Friday, April 13

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #5

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

4-13-12 Friday Farm Fix 1 -

Lots more photos below. . .

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Chinese sumac (also called Tree of Heaven, or as we refer to it, Tree of Hell) is taking over parts of the farm. It's fast growing, spreads like crazy, isn't good for anything, and is pretty much impossible to kill. It also smells weird. Over the past few years it's grown so tall and thick along this fence line that it blocked out the sun from half my kitchen garden and started shading the laundry line for much of the day.

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4-13-12 Friday Farm Fix 13 - FarmgirlFare.comNot anymore!

4-13-12 Friday Farm Fix 14 - FarmgirlFare.comIt will probably start growing right back, but at least this should slow it down for a while.

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4-13-12 Friday Farm Fix 16 - FarmgirlFare.comDividing chives and re-planting them along with some purchased seedlings. As always, I used my trusty EZ-Digger (also called a Korean hand plow), my favorite garden tool for the past 17 years. I use it for planting, digging, harvesting, weeding—everything! You'll find more about growing chives and my easy herbed yogurt cheese recipe here.

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4-13-12 Friday Farm Fix 18 - FarmgirlFare.comFour King Arthur and four Orange Sun Bell sweet pepper plants (purchased) are in the ground, along with two sweet basil plants and an Italian parsley border. Six purchased tomato seedlings are in the adjacent 4'x8' raised bed—the earliest I've planted tomatoes in years.

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4-13-12 Friday Farm Fix 25 - FarmgirlFare.comWe'll hopefully be eating lots of beautiful lettuce soon. This is the Rocky Top mix from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds. Learn how to grow your own gourmet lettuce from seed here. It's easier than you think!

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Wishing you a beautiful green weekend!

Want a bigger farm fix?

©, enjoying the cloudy day, hoping for some much needed rain, and getting ready to pull out the Dutch oven and fix some easy slow roasted lamb shanks for dinner. Time to cozy up with some Friday night comfort food. Now if only I'd had a chance to make that apple streusel pie I've been promising Joe. . .


  1. OK, I have a hundred questions. Forgive me:
    1. What kind of chicken is Lokey? Such beautiful chicks :)
    2. Is that a special pen for the chicks or just an annex from the sheep's barn?
    3. Do you plant in the raised beds with the hoop frame during the winter or is that just to keep the early spring and late summer crops from catching a sudden freeze?
    4. I LOVE THE GREENHOUSE. Whoops - not a question.
    5. What's Joe doing with the bed prep there? What's the deal with the frame he's raking over? OK - that was two questions. Made up for the last non-question.
    6. What do you plant in that raised bed?

    Oh - that wasn't so bad - only 6ish questions.

    Loving spring in the farm...

    1. Hey Finny,
      I'm going to skip over your questions for now since we're going to talk later. :)

  2. Well, you've stirred up my sheep envy something fierce! :D Thanks for all of the wonderful pictures. It's nice to see someone living the dream.

  3. I LOVE that first picture of the mama hen and her chicks and the picture of the lamb in the feeder! :)
    Another busy week for you guys! Thanks for all the great pictures!
    I'm still going to wait until at least the first of May before I put out my tomato and pepper plants.

    1. Hey Candy,
      Yeah, I probably should have waited a few weeks to transplant the tomatoes, peppers, and basil, but it was the right time on the lunar calendar (fertile day in the third quarter) and I'd just impulse bought a bunch of seedlings.

      Having a heatwave through all of March really messed with our heads. A hard frost like we had Wednesday night didn't seem possible, lol. I'm thankful it cooled down some, but of course that meant last night I was out in the garden in the dark, trying to figure out what would be worse - having it rain on the floating row covers and plant blankets and then flatten the plants, or having the plants possible freeze because they weren't covered.

      That's the only good thing about not getting your tomatoes and peppers in the ground until June (or, gasp, July) in Missouri - no chance of frost damage!

      Of course the tomato seeds I started myself are still only two inches tall, so I'm not completely back on track yet. ;)

  4. Gorgeous -- just gorgeous!

    We planted the Rocky Top mix last year from Baker Creek -- it was great.

  5. I bake my own wheat bread too. I have a hard time cutting thin even slices. My slices work good for toast but not so great for sandwiches. Too thick. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Taweesa,
      I'm afraid you asked the world's worst bread slicer for advice, lol. I use a big serrated knife which slices great, but I always end up cutting my slices thicker on one side than the other. Thin slices are definitely the most challenging; we eat a lot of Texas toast. You can't beat homemade bread, but our loaves often go very far. ;)

  6. Thanks for sharing. Spousal unit planted his tomato starts and seeded marigolds and a couple other flowers in our one raised box and has seeded the corn out in the back yard bed. Good times coming. Thanks for inspiration.

  7. Those little chicks are just sooo sweet!!! And, do you mean lamb chops, as in...your lamb chops? I know that's part of farming, but is that part hard for you- or do you get used to it? I know it's super easy to romanticize farm life, but there is so much hard work (and heartbreak-as you've shared before)- thanks for giving us a peek into it all!

    1. Hi Beetree,
      Baby chicks are always so much fun to have around. The whole farmyard is peeping. :)

      You're right - it is easy to romanticize farm life. We do raise grass-fed lamb and beef for ourselves and others, and the animals are definitely very cute, which, for me, is one of the best things about farming.

      It took a little getting used to raising my own meat, but now I wouldn't have it any other way. Knowing that we're eating some of the healthiest, best tasting meat you can get makes all the hard work (and heartbreak) worth it.

      You can read more about how I feel about raising animals for meat in this post.

  8. Great pictures - loved each and every one!! We got snow again for last couple of days in the Sierra Nevada range so it's great to see the beautiful green foliage and rich earth you all are enjoying in Missouri! I am so ready for Spring!

  9. Farmgirl, have been looking in every day or so for three years and absolutely love the new Friday Farm series-it really gives one a sense of your very active farmlife, the changing weather and the pictures are just fantastic. PS you inspired me a couple of years ago to start baking my own bread, we haven't bought a loaf now in two years!!!! Big kiss to the Marta Beast, my favorite Farmgirl animal although the lambs are pretty dang cute.


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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