Friday, December 30, 2011

The Power of a Seed

Over the past two weeks I have received about a dozen seed catalogs in the mail. What a joy to see the vibrant colors in the winter!  To dream of warm soil and tasty veggies, of picking bouquets right out of the garden. 

My absolute favorite catalog to order seeds from and pour over is Bakers Creek.  They also have a magazine I devour cover to cover quarterly and a new book that I just received as a gift.  Not to mention they are pretty local!  I visited them at their original Mansfield, MO location this summer although they now have two other locations as well.  The photos and descriptions are delicious!  Not to mention they are an Heirloom Seed Company!!!  Here's the link to their site where you can request your own catalog:  Bakers Creek Seed Company

My tag line for this blog reads:  A Steady Dose of Faith, Farm & Fancy. I don't normally mention too much of the Faith part.  It seems sacred somehow, the sancutary I find in the garden, my petitions to God, my act of loving Him.  Yet I know it is to be shared.  There is a saying that One Is Nearest to God in the Garden Than Anywhere Else on Earth and for me that is so true.  The beauty, the quiet, the miracle of a seed.  One Sunday morning when I just needed time alone with God I sent my husband and boys to church and went out to work in the garden.  Bless the little church on the next road over that rang their church bells that morning! That solemn ringing broke something in me that day and healing was able to begin.

I have been frustrated recently in my prayer life and was telling my father about it.  A farmer himself and the man who alongside my mother introduced me to God and nurtured that relationship from birth and still does.  I'm not sure where he heard this analogy but it spoke volumes to my heart and once again gave me hope.  I'd asked him why God wasn't answering my prayers and he explained it like this:  "Our prayers are like rain.  There must be a seed that has been sown first for the prayers to produce a harvest.  That seed is God's word (John 6:63 says God's word is Life/alive).  Find scripture to back up what you are asking God for and memorize it, repeat it until it's planted so deep in your spirit that it abides (something you cling to and have faith in even when it seems to have failed) and then you can water it." 

If you're still reading I am going to add below an article I wrote on kids and gardening and the power of a seed.  May your garden be planted in love and well watered.  Au Revoir

As a mom who loves to garden my approach to involving my kids revolves around a little bitty beginning that miraculously turns into something much bigger and more beautiful than we could have imagined and might just sustain us for sometime; the power of a seed.

My children are also my seeds who once started out as a dream of mine, then a small fetus planted in love and someday will become grown men more beautiful and powerful than I could have imagined and with the ability to sustain themselves. What better way to teach them this important lesson than with gardening.

Children are so eager to learn and help. Yes, it might take a fight to pull them away from the television or in my case the XBOX, but once they are outside and you give them a task they beg for more. Tools just their size are available at most garden centers and even dollar stores and can make it easier for them to participate and still allow mom & dad to get some work done.

Most of us like to help others but to have a place of our own or any possession creates a feeling of pride and is something children crave. Give them their own section of the garden or even a simple pot to plant something that they are responsible for and are allowed to nurture. All it takes is some dirt, water, sunshine and one tiny seed to produce a beautiful flower or a bearing vegetable.

There are so many fun colors and names for plants that make planning your garden half the fun. If you combine those two elements to entice the five senses you’ve got a garden that is educational for even your youngest child. Huge sunflowers can grow quickly to teach kids all about size,. Try planting it staked to a yard stick and you’ve got a math lesson right there! As if the smell of the outdoors doesn’t provide enough pleasantries let your child tend a fragrant herb such as mint for tea or basil for pizza. The possibilities are endless. My own children love to show guests our five different kinds of mints and name them. As for touch there’s nothing a kid loves more than the mighty worm wiggling in the earth but don’t forget the fuzzy Lamb’s Ears used in previous times for healing wounds and for my boys as bunny ears. But watch out for the prickly pear, a cactus that actually grows in Missouri! Taste is an easy find in the garden if no chemicals are used. You can grow any number of vegetables and herbs for culinary purposes but did you know you can eat dandelion stems? Make sure there haven’t been any pesticides used on them first. Grasses swaying in the breeze actually make a lovely sound in the garden or grow bamboo and harvest it to make your very own wind chime in the fall.

