Friday, July 19, 2013

7 QT - Farm Update Edition

Thought I'd bore you with some farm and garden photos today. 

(If that isn't a sentence that grabs you and makes you want to read further, I give up.)

************** 1 ************

I realized when the 5th person asked me how the pigs were doing (click here if you have no idea what was wrong in the first place.  It involves me giving three pigs shots in their necks. (Now THAT is a "gotta read further" sentence!)) that I never really told you how it all ended up.

The pigs are perfectly healthy.  Getting bigger by the minute, eating me out of house and home, and practically knocking me down and eating me every time I go in there. 

Some photos:

Come closer, little boy! 
Turken wanted to take some photos, so I gave the camera to him while I fed them.

You can't tell, but I'm trying to run to their food bowls before they can get to me and knock me into the massive mud puddle (which we have not because it rained, but because COW turned the hose on to fill their waterer and forgot about it.)  I made it to the bowls, but not without being splashed.

When I returned to Turken, he had a grin on his face and said, "I took pictures of their bottoms."

There were 26 photos just like this one.

(Hope you weren't eating when that one was thrown at ya.) 

************** 2 ***************

Two days before vacation, I saw the green beans were ready to be harvested.  The kids and I went a-pickin, and brought in tons.  The next morning, we picked a ton more.  I got to canning right away, knowing they wouldn't last until we got back.  We had enough for 7 quarts and dinner that night.  Right before we left town, we picked some more and took them with us to eat all week.  I also left a note for the folks who watch the place while we're gone, telling them to pick green beans and take as many as they wanted.

When I got home, I was so sad.  There are still lots and lots of beans, but more than half of them are days past when they should have been picked.  Certainly no good for canning.  I will probably be able to get another 3 or 4 quarts out of what's left.

I hate for all the work of planting and caring to go to waste like that. 

My only consolation is the beans didn't do so well this year, thanks to some naughty rabbits eating the plants.  We would have wasted a whole lot more if the plants were thriving. 

Also, I will cook up those that are too big and save them in a frozen chicken treat for when the chicks get older. 

Same goes for the cucumbers.  We canned some, we took some with us, we wasted some.  Although, unlike beans, the cucumber plants still have plenty of blooms on them, seeing as how each plant makes approximately 50,000 cucumbers.  We shall have plenty of pickles.

One of the many unusable cukes.

******************* 3 ****************

Other plants were nice enough to wait until we got back home to mature.

Our first attempt at onions has gone very well.  What I'm going to do with them all, I have no idea.

Very happy with the pepper plants this year.

We didn't plant a single sunflower.  These all just popped up from last year's seeds which landed in the garden.

While the tomatoes are just beginning to ripen, the plants themselves are a mess.  They looked great before we left, but upon return we found them falling over and being taken over by the cucumber plants.  There are plenty of tomatoes, if we can get to them.

Imagine my surprise when I found this in the middle of one of my tomato plants.  Can't say I've ever seen that before!

a blanket of watermelon plants.  They tripled in size while we were away, taking over one row of beans.

Fortunately, there are lots and lots of watermelons hiding in there.

************ 4 *************

In orchard news...

We came home to a mess of problems.

Most of the apples on most of the trees look like this.

We planted a couple nectarine trees a couple of years ago.  This is the first year we have some fruit, but they are splitting and looking not so good.

The pears are doing well, as usual.  They never seem to be affected by bugs or any other malady.  This is from one of our newer trees.  Too bad I don't like pears.

************ 5 **************

On to the root veggies...

The carrots are growing strong, despite the weeds that grew over vacation.  COW picked one the other day, and they aren't quite ready yet.  The one he picked, though, was nice and orange and straight, so we're hopeful.

We had a bumper crop of potatoes last year, so we're hoping for similar results.  The tops are starting to brown, so we'll know soon.
As I was out picking beans yesterday, in a row between the melons and the falling over tomatoes, I saw some leaves that didn't belong.  I then remembered that COW had planted some sweet potatoes this year.  We have about four plants (I can't tell exactly how many with all the overgrowth crowding them) that are doing smashingly well.  Can't wait to see how those potatoes look!

***************** 6 **************

The moment you've all been waiting for and didn't even know it...

chick photos!

Chickens grow quickly, and ours are in their awkward teen phase.

