Woot! Woot!

Last night I got half the lawn area mowed after pumping up the tire and going down to get fuel. This morning after a Farmers’ Market run during “Seniors only hour” we arrived home to find the younger two farmers finishing the mowing of the south field and moving the already baled hay to the side for picking up. After the one mowing left with the big mower, he returned with a huge brush hog and cleaned up the areas I usually mowed a couple of times each year when we had a brush hog. I finished mowing the lawn areas that were thick and tall from all the rain. It has all been mowed at last. They teddered the newly mowed area and will come back Monday afternoon to rake and bale it and as they were leaving, they brought me a shaggy untied half bale for use in my chicken run in wet and snowy weather.

I love some of the wildflowers that have claimed spots that they are safe in around the house.

Last night at dusk when I went out to lock up the hens, there were two does and 3 fawns in the orchard. They stayed very still until I got close and opened the run gate. At that point, they took off in two directions and I caught a picture of one doe and her spring twins running off.

I love life on our farm.

Stay safe, wear a mask so you are part of the solution and not part of the problem.

Week’s End

The grass is knee deep. It is still hot. Thunderstorms are the norm. Our riding mower has a flat tire again and needs fuel, but also for the grass to dry enough to safely mow it.

The garden has loved the rain, but the tomatoes are slow to ripen this year. My logs and pictures of past years show jams and sauces canned by now, but this year no berries were picked, I have just finally gotten enough tomatillos to make a two half pint recipe of simmer sauce. To do that, I will have to use one of the smaller stock pots for the waterbath as I’m not going to heat up the giant one for two half pints. I may just keep freezing them until there are enough to make the task worth while. Even with the cucumber pruning, I harvested 3 more yesterday and saw many more gherkin sized ones that will be large enough to pick in a couple of days. It is time to get out and work a couple of beds for some fall veggies. The potato bed is clear but needs compost, the bed where the first beans were is clear on half of it, the tomatillos are in the other half, but it too needs compost.

My spinning has slowed some, I have been reading Appalachian historical fiction, starting with “The Bookwoman of Troublesome Creek,” then on to “The Giver of Stars.” Both books based on the Pack Horse Libraries in Kentucky. Those two books were holds from the local library. I am on to “A Parchment of Leaves” on loan from a friend.

Yesterday’s mail has both a new fiber I had ordered, Merino/Baby Camel/Silk and a new to me tiny spindle. The tiny Jenkins Kuchulu spindles are very travel friendly and because of their petite size, I can use them in the car when sitting somewhere for an appointment, caught behind traffic or an accident, or to just have when there is a period of time that I am idle.

None of my spindles are large, the left and middle ones are only 4″ diameter, the smaller one on the far right is only 2 1/2.” The blue ply ball is 28 grams. It will continue to grow, but the red will remain in individual turtles until I decide how it will be plied.

We managed a walk on the rail grade today, the sole mask wearers (except one young woman with a bandana). Today, tomorrow, Sunday, and Monday are the only window I see for the next 10 days to finish getting our first mowing of hay down and baled. No one is here working, so I don’t think it is going to happen.

Pretty Sunflowers, a couple of them are 10′ tall. Soon it will be time to cut and dry heads for the seed.

I wear a mask to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. Please wear yours too.

He got out

The forecast is for 85% chance of rain today and was low yesterday until late afternoon, so the Big Bad HD was ridden to the city yesterday for it’s annual servicing and inspection. My efforts to repair the driveway were successful enough that he got the bike up the gravel driveway, on to the gravel road, and safely on the hardtop. I followed along in my car to bring him home as the bike was being left until service and a couple replacement parts that had to be ordered come in for installation. The bike had a broken rearview mirror on the left side and the left tail light was out, so I tried to stay close enough to prevent someone from getting between us, but far enough back to not crowd him in case of a problem. Only twice did another vehicle get between us.

The number of COVID cases are much higher in the city and we saw a much better compliance with mask wearing, except at the Harley dealership. I did not see a single mask on a front end employee through the windows and not a customer going in or coming out wearing one. Hubby kept his helmet on with the face shield down until he was back to the car where he donned a mask. You know you have been confined too long when a trip to the city staying in the car followed by carry out from “The Weiner Stand” is an exciting day.

Early in the week, after yet another big basket of cucumbers were harvested, instead of pulling the vines, I pruned them sharply to slow down the volume of fruits being harvested. I still want some fresh cucumbers for salad, but I am pickled out. Day before yesterday, another batch of spicy Bread and Butter pickles were salted and left to sit and weep for the day, another quart of fermented dill spears started. That evening, the Bread and Butters were finished and canned, having wisely started the water bath to heat up while I was preparing dinner. DIL is excited that if we can pass in the night somewhere, sometime, she will get a new flat of pickles for her shelves. The refrigerator is full here with quick brines and ferments of pickles, beans, and kraut. I am seriously considering looking for a dorm size refrigerator to put in the basement, just for those items. I am just starting on pickling the jalapenos and if history is followed, there will be 8 to 10 quarts of them before the first frost. I may can some so they are shelf stable. I have had to purchase 3 quart cans of pickled jalapenos for hubby as we ran out of last year’s before more were ready.

They do make a pretty presentation.

I am jealous of Son1 and DIL’s garden. This spring, their first in their new house, they build several long raised beds and heavily mulched the paths and their garden is gorgeous from the photos I have seen. Their back yard is flat. Since many of my cedar boxes, including ones I restructured this past winter and spring are rotting away, I am thinking about reusing some of the old deck materials to make 4 by 16′ beds which will be fairly easy as most rows are either a series of 4 X 4′ boxes or a 4 X 8′ box and a 4 x 4′ box. This will eliminate the down hill paths and perhaps slow the downhill run off. If I do this, I will invest in a load of mulch to put down in the paths after first putting down another layer of cardboard. The old hay I currently use always has some grasses that sprout in the paths, even with cardboard. With the new walled garden bed, I will not be using the plastic half barrels in the back, so I think I will replant the raspberries in them as the bottoms of the wooden ones have rotted out. If I move them while transplanting, I can extend the blueberry bed another 4 to 8 feet and add more blueberry bushes.

Each day, some time is spent on the spindles, spinning the two fibers currently being spun into yarn. The two make a vibrant bowl of color by my chair.

I recently purchased another smaller spindle from someone and the tracking says it is out for delivery. The one I bought is a better size to carry with me in a small tea tin with a bit of fiber to have when we are sitting behind roadwork or an accident as happened last weekend, or when I am passenger in the car headed in to town to pick up curbside groceries from the Eats, our natural food store.

Stay safe everyone.