Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Summertime on the farm

Sunday, June 21 ushered in the longest day of the year and the start of summer.

The things I love best about summer are varied.

I love the fireflies - they go about their nightly display as if on queue and greeted me Sunday evening with a dazzling display in the waning sunset and shortly there after flitting and twinkling about in the grass, my holyhocks, the wheat, the trees, everywhere.

I love sunset after 9:30 p.m. because even though I only get to see the very end, sometimes that last bit of twilight is the most beautiful as the stars in the skies start to show but the sun is still adding its glow on the horizon.  I was able to enjoy both edges of night time this way.

I love the night sky.  My most favorite night in the summer is August 12 when the Perseid meteor shower comes through and I can sit outside in the middle of the farm yard where I have no light pollution and watch the meteors fall for an hour or 2 before I make myself go to bed.

I love sun tea.  I always have some on hand and use a very old recipe that is tried and true.

I love my birthday so near the 4th of July so I can have sparklers to celebrate with.  The downside is that I can't do fireworks on my birthday if the wheat is still in the field because it might catch fire and I surely could not blow those candles out.

I love watching the wind dance through the wheat fields as it ripens and dries out the heads just before harvest.

I love the song of the summer night chorus when the crickets and birds and other bugs sing their songs together in one beautiful serenade.

I love to watch my garden grow.

I love to go to the cabin in the Rocky Mountains and unplug from the hectic daily grind, reconnect with mother nature there and find my inner peace in the sound of the wind blowing through the pines and rustling the aspen leaves in my favorite aspen grove.

The last thing I love about summer is that when it comes to a quiet close my most favorite season starts and that means pumpkins, Halloween, cool, crisp air and football games on Saturdays.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Daisy the Cattle Dog - farm work

This past weekend was supposed to be tree removal day but due to all the rain we have had in the past week to 10 days it got rescheduled because it was just not deemed dirt stable enough for a tractor and a big bucket truck required to drop a whole elm tree and manuvering to trim other trees around what will be the house location.

So instead of tree work, we continued to work on the clearing the build site.  That includes 2 more border fences that have to be removed so we worked on the longer of the two.  First was the 2 rows of barbed wire.  This was easy enough until it got to be time to roll the stuff up.  I failed barbed wire rolling and Larry took over that task as I continued to pull staples holding the fence to the posts.

 Now this is a story about Daisy - she was my supervisor the whole day as I was working on this task.  She would lay down next to the fence and watch me.  I never could get her to dig at the base of the fence post where the dirt had actually buried the bottom row of staples, but she was encouraging with lots of loving licks and shaking my hand for a job well done.  She also was busy doing border patrol to make sure no stinky varmints bothered me while I worked.  We had seen a skunk run across the county road that goes through the farm the night before.  The long fence is now rolled up and all that is left to do is pull the posts.  So progress is being made.

Daisy would also help me check on the garden growth by walking through the garden with me.  Of course, she was not as careful about where she stepped and I am sure there was more than one plant that got a paw push.  Her new responsibility is keeping rabbits out of the gardens so the plants can grow big and strong.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Serial Miller Moth Murder now. . . .

I have to admit that I am officially a serial murderer of miller moths.  Actually I have been for a long time, but I am finally ready to admit such.

They showed up the last week of May and every night I am armed with my weapon of choice - the fly swatter - and I kill every single miller moth in the house that I can find.  In the mornings I open the french doors to let cats out and there is always a cloud of millers trying to escape the safety of the door jamb where they have nestled into for the night.  Morning murders are especially fun because I have help - the meadowlarks (Kansas' official state bird) will swoop down and pick them out of the air for a tasty morning treat.

Just the other night before I went to bed there were no less than 6 in my bedroom and that is a sacred room where no miller moths are allowed to live for any length of time.  I killed 5 almost immediately as they were gathered around the door.  Easy targets really, hardly any sport in the murder spree.

Then last night it was another onslaught in my bedroom but this time I was ready for them.  I had finally found my backup fly swatter and was armed as I entered the room.  I used the bathroom light to lure them away from my bed.