And as in high school, there are those annoying girls who are immune from the "awkward" of the teen phase.  The "Easter egg" chicks are the popular cheerleaders in this coop school. 

Notice the legs?  They're green!  And they're supposed to be! 
We have one chick that I'm still worried about.  (The one with the crooked neck straightened out nicely.) 

Is that the most pathetic thing you've ever seen?  She still eats and drinks, but she's not nearly as active as the others.  Plus, she looks like Ros from Monster's, Inc.  Not a good look for a chicken. 

The 31 chicks outgrew their little area, so we have now opened the entire room for them to run around. 

These buggers are so fast, and with the generous amount of room, the kids can't catch them anymore. It's fun to just sit and watch their antics, though.  It was especially fun to watch one who had caught a bug try to eat it without the others snatching it first.  The kids were in a fit of giggles every time she had to quickly pick the bug back up and take off around the coop with 5 chicks chasing her.  It took her about five minutes, but she finally got that bug down.  (It was a really big bug!)

Update:  After writing this, I went down to feed the chicks.  The sick one has gone to chick paradise, and no, I don't mean the backyard of Backyard Chicken Lady.

**************** 7 ***************

For those of you not on Facebook, we have new animals on the farm, who (smartly) do not depend on us for their well-being.  They live in our driveway's tree line and simply saunter from one side of the drive to the other.

Mama Turkey and her five little poults.  (One is still in the grass.)

Much to my brother's chagrin, and despite Lizzi's wonderful idea to catch her:

"Such a rookie hun - soak raisins in brandy and leave them in little paper cones with glue round the rims...bird tries to eat raisins, gets head stuck, gets drunk, wanders around blindly and you go and collect. Old poacher's trick AND you've made a start on the stuffing

this mama will not be on our table come Thanksgiving, and her babies will not be in our coop in order to feed us next year.  If she can survive (and help her babies survive) the coyotes and dogs which live all around us, she deserves to live.

Now, go see Jen and all her Quick Take friends.

Have a lovely day!

Don't forget to come back for our Ten Things of Thankful this weekend!


  1. I love your pig pics...especially the last one:) that totally cracked me up!!!! Thankfully, I had just eaten my (very late) supper before I saw it..I love beans..I could eat raw beans for, well, ever! What kind of chickens do you have? Do they chase you around? I got chased by a rooster when I was bout 3, and therefore started my fear of chickens. Are your kids' names really what they are on the side of your banner?

    1. His photos cracked me up, too.
      Glad you had already eaten, but, wow, that was a late meal.
      I can't say I've ever eaten the beans raw. I know people who do, but I've never tried them. My favorite it to just blanch them for a few minutes.
      We just order the "rainbow layers" and the company sends us a variety.
      The hens do not chase us. We almost always get a rooster in the mix, though, and they have been known to attack the kids, one of them actually went right through our daughter's jeans. If a rooster starts acting up, he goes straight into some rooster and noodles.

      No, those are not my kids' names. I used to call them the 14yo, 13yo, etc, and got tired of it. One day I handed them the chicken catalogue and told them to pick their blog names.

    2. Thanks for are so sweet! Your kids are adorable, btw:) I am from a large family as well, so I love large families!! Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving your comments!!

  2. Look. At. Your. Abundance!

    I am utterly bowled sideways by what you've made of that garden! It's incredible. Much respect, because in spite of apple, cucumber, bean and nectarine problems - just LOOK at how much food you've grown.


    Pity about Ros-chick. She was awesome and I can just imagine her response to people upon meeting her - "Your stunned silence is very reassuring!"

    Given that there are six birds there, and a whole bunch of coyotes, do you not think that in the end, the birds would probably *prefer* to be finished off cleanly while sozzled on alco-fruit rather than chased into a flurry of panic and ripped limb from limb? I'm sure you convince yourself you'd be doing them a favour. And not to mention that *surely* filling your bellies and making you stronger is a better idea than strengthening the coyotes so they can have a go at your remaining chickens with all their newfound turkey-fuelled energy? 'Higher purpose' and all that...*

    LOVE TURKEN'S PHOTOS! What an amazingly funny young man you have there. That is the biggest laugh I've had in a while - absolutely crystal clear, that pic as well. He's clearly got some talent.

