Friday, March 16

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #1

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Welcome to a brand new series on Farmgirl Fare! I carry my beloved camera with me everywhere around the farm, often snapping hundreds of photos a week. For various reasons, most of them you never end up seeing (often because I want to tell you the story behind them but don't have enough time), including some that I really love.

Last year I had a brilliant idea; I would start doing a Tail End of the Month post, full of various favorite previously unposted photos taken each month. Unfortunately that plan turned out to be overwhelming before it even started, especially because I kept forgetting about it until the last day of each month.

But sorting through just a week's worth of photos and sharing them on Friday? That I should be able to handle. The number of photos in each post will vary, but so much has been going on this week I had trouble narrowing it down to 14 images for today's edition—and there still aren't any donkeys.

When I told Joe about my idea this morning, he thought it sounded great—both for you and for us. You'll get a better idea of what goes on around the farm each week, and we'll have a better record of what we've been doing. "And," he said, "it'll give your readers a farm fix before the weekend."

So welcome to the first Friday Farm Fix—which will hopefully be appearing each Friday! I think it's going to be a lot of fun. If you have questions about any of the photos, I'll do my best to answer them in the comments section (where you can now reply directly to individual comments!). As always, your feedback is welcome and greatly appreciated.

Lots more photos below. . .

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this week's Friday farm fix 12 - FarmgirlFare.comThe garlic I planted back in October is growing like crazy. It'll be green garlic season soon!

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The chives are up! I love this tasty and easy to grow perennial herb.

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Want a bigger look at farm life?

©, where not to worry, the Saturday and/or Sunday posts will continue to appear, so all you daily diehard visitors (thank you!) will still be able to get a weekend Farmgirl Fare fix.


  1. The lambs simply glow with their newness and freshness. Thanks for sharing.

  2. You are killing me with these lamb posts!

  3. I can't believe your daffs and chives are up! Lucky, lucky. That photo with Mama and babies? Heart-thumping.

    1. Hi Kat,
      I know, it's weird. With this mild winter and then really warm temperatures lately (back in the 80s tomorrow!) a lot of the plants seem to be at least two or three weeks ahead of schedule. The daffodils started blooming in February.

      Everybody around here is starting to wonder what kind of a summer it's going to be - and spring hasn't even started yet. Meanwhile, the ticks, flies, and wasps have all arrived early, too. Ack!

  4. your posts make me smile! :)

  5. Dang. Potatoes in already? That's incredible. Jealous here.

    P.S. Thanks for your congratulatory comment awhile ago, but I must tell you I'm not lending these boys out for ANYTHING. They're all mine. All mine to feed, too, of course, which is why they're going to be working in the potato field as soon as possible.

    1. I'm still surprised I actually have my potatoes in the ground already. A lot of locals say that if you don't plant your potatoes by St. Patrick's Day, you might as well not bother. I know they're wrong, though, because usually I plant mine in May, or April if I'm lucky and they do great , unless, like in 2010, the Japanese beetles decimate the plants before they've set potatoes, which, okay, probably wouldn't have happened if I'd planted them in March. Anyway. . . ;)

      On Monday we saw seed potatoes for sale at the supermarket, bought a few pounds (because they'll be gone by the time we're back again), and then Tuesday just happened to be a good day for planting potatoes (fertile day, third quarter), and - miraculously - there was a raised bed in my kitchen garden almost ready to go, so for the first time ever I have my potatoes in the ground 'on time.' Of course it already looks and feels like May around here. :)

  6. Are you planting eggs - or are those potatoes? Love all the itty bitty babies!

    1. Looked like eggs to me, too. You could have told us those were eggplant bulbs.

  7. Hey Susan - cherokee girl here. Love yall's blog. You got it going on. You're pix are eye candy !

  8. Here's an old school tater' planting story. My Irish mother and her family ; planted potatoes in the wee hours of St Particks Day. Then went to town for the parade and supper on the grounds in Shamrock Texas. She said ' start with a bigger potato - git bigger potatoes '. She told me they planted their smalls whole and the bigger ones they cut up - dipped in wood ashes and planted them with their eyes up so that way they could see how to get outta the ground ! Happy St Patricks Day !

    1. Darling story Cherokeegirl. You and Susan are inspiring me to plant potatoes again. Last year I hilled them so zealously with straw that I think I squelched them and our harvest was minimal. Susan, would you please describe how you care for your potatoes? How deep? Hill up? With what? Thanks loads!

    2. Cherokeegirl,
      Love the potato planting story! But now I need to go dig mine up and make sure their eyes are pointing the right way. ;)

      Don't give up on planting potatoes! I don't always end up with a bountiful harvest, but homegrown potatoes taste so good. And they're always fun to dig up. :)

      As for planting, I usually never get around to hilling mine up with soil (preferably twice) after they've sprouted, so this year I'm trying something a little different.

      I planted the potatoes a little less than the recommended 3" deep in soil (as per the awesome gardening book, The Vegetable Gardener's Bible by Ed Smith) and then covered them with a thin layer of bedding hay from the barn, which has manure mixed in. That's what you can see in the cart in the photo.

