Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Summertime on the Farm

Dear friends,

It has been a hot, dry summer here in the Ozarks! We've been busy watering everything, along with harvesting and processing the vegetables from the garden. 

Here is a video tour of our big garden out back~ https://youtu.be/MW8N9AnM3wI

The kids are getting bigger and more naughty than ever. Their mothers went back to our friends who have a place to keep them now, so they have decided that if their mothers went somewhere, they're going to go somewhere, too! They were jumping over the electric fence to get into the garden, so I became desperate and started hiding in the garden and popping them with a bb gun every time they jumped over, hoping they would think if was the fence and not I. It seems to have worked, since they haven't gone in for about four days now, as opposed to every time I turned around, like before. They also like to join the neighbors' cows in their pasture, which is completely eaten down and only has grass.
Books are on the menu today~


On the bunny front, we caught a cottontail bunny out in the field a couple of months ago and raised it up, but it really wasn't happy, so we released it in a good spot away from other people's garden.


My, what big eyes you have!

Our second doe rabbit had nine bunnies, and we've found homes for seven of them so far. When it's hot, rabbits have a hard time cooling off, so we've been freezing jugs of water and placing it in their cages to lie next to.


The butterflies have been quite abundant this year, especially on the wildflowers and zinnias. We love raising flowers to bring in the pollinators, because it helps us to have a better garden overall.



The lemon squash and burpless cucumbers have done the best out of everything in the garden, so far. For a month now they've really been putting out the fruit, and I've had to get really creative with hiding squash in breads, pancakes, etc. Out of fifty tomato plants, we had an okay harvest, but between the hornworms, goats, and a blight, they are limping along. Thankfully we've found other sources of tomatoes to put up salsa, ketchup, spaghetti sauce, and juice.


And last, but not least, my oldest son has made himself a shirt, to advertise his own Youtube channel. How clever is that!

May you be blessed as you finish the rest of this summer. Stay cool, dear friends!

Love,

Marqueta

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Spring Time Is Here!

Dear Friends,

My apologies for the long absence! My computer was being naughty, and then my firewall said my blog had a virus and wouldn't allow me to access it. Hopefully we'll have better luck from now on.

We've been blessed to have lots of farm babies lately.

We're taking care of our friends' goats until they find a new home, and they had kids (one had 5!). Our dog also had five puppies (anyone want one?). And our rabbit just had five bunnies!



 

I hope that you are doing well.
Love,
Marqueta

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Doll's Faire





Dear Friends,

Our family's dolls recently had their eleventh Autumn Faire to celebrate the harvest and handicrafts.

There were displays of various kinds, such as this one for savoury food~


A doughnut stand with delicious chocolate-covered pastries~





This is "C&D's Eat Place," where one could buy yummy sandwiches and bubbly drinks!



The hand-made book display is always a favourite!


~And don't forget the handicrafts and botanical displays (I helped make the orange pajamas and nightgowns)!





I hope you enjoyed our little Faire. We certainly did!

Love and blessings,

Marqueta








Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Cannin' Days Are Here



Dear Friends,

Happy September to you!

The long, hot days of summer are beginning to wane at last (although this week we are seeing temperatures near 90!). The slant of the sun has changed, making us squint when we go out at mid-day.

We have been harvesting and drying as many herbs and greens as we can, to last through the winter. Our "temperate tulsi" from Strictly Medicinal Seeds has grown into a sea of leaves and flowers that taste clove-like and sweet. I am very pleased with this plant, and highly recommend the seeds.


I also ordered a Japanese Potted Vine (Immortality Plant) from Strictly Medicinal Seeds, and it is finally starting to take off onto its tomato cage trellis. This one is not cold hardy, so we will have to bring it inside soon.

There are always a few surprises in the gardens (evidence of the existence of fairies?). This year we have a lovely melon plant growing in the middle of the herb garden!



And our pullets surprised us by starting to lay eggs at five months of age, instead of the usual six.


We've been canning tomatoes and peaches, and drying and freezing pears the neighbors gave us, and plums from the local Mennonite bulk store. Our small Bartlett pear tree had its fruit stripped by some creature in the night (probably raccoons), while this pear is still loaded with fruit, which we will be canning soon. We think it is a Comice pear, since it has a grainy texture and thick skin. If we can get all the fruit, there would be enough for around 100 quarts or so of sauce and preserves. Time to buy more jars!


I hope that you have had a fruitful summer as well, in spite of the heat and bug bites!

Love,

Marqueta

***************************
Canning Time by Edgar A. Guest
There’s a wondrous smell of spices

In the kitchen,
Most bewitchin’;
There are fruits cut into slices
That just set the palate itchin’;
There’s the sound of spoon on platter
And the rattle and the clatter;
And a bunch of kids are hastin’
To the splendid joy of tastin’;
It’s the fragrant time of year
When fruit-cannin’ days are here.

There’s a good wife gayly smilin’

And perspirin’
Some, and tirin’;
And while jars on jar she’s pilin’
And the necks o’ them she’s wirin’
I’m a-sittin’ here an’ dreamin’
Of the kettles that are steamin’,
And the cares that have been troublin’
All have vanished in the bubblin’.
I am happy that I’m here
At the cannin’ time of year.

Lord, I’m sorry for the feller

That is missin’
All the hissin’
Of the juices, red and yeller,
And can never sit and listen
To the rattle and the clutter
Of the sound of spoon on platter.
I am sorry for the single,
For they miss the thrill and tingle
Of the splendid time of year
When the cannin’ days are here.

Friday, August 2, 2019

The Garden in August



Dear Friends,

The last full month of summer is now upon us!

Frankie found a tiny kitten when he was looking for a lost baseball in our yard, and fortunately we found someone with a mama cat who took it in until it was weaned (The kitten is not showing signs of being tidy with a litter box, so we will be looking for a new home for him where he can be outside!).



It was quite hot for a while, but we've had some nice cooling rains that have helped us not have to water so much. The lilies were especially lovely in the rain!



Japanese beetles have now almost completely defoliated the hollyhocks and de-flowered the roses, so I'm grateful that we have cameras to capture fleeting moments of perfection.

Japanese beetle damage



......The zinnias, on the other hand, are bothered by nothing!

We grew sword beans for the first time this year, and although they are nicely covering our cattle panel arbor, they have yet to put out any blossoms. Gardening is such a process of trying, trying again and experimenting that you can never tell what results you will get from one year to the next. I usually try to plant many different varieties, hoping that at least something will do well. This year it is proving to be "dragon tongue" beans.


Everyone besides Mr. Graham, Audrey, Hyrum, and I have been performing at the annual "Laura's Memories" outdoor play in honor of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Here are Tasha and Evangeline rehearsing with a few of the other girls~


I hope that you are staying cool and enjoying time spent in nature wherever you are!

Love,

Marqueta

*******************

"When the mind is festering with trouble or the heart torn, we can find healing among the silence of mountains or fields, or listen to the simple, steadying rhythm of waves. The slowness and stillness gradually takes us over. Our breathing deepens and our hearts calm and our hungers relent. When serenity is restored, new perspectives open to us and difficulty can begin to seem like an invitation to new growth.
This invitation to friendship with nature does of course entail a willingness to be alone out there. Yet this aloneness is anything but lonely. Solitude gradually clarifies the heart until a true tranquility is reached. The irony is that at the heart of that aloneness you feel intimately connected with the world. Indeed, the beauty of nature is often the wisest balm for it gently relieves and releases the caged mind."
JOHN O'DONOHUE