Sunday, May 6

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #8

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.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (1)

We were really hoping to get some rain from the several big storms that came through this past week, but we ended up with less than half an inch. Today's forecast said 93° with 80% humidity and a heat index of 102°.

We've hardly had any rain this spring, and the grazing pastures and hayfield that feed our sheep and donkeys simply aren't growing enough. It's disappointing and frustrating, and there's nothing we can do. Tonight's forecast is calling for an 80% chance of up to .3 inches of rain tonight and tomorrow. We'll take whatever we can get.

What we need even more than rain right now, though, is for my hunky farmguy Joe to feel better. On Monday morning he threw his back out, and he's been out of commission and in terrible pain all week.

We've tried everything from arnica gel, DMSO, and Biofreeze to burdock leaf poultices and hot compresses (these Thermalon heat/cold pads are great). Anti-inflammatory herbs, hot whirlpool baths, ice packs, the inversion therapy table (one of the best investments we ever made), homeopathic pellets, Chinese pain patches, our beloved Kneading Fingers back massager (another great investment), foot reflexology—all our usual favorite remedies (we get banged up a lot on the farm!) just aren't working.

On Friday he was finally able to (barely) make the 70-mile round trip to the chiropractor. Tomorrow we'll head to the medical clinic. As our longtime chiropractor put it after adjusting Joe three times on Friday, "As much as I hate to say it, sometimes you just need drugs."

So anyway, that's why this week's Friday Farm Fix is appearing on Sunday afternoon—and this week's recipe (as per my lofty new One Recipe Every Week plan) didn't appear at all. Also, I spent a lot of time watering. I did manage to snap quite a few pictures, though. Enjoy!

A whopping 30 more photos below. . .

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (2)Want to attract pollinators to your garden? Just let the kale flower.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (3)

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (4)It's been so strange seeing all these bare trees this time of year, after