in with an "Around the Farm" was late May. Since time is flying past, I took the time last week to walk around the farm and take some pictures so I could share what's up.

Gardening. Wow, what a difference a year can make. We definitely are not having the thriving garden that we had last year. Actually the past couple years we have had such amazing gardens, I guess it's our turn to have an off season. We started off with sooooo much rain. Not floods like last year, thankfully. Just constant, and heavy rains. That lead us to having to replant some things. Several times. Ohh... and lets not forget that the house cats ate off some of our plants we had started by seed. That set us behind right from the beginning!  But, on the up side, our lettuce is thriving! Radishes have been doing well also. Everything else we will have to wait and see. 

Chickens. Ugh. They've been a challenge too! We have the two new chickens you met last time. We were letting everyone free range together and all was going well, so we finally combined everyone into the same coop. We don't know if it was coincidence in timing, stress from the change, or what, but the entire old flock of 15 chickens got sick. It was horribly nerve racking as we have never had an illness in the flock before that didn't result in the unthinkable. As soon as this started we learned that you can no longer buy medicine in the store, you need to buy it through a vet. One hurdle after another. So, while trying to find a vet, I had started a natural treatment I read about. Mixing vinegar and fresh garlic in with their water. I rotated that every other day, and on the alternate day they got a vitamin mix water. We did finally find a vet and get medicine. But, treating with medicine means throwing all eggs away for several weeks, and we were starting to see improvement, so we held off. Well, everyone is finally better, and they are back to almost normal egg production.  The two new chickens, are doing well. They are much more home bodies and don't leave the coop much. Other than that, all I can say is we are waiting for one of the two to give us a cockle doodle doo song soon. 

Berries. Strawberries were a challenge. Most of our heaviest rains came right when they were at their peak. Being we both have our day jobs, we just weren't able to stay on top of getting them picked quickly enough and the rain took most of them. Black raspberries however seem to be thriving!! We've devoured tons while just being outside, picked more than ever, and even were able to invite family and friends to come pick to their hearts content! Red Raspberries were on the downside of things though. We seem to have a virus out there, so mowed off one patch in hopes of keeping it from spreading to the second patch. Fingers crossed we have that under control.

Flower beds. Thanks to my parents, who get all the credit in reviving one of our most prominent flower beds, that we just lost control over. It looks amazing now! They got rid of all those crazy weeds that were also thriving this season, did some pruning, removal, and added some new beauties including a dahlia and climbing rose! 

In the kitchen. I have several recipes lined up to share with you. Two should hopefully be this week, and a third just as soon as a I give it another test. I am really excited about that one. It's a Strawberry Drizzle Cake that I learned about thanks to the tv show, "The Great British Bakeoff".  A couple weeks ago, when I thought I was catching up on things, I started following along with the show through Wisconsin Public Television. Basically, they challenge you to make one recipe out of each episode. I pulled it off for the first episode! That's as far as I made it, but I learned a new cake that I fell in love with. 

Husband. Husband has a new hobby. Off roading. It fits doesn't it? It involves wheels, motors and getting dirty.  I give it the thumbs up because it's cheaper than some of the other hobbies he's tried in the past. AND... the bonus is the off roading leads to trails through our woods which is giving me access to area's I've not been able to get to before! 

Wow, this turned into a long post! Guess I had a lot to catch you up on. 
Tell me, how is your summer? How is your garden??


  1. Those salads are really beautiful! Thumbs up for your parents as the flower beds are tip top! Look forward to your recipes, Kris.

  2. Kris, The garden is rather slow now with the 100+ temps. It will pick up with a glorious burst of growth when it cools back to the 90s. I am getting plenty of zucchini. All my color bowls are brilliant with vinca and sweet potato vine. Love that green color. Can't wait to see your new cake recipe.

    Wishes for tasty dishes,

  3. our garden is doing pretty well, considering how we've neglected it since eva was born!
    i, too, love the great british baking show and will happily watch it before anything else--everyone is just so kind and they make the most delicious things! looking forward to your cake. :)

  4. Love catching up on all your garden happening! You have A LOT to keep you busy!!!! Looks beautiful and a lot of hard work!

  5. Hi,
    Our garden is not doing like it did last year. Everything seems so slow to grow. Many plants seem to stay the same size for weeks. With our last few weeks of heat and humidity I am now seeing a change. We also like the Great British Baking Show. :-) I want some of your cake. :-)

  6. It sounds like you've been busy! It's always sad when the garden has an off year, but it does help you to appreciate the good years. I'm glad the chickens are feeling better!

  7. Hi Kris, our garden is doing well except for the crows, for some reason they are swooping in and tearing the leaves off my lettuce, never had this happen before I am a little dumbfounded. Anyway, great posts, looks like you guys are busy.........

  8. Do you have a serving size and calorie count for your super salad?

  9. Well you are certainly persevering with the garden. We tried a garden once, way to much work.
    Enjoyed seeing the chickens, that one does look like a Rooster. - That was quite an ordeal you had with them being sick. - Off roading huh...well to each their own. I'm glad he enjoys it. - Do you have the recipe for the strawberry drizzle cake? It looks delicious.

  10. I envy anyone who can even attempt gardening on that scale! I just do a little square foot gardening, but haven't even done that in a couple years. I need to get it going next spring.