Friday, June 10, 2016

How Hot Is It?

It is so hot and humid today that LaFonda is spending the entire afternoon cooling her hooves in the  kiddie pool.
It is so hot today that even the  chickens are contemplating a swim.
It is so hot today that the tropical hibiscus tree looks native.I
It is so hot today that when I came back from getting a quick bite of lunch the  big bowl of bread dough I had set out to rise in the barn kitchen had overflowed as if in an I Love Lucy episode,
It is so hot today that building a 500*F fire doesn't really seem to make the kitchen any hotter.
 Nothing more inviting than wood-fire smoke pouring out of the barn a on a sultry day.
It is so hot that my health-nut WWOOFers are enjoying decadent ice cream sandwiches.

Come get some of our wood-fired breads and delectable pastries at the Farmers Market tomorrow! We bake yummy stuff so you don't have to!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Big Wedding Scrum

The farm is looking  pretty stupendous, if I do say so myself, but not without a Herculean effort  from all of us!
We had so much to do to prepare for last weekend's wedding and first Summer Sunday pizza & music event, that we decided to try  a technique Rog uses at work, a Scrum Board. We pulled down the  big movie screen and used post-it notes to organize our  tasks. Jobs were color-coded (pink= buildings, green = garden & yard work, etc) in three columns (Backlog, In-Process and Done) and  posted under each of our names (Blue post-its)  as we tackled them. This was the chart when we started- I wish I had a photo at the end of the week- the third column became a dense mosaic of post-it notes.
Many rolls of sod were laid, as well as truckloads of gravel and  mulch.
The stockpile of plants on the patio got planted.
Our Food Forest planting session got interrupted by an injured fawn - which we patched up as best we could and released back into the woods for his mother to find. (Mae got to check "rescue baby fawn" off her bucket list!)
Six loads of cardboard were retrieved from Menards for deep mulching of the veggie garden.
The embarrassingly overgrown Granary Garden was weeded and mulched and made beautiful. Much harder than it sounds because a dense mat of mint had invaded the entire garden. (But it smelled great to weed.)
So much mowing and trimming. And cleaning up of cow pies from the pasture.And windows washed,  rugs shampooed, barns vacuumed, sticks picked up, trim painted, patios power-washed, a section of fence replaced, junk hauled away, decks stained...
and the burn pile was burned. (And then we foolishly all stayed up past midnight singing around the fire.)
I installed blue-tinted lights in the fish gazebo pond for a romantic glow at night.
The aquaponics green wall obliged by blooming enthusiastically  for the wedding.
Of course we still had to harvest and pack the CSA boxes
And bake breads and pastries for market (Mae is getting to be a master of these apple rose tarts!)
I found a luna moth in the yard one morning! I haven't see one of these in many years, but this poor battered moth had a torn wing and could not fly.
I found some instructions on a Monarch Butterfly website for repairing a butterfly wing, so I attempted moth surgery. The results were not very elegant, but the moth was able to fly away. (This task was not on the scrum board, but one must have one's priorities!)
 The night before the wedding while Rog was baking, Mae and I attended an art opening of women's works in which I had this painting, titled "Embrace."  Nothing like a deadline to help you actually accomplish art-making!
The wedding day arrived with  crazy weather and intermitttent thunderstorms, which made for uncertain celebration plans, but beautiful lighting for photos.
A downpour at the start of the ceremony had everyone scrambling for the tent, but the rain ceased a few minutes later, we dried off the chairs, and the wedding commenced beautifully.
Tori and Izaak were successfully wed!
Such a sweet couple.
One of the delectable dessert tables.
After the wedding ceremony, the couple was treated to a lovely rainbow --that has to be a good omen for starting a marriage!

A gigantic THANK YOU to Mae and Ira, our delightful WWOOFers and to our assistant  Ruth, who all worked so hard and with such good nature to whip this farm into shape!

Now we have head start for the next two weddings this month!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Wednesday of Few Words: Greenhouse Goings-On

Yesterday, a hummingbird was feasting from the hanging baskets, which have filled out and look  spectacular!
See that birdcage?
A tiny bird (a finch?) is building a nest in it!

Yellow hibiscus tree.
Ruth hooking up the strawberry  aquaponics to water hose from the  fishpond.
Strawberry aquaponics in gutters.
Water cascades from one level to the next.
Set up for private  Christmas-in-May dinner party last weekend.

Monday, May 16, 2016

May Days

This is so my favorite time of year!!!
Frogs lazing in the aquaponics beds-- we hope to get the  new catfish for the aquaponics pond next week.
Chickens scratching in the compost piles
and under theWillys.  That truck is beginning to look rather rooted to the landscape.
We had a frost warning Saturday night so  Mae and I covered all the  tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and squashes with flower pots and cups. The garden reminded me of an ice fishing village on Lake Bemidji.  We did get some frost, but nearly all of our plant babies made it through.
The last few daffodils of spring blooming next to the greenhouse.
Cherries are developing on the  Montmorency tree. LOTS of cherries!  I may have to wrap this little tree against birds this year.
Impulse grape vine purchase --Now I have to figure out where to plant them.
The Egyptian Walking onions grow HERE.
The view from the greenhouse hammock.
LaFonda is so happy to be living in the big pasture again. I think it is her favorite time of year, too. It is so  crazy fun to see a grown, old lady  cow romping and leaping and kicking up her heels.
I have been tempted by the siren song of the greenhouse hammock, but I have resisted so far. Too much to do!