Saturday, May 25, 2013

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #27

Welcome to the Friday Farm Fix, a sporadic series where I share a random sampling of what's been happening around the farm during the past week (usually on Friday). Just joining us? You'll find all the previous Friday Farm Fix posts here and here.

(27-1) Seven-year-old Great Pyrenees Daisy, one of our two livestock guardian dogs, leads the flock down the driveway - FarmgirlFare.com
Daisy, our seven-year-old Great Pyrenees livestock guardian dog, leads the flock down the driveway. (Marta was napping.)

The only thing about starting back up with the Friday Farm Fix is that it's making me realize just how fast the time flies by. It's already Friday again Saturday again?

Here's what's been happening around the farm this week. . .

The highlight was seen from the upstairs bedroom window: a mother doe nursing her itty bitty spotted fawn about 75 feet out in the hayfield. So sweet. You can just make out the baby in the photo below.

The humidity jumped up to 87% in the house and had us turning on the upstairs a/c and wondering how we were going to survive the next four months drenched in sweat, but thankfully we've been given a brief reprieve, with a few beautiful breezy days and sweet cool nights. Temporary bliss. We're gearing up to hopefully start cutting some hay next week if the weather cooperates; it can heat back up all it wants to then.

I spent as much time as I could in the kitchen garden, planting, plotting, mulching, watering, clearing out a few more raised beds, and picking lots of bolting Swiss chard (cold tolerant, heat tolerant, easy to grow!) for the chickens. I've also been marveling at how much farther ahead things were a year ago this week. Look at all that beautiful basil! (The Friday Farm Fixes from this time last year are here and here.)

We signed on for a month of rabbit sitting. So far so good.

We fed about 5,000 ravenous mosquitoes. I think this may be the worst they've ever been, but at least their appearance means we've had a more 'normal' (and much needed) wet spring.

I made yet another version of a yellow cake with easy lemon curd that I've been sporadically working on for the past couple of years. Joe loved it, but I don't think it's quite there yet. At this point I've decided it would probably be easier to simply bake a plain yellow cake and pour the lemon filling over each slice.

23 more photos and the rest of the weekly recap below (hover over each image for a description). . .

We took a break from kale and Swiss chard salads and made a big dent in the gorgeous volunteer lettuce patch before it all turns bitter in the heat. A month or two ago we started doing Salad Night for (almost) every other dinner, which makes meal planning easier and makes us eat even more fresh veggies.


The other night I told Joe that we shouldn't think of our dinner as the least healthy salad ever, but rather as the healthiest bacon and eggs ever: big piles of freshly picked lettuce covered with the first chopped green onions of the season, a splash of red wine dijon vinaigrette, a sprinkling of Pecorino, lots of crisp smoked bacon from a locally raised butcher hog, and eggs from our hens fried in bacon grease. Yum.

I made a third trip to the small local nursery for more seedlings (that joined all the other ones still waiting to be transplanted): four California Golden Wonder peppers, four 'Classic' eggplants, four Black Beauty eggplants, and four beautiful little purple-tipped sage plants. The selection is never very exciting; next year I hope to get back to starting all my own plants from seed.

I finally got around to posting the recipe for these easy and scrumptious Four Hour Parisian Daily Baguettes, which I've been meaning to do for (how can this even be possible?) six years. It's perfect for beginning bread bakers—and a godsend for those of us who live 200 miles from a decent loaf of French bread.

Oh, and the biggest news—we finally named our goofy new cat. We're calling him Jasper, and one of these days I'll get around to telling you his story. In the meantime, he's becoming quite the star of the photo show, probably because he is everywhere.

13 comments:

  1. Another heart-shaped rock! Unbelievable.
    Things are looking really good on your farm, Susan.
    Kisses from Terra Linda. xx

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  2. I love the picture with the mist. I'm guessing it was early morning. I think Jasper is a very fitting name for the kitty. A friend of mine used to have a kitty named Jasper and he looked a lot like your Jasper.

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  3. For mosquitoes, we have had a lot of luck with one of those Stinger bug zappers. I think ours covers 1.5 acres and as long as you keep the mosquito attractant fresh, we have a lot fewer mosquitoes. Keep in mind we are in south Louisiana. We basically live in the swamps.

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    1. Thanks, Kaela - I'll have to look into one.

      P.S. Your farm blog is great. You've built exactly what I was pondering the other day - a rabbit tractor! :)

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  4. You must work your tail off! What an amazing and special place. Thank you for sharing it with us,

    Shelia in Oklahoma

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  5. What a wonderful look at your week! Jasper looks like a sweetie and the picture of the doe with her fawn is awesome! Your garden sure is looking good and I like the sound of your bacon and egg salad! :)

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  6. Oh, I hate seeing rabbits having to spend their lives standing on wire. :( I know they're not yours'...but maybe you could somehow let their little bunny feeties touch grass? Pleeeease?

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  7. I do enjoy your posts and pictures...what a wonderful life.

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  8. Jasper is perfect! Made me smile. Amazing what 3 days does to beans. They look great. Congratulations on great work on the kitchen garden. I'm about to place tomatoes this afternoon (was down to 38 this morning still!). I haven't told you I'm a trial grower for Rancho Gordo! this year. They call the program Bean Buddies and I get to trial 3 new beans for them and report back, cool huh? Problem for me is they don't know if they are bush or pole and my real estate is limited so I'm panicked about how to plant. In our cold patch of southeast CT, I'd better get hopping. As always, you've inspired me to get them in the ground. Thank you!!! Kiddo, you mention peppers and eggplants from neighbor farm, but no tomato report yet? Are the Amish neighbors sleeping in this Spring. Thrill it has been green for you, haywise! Enjoy!

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    1. Hey Cary,
      How neat that you're a Rancho Gordo Bean Buddy - except for the bush/pole conundrum, lol.

      As for tomatoes, I did buy a bunch of tomato plants from the nursery during my first two trips. Unfortunately they don't have a very interesting selection of vegetable seedlings (and don't start them themselves), but any tomato plants are better than no tomato plants. And yesterday I even got another 8 into the ground. Only 24 more to go! :)

      Our Amish neighbors just sell vegetables (when they have extra), not plants, but thankfully I can usually count on them for zucchini and eggplant, since mine are almost always a bust. They're the ones who turned me onto Japanese cucumbers, which are wonderful - and which I just realized I forgot to plant, lol. At least the three other varieties I direct seeded are all coming up. Fingers crossed for homegrown, homemade pickles this year!

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  9. I'm glad the Friday Farm fix is back; to be honest I started to visit less since you stopped posting it; I know I'm bad. I just love the fix and it makes me feel like I'm visiting your farm :)
    We have been having a very cold and wet weather here in central Italy. It is crazy, I still light the wood-burning stove for heating, as it is freezing! Yesterday we had a hail storm. I didnt even plant basil yet, as it is still too cold!

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  10. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks for all your nice comments. I'm so glad you're enjoying the return of the Friday Farm Fix!

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  11. Love seeing the photos of your farm, and especially those of all the critters.

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