September 27, 2011


The other day the kids and I took burgers and shakes out to the field.  Of course the kids had to go for a ride.  


September 26, 2011

The Chickens

I spent the morning cleaning out the chicken coop.  Certainly not the best job around but it needed to be done. The chickens had worked their other bedding into fine particles so it was starting to get dusty in there.  But it really wasn’t that bad to do.  Just put on a face mask and hoody jacket.  The girls really did like it all cleaned up!!



IMG_7961 IMG_8036IMG_8047

September 23, 2011


We have been looking for berries, plums or apples of any sort.  Most of these trees in the area did not produce this year.  We have been watching this tree to see how the apples turn out.  We checked it yesterday and found it full of these beautiful little crab-apples.  We picked one full tub of crab-apples today and there are SO many left on the tree.  I see a lot of work ahead of us…..



September 22, 2011

September 20, 2011

Wonders of Combining

I often wonder how they manage to not run into each other when they get into tight corners like this.  

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I know that the combines are loaded up with GPS and cool stuff like that but I wonder how they can see where they are going when it is so dusty out and the evening sun has been strangely bright.HARVEST 2011 179IMG_7155IMG_7203

Just some things I wonder about.  Coming soon….a photo tour of a combine!!

September 15, 2011

Freezing tomatoes

It took me less than an hour to get two ice cream pails of tomatoes into the freezer. 

I washed, cored and slit an X on the bottom.


They went into the boiling water for 30-60 seconds just until the skin started to curl like this.


I put them into ice water and was able to slip the skins right off. 


Then I chopped them up and put 2 cups into a ziploc freezer bag.  It’s a good thing I did not have a salsa mix on hand because this pan would not have made it to the freezer.  Freshly chopped garden tomatoes is a delicious smell.  Yum Yum!!IMG_7273 IMG_7277

Super easy way to take care of some extra tomatoes.  These are great for adding to any hotdish, stew, or chili.

September 13, 2011


The weather forecast is calling for a very chilly night……freezing temps or very close to it.  It is 9pm and I really need to find some blankets, tarps and a flashlight.  There is a lot of stuff left in my garden and I don’t want to lose it to the frost.


It would be really great if the frost would hold off for just two more weeks.  I don’t have a big enough blanket to cover up all these guys!!!  They just need a little bit more time.IMG_7088

So I am off to take care of my garden.  Stay away frost!!

September 12, 2011

Green Peppers

This year I planted way too many pepper plants.  This is the third batch of peppers that I have cut up and froze.  There are just way too many of them.  I don’t know what else to do with them right now.  We are going to be eating a lot of chili this winter!! 

I started with about three ice cream pails of green peppers.  I washed and cored them.  A few went straight to the chickens because their skins were really thin or wilty.   Plus I just have way too many so I threw a few more to the chickens.  And the chickens love the green pepper cores.

I diced a bunch, sliced a few and left some in half.  I sliced these a different way this time.  The other bunch I sliced the long way. 

IMG_7279I have been using sandwich bags to divide these up into serving sizes.  Usually one cup of diced or about one pepper sliced.  Then I put a bunch of these baggies into a foodsaver freezer bag and vacuum seal it.  As I need peppers now, I just cut open the bag right below the seal, take out my little baggie, and reseal the bag with my foodsaver machine.  This seems to work really great for me.  IMG_7281

September 11, 2011

Late nights

The combines are still working long hours.  It has been four weeks since the wheat harvest started.  There were a few days that were too wet.

The fields are so dusty this year.  There is a lot of coughing and stuffy noses around here lately. 




The last few Sundays have left me really tired of my garden.  It seems that Sunday is the day that I get to deal with all those goodies.  Today was another one of those days.  I took care of some tomatoes, peppers, beets, and onions.  I will post later this week on how I did each one of these. 

Luckily the kids were so good while I was working on all this stuff.  They played with play-doh for two straight hours with not one complaint or whine from them!!  I was so impressed. 


September 8, 2011

Compost pile

I am new to composting.  I was tired of throwing out all the vegetable and fruit peelings so I decided to start a compost pile.  I started this pile mid June with grass clippings and various stuff from the kitchen.  I threw in a Bobcat loader of horse manure.  I mix up the pile every so often.  It needs to be mixed up again and have a layer of grass clippings put on top so some of this stuff starts decomposing better.  I am surprised that it does not smell bad at all.      

The chickens love all the kitchen leftovers too….so I have to split up the goodies between the chickens and compost pile.  I did read that chicken manure is a great addition to a compost pile. 


It looks like a wandering cow found her way to the garden and compost pile last night.  There was evidence in front of the pile…..with a pile of her “stuff”.  I just scooped it up and threw it in the compost!!IMG_3570IMG_3571These little prints are too small for a cow.  So I guess her calf was along too!

September 7, 2011

Another beautiful sunset

The sunset last night had different hues of pink, orange, purple….  These pictures were taken just after the sun went down. 



September 6, 2011


It is very hard to get decent pictures of these chickens.  They move around a lot!!

One of the Plymouth Barred  Rock hens.


I think this is a rooster…He might be the Brown Leghorn.IMG_6861You can see a variety of hens here: Buff Orpingtons, New Hampshire, Black Australorp, Brown Leghorn.IMG_6835So far these two are my favorite:IMG_6874IMG_6955She was tickled to have all these chickens eating out of her hand!! IMG_6936

September 5, 2011

Refrigerator Dill Pickles

Here is the recipe for the refrigerator dill pickles that we made from that HUGE pile of cucumbers.

The recipe is for a gallon jar, so scale it based on the size of jar you plan on using.

Sliced cucumbers.
2 heads of dill
2 large onions sliced thin
5 cloves of garlic sliced
1 qt bottled water
3 cups of vinegar
1/2 cup canning salt

Boil the water, vinegar and salt just until the salt is dissolved.
Pack the jar with all the vegetables.
Pour hot liquid over vegetables.
I let the jars cool a bit on the counter, then put wax paper-lid-lid ring.
Cool on the couner and then store in the fridge.
Wait at least 24 hours before enjoying.IMG_3565 IMG_3567

September 4, 2011


I spotted this little visitor in my tomato patch this morning  This big pheasant must have been sleeping because he was in the same spot for at least one hour.  We did joke about whether or not tomatoes are good with pheasant….



September 3, 2011


I obviously have not been picking cucumbers lately!!  Yesterday we picked 5 grocery bags full of cucumbers.  We made 7 batches of refrigerator pickles.  If the recipe is good…I will post it later!



Just another picture of Girl relaxing in the grass.


September 2, 2011


What were the folks over at Kellogg’s thinking when they put this picture on the box?!?!?  There are no strawberries in the cereal and this can be very heartbreaking to 3 year olds who LOVE strawberries.  Luckily I was at Walmart the day before and picked up some strawberries.  Otherwise Kellogg’s would have gotten a call this morning!!  I live 80 miles from any store that sells decent looking strawberries.