Friday’s Farm Fotos for May 27

May 27, 2011

Another week on the farm, and another week with tornadoes skipping around us.  Fortunately, these were baby-sized compared to the mega monsters that went through this area a month ago.  Aside from losing more shingles off the roof, and a few smaller limbs down, we didn’t have any damage.

Except, I really do wonder about our roof after the last couple of storms.  Yesterday I picked up a shingle out of the front yard.  This morning I found one down by the pond.  Makes me wonder what shape our roof is in.  Kind of hate to find out though…. a good friend who had a lot more tornado damage got an estimate to replace their roof… and wow!  Around $15,000!!!

I believe I’ll think about non-storm-damage stuff instead.  Like the fact our Rosebay Rhododendron is blooming.

picture of rosebay rhododendron

Rhododendron maximum

It isn’t growing very quickly, but every year it has more blooms than the year before, so I guess that’s progress!

Of course, a whole lot of other things are blooming now also, including the rose bushes.  The rambler blooms have come and gone, and the climbing roses about the same.  However, the tea roses still have blooms, like this one:

picture of Country Lady Rose blooms

Country Lady Rose

The Farmer has put up chicken wire fencing around his garden to keep out chickens, guineas and hopefully rabbits!

picture of fence around garden

Fencing out the critters!

How do you like our bright blue gate?  That bit of improvisation was my idea.  It’s the ‘skirting table’ I used to use when cleaning fleeces before selling them.  I painted it bright blue because that happened to be the color paint we had on hand that would waterproof the wood.

Of course, The Farmer left one end of the dug up garden dirt for a chicken spa.

picture of chickens dust bathing

A little dust bathing at Kings Keep Chicken Spa

They were all fluffing their feathers in the dirt until they saw me and decided to move on.  Maybe they are embarrassed to be caught bathing? 

The guineas do their share of dust bathing also, but they can also be found scrounging around under the bird feeder. 

picture of squirrel and two guinea fowl birds

Guess who's coming to dinner?

The squirrels also like to look around in the grass and see if they can find any sunflower seeds.  This one is watching for his (her?) chance to jump down and check things out.

picture of squirrel on tree stump

Ready, set... okay, just a minute!

Other entertainment this week included watching a bonfire down the road at the neighbors farm.  They cultivate a lot of fields, and grow a lot of sweet potatoes.  They store them in big wooden pallet boxes, and evidently some of the boxes were past their prime and they decided to burn them up.

picture of bonfire burning at night

One huge fire. . .

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Unfortunately, it’s hard to get a good perspective on just how big this fire really was since there’s nothing nearby to compare it to.  When The Cave Geek got home from work, he came in to ask if we knew something big was on fire.  We went out and looked, and it looked like someone’s house was burning.  It was a relief to see it was just a bunch of old wooden boxes!

And that’s the news from around the farm this week!

Friday’s Farm Fotos

May 14, 2010

It’s been a while since I did a post with an assortment of pictures I’ve taken around the farm during the week. So here we go, pictures from our house to yours, and in the order I took them this week.

First up, a couple of flower pictures after a rainstorm. . .

bloom of Geranium Biokovo (Cranesbill)

Geranium Biokovo (Cranesbill)

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pale pink rose

Dr. W. Van Fleet climbing rose

Inside, there’s the ever rascally African Grey Parrot. . .

"What's down there I want to play with?"

The azaelas in the front flower bed are blooming.  I still think it’s strange to have azaelas and roses, for instance, blooming at the same time, but that’s the south for you.

Azaelas Autumn Sangria (left) and Autumn Twist (right)

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Azaela Autumn Debutante

Here are some chickens in the front yard.  They’ve made a dust bath out of a hole left behind after digging out a tree stump.

Chickens, sunshine, and dust bath!

Of course, on these hot southern days, not only is a dust bath nice, but getting a drink from the bird bath is pretty good too.  (Notice all the BATHing going on?)

Ahhhh, cool water on a hot day!

Never mind there are several places for them to drink, them seem to think the bird bath is for them too.  So I guess it is by default!