Gardening is art; the colors, the placement, the arrangement of plants in and out of the ground. All of this hands on experience provides powerful memories for your child and opportunities to express themselves. There’s nothing better than setting up an easel in the garden, capturing time with photography or reading amongst the world you’ve created in the garden.

One of my favorite ways to use gardening to benefit my children is to create memories and establish our relationship by time spent together and accomplishments made. These teachable moments are abundant in the garden when mentioning the lifecycle of the bee or butterfly that you’ve persuaded to come with beautiful plants. Or how bread can be made from the wheat seed. Maybe mention the native plants used by our first American settlers or wonder at the beauty of the sunflower seed that at the end of the season will produce a harvest for the birds.

There are many sources on gardening with children at the library or local nature centers like the Remington Nature Center in St. Joseph, Missouri. Perhaps you’ll take them to the Arbor Day Celebration at the Conservation Department and plant a tree to mark their age by taking a picture of them next to the tree each year and that one day that they will be able to climb.

The possibilities are endless in connecting you and your child to each other through gardening and it all starts with a single seed.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It All Starts With A Pair of Boots

I've always loved old things; vintage finds, "junk" as some would call it.  My bedroom growing up was full of family treasures, scraps of old lace, anything with a history.  I found these pale pink boots (in my size!) at an antique store.  I'd never given into the living on a farm in a fashion sense.  I actually used to follow all the models (you know...Christy Turlington, Niki Taylor, Linda Evangelista) and would try to copy their outifts.  The closest I got to farm related was when I wore twine from a haybale around my neck as a choker (Thanking God I don't have pictures!). But the boots were a KICKstart to my inner farmgirl.

Wanting to feed my family fresh produce without pesticides and blessed with lots of space, I started with a simple strawberry patch and small potager of 4 raised beds.  Once the kids were a little older we finally decided to build a chicken coop (something we'd wanted to do for a few years).  We had so much fun picking out funky chickens to order.

After that the whole farm lifestyle has gotten really addictive.  I began reading inspiring books and blogs and realized I wanted a lot more than just eggs and veggies.  I wanted it all!

We know have (in addition to chickens) turkeys, ducks, milking goats, honeybees, a HUGE garden and my wishlist is even longer!  I hope Santa brings me warm pink carhart bibs and cheese making equipment.  I never dreamt I would embrace the Great Outdoors, my Inner Farmgirl, and bloom where I was planted (when I used to think I was stuck where I was at).  And it all started with a Pair of Boots!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Metallics in the Landscape

Every day when I look out my kitchen window at my herb garden I am amazed at the resiliencecy of plants.  My sage is a rockstar this time of year.  In fact the only star of the season.  The mint is still a bit green but the chives have disappeared and all of the annuals; basil, parsely & oregneo.  Lemon Balm and Thyme are holding on but the sage....oh the sage.  I have always loved the silver leaves.
We just had a winter thunderstorm so the wet leaves around the plant look like a rich bronze....just gorgeous.  Even my Tri Color Sage is looking good.
At the end of the season I had placed straw on top of the beds but the chickens spread it around for me.  In places I didn't put it.  Or want it.  But they looked cute doing it.  They do bring me joy.  Their feathers shimmering in the rain like twinkling lights on the Christmas tree.  Taking it a bit too far????  Yea.  Maybe that is stretching it a bit. 

On another note if you love to decorate like I do, especially with metallics and natural elements, you'll enjoy Silve Sage Designs.  Check them out on Facebook or online here....

May your Holidays Be Merry & Bright!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Footprints in the Frost

Good Morning from Northwest Missouri where it's a chilly 15 degrees!  This is the time of year when having animals on the farm can be more of a challenge.  Although I've winterized as much as I can it is still a challenge to keep farmgirl and animals cozy. 
This automatic waterer for the sheep and goats is not supposed to freeze but the past two days the top 1/2" has been frozen.  I chop it up and retrieve the mini glaciers with my hands.  Brrrrr!

