Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Artichoke Update

I went outside today and took more pictures of the artichoke that I left to bloom. I found the center of the bloom raising above the outer edge.
From the top it appears that the individual stamens or pestles, which ever they are, are rotating around.

In this close up I noticed some white stuff I am thinking is pollen but not sure not knowing anything about artichoke flowers.

I think I will continue to take pictures as it develops just to see how it will end up looking.

Sunday, July 28, 2013


                                 Have you ever seen an artichoke bloom?

I never have. I purchased this artichoke a while back because I liked the looks of the plant not because I like artichokes. So I let it grow and then harvested the fruit and gave it away to my neighbors who like them.

This year I was a little late in harvesting the artichokes and one of them was a bit past picking time. SO I decided to let it grow and bloom because I hadn't seem one bloom.

What a beautiful flower and I understand that the bees really like them too, although I have yet to see the bees on it. I think next year instead of harvesting any of the artichokes I will let them all bloom.

Monday, July 22, 2013


We let the little girls out to eat this evening since they seem to be adapting quite well to their new environment.
In this picture they had just finished eating there evening meal and were just milling around getting use to the surroundings.

Then Petunia decided it was time to jump and run. She ran and slid into the door a couple of times but was having great fun.

Then it was stand off time between Rosie and Petunia. Who is going to run and jump first?

Then Rosie decided to run, jump and play too. What fun. They got plenty of exercise this evening. Tomorrow we will try to take them outside in the pasture for a bit for more fresh air and exercise. Hopefully the sun will be shinning and warm again like today.

After playing a bit they decided to start checking out the hay that was laying around. They are to young to eat yet but they did taste a couple of bites.

Sunday, July 21, 2013


We just took our two hogs in for butcher last week. We actually let them go a little long as the estimated live weight was 350 pounds each. They were milk, greens, and grain fed so should be good eating.
The above picture is of the two hogs about a month prior to butcher.
Today we went and retrieved a couple of Jersey calves. Nice little heifers, still need milk for a while and trained to halter and lead.
Today we picked up the fresh meat from the hogs, both weighed in the 250 pound range, hanging weight. We still need to pick up the cured meat in a couple of weeks.
 Both of the new girls are settling in today. They are licking their lips thinking it's dinner time.
The calf with the yellow chain is "Rosie", she was born June 30, 2013. The calf with the green chain is "Petunia", and was born July 2nd, 2013. 
Both of the little ones seem to like being loved on and petted.

Friday, July 19, 2013


This week was extremely busy. We started by picking our Current and Josta Berries. We got about five gallons of clean berries, which we juiced with our MEHU-LIISA 10L (Swedish Steam Juicer) and ended up with 2.5 gallons of finished juice.

One of our neighbors called and said they were away from home and asked that we pick their Raspberries, so they wouldn't go to waste or draw in a bear. We ended up getting about one and a half gallons of berries, and after eating lots we got one half gallon of great juice. Understand this juice is not that wimpy juice like you buy at the store, this juice could be watered down three or four times, but we like the straight juice.

Last evening we went to the local Bee association Meeting, so milked late (after 10:00 pm. Today we went through our Bee Hives, top to bottom frame by frame, they are looking great, should be able to rob one hive in about two weeks.

Later in the day we picked a couple gallons of cherries, Yum. We still have a couple of trees to pick, and we had been nibbling on them for a few days already. Actually all of our fruit trees are loaded this year after getting our Bee Hives, Pollination helps.
We still need to thin the Apple trees and Pear trees, these small immature fruit will also be juiced. Last year the thinned apples amounted to one and a half feed bags, which juiced made several gallons of really good Apple juice.

OK, I finally dug out some juice to take pictures of, the jar on the left is sweetened Apple juice from the little green fruit when I thinned the trees. The center jar is some of the Current/Josta berry juice, and the jar on the right is of Rhubarb. All juiced with the Swedish Steam Juicer, it works great

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


There are times when animals are just fun to watch,
Wow! look at that water, I sure am thirsty!
Well thank you, I will have a drink, since you just refilled the fountain.


I got busy this morning and decided to finish the center garden. With Don's help I got the blocks in place. I am really happy it is done. Another project complete now
It really does make the whole garden. All I need to do now is harvest the broccoli and the herbs that I planted with them, clean up the area they are planted in and get some fresh compost in and tilled up so I can replant with some carrots. I really like to have canned carrots around in the winter time when I make soup.

After I finished the center garden I sat on the deck and had a sandwich and some water to replenish the water in  my system, as it got very hot working on the blocks.

While I was taking my break, the pigeons were flying around us and decided to roost in the trees next to our property. You can barley see them but they are there. Just a couple of specks. In the above picture towards the top there are two branches that kind of make an X and one of the pigeons is sitting about half way up.

They really are fun to watch and I love to hear them cooing.
I am done with the heavy work for today, so now I am going to pick my peas and do some watering. Then dinner and done for the day. After chores that is.

Friday, July 5, 2013

First Step Done

Well the first step is done except for the clean up of the weeds. I will be loading them into the tractor bucket and hauling them down to the dump site. Now it is ready for the laying of the blocks. I will have Don haul them down with the forks on the tractor.
Hey what do you know there really is a garden in there. If you look in the last post about half way down you can see what this garden looked like before the above picture.

The broccoli looks ready to eat.

The cabbage is growing nicely. Should do better now that the weeds aren't getting all the sun, nutrients and water.

 The picture below is actually asparagus. I had planted some about two years ago, then last spring I planted some root stalk and also started some seed. I heard it was hard to start and get planted but so far it looks like they are all doing well, especially now the they are freeeeeee.

 You can almost see them above. the oldest ones are the ones you can see the best.

Above is a picture of some fennel that I planted last year and didn't harvest and I sure wish I did. When it goes to seed it goes everywhere and plants start up like dill. I will be hanging it upside down in the basement where it is cool and dry to let it dry out. I will then grind it and put it in a jar to use in my cooking. It is really good fresh in salads also.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Finished Product

We finally got the block wall done with a lot of help from my son's and grandson and a couple of their friends.
It really does look good as far as I am concerned. It was a lot of hard work but well worth it. The picture below is from the back side showing the Shasta daisies that usually bloom late in the year.

 This picture is from the greenhouse end showing the corner. The Wigalia is going to be a lot happier with its roots all covered up.

 This picture is from the bottom of the yard looking up. Although we do need to mow the lawn.

 Below is my next project, to finish the center garden. We ended up with, I think, enough block to do it. I have been wanting to get this one finished for some time now and just haven't had the time or money to get the block needed. No excuses now.

 I enjoy seeing the flowers blooming that the deer don't get. They like Roses and Fuchsias but I have them sort of fenced so they can't get to them. Although they did hit my strawberries in the pots pretty good.
 The Fuchsias look good with the Calendulas around them. At least I think so. The deer don't seem to bother the Calendulas.
My Hostas are also starting to bloom now. I have flowers that seem to bloom from early spring till late fall. I like to see flowers all season long.
Hope everyone enjoyed seeing the wall go up. Now on wards and up wards.