They have also invaded the office and so I have a secondary murder location with dead miller moth bodies strew about.  I think it is almost time for a clean up and that will require enlisting the help of the vacuum cleaner to help me dispose of the bodies and leave no trace of them behind or the murderous carnage that I bestowed upon them.

There will be window washing and possibly curtain washing as well before the cleanup is all finished but for now I fondly look forward to the end of this season because I am just getting to old for all of this.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Farm Bureau Financial Services official pink pumpkin

Just a quick portrait update on the official FBFS pink pumpkin plant in the planter box at the office.  Just like kids they grow so fast and so I will be adding updates through the growing season here so check back on this post to watch "Pinkie's" progress.  The early baby pictures are on the other post about the gardens.  So we will watch Pinkie grow from this post from this point forward.

June 2, 2015 - friends are fun to grow with.

June 10, 2015 - Pinkie is really growing but so are his friends and it looks like we will have some more flowers soon.

June 23, almost 2 weeks later.  Pinkie has really taken over the flower planter and is spilling over onto the sidewalk.  Now comes the challenge of keeping the vine from reaching out and tripping small children.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gardens are planted!!!!

Yes folks you have read that correctly - multiple gardens are planted this year.  There are 2 plots at my house, 1 down at Rogers Farm and a HUGE garden at what is lovingly called the East Farm in Phillips County.

I suppose you could count one more garden if you consider a container outside the Farm Bureau Financial Services office a garden because in there is a single pink pumpkin plant that has emerged after 1 single seed was planted there at the end of April just for fun.
May 4, 2015

Friends arrived to encourage happy growing on May 5, 2015

After a rough couple of nights of freezing temps the group is still alive and the FBFS pink pumpkin plant is growing by leaves and bounds.
So what do I have planted in all these locations you may wonder?  Are you wondering that?  At my house there are 2 plots; the east garden plot houses 18 pink pumpkin seeds and approximately 15 gadzukes zucchini seeds.  The west garden plot has approximately 18 Oriental cucumbers, 20 saffron yellow summer squash and another 18 pink pumpkins.

Down at Rogers Farm is a little monster patch of approximately 10 pink pumpkins.  Considering how they took over last year, I think that will be plenty.  They are designated to grow for fundraising for the Atwood FFA this year and hopefully will be just as fruitful as last year's group.  There was even a volunteer pumpkin plant come up so it will be fun to see what kind it decides to become.

Obviously from the picture taken the morning of June 2 shows that I need to do some weeding and get this patch mulched.  So that is now on the schedule for this week.

The HUGE garden at what is lovingly called the East Farm in Phillips County is where I have veggies in the main garden to include pickling cucumbers, Oriental cucumbers, gadzukes, saffron squash, regular zucchini, green beans and 12 tomato plants.  

Picture 1 - oriental cucumbers

Picture 2 - 12 tomato plants

Picture 3  -pumpkins in the garden.  Hard to tell which row this is.  There are blue skinned, chocolate skinned, bat wings, baby boos, lumina ghosts, sugar pies, and warted pumpkins this year that will be for sale.

Picture 4 - Green beans galore!

There are 2 dedicated pumpkin patches and where "Nancy's Pumpkin Patch" is officially located this year.  If you want special or unique pumpkins, that is where you want to go.  There are 100 pink pumpkin seeds planted in the dedicated pink pumpkin patch.  Then the garden plot houses another 7 pumpkin varieties of approximately 10-20 seeds each.  That means there are over 200 pumpkin seeds planted in my gardens this year.  That should be plenty to sell to raise money for breast cancer research and to have to decorate your porch or table during the Halloween and Thanksgiving holidays.  

Garden management is always hanging around - today's group is fluffy boy, little books, and orange boy.  They made sure we stayed on task of getting soaker hoses laid out and weeds hoed.

 Nancy's pink pumpkin patch.  89% up at this point.  Look at how lovely those little plants look.