A heating lamp is burned out in the chicken coop so a trip to the farm store is planned for later today to buy all the critters extra goodies like dried meal worms, cracked corn, peanuts for the goats and fancy minerals for the sheep.
So glad hubby got me these warm Muck Boots that will keep my feet toasty when we're trudging through snow drifts soon.  Hopefully Santa will bring me my own Carhart & Bibs!  Oh how my list has changed!
Now that chores are done I can snuggle with my babies who are recovering from being sick.  Stay warm!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Am I Crossing A Line? "Relations" on the Farm

Now don't let your mind get ahead of yourself; this isn't about Mr. Morris and I and our rolls in the hay, this is about the animals.  I have been hauling my gorgeous goats back in forth in my mini-van (my vintage dream truck is still a dream right now) for driveway dates....

  This has been interesting.            Not messy believe it or not.                 But on to the "relations." 

There is a whole process about getting a goat pregnant I had no idea about.  And timing is everything!  I've had to insert hormones vaginally (once I figured out which opening it was), given shots of hormones and drove many many miles to meet Prince Charming.  Except sometimes I gave the hormones too late or once the "insertion" fell out.  See Mr. Charming doesn't just mount for fun.  There is a ceremony.  She squats and pees. He smells.  If he doesn't smell that she's in heat he is not interested!  And so the many many miles.  This last time I left her for an overnight rendevous and viola!  Success!  I will spare you the details how we know she has been bred.  Did you want to know all of this?  Sure you did that's why you're reading it right?  :  ) 

Since I'm not so in tune with the sheep and haven't bonded with them as closely, I totally want to get one of these harness markers for my next ram so I know when he's done the deed.  I just love the Fiber Farm team and want to be the shepherdess they are.

                                  Other little ladies on the farm have been courted so to say. 

                                     Who can resist Monique strutting her stuff around the farm?
Apparently not her sons!!!!  Seriously!  We hatched eggs this spring and of course now that everyone is old enough for us to tell which gender they are, these teenage chickens will stand in line and each take turns with the lady!  Perposterous!  I can't stand this "method" and will not let my ladies suffer all winter cooped up with those men.  So all but one lucky lad will become chicken soup.  That may sound terrible but we are meat eaters and I'm gonna eat chicken from Hyvee or my house so at least I know they were happy while they were alive. 

Well that's all I have to say for now about "Relations" on the Farm. 

On other fronts I have been creating plastic bag wreaths, trying to find a bread recipe I can't screw up (honey oat) as well as plant wheat so I can have my own flour (you know how warm the dirt feels in the summer?  well it's frrrrreezing this time of year) and working on another sweet little project I hope to announce soon.  And there's a little holiday called Christmas coming up and a birthday boy in the house so life has been full but in the best way possible.  Can't wait to start the 24 days of Advent Calender with my boys tonight.

Hope I haven't crossed the line with this post and that you're still a fan!  Oh and I had to pull over and admire these terraces!       They're like stairways to heaven.          Never seen such beautiful terraces.  Obviously since I had that true and honest thought I MuSt bE a FaRmEr!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Wanna Be Farmer

This is a picture of me when we first got married and moved into our home 12 years ago.  I've lived within a mile of this house we bought from my parents all of my life.  But until I had my own land I never dreamt of gardens or wanting to do farmgirl things.  I'd helped Dad here and there on the farm growing up.  Once I even had a bottle fed calf but that was it.  Now I can't look out my kitchen window without imagining the sugar maples (that I've yet to buy) all tall and glorious, full of sweet maple syrup.  Or the milking parlour nestled between the goat pen and hay barn with organized shelves of supplies, an industrial gleaming sink and an elegant cooler full of cheeses and milk.  When did I turn into a Wanna Be Farmer?
This past week I decided to forge ahead and buy wheat seed to plant so in the spring I could harvest it to make my own flour.  I went to an agricultural store pretending I knew what I was talking about and bought winter wheat.  I knew that much.  But after showing my dad the 50 lb bag he said don't you need "hard" wheat not "soft?"  So I had to take it back and exchange it.  They don't usually sell hard wheat they said, since I'm guessing not many people want to make their own flour.  When did I turn into a Wanna Be Farmer?!

I thought the little lambs would be here in October yet there's no sign of them.  Determined to be smarter with the goats, thanks to my wonderful mentor, I will know exactly when their precious kids will arrive.  This week I've been drug around the goat pen trying to catch a stubborn lady to give her a hormone shot after frantically calling my mentor 2 weeks ago to double check about the anatomy of a goats backside before we started the hormone/baby making process.  When did I turn into a Wanna Be Farmer?!!!!

