Tag Archives: peas

A Week + On the Farm – June 22, 2016

We were away last weekend, so I didn’t even try to post.  The hay was all baled, not as good a crop as in the past. We need to get Jeff to spread some manure before next spring.  The bales are sitting around the fields and yard waiting for him to return with his tractors and trailer to haul it away.

Our weekend away was to go pick up the table and Hitchcock chairs that belonged to my Dad and Mom and are the dining room furniture I grew up with.  My stepmom decided to replace it with a set she found on consignment that matches her Queen Anne living room tables perfectly and as I didn’t want the other set to leave the family, we drove down to pick it up, renting a trailer to haul it back across the state.  The chairs will replace the chairs we are using now, 3 of our original pine dining room chairs, and 3 folding wood and leather chairs that we bought as our chairs failed, were repaired and failed again.  The table and our 3 chairs, plus an oak kitchen chair to a table we no longer have, will go to eldest son’s house early next month.

This past weekend, we lost one of the younger chicks.  One was reluctant to leave the coop with Momma Hen and either got trampled or just got too cold.  Daughter and Gdaughter found the baby, found Momma Hen and the remaining 8 under the coop in the dark.  With a fishing net, they caught the hen and moved her to the coop’s safety then caught the 8 chicks and returned them to Momma Hen who was angry and upset. All of the remaining chicks get up and down the ramp just fine and are quite the explorers.  Today when we arrived home from Gdaughter’s swimming lesson, both hens and all the chicks were out of the pen and free ranging.  I don’t mind that if they could get back to safety if needed, but they can’t.  I spent a few minutes rearranging their pen so that there is no run off ditch under the fence.  I think that little dip in the ground is where they were escaping.  I wish all of the chickens could free range, but there are too many dogs, including ours that would be a threat to them.

We have another hen sitting a nest with about a dozen eggs under her.  Those chicks should be due around the 10th or 11th of July.  I may yet have enough for the freezer without having to buy day olds to raise in a brooder.

When we returned home, my Dad’s daylilly had bloomed.


I know that each year that clump will enlarge and I will have a good growth of them at the house.  The ones up by the creek are budded, but I haven’t seen blooms there yet, it is more shaded.

We also found both the edible pod and shelley peas ready to harvest.


I brought in baskets of both and we enjoyed our first dinner of shelley peas, the rest put in the refrigerator for another day.  We will get a second crop of shelley peas in another couple of weeks and most of them will be frozen.

The corn was engulfed in weeds again and I spent a bit clearing the weeds.  The tomatoes need to be tied up again, there are many green tomatoes already and peppers, but they will quit again until the weather cools some.

This weekend, I will be vending at a craft show sponsored by the Newport rescue squad auxiliary at the Newport Volunteer Fire Department.  Some organization and prepping has been done for that event.  Along with this, I made some sample size salves, lotion bars, and soaps as favors for the goodie bags at the spinning retreat in August.

Today is muggy, warm, and windy with rain on and off since last night. Perhaps tomorrow, I can get the tomatoes tied up.

I am trying to finish spinning up a beautiful colored fiber to ply and wash prior to the show this weekend.  I also received a cute Dealgan spindle, a Scottish Whorl-less spindle that I have been playing with before next week’s teaching session at a local camp.  I have made toy wheel spindles for all of the kids and they will also get an opportunity to use a spinning wheel.


The baby sweater is complete, the blanket is 1/4 complete.  Traveling for 6 hours each way makes for excellent car knitting time.

Still loving life on our mountain farm.

Olio – June 27, 2014

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things

The Raspberry jam salvage was a success.  It is spoonable, spreadable, and isn’t so sweet it makes me gag.  A win.  The wild Blackberries are so thick with fruit this year, I have a dilemma.  I don’t need any more jam.  My daughter who LOVES blackberry jam made a pantry full of Strawberry Jam when the berries were ripe in Florida, so she doesn’t need jam either, but I can’t resist foraging for blackberries on the farm.  I can freeze them and use them in smoothies, cakes, and cobblers, but we aren’t dessert eaters unless we have guests and then hubby would rather I make apple, lemon or pumpkin pie rather than cobbler.  What’s a girl to do?

The rain held off long enough for me to get everything that wasn’t hayed, mowed.  Jeff is coming a few times a day and hauling off 9 bales of hay at a time on his lowboy trailer pulled by the behemoth tractor.  There are still 45 bales to go.  The mowing was a priority as I am off to babysit for 5 days then bring RT and L back here with me on July 3.  We will send 8 chickens to freezer camp, hang a gate, watch fireworks, and feast for the two days RT is here, then he will catch a bus back home to be back at work on Monday.  L will stay with us for about 7 weeks of his summer vacation.

The teenager chicks are looking like I may not have to wait until August to get eggs from them.  Many of the girls combs and waddles are growing and turning red.  It won’t be long before I start seeing wind eggs in the coop and then pullet eggs in the nesting boxes as they figure the process out.


They are hiding from the heat, the culls are dustbathing to keep cool.


I dragged the chicken tractor to a new spot to give the culls something fresh for their last week.  Jim will be in charge while I’m gone.

The last of the spoiled bale of hay needs to be moved over to the garden and some areas remulched.  We had a chicken escape and they got in the vegetable garden and the new flower bed and made quite a mess.  Between that, some thin areas that are starting to show weeds, tomatoes and peppers tall enough to mulch around, I need to get that task done before I leave also.  I might actually welcome a rain shower while that is being done to cool things off a bit.  The garden is thriving, the kale is winning.


The sink is full, the chickens got at least this much and there is plenty to take to Northern Virginia for them when I go up.


First Tomatillo.  Can’t wait for a crop of them.


The peas are almost done.  If I cool off enough from working out there, I will pick a meal’s worth for tonight.


It amazing me how quickly the raspberries ripen.  I picked the bushes clean yesterday and treated myself to a hand full while I was weeding.  I save a hand full to have with my yogurt tomorrow.

Lovin’ life on our mountain farm.


It begins

I love this time of year.  The garden is producing, giving us goodness for dinner and extra to put away for the winter.  Today, the bulk of the peas were harvested.  Two hours of shelling, a meal enjoyed with some and after dinner, blanching, chilling, and freezing.  I would like to have at least twice what was harvested put away, but at least there are 10 meals worth of fresh frozen peas out of our garden to enjoy when the cold winds blow and the snows fall.




I opened one of the jars of raspberry jam and I am so disappointed.  The jam is too sweet and somewhat gummy.  Hopefully, I will be able to harvest another quart or so and can try again using a low sugar recipe and get a product that I am happier with.  The jars I have can be used in smoothies or stirred into oatmeal, but there is no way I would spread it on homemade bread or biscuits.

I am lovin’ life on our mountain farm.