      Once the plants are several inches tall, I'll add another layer of barn hay, covering one half to two thirds of the plants. Then I'll do it again - if I remember. ;)

      Ed Smith is a big fan of mulching with compost and straw (my manure hay is a variant on this method), which helps regulate soil moisture and temperature, makes the potatoes easier to harvest, and is less work. You were on the right track - sounds like you may have indeed mulched them too much, or something else simply went wrong during the growing cycle.

      He also says to make sure you keep the plants well watered frm the time they flower until two weeks before harvest.

      And one last tip - for both planting and harvesting potatoes, you can't beat this all around super handy EZ Digger, also called a Korean hand plow. I've been using mine for 17 years for nearly everything in the garden, but it's especially great for harvesting potatoes and garlic.

      I hope this helps. Happy growing! :)

  9. I love every photo--but the chicken photos are just fantastic! All the animals are so photogenic and those baby lambs are way too cute. I love seeing so many photos!

  10. I love Friday Farm Fix!! Every picture makes me want to ask a question's happening with the trunk of that tree? Are you taking it down?

    Love all these photos - love the animals and e promise of spring!

    Happy weekend to all of you.

    1. Hi Barb!
      So glad you're enjoying the Friday Farm Fix.

      That giant sycamore tree is located in a sheep pen across from the barn, and sadly it died several years ago. It's still standing because, as Joe puts it, the best way to deal with an enormous dead tree is (if you can) to just leave it there, because it will slowly drop all of its limbs straight down on the ground below. Now there's simply the trunk left.

      It looks sort of sad, but leaving it there is safer than cutting it down because you can never be sure exactly where it's going to land - and that trunk is HUGE.

      What Joe was actually doing with the tractor was pushing a bunch of small, scrubby juniper bushes that he'd just cut down with the chainsaw up around the tree. They were starting to take over the pasture, and now they'll be a nice rabbit habitat. Bert would be so bored without any rabbits to track for hours each day - not that he ever actually catches one. ;)

  11. Great Idea for the Friday pics, enjoy , wishing everyone a happy weekend.

  12. Do LOVE your Friday Farm Fix idea, but like Barb, each shot just brings more questions :). Love the long shot of the inside of the barn and those gorgeous bonding suites. Eyes popped out of my head to see your potatoes already in the ground. and daffs and chives up already??? very curious about Operation Tree takedown? You guys really do bring warmth to hearts verrry far away and you are appreciated daily... now even more so on Fridays :)! Happy Saint Patrick's Day to you all.

    1. Hi Cary,
      Thanks so much for the kind words and feedback. Re potatoes, chives, daffodils, and the tree, see replies to Kat, Cary, and Barb above. :)

      As for the bonding suites, we are so thrilled to finally have all six of them finished! Now that lambing season is almost over, lol. In that photo above, Joe is installing the last of the removable panels he built for the front and sides of each pen (you can see one in the last photo in this post). Before we were just using temporary panels.

      One of these days I'm hoping to do a post about the bonding pens - and the barn itself. I took a bunch of photos while it was being built (back in September of 2009!) and still need to sort through them all, lol.

      But little by little, it's slowly all coming together. :)

  13. I get the feeling Joe doesn't like to be in pictures OR he likes to show off his tush! :-) Keep sharing those babies!!!

    1. Ha! Either that or I keep subconsciously snapping pictures of his cute butt, lol. He looks better in his Levi's, though - they're a little snugger. ;)

  14. Love the new addition - thanks for constantly mixing it up and keeping FGF a "not to be missed" daily treat!

  15. I think the Friday Farm Fix is a great idea! I just love the lambs, the donkeys, the chickens, your garden, the tree....sigh!...your pictures are truly enjoyed!! Thanks so much for sharing your farm with us stuck in a city.

  16. Love to see all the additional photos, but feel badly that YOU feel such pressure to get the posts up. I check in just about every day, and love to see whatever you post, whenever you post it!

    Tracy B.

  17. Love, Love, LOVE those little lamby faces!

  18. Friday Farm Fix is a brilliant idea and really illuminates life on the farm. I loved every single picture. Thank you for ALL that you do Farmgirl Susan. The cabbage soup was a hit.

  19. Potatoes are in! Awesome! You're somehow ahead of the game in the garden AND you have almost (?) 30 lambs running around. That's got to be some kind of record.

  20. Love the Friday Farm Fix! Your daffodils look great and the chickens certainly look happy! The weather has certainly been crazy this winter, we are expecting rain/snow down here in southern Arizona Sunday and Monday after a week of temps in the 80s!

  21. Your daffodils are beautiful and the garlic and chives look awesome too. It's snowing here tonight so we are along way away from having anything green in the garden yet. Love all your lambs!

  22. What fantastic photos! I love that little lamb in the last pic!

    Here are a couple of ours:

  23. That lamb is jumping for joy.

    Great pics.


December 2015 update: Hi! For some reason I can't figure out, Blogger hasn't been letting me leave comments on my own blog (!) for the last several months, so I've been unable to respond to your comments and questions. My apologies for any inconvenience! You're always welcome to email me: farmgirlfare AT gmail DOT com.

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