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Monday, April 30, 2012

You have to see to believe

Sometimes you have to see things for yourself to believe they are true. It is hard to imagine how many strawberries I have on my plants right now that are almost ripe enough to pick. Well its hard for me to believe but some of you may have seen plants with this many. I picked a gallon of ripe ones last evening and will pick again tomorrow evening.

See all those berries. I am a happy camper to say the least. I already have over 2 gallon of berries in the freezer and I am sure there will be more very soon. I do plan to dry some, make some strawberry jam and some syrup for pancakes. I am thinking the syrup would be pretty dang good over ice cream too. Maybe I will get my fill of berries this year. Oh yeah I do have some stray onions growing in the bed too. This is actually  where I had some walking onions planted near by last season and they did walk a bit.
We had a dentist appointment today  out of town and made our usual trip to Sam's club for a few things. I am out of chicken so we had to buy  some till I have some birds ready for butcher. I got a case of sticker shock as usual too. We did buy some burger too as we don't have out beef yet.
Not much else happening on the farm today, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Saturday, April 28, 2012

Almost time to plant

It is about time to plant the rest of our garden stuff now. We should be beyond frost after the first of May. Then the tomatoes, peppers and other frost sensitive stuff gets planted. We have peas that look great, onions are starting to make bulbs already, lettuce is coming up, carrots are peeking thru the ground, cabbage are getting settled in to grow. So far so good. The forecast is for rain for  another week here. I suppose this is what the old folks called "blackberry winter". It usually is rainy and cool when the blackberries lose their bloom. It has rained too much to allow us to get the mowing done in the orchard and it looks like a hay field. The trees are just peeking above the tall grass. Hope Rodger can mow tomorrow if we don't get more rain tonight. I would love to get the weeds cleared from the strawberries I moved in the field near the raspberries last year. The plants are huge and beautiful. We have picked nearly a gallon of berries just picking over them and getting the ripest biggest ones off. And boy do they have a good pronounced sweet strawberry flavor. IF we don't get rain maybe I can work on those tomorrow. I have a bed of berries here at the house that will need picked again tomorrow and those plants are loaded with berries. I am thinking this is the first year we will be able to say we have enough berries to fill our needs. And appetite for strawberry shortcake. The raspberries are near the plants in the field so I will try to weed them out as well. That I think will require a heavy pair of thorn proof gloves. But the raspberries are so worth it. This year, Lord willing, I would like to can some raspberry and strawberry syrups to use this later. Got to freeze a lot of them too for desserts. Raspberries or strawberries and chocolate are a match made in heaven. I guess that means too that I need to make sure I got a good stock of sugar for canning season.
I did get some parsley cut for drying yesterday and it is drying nicely. I use lots of parsley in cooking. It don't have a lot of flavor alone but sure adds a lot of flavor to foods. Next on the cut and dry list is gonna be sage and chamomile. I am happy my sage plants have came out and really are growing well this year. I have a bunch of lil ones started in the greenhouse to transplant to the herb bed a lil later.
I should be thinking on how to house chickens in a few weeks. I have my layers living in the brooder house for the winter and they still live there. I will be getting my first shipment of Cornish cross in mid May and they need living quarters. A friend and co-worker of the fellows has offered us some baby guineas. I know they make lots of noise but they are good to alert you to things creeping in the yard that Luna might miss. Luna is kinda off patrol duty for a while. I was really upset last week when she went missing for one whole day as that is just not like her. So after supper one evening Rodger and I were gonna go in different directions to look for her. I was afraid she had gotten off the farm a lil and someone had shot her. If that had happened nothing or nobody would have been safe passing thru here. I was sure livid at that thought. So Rodger took a flashlight and went to look under all the outbuilding and under the old house across the road. He came back in about 5 minutes to get me. I was sick thinking she was hurt. She was under the old house and had 2 lil puppies. OMG I was so relieved to see her. I had looked there early in the day and didn't see her. She went under there for shelter and to keep her babies safe. They are so dang cute. I am so hoping they look like her. We have no idea what the daddy is so they will not be full stock Pyrenees puppies. But they are her babies and I am gonna have a hard time seeing them get adopted. I don't even want to think about that yet. She does come to the house to eat and get water, then she is off to take care of her babies.
As for you all that knew I had surgery on my left shoulder and elbow in February. It is doing better. Actually the elbow is mostly good, the shoulder is still painful and stays sore and stiff. The doc tole me it will probably be like that due to the bursitis in the shoulder joint. Not what I wanted to hear, but I have to live with it I guess. Beats the alternative.
As of right now we will b planting trees tomorrow in the orchard. The friend and co-worker that offered the guineas brought us some apple trees(Wolf River) and some cherry trees this evening. Guess I need some compost to get them going good. I do need to trim the grass at the base of the other trees in the orchard so they can get light and air circulation. Might help keep down disease later.
Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.