Last Saturday I celebrated my 33rd birthday.  I did perform the ultimate girly fantasy of shopping till I dropped but the day wasn't complete without my trying out my favorite birthday gift; hot pink muck boots.  I think I'm officially a Wanna Be Farmer.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Tea & Tinsel

Greetings! We've been busy here on the farm with fall check ups and getting ready for babies!  Still no little lambs but we've almost finished the breeding for our Nubians.  The hens have enjoyed the warm weather and have been laying lots of gorgeous pastel eggs for us.  This time of year as I reflect on what we've accomplished on our farm I am adding to my list of all the things I want to do next year.  Herbs and veggies I want to grow (stevia & okra), animals we want to add (heritage hogs) and of course buildings (milking parlour, green house, arbor in Big Garden...).  I think the hope of Spring is what gets this Outdoor Girl through the winter.  To keep busy during the cold months I like to get crafty and read lots of books.  I am blessed to have friends to get crafty with who constantly inspire me.  Recently some of us got together to make wreaths, ornaments & hoop art. 
For constant inspiration blogs are my favorite.  Check out some super cute ones on my side bar.  Today however I went to an annual Holiday Shopping Experience in a nearby town.  Oh the goodies were endless!  There was the most amazing lady who repurposes items into jewelry full of history.  I couldn't resist!  And a few of my friends who are fun artists had booths where I snatched up this darling crown for my bedroom!  Vintage and lace seem to be everywhere this holiday season!

My boys are busy playing XBox, hunting for deer, wrestling and practicing their drums so mama is nursing her tickling throat with these yummy lemon drops and hot tea with honey while I snuggle under my grey wool blanket dreaming of all the delightful Christmas Tinsel Decorations I want to tackle. 
                                                                  Keep Cozy!!!  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Seasons Change

Today I awoke with a determined spirit to get my long list of outdoor chores done (sorry honey the laundry might have to wait!) since God has answered my prayer for a few more days of warm weather and free calendar.  Normally I am the kind of gal who completes an assignment the day it is given.  Tell me what you want for Christmas and it's bought that day.  Can't help it; I'm a list maker and love to check stuff off that list.  However, since school has began and my boys' activity schedules have increased I have found myself napping in my free hours or rushing to the grocery store or doing that laundry out of "oh no the boys are out of underwear!"  I've been exhausted and frustrated that I have to do chores in the dark and eat pizza in the parking lot (luckily we have a dvd player in the car so it feels more like home!).  This fall I've felt more like the suprised grasshopper than the prepared ant in the classic fable.  I don't like it one bit.  So after crying out to God and checking the weather forecast, once again He has given me a second chance.  No napping for me today.  Instead I will (and already have started some of these)....

Make laundry soap (so when outdoor chores are done I CAN do laundry honey!)  I of course either make my own soap or use my lovely friends soap made from my goat's milk. 

Cut open gourds or pumpkins I want to grow again next year and dry out the seeds.  (I had over 100 pumpkins this year.  So excited after no surviving pumpkins last year.  Curse those squash bugs!  Organic gardening is tough!)  Any ideas what I can make with Turkish Gourds?

Order cover crop seeds.  I should be planting them today but alas I still have 6 beds yet to uproot plants and work the soil.  I kept waiting for the artichokes to make artichokes but I guess it's not going to happen.  I started them from seed and they have huge lovely gray foilage but nothing edible that I can see yet.

Plant Strawberries!!  I had one of my favorite local nursery's, Moffett Nursery, order me some strawberries I can plant this fall.  One even has a berry already on it!  Unfortunately my lovely hens dug up all of my strawberry plants so this time they will be tucked into a bed in The Big Garden which will hopefully have a fence around it next spring.  I also picked up a few checkered tulip bulbs from Moffetts which I will plant today.  Can't wait to see those in the spring!

Straw.  I am expecting lambs any day and have had their area all comfy and warm for awhile now.  This time I am working on the goats' pen.  I am down to 2 square bales of straw and will try to fashion a cozy spot for the girls with straw from a big round bale.  The girls will be bred in the next few weeks so I want them to be extra comfy this winter.  I know when I was pregnant I liked to lay around and nap so why wouldn't they?  Can't wait to see those babies next April with their floppy ears!  And oh the things I want to make with all that milk!

