TURN DOWN THE HEAT!

May 29, 2012

Monday

Linda

Memorial Day weekend is usually wet, chilly, and in our neck of the woods can on a rare occasion include a frost. Not this weekend. HOT and HUMID are the buzz words to describe it this year, but despite the hotter then the hinges of hell heat we had a great time.

Harold and Clarissa and Duke came over for a long weekend. The moment Duke got out of the car he didn’t run to hug Pop and Mimzy, he made a bee line straight for the tractor. We see now what is important to that little guy.

Sonny bought an umbrella to shade the porch table. What a difference it makes. Now we can eat outside even when the sun is bearing down on the porch. What is summer without BBQ’s and this weekend we cooked everything outside including the pancakes we had for breakfast drizzled with our own home grown maple syrup.

Keeping cool.

Garden work was tackled in the cooler hours of the morning and evening. The four of us were able to get the garden in shape very quickly. The potatoes needed to be hilled again and with the help of Harold and Clarissa we had it finished in no time. Duke kept cool splashing in the garden hose water of his blow up pool. We sweated buckets while gardening and drank water from a jug.

The corn is popping up in rows, the cantaloupe, squashes, cucumber and pumpkins are sprouting atop hills and the limas and pole beans are learning to climb. The garden is becoming lush with young growth and in return for the concoction of sweat, blisters, sunburns and soar muscles that nurture it, it will feed and sustain us throughout the coming year.

The princess piggies are faring well in this heatwave. Sonny fashioned a mud bath in the corner of their pen and the new spa accommodations appeared to meet their royal high standards.

Its siesta time in the afternoon. The whole farm seems to shut down, including the chickens and guineas who rest in the shade of the PV array sipping from the water cooler stationed there.

It may have been hot, a little uncomfortable from the humidity, but we still managed to have a good time. We are always grateful to be able to spend time with the family. Who knows where the military may send them next. Got to take advantage of the time we can spend together now. Hope you all had a great weekend and lets not forget to remember our military men and women who have served, also those who are now separated from their families. Life is GOOD.


FROM THE GARDEN

May 23, 2012

Wednesday

Linda

I have been waiting all winter to be able to pull fresh salad greens from the garden. This year we planted black seeded lettuce and romain. Yum. The temps are supposed to get in the upper nineties this weekend and that is not good for the lettuce. Hopefully it will not bolt.

We have strawberries on the vine too. We planted the quinault strawberry plants last year and it looks like we will have a good harvest of them this year. These berries are not as big or as firm as the ones you buy in the grocery store but they are very sweet. I made a pound cake today and a topping of strawberries will be our desert.

Sweet garden pickings to you all!


POTTING PLANTS

May 20, 2012

Sunday

Linda

Potting flowers.

Its time to splash some color around PHF. Although our thumbs are a pale  green when it comes to the garden we are able to grow enough veggies to feed us, but when it comes to flower beds our thumbs become the grim reaper. We tend to grow more weeds and grass than flowers, so we resort to containing them in pots  in order to create some colorful bling around the farm.

Rarely is it a true representation when viewing a picture of someone potting flowers on a blog, magazine or TV. Its perfectly staged with gardening gloves,  hand tools, pretty pots, and flowers laid out on a rustic table in a perfectly implemented potting shed.

We live in reality on this farm ( Would I like a potting shed? Heck yea). We use whats available. Flowers are potted on the porch table, and Martha Stewart would pull out her hair watching my methods. Its not neat, its not pretty, or methodical. Its messy, I don’t wear gardening gloves, and since I misplaced my tools (only God knows where) I use a spoon and measuring cup from the kitchen. But the finished product is what counts. Vibrant blooms that cheer up a bland porch, brighten a garden bench and best of all, feed the honey bees and entice the butterflies to visit.

You know, come to think of it, even if I had a potting shed, I still wouldn’t wear gardening gloves, but I might be able to keep track of my tools.


A BLOG READER COMES TO VISIT PHF

May 17, 2012

Thursday

Linda

We had a wonderful visit today with one of our readers, Luann Barbagallo, who stopped by to pick up two pints of syrup and to see just what PHF was all about.

Luann and her family are starting their own homestead in a nearby county. I’m not sure what pearls of wisdom we had to offer as Luann has twenty years of gardening, canning and raising milk goats under her belt. That experience will go a long way in starting a homestead. I hope to keep in touch Luann, you never know, we may need some milk goat advice when we finally get to that stage.