    *No I do NOT just want to know if the brandy raisins thing works! How very dare you suggest such a thing! :p

    1. I think your turkey trap idea is nothing short of brilliant, Lizzi, as is your theory of trapping them for their own good. As we speak, Wile E. Coyote is ordering his arsenal from Acme and will be having his own turkey dinner(s) soon.

    2. We have come a long, long way in our gardening skills. I am very happy with the amount of food we are getting from it.

      Poor Ros.

      While your persuasive tactics do have some merit (and hilarity) I am standing firm in my decision to leave her alone. However, if she does get "ripped limb from limb" I will consider taking in her little ones.

      He is quite funny. I about bust a gut when we went through the photos he took.

      Sorry, I should know better than to have such thoughts about you. :)

    3. Dyanne - sadly I can claim no credit - I read about it in a story when I was a kid and have never been allowed the opportunity to find out if it really works. Still, what's good enough for Wile E. Coyote you might THINK would be good enough for Mz Hobby Farmer there, but what can I say, she has a heart so big there's a corner for 'things which could be dinner'

      Mz Hobby Farmer - Your garden rocks and I am mucho impressed. Long may it prosper.

      Still kinda sad about Ros, cos it would've been awesome if she'd grown up into a crook-necked chook. Coulda seen if she then had crook-necked babies.

      And yeah, the trap could work as a 'rescue' as well.

      Can we expect any more pics from the lad anytime soon?

    4. He was quite pleased to see his photos on the blog. I'm sure he will be asking for the camera again.

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks, the shadows were definitely working in my favor. :)

  4. LOVE the pictures by Turken...laughed out loud. Fortunately NOT with coffee in my mouth. He's awesome!

    And on to the subject of pears (smooth as silk transition, right?): You know who likes pears? In case you are having trouble recalling, it is the very person whose son left his hat at your house on Tuesday...ringing any bells? :) Yes, shameless pandering for free produce. I know you'll eat everything else so I won't ask...unless you have an know I'll take anything. :)

    1. He is quite awesome. :)

      You are the master of transition...

      Ugh, the hat. Haven't left the house in two days, and it has been glorious.

      I shall pass along any and all leftovers. :)

  5. I love the tour of your farm!! Beautiful!! Love the pig photos, I have an 8 year old and I know that he would have given me the same shots!! So cute! I love finding your blog, I enjoyed your guest post over at Momopolize today and am now your newest fan!! I look forward to learning more about you, your family and your beautiful farm!!

    1. Aren't you sweet?!?

      Our boys would get along swimmingly, then. :)

      I am so touched that Angela chose to use one of my posts while she is away, and so glad it will help me to meet new people. I'll be heading over to "meet" your family soon.

  6. 1. Turken may have just risen to be my favorite today because of his awesome pig butt pics. And you DO have marvelous legs. 2. Fresh green beans and new potatoes - mmmmmm! 3. If I were a snake, I think I'd choose the watermelon patch to lie in and WAIT. 4. I like pears.... 5. The EPA told us not to grow any root vegetables in our yard, thanks to the lead content. Nice, huh? 6. How quickly they go from cute to ugly duckl--uh, ugly. Poor Ros (RIP). 7. I TOLD you they were turkeys. And how does Lizzi know old poacher's tricks, anyway?

    1. 1. He has been on my good list these days, too, and not just for butt pics. 2. yum is right! 3. You suck. 4. Feel free to come get them. :) 5. Well, that's a lovely thought. Hope your kids are past the eating dirt phase. (yes, I know your kids are teens, but you never know...) 6. Poor Ros. 7. You are a smart one! Lizzi says she read a book once that described it. I have my doubts.

    2. You casting aspersions there?

    3. Absolutely not! I'm just wondering if there's some great uncle with a shady past who liked to tell stories of his glory days. :)

  7. That's quite a garden. I would love to have chickens and pigs and cows. I would love to have a small farm, or "farmette" as they say. My husband? Not so much. He grew up on a farm. Said it's too much work! He's retired! He left the farm went to college and never returned!

    1. My grandma said the same thing about canning. She was practically disgusted when I told her I had canned my first green beans.
      I'm curious to see what my kids do when they grow. Wonder if any of them will embrace the farm life (and do it better than us).