I do have lots of indoor chores like dusting and sweeping but that I'm saving for tomorrow when I'll have two more helpers at home to help mama.  :  ) 

Happy Fall!!!!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Elegant Elements

I have not posted in awhile because I have been extremely busy.  Very, Very busy.  Did I mention extremely busy?  Not the busy that most people are used to I'm sure but for me very busy.  All with wonderful good things like volunteering at school and watching my boys play hockey and helping someone in need and going on dates with my husband to Lowes.  All very good things but I am just not used to getting my kids in bed after 8:30 and falling asleep while I read them stories.  We each have seasons in our lives of busyness.  I used to have to nurse the baby while I read to the preschooler and chased the toddler.  All at once.  My mom would say "Enjoy it.  It will go by fast."  And looking back it did.  Now that I'm down to one kiddo at home I thought things would slow down but we are just as busy, just with different things.  But I love it and I love experiencing life with them.  As long as I get a few afternoons in the garden once in awhile. 

I've always tried to make time to do things for me that I love admist the busyness.  Most of the time I love where I am but I dream about and am inspired by a certain lifestyle that I don't necessarily get to live out.  Like the poet who writes from her bedroom window overlooking Paris.  Or the artist who overlooks the River Seine as she paints the tourists.  Sensing a pattern here?  I take elements of what I imagine these carefree women with their lavish lifestyles enjoy, that appeal to me.  For instance, I love local coffee shops but I would rather make my own cappucino or spiced chai tea latte.  I love to buy fancy drink ingredients and make them to suit my taste and my budget.  My sister got me hooked on making my own chocolate croissants after having one for brunch on the Plaza by simply placing one piece (or more!) of your favorite really good chocolate inside a Pillsbury triangle croissant dough.  I can make a dozen for the price of one and enjoy it without leaving my kitchen.

I have always loved decorating, especially at the change of a season.  At times I feel frustrated in a house full of men; thinking "What's the point?"  Recently I met with a good friend whose beautifully decorated home inspired me to remember that I do it because it makes me happy.  A quick google search of fall decorating or flipping through a favorite magazine can get my juices flowing to create even small vingettes that make me smile.

Who doesn't love fresh flowers?  A few years ago when I was daydreaming, as a lot of stay at home moms do, I created my "dream budget."  It was to include an amount for weekly bouquets.  I don't treat myself to my favorite florist as often as I'd like but in the summer I pick bouquets from my garden that cost pennies from the seed aisle.  Even a branch from the out of doors can look artfully arranged on your fireplace mantle.

In case you haven't noticed I love all things french so a few years back I searched for french musicians.  I fell in love with a few artists whose songs I may not be able to understand but they can instantly put me in the mood that I'm not surrounded by screaming children, loads of laundry and dozens of action figures. 

The woman sets the mood in the home for sure.  It's sometimes a frustrating responsibility.  It took me a long time to realize I have to make myself happy and can't wait for someone to do something for me that will make me happy.  For me, surrounding myself with beautiful things and delicacies to eat, good music and lots of fresh air make me happy.  If I take the time to pray and do something for myself before the kiddos wake up (coffee alone; bliss) it's a definete step in the right direction.  Even throughout the day if I am doing chores while listening to my favorite show, that's 30 minutes of me time that helps make me a better wife and mother.

What do you do to keep your sanity and include elegant elements in your every day?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Farm to Fancy

Yesterday's post was more of a passionate farm blog; today's is how to take some of that earthy farmgirl stuff and incoraporate into your life in a fresh & fancy way.  The topic is one of my favorite things:  BATHS

Someday....(my poor husband will be working on my Honey Do list until he retires!) I NEED one of these charming outdoor baths like I first saw in a Mary Jane Farms magazine (which I'm totally addicted to.  She even has a GirlScout kinda badge thing going on....super fun!)

But until that happens I love to soak INSIDE!  There are so many fabulous products out there that someday I will post about (I have friends who are soap experts) but today I want to focus on what I have here on the farm.  MILK & HERBS. 

If you don't grow your own herbs you can get some from your local Farmers' Market or even your hometown HyVee and tie them in a bundle in your shower or bath.  Try chamomile at night or lemon balm in the morning.  How romantic is a fresh bath bouquet?