We showed her how the off grid system worked and then took a tour of the farm, stopping by to see the princess piggies. The girls were on their best behavior and allowed Luann to view the pig palace set up. She was interested to see what methods we use to raise our pigs since she and her husband will be purchasing their own feeder pigs in just a few days.

We showed her the smoke house where we smoked eight hams last fall, because if your going to raise pigs you have to have a smoke house. She whole heartedly agreed.

In the past few years we have come to know several homesteading families and one of the nice things about it is that we all share ideas. Everyone has abilities that can help another. We are all folks who choose to live a simpler lifestyle, who choose to leave the whirlwind world of consumerism and depend on our own ingenuity to provide for ourselves.

It was a great experience to meet someone from our blog family of readers. Luann, thank you so much for stopping by, we thoroughly enjoyed your visit. Wish you lived a little bit closer. You and your husband are always welcome.


Solar Cooked Dinner

May 16, 2012

Sonny
Wednesday

Great day to use the Solar Cooker.

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HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY

May 13, 2012

Sunday

Linda

Hope everyone had a fantastic Mother’s Day. Our morning started with phone calls. I called my mom, Sonny called his mom and Harold and Clarissa called me. It was phone circle of happy tidings.

After morning chores were finished, Sonny and I gussied ourselves up a bit for this special day. We were invited to John and Carol’s for a Mother’s Day brunch and were supposed to be there by 10:00.  We hopped into the RTV, our usual mode of transport, and left behind our holler to visit the next holler over.

Carol had been busy this morning creating a brunch that any mom would be proud of. She made a type of quiche, I’m not sure what it is called, but the crust is made from shredded potatoes and filled with eggs, cheese, sausage and onions. She didn’t use frozen shredded potatoes she shredded her own. They were the last of the potatoes they had grown last year in their garden.

Homemade blueberry muffins, strawberries dipped in chocolate and hot coffee topped off this delicious meal, along with good company and conversation. It was a real treat and we appreciate all the hard work Carol put into it. Sonny took a picture of the food laden table, but I couldn’t post it because he is having a problem with iCloud.

When we left John and Carols we stopped by Bill and Paula’s to wish Paula and her mom Nellie a Happy Mother’s Day. Of course we were greeted with smiles and hospitality. Bill and Paula always have a warm welcome and we are glad to have found such good neighbors and friends.

From there we were off to TwoLynn’s Farm. We had a nice visit there too and left with a box of homemade maple syrup candy created by Sandy.

This has been a great Mother’s Day filled with the joy and love that only family and good friends can give. What more could one ask for. So from Pot Hole Farm and all our friends, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!

 


MAKING TIME

May 10, 2012

Thursday

Linda

It seems that time has been flying by and I find it hard to make time to update the blog. I am sorry about that and I will try to do a better job. I know I have said that before, but you know…tick… tock…tick.

Harold and Clarissa came for a visit this past weekend and they were a big help. Just having two more sets of hands makes such a difference in getting overdo farm chores under control. We were able to accomplish a  lot even with the many interruptions of having to keep an eye on Duke and chasing him around the yard.

Clarissa helped me get the root cellar in order. Somehow it had become a catch all closet for anything that did not have a designated place of its own. Stacked boxes, bee keeping supplies, and syrup buckets. It was so disorganized that I could barely get in to the shelves to get a jar of tomatoes. Canning season will be here before you know it and we will be filling up the shelves with goodies.

We all tag teamed the garden, pulling up weeds and planting three short rows of corn as well another row of green beans and two hills of zucchini. There is so much more we want to plant, but the ground is too wet due to a few days of rain showers.

Harold and Sonny checked in on the bee hive to see how things have been progressing. It seems that they have settled in and are making themselves at home. He put out another new bee box as well.

Dressed in bee suits.

Sonny and John have finally finished the extension on the pole barn, between bouts of rain. We still need to put in some stone and and would like to have sliding doors on each end so Sonny can drive the tractor straight through. I’m not sure when we will get that accomplished.

Pole barn extension.

 

We have not lost a chicken or guinea since we put out the traps. That is not until last night. Actually its our fault for not closing up the chickens in time. We ended up closing them up late, after dark, and that left an open invitation for a coon to go in the coop and drag off a barred rock hen. Now we will have to be on guard and make sure the chickens are shut in as soon as they roost up. Its like The Night of the Living Dead. You have to be shut inside before the zombies come out and get you.


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