Monday, July 28, 2008

Hot Day

It was a toasty one today, complete with blazing sun, hot temps, and lots of sticky humidity. The boys spent the latter part of the day in their birthday suits, watering the garden and pulling all sorts of shananigans in their "pools," aka rubbermaid tubs. After popsicles and gravel-digging, our daily dip in the Red Cedar River after dinner was just what these sticky kids needed.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Just a Start

It's been so long since we've shared any farm news, I've been overwhelmed with where to begin. There has been a lot of progress and thinking and planning the past few months - gardening, harvesting, chicken & horse tending, coop-building, greenhouse & business planning, home & barn designing - not to mention vacations and visits with family & friends. Last night I started to feel the melancholy of mid-summer approaching. While the real fun is about to begin, it's already half over. I love this time of year.

We hope to distill news of all these projects and future plans via blog and conversation, as we always do, but often neglect. Today, I'm going to start small, with what's right in front of me every morning when I walk out the door - the garden. Thanks to my dear friend Christa, whose request for garden photos was the impetus I needed to get back to blogger.

This is the upper garden: herb spiral, flowers and tomatoes up front; basil, garlic, peppers, peas, cucumbers, onions, asparagus, horseradish toward the back. Things are thriving so far this year, as we've had lots of sun with just the right amount of rain in between. We only hope we're as lucky in August and September!

Spiderwort - probably my favorite "ditch flower." We transplanted bunches of these from the roadside last year. They open up bright blue in the morning and close during the heat of the day. They are so strong and intricate and unusual - beautiful little creatures.

Ahhh, basil - this Italian gold is growing happily all over the place - in the upper garden, the herb spiral, and all over the lower garden. This is the "keyhole" layout of the upper garden.

The lower garden beds and chicken tractor - here, we've got carrots, lettuce, spinach, herbs, potatoes, beets, beans, broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, sunflowers, squash, melons, corn, rhubarb, raspberries & hops.

Carrots, chard, lettuce & beets.

Ellis's new hobby - climbing the apple tree.

And this is our willow tree. We planted this tree the year we bought the farm and I love watching it grow each summer...graceful and green. I remember swinging from willow branches as a kid and like to imagine hiding under these boughs someday.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sweet Filly

This sweet little gal is my summer project: a four year old half-Friesian I've dubbed Freya. She'll go back to her owner in September or October but for now she's mine to play with!

The Johnsons Pay a Visit

Our friends Ben and Jen Johnson came out our way from the Pacific NW with their two stellar kids, Hans and Stian. I found myself completely charmed by these boys, not only because they were total characters (as my dad would say) and as sweet as could be with Owain, but also because hanging out with them made me look forward to what our boys will be in the future.

We had a great time together during which we:

* went for a dip in the swimming hole at 22 mile ford
* enjoyed rootbeer floats at Colfax' newest family restaurant
* noshed on Jay's pizza
* bonded as parents for the first time
* fed the chickens and picked lettuce
* examined the ethical complications of fly swatting
* were reminded of why Ben is one of the most gratifying people in the world to cook for
* had Gideon take us for a spin around the property in the forecart, even in the rain
* learned that if Ben were ever in a coma/vegetative state he wants the T.V. ON and LOUD ENOUGH SO HE CAN HEAR IT so he doesn't get bored

We can't wait until they come again!

Strawberry Fields Forever