Saturday, May 14, 2011

Almost Amish Anders

This is my son, Anders. He almost always wears a hat,  a long sleeved button up shirt and dark pants. He has long hair and a long beard. On more than one occasion I've been asked if he is Amish.
Well, not quite, but he is working toward being self sufficient and off grid.
So maybe he's almost Amish?

Sleeping angels

Shhhhhhhh.... don't wake the baby.

How soon they forget...

A year ago these were my Shetland ewes. They came when I called. The new my voice. Now they are Anders and Emily's. They look at me with uninterested eyes, turn and walk away.
You would think if they don't remember me, they would at least remember that I carry the feed bucket!

Kentucky Hazel and Little Bit

When my son, Anders and his wife moved to their farm in Kentucky so did our milk cow Hazel. Last week she gave them a nice looking 1/2 Dexter bull calf. He's just a little bit of a thing so that's what I call him. The kids may want to name him something more portentious like. . . T-bone. :^)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Tractor driving with Poppa Jim

My grandson, loves tractors. All tractors: lawn tractors, paddock tractors, Allis Chalmers, Massey Ferguson, Ford, Case, Kubota and especially Poppa Jim's John Deere.  Joel waited all day for this ride. Look at that face. Driving the tractor is serious business!

Stuart Little

Stuart isn't too sure about all the remodeling going on around his house. He looks a little worried.

This is my bug catchin' hat

I like to send Joel new hats. This one was a great find. It keep the sun off of him and it has a nifty little pocket and an "official" Bug Catching Club patch with the slogan "we'll leave no leaf unturned"
This hat and a diaper is Joel's latest fashion statement.
Gotta love farm kids!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Greenhouse greens



Swiss Chard
These should all have been grown outside in the garden. But necessity is the mother of . . . well adjusting. Lydia and I have been growing our spring greens in the greenhouse. Lydia has to check the beds and the flats everyday to be sure the soil isn't too wet or too dry. It's been a real learning experience for her. She has been a real trouper. 
This week with warmer weather we've taken the doors off the greenhouse to increase the circulation. We'll be pulling the greens soon and planting tomatoes, peppers and green beans. . .

Oh and waiting for it to stop raining so we can work outside in the garden. :^)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wood Cook Stove Research

When we moved from the big house to the little house on the farm I left my Elmira wood cook stove behind. I didn't want to, but there isn't any place for it in the little house. Much to my amazement, my daughter is learning to cook with wood. Will wonders never cease!

Then we moved to an apartment to be closer to Purdue. Gas prices are way to high to be making a 2 hour commute every day. So my daughter and her husband decided to move back to the little house. Again - no place for the cook stove.
After much thought and deliberation and rationalizing and debating and fussing and hemming and hawing - we decided to re-home the wood stove. It went home with a nice lady from Wisconsin. I hope it serves her as well as it did us.

So now I am researching cook stoves so we'll know which one will be best for us when we are ready to set up housekeeping again on a farm. It's amazing in this age of high tech stoves how many different wood cook stoves are available.

I've found all sorts of antique stoves: a mint green Montgomery Ward circa 1930, an 1882 Arcadian, a 1926 Monarch in need of some repair, and several of the old line cabin kind - the ones with just one or too lids and no oven. Prices vary from a couple hundred dollars ( in need of refurbishing) to a $4000 for a totally refurbished stove with new chroming and everything. 

Then there are the modern wood burning cook stoves... I'm still discovering new and more efficient ones online. I'll have to report back

The great greenhouse potato project

A few weeks ago these big beautiful potato plants were last year's leftover potatoes.
Lydia discovered them lurking on the cellar stairs in the bottom of a bucket. They were wrinkley and shrivelled with ghost white stems searching for the light. Now most folks would have just thrown them out, but we decided if they were trying that hard they deserved a chance.
So were carried them up to the greenhouse, gentley disentangled them and tucked them into a nice bed. To our surprize they sprouted up like gang busters and they're growing great. We'll mulch them up to their little necks this week and hopefully be eating early potatoes long before the neighbors.

Rain rain go away come again another day

These are brassica seedlings. They would really like to go outside and grow in a nicely tilled, sunny, pleasant garden. The only problem is we still can't till because it won't stop raining long enough for the ground to dry out a bit. So here they wait in the greenhouse.
Please lord, send us 4 or 5 days without rain. Amen

Just because its pretty

I love bleeding hearts! I used to pick tiny bouquets of them when I was little and bring them home to Mom.

The rise and fall of the round baler

Several years ago - before the "economic downturn"- when we bought our round baler they were hard to find and expensive to buy. Good times. Plenty of folks getting into farming.

We gave $2000 for the baler and felt lucky to find it for such a "low" price. We felt doubly lucky when we found a manual for it online- $10. We spent $1100 for all new belts on it last year. We replaced or had remade all the worn parts. We felt like it was a good investment in a good piece of machinery. We used it one hay season and it worked great. I love that you can make either 4'X4' or 6'X4' bales.

Then Brian decided to go back to college. We made the hard decision to leave the farm and move into an apartment. There's no place to park it at the apartment complex and even less grass around there if you were going to try to make hay.

Problem is, since then the economy has taken a nose dive, farmers who were on the edge have given up and sold out and the horse industry has crashed. Now round balers are pretty easy to find and, relatively speaking, not to expensive.

I'd be happy if we could get $1200 out of it or trade for a bumper pull stock trailer for my daughter and her husband so they can haul their hogs to market.

Wanna buy a truck?

We have a wonderful Ram V10 Dually pickup with a goose neck ball in the bed. The ball is the flip down kind that makes the bed more useful. It's a crew cab too. We love this truck. It pulls like a dream, but we just don't need it any more. So we are rehoming our truck for a small rehoming fee of $3400

and we have the stock trailer to pull too. 1977 Hale trailer. 16 ft. works well. Good brakes. Lights all work.  

Give Brian a call if you are interested: 812-525-6835

Gotta love this new camera!

Look at the color! Look at the detail!
But whatever you do don't ask me how many pics I threw away before I figured out how to get a good one. :^)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Stuart Little is here!!

Say hello to our new grandson: Stuart Webb Jorgensen
Here he is with his proud Momma and Daddy just a few minutes old.