I love this article on using GOAT'S MILK in the most luxurious bath yet.  Check out to find some near you.  As you can read in this article goat's milk can protect your skin from harmful rays and the aging process!  Inside or out this is why I own my sweet girls.

By adding all natural goat's milk to your bath your body will soak up all the goodness in it (definetely read the article above for all the benefits) and enjoy. 

A bath isn't complete without candles and music and a glass of tea or wine.  I have a chandelier in mine.  Even if you just treat yourself to this leisurlely evening once a week or even once a month your body and mind will thank you.  You deserve it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


It feels like Spring here on the farm.  Cooler temps and new life everywhere.  We should have new lambs in the next few weeks and we just hatched two baby turkeys in the incubator. 

After reading about the Slow Food Movement and Heritage Breeds I knew I wanted to have these special animals on our farm.  Here are a few links for further reading, but basically these are hardy animals that are nearing extinction.
Why?  Because over time certain breeds that produced the most were chosen by farmers and now the others are suffering.  For example, when you imagine a pig or a cow you probably imagine the common pink pig or black & white Holstein cow.  What about chickens?  White chickens & white eggs come to mind?  Yes, these are the common breeds represented in the United States but these animals are also usually in large farms where they can't graze freely or have as humane living quarters.  Did you know the 'Butterball Turkey' has to have it's eggs fertilized by humans (in a round about way) because they are too broad breasted & fat to perform the duty as nature intended.

                                                    babies basking in the heat lamp

One of the animals I wanted to hear out my kitchen window was the Gobble! Gobble! of a turkey and we had our heart set on the Bourbon Red Turkey.  We were thrilled to find a listing on our local Craigslist for a hen & tom!  We snatched them up and chose to incubate the eggs for definete results.  Just this week the two babies were born.  The boys named them Love & BlueBerry.  I secretly call them Easter & Dinner.  I know that sounds awful but I want to know where my food comes from and know that it enjoyed a good life and ate good food. 

There are so many beautiful Heritage Breeds that are a joy to keep with docile personalities, hardy to your climate & charming coloring.  I have several still on my Must Have list.  Right now I'm begging my hubby to get me a Hereford Hog. 

Friday, September 9, 2011


I love ART!  From poetry to sculpture.  From painting to knitting.  From gardening to home decorating.  From cooking to soap making.  From feathering your hair to designing clothing.  From playing an instrument to designing a website.  From jewelry to scrapbooking; in my eyes there is ART everywhere.  Even in a hay field!  (Don't tell my dad I think his hayfield is a work of ART!)  Have you ever noticed the patchwork lay of the open land?  I just love to get creative in fresh new ways and right now the world is full of classes everywhere you turn to try out new ARTs & lost ARTs.  There are oodles of new ARTs I want to learn!  I have been on a journey the past few years of taking some of these classes.  I've learned so many wonderful things and met the most amazing people!  And this Sunday our local ART museum is hosting a Free Family ART day which I plan on participating in.

One of my favorite ARTsy hotspots to visit is the lovely little town called Leavenworth, KS. It has an amazing jewelry shop where you are the ARTist and can design your own bling.  While there you can eat at the amazing Peacock Cafe who monthly hosts all kinds of ARTistic classes.  One fabulous ARTist I was honored to take a class from is Cathy Kline whose paintings simply take my breath away with their beauty.

Cow Painting by Moi
Remake of old Table Top

I plan on taking a knitting class this fall and hopefully a cheese making class.  I want to learn the lost ART of broom making and basket weaving (too much time at Silver Dollar City this summer?) What new ARTs do you want to learn and what ART do you enjoy?  I'm always up for learning something new.  I'd love to know what inspires you! 

Great Statuary Head with Funky Beaded Necklace and Someday Covered in a Clematis Gown; Pure White of course!

Daddy's Hay Field

The Lone Butternut ARTfully arranged by one of my son's.  For his sake I won't name which one. 