Friday, April 20, 2012

Back from vacation and now we are getting caught up

Gosh hard to believe I have not posted since March 27th. As of last post the stuff was growing well in the greenhouse. I had 3 hens hatch out 8 baby chicks as we were leaving for Nevada on April 6th. Jason had the fun task of taking care of the chickens, cats, Luna and the greenhouse while we were gone. He obviously did a good job as everything is still alive and growing. The baby chicks are so cute. I let the big chickens out of the building today and the momma hens brought the lil ones out to scratch and explore. They walk funny cause their lil crop is so full it throws em off balance.
We got to Nevada to see Rob and Amoy on Friday night the 6th. They picked us up at the airport in Elko. We got to spend the week of Robs birthday with him and Amoy too. My lil boy turned 26 already. On Sunday we went to visit Robs job site and see the gold mine and the huge pits and the underground mines as well. We didn't go down into the underground mines tho. When I have that much dirt over me ya can say I am a goner.

Rodger got to see the drill rig up close that Rob had sent him a picture of earlier this year. That thing is huge.

This is a picture of the open pit mine where Rob works.

We also got to go see the remains of the old town of Cortez which the mine is named for.

 This is a picture of Rob and Amoy in front of their new house in Nevada. We got to help them put in some landscaping while we were there. I think it made the house look so nice.

Rodger and I standing on a balcony over looking the Hoover Dam on the Nevada/Arizona border.

Snow capped mountains in the distance on our drive to Las Vegas early last week. A long drive and a whole lot of nothing along the way. We had a good time tho, lots of good food, drinks and fun.

Before we went on vacation my friends Gretchen and Carl sent me this lil garden hopper. Dang this thing sure saves the back when planting. I am sure it will be great when we get started picking beans and garden stuff. I cant do a lot of standing and bending over to plant and this thing sure helps. And it has a place to hold my coke can. This is the new strawberry bed where I tore out flowers last fall and covered the ground all fall, winter and most of this spring with black plastic to kill weeds. Worked out great. We put down a weed barrier and then made holes to plant the plants. Tomorrow we will get the mulch put down and the hoops over the top with deer netting to keep the critters out. I got about 75 plants moved into this bed. And many more to go elsewhere.

As soon as we got back home Rodger mowed the yard and plowed the peas and onions out in the big garden. The peas and onions look great. The peas are vining and climbing the fence he put up before we left. Last evening we planted 2 rows of potatoes, 2 rows of carrots and some lettuce. After supper today we planted the cabbage that I had ready in the greenhouse. So we do have a good start on the garden. I hope I can move more strawberries tomorrow if it don't rain. There is rain and cooler weather in the forecast for several days. I have herbs that are ready to be cut and dried too and I must get started on that.

Before we left I did get my baby chicks ordered for meat birds. They wont be here till mid May tho which is OK. Sure don't think Jason would have appreciated them arriving while we were gone and him having to babysit them,  Not much else happening here, so till next time, blessings from the McGuire homestead.