  8. With 26 pig butt photos, you could make a 2-year calendar (including front and back cover!) I'm not sure why you would want to, but you could. :-)

    1. Hahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!! Where does a thought like that even come from??? I will be laughing about this all day long.

  9. Your veggies look awesome! I hope our garden looks more like yours next year, even if you did miss picking some. We had a terrible time... our onions looked pathetic! Also I am glad your crook neck chick healed up well, and sad you had to lose one, but it does happen. Haha pug butts. He is definitely 100% little boy LOL!!

    1. Oops I mean pig, not pug. LOL kinda looks the same when you think about it though haha!

    2. Thank you! I have no doubt your garden will be much better next year. If we can do it, you most certainly can!
      Ha! Yes they do, and yes he is. :)

  10. This post reminds me of my childhood. We lived on a farm and raised the majority of our food. All this made me smile.

    Sorry about those beans though. I'd have taken a bunch of them as nothing is better than fresh beans.

    Have a terrific day. :)

    1. I'm glad it brought back some good memories for you.

      I would have loved for you to have them.


  11. I have garden envy. I can't even have a garden until we invest a lot of money protecting it from deer. Greedy little things. You have all the ingredients for salsa in there! And cukes, oh how I love them.
    We have to find a way to keep chickens safe from coyotes before I can get any of them, too.
    We have lots of wild turkeys. I wonder what the ratio is of their babies surviving.

    1. Fortunately, we don't have deer. I hear they are a big, big problem for lots of people, though.
      We have not been very successful with the coyote problem. We're going to add some fencing and not let the chickens free-range anymore, so hopefully it will be better.

      I can't believe we have even one turkey. The nearest woods are on the other side of 200 acres of corn.

  12. Love the pig pics, you've got a talented photographer in the making there, lol. Poor little Ros-chick, that's so sad :(

  13. I LOVE this post - you should post more often about your farm/garden! The chicken pics were my fave. Our coop is still under construction, but I'm hoping to have a few lovely nesting hens in there next spring!

    1. Thank you! Spring would be a great time for nesting hens. They are so much fun to watch.

  14. what a wonderful post! right on down to the pig bum! thanks for stopping by my site. it's nice to see another chicken lover. it always breaks my heart to lose one too.

  15. You had me at "photos" :-)

    I'm glad the pigs survived (and you survived) their neck stabbings. It's kind of hard to know if it really happened with the lack of pictures and all.

    Does one plant seriously yield 50k cucumbers? Don't mess with me... I'm a city boy (actually I'm not really but yeah). That would be a little too nuts if true. But a sound investment for making pickles, or cinnamon pickles.

    I loooooooooooooove watermelon and most all fruits. Growing them would be pretty awesome. Sorry about the apples, what exactly caused that?

    We all go through those awkward teenage years... except it seems some of us (if chickens) don't survive. The only Chick Paradise I want to end up is Cancun during Spring Break!

    Thanks for sharing the photos. I really do think the pigs would eat him if given the chance...

    Jak at The Cryton Chronicles & Dreams in the Shade of Ink

    1. :)

      There were drawings! That counts as proof in our world.

      Not exactly 50K, but it seems like it. No matter how much you like cucumbers, there are too many.

      Watermelon isn't my favorite, but I'll eat it. We just picked one last night for dinner, but it was way too early. I thought he had planted a certain kind, but after cutting it, found out he had planted a different. One watermelon wasted. Fortunately, there are still about 20 still growing.

      Cancun at Spring Break? What are you, 18? At my age, I go for better beaches without the crowds, thank you very much.

      I'm glad you liked the photos. Pigs have been known to eat lots of things, including people.

    2. I really like cucumbers, but that is just way too many lol If I knew how to pickle (which I suppose isn't hard) It wouldn't be so bad. I love pickles, but they are generally too unhealthy in terms of salt/sodium? Maybe there are ways of pickling to avoid that?

      I loooooooooooooooove watermelon! What kind did you think he planted? I never knew of different variety really (except seedless, which I'd imagine is genetically altered).

      As for Cancun.... forever young, darling, forever young. HA!

  16. I think the pig butts are cute. I'm laughing imagining all the photos! Too bad about those apples. But, I'd LOVE a pear tree! Again, I'm so jealous of your green thumb! Beautiful watermelons, peppers, tomatoes.


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