Another piece by one of my little ARTists

Love, Love, Love this beautiful couple and the song they wrote and the video they made.  Enjoy my Friends!!!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Funny Farm Girl

There is a reason the name of my blog means Funny Farm Girl.  As you follow my blog I hope you'll find inspiration and a sense of motivation that if I can do it you can do it 100 times better!  Seriously, I am by no means an expert at this gardening/farm girl thing but I am learning!!!  Thank you for helping me learn....I'd love for you to post  your ideas on how I might be able to do something easier or better.  I can't just read a book and know how to do something, I'm a YouTube girl.....I've got to see it and try it OVER and OVER before I can do it.  So each year hopefully I will have lived and learned and get the hang of things. 

A few examples.....Shopping:  Where do you buy farm related supplies and feed for your animals?  I try to go to Orschlens because it is close to my house and the people that work there are very helpful and will even help me out to the car.  But they do not carry some of the brands of feed I need.  So my search went on all over our closest big town and I have to sometimes go to the more expensive and less friendly Tractor Supply.  I'm sure it's a hoot to see me pursuing the aisles of this place (although they do carry cute boots, some blingin belts and even pink feed buckets.....the world is getting the hint girlz!) but the real amusing part is when I hit the parking lot.  It all begins with my cart full of 3-4 50 lb bags of feed and little 'ole me and at least one child in tow.  As you leave the store the only way out is down a ramp.  Yep, a ramp.....that goes straight into a parking lot full of usually very nice diesel trucks....situated on one of the steepest hills on our main drag in Joe've got it; a declining parking lot.  Now, I am getting better and figuring this all out and by now I have learned to park at the bottom of the hill/lot because that is where I'm gonna end up.  Imagine me now, trying to look like the graceful gal I never have been, trying to keep a cart (on wheels ya know) with at least 150 lbs in it from rolling down a hill.  Not pretty!  Luckily I've never hit a car but I usually leave about in a fit of tears.  I heard rumor that a sweet little spot closer to home carries the same feed and will load it for me...Oh happy day! I do hope it's true! 

On to Gardening:  Last year I read a fabulous book that has inspired me in so many areas.  "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver is a book I reference over and over and it's a fun read all about her adventures on the farm.  I highly recommend it.  She eats off her farm or from her neighbors in her county for a full year.  Wow!!!  So we worked all spring to build the Big Garden as we call it.  This garden has 28 raised beds in it.  I'd add more if I could.  I was under the misconception that I plant every seed or bulb in every packet.  For example; in the onions sets I bought (3 different varieties; 1 in each bed) I planted the full bag.  I have onions out the wahhzoo!  (is that even a word?).  However I planted the full seed packet of green beans into one bed and was able to can 6 pints and 1 quart.  I had hoped for enough green beans for the winter not the week!!!!!  Live & learn.  Live & learn. 

Monique one of our Heritage Dominique Hens

 Bamboo Tomato Cages in a Raised Bed
The Reason Why

So as you can see I am a far cry from an expert on farming and I am daily learning how difficult it is to garden organically (I have nightmares about squashbugs) and how expensive it is (any idea how much a good sheep fence is or parts for the waterer or feed or tomato cages....oh my).  But I do enjoy it!  Daresay I LOVE it!  I'm so thankful my husband puts up with all my whims and fancies and actually enjoys this hobby farm as much as I do.  At the end of the day I'd rather be weeding the garden and stomping the squashbugs (another great mental image) or greeting the hens that run (or waddle or whatever it is that they do) towards me and follow me around the yard because they know I'll bring them a treat.  And to see my boys climbing trees and helping Daddy build nesting boxes or searching for potatoes in the dirt....this is why I do it.  Because it's in me.  Somewhere deep down the girl I spent my junior and high school years trying to cover up with make up and name brand clothes and friends and phone calls....somewhere she's down there, emerging daily as I finally embrace who I am and what I love....a Funny Farm Girl.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Long Weekends

 Baby Bell Peppers
 Cat Naps
 Play Time
 Junkin' Finds
 Mating Monarchs
 Miss T
What a great weekend................We sure got a lot the Outdoors:  laundry on the line, mowed, stacked haybales, picked green beans, climbed trees, 4 wheeler rides, flea market.........Inside:  sorted winter clothes and ordered new ones (love love shopping online!), laundry after making laundry soap, attempted to make sugar with beets (another blog for another day) and lots of coffee & crocheting.  Hope your weekend was just as fabulous!  Now to recuperate!