Monday, July 28, 2014

Sunday Morning in the Gardens

Sunday morning was so quiet and idyllic, I decided to leave the chickens closed inside for a bit longer and make LaFonda wait a few minutes to be milked while I walked the farm, camera in hand.
Thanks to our  hard-working interns, the veggie garden is looking more beautiful than ever!
Tons of tomatoes on the vines, many beginning to turn red.
Towering pole beans.
Hey--there goes intern Lynette, on her day off in her new car!

Bean blossoms.
Our favorite sweet Jimmy Nardello Peppers -- just need to turn red.
We have been harvesting the  greens and the bulblets of the wacky Walking Onions.
The Italian Zucchinis seem happy growing in straw bales along the fence.
Squash Blossoms!!
Red Okra-- have buds, no blossoms yet.

Carrots, edged with marigolds.
Baby cukes galore.
Birdhouse gourds, climbing a trellis with a birdhouse.

Bush beans and cabbages.
More squash blossoms. Love them.
The wildflowers along the driveway are pretty darn wild.
The sunny Sun & Sunflower Garden, where the solar system meters are located.
Jessica, Lynette and I spent a hot, sweaty day last week weeding the greenhouse and it looks quite presentable now.
Not as many Fresh With Edge towers in the aquaponics system this year--Chris now has aquaponics projects all over the city demanding his attention this summer.
But I am experimenting in a few towers--starting nasturtiums from seeds in the towers
and growing alpine strawberries!
The fish gazebo is inviting;
my new favorite meditative spot is in this wicker chair/swing I found at a garage sale and suspended from the gazebo.  It is mesmerizing to sit there and watch the catfish swimming up to eat their food.
Squash Blossom barn, reflected on the back of the Willys truck mirror. I  love summer and living in this place so much!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Our Barn Doors are More Open!

This week’s project was replacing the ugly aluminum garage door with French Doors, acquired from (where else?) Craigslist. Rog uninstalled the old overhead garage door and cut the opening slightly larger to fit. But we hired a professional, Sam, to build the doorframe and hang the doors.
Sam with the perfectly installed doors.
I primed and painted the outside of the doors to match the barn trim and withstand the weather.
Don’t they look pretty?!
Inside, looking out at the wood-fired oven.
With the wall of windows on the south side and the French doors at the east end, this part of the barn has great vistas and lovely light.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Summer Projects & Progress

A Few Recent Farm Projects:

Gordita, the gourd-headed scarecrow, finally got a new outfit, She now has red rubber garden boots!
I don’t think I ever posted  a photo of my very first welding project, this heavy-duty trellis made from elaborate ornamental ironwork scraps. (I hung the ceramic mask from Mexico on it.)
A sweet little  thrift store plant stand find.
Two matching iron headboards  are now a fence in front of the chicken coop.
Fairy garden in a metal bowl.
One of those Pinterest ideas I had to try. Rog is not very fond of it--he thinks we have too many cockeyed, askew structures on the farm already.
We inherited these three amusing (but comfortable), patriotic tractor seat stools from a friend.
Garden Update:
The gardens are looking glorious, thanks mostly to our awesome WWOOFers. They are weeding machines!
The lilies and wildflowers along the  driveway are stunning.
Healthy tomato plants, laden with fruit.
WWOOFer Jessica whipped the granary flower garden into shape before the wedding a week ago.
The large pepper and tomato sculptures (that often cause people to do a double-take) are back in the garden.
Currants will be ripe soon.
We have begun to harvest the first zucchinis and squash blossoms from the straw bale plantings.
Calla lilies.
Red Russian kale.
A salad from te garden for last night’s supper -- featuring  mesclun salad mix, large purple radishes,  Egyptian walking onions, baby zucchini and squash blossoms.
Splotch, the calf, is growing fast and is  much larger than Zinnie (our collie/border collie pooch) now.  He was banded today -- a life-changing event that makes him a steer, not a bull.  He gets to nurse from LaFonda, and even though we are milk-sharing with him, we are still getting  3.5 to 4 gallons of milk per day.
Our newest WWOOFer, Lynette, learned how to make  mozzarella and  ricotta cheese from the fresh cow’s milk.
Lynette has also  transformed the barn stage into a yoga studio. (A great way to work out the kinks after a hard day of weeding.)  Zinnie is waiting for “downward dog.”
Rog finished digging (through rock!) and pouring the footings in the north end of the barn,  they passed  inspection, and the Lull came to move the 2 1/2 ton  oven into place.
The oven is successfully sited in the barn-- the first major, visible step in constructing our commercial kitchen!
Once this oven is operating, it will be able to bake 60 loaves of bread at a time.  I will need to step up my game and expand my bread-baking repertoire!   I made some fancy roasted garlic sourdough boules last week for the Farmers Market --it’s a start.