Out in the back pasture, there is lots of white clover blooming. . .

White clover (Trifolium repens)

As Emeril Lagasse is fond of saying, “Wish we had smell-o-vision!”  All that clover sure puts a wonderfully sweet fragrance in the air.  It’s lovely.

I noticed we have birds nesting on the front porch again this year.  The babies look like they ought to be ready to fly soon.

"Are you lookin' at me?"

Remember I mentioned azaleas and roses blooming at the same time?  Here’s another rose in full bloom.  It’s a rambling rose climbing up into a big oak tree beside the end of our driveway.

Paul's Himalayan musk rambling rose

Oh yes, and yesterday The Farmer did some more tilling in his garden.  He’s going to plant watermelons in the rest of the space.

Spaces marked out to plant watermelon.

Last night I saw a bunch of birds going singly and in small groups to go nest for the night in the woods.  I couldn’t see real clearly, but I suspect it was a murder of crows heading for their roosting spot.

Flying off to be murder. . .

I don’t know why a group of crows is called a murder, but like those birds, it’s time to end this and fly off!

Creating A Vegetable Garden

May 12, 2010

The Farmer spent Saturday creating a vegetable garden. First we went to one of the better local nurseries and got some plants. Deciding he wanted a variety of tomato and peppers, The Farmer ended up with two flats of vegetables and a few pots.

After we got back home, he went out to dig up some aged manure to throw on the garden, and to lay-out the rows in his garden.

Notice I said HIS garden. I’m just the helper this year.

Once he was ready, I went out and helped put in the plants. I thought they looked a little close together as we were putting them in. I said, “Didn’t we talk about putting the plants further apart this year?”

Well, his idea of further apart was a little wider than the tiller could get through. Just one teeny-tiny problem that’s going to grow into a BIG problem. . . he measured it at 30 inches. So the holes for the plants were 2 1/2 feet apart in the rows, and the rows are also 2 1/2 feet apart.

If you’re a veteran gardener, you’re probably rolling your eyes about now.  Cause yeah, you’re right.  He didn’t take into account how big the plants are going to be when they are GROWN.

So here we have this great big garden tilled up, and all the plants are squeezed together at one end. . .

The Farmer watering his new vegetable garden.

I suggested changing the spacing, but The Farmer didn’t want to redo all his work laying-out the garden.

So 30″ apart it is.

We now have these varieties of tomato plants in our garden:

  • 1 Lemon Boy
  • 1 Cherokee Purple
  • 3 Mountain Pride
  • 3 Rutgers
  • 6 Early Girl
  • 6 Roma
  • 6 Park’s Whopper
  • 6 Burpee Big Boy
  • 6 Better Boy
  • 6 Celebrity
  • 9 Atkinson
  • 9 Brandywine

That makes 62 tomato plants. And of course, we also have 13 pepper plants:

  • 1 Gypsy
  • 3 Golden Summer
  • 3 Sweet Banana
  • 6 California Wonder

That makes a total of 75 plants in our garden.  For 3 people.  And in case you’re wondering, I hadn’t planned on canning this year.

Our 75 tomato and pepper plants

I asked The Farmer what he was going to do with the produce from so many plants, and he said, “Eat it!”  When I informed him no way we could eat all that, then he decided we’d give away the extra. 

I hope the neighbors like tomatoes and peppers.

Rabbit In Garden

April 9, 2010

I saw an interesting critter in The Farmer’s newly tilled garden space.

"Got anything to eat here?"

This does not forbode well for tasty little plants we might put in the garden. . .

Tilling The Garden

April 8, 2010

The Farmer has been working on getting a garden all tilled up.  He’s making sure there is plenty of room to plant everything we want…

Freshly tilled dirt in garden.

All this for a few tomato and pepper plants?

I think we’re going to plant a lot of marigolds to keep away bugs and take up space.

He worked really hard at getting the dirt good and loose.

Hard at work rototilling the garden.

Tilling away!

We won’t plant anything until we get back from Florida (going to visit family the week of April 19th!). 

But when we do… oh my, that’s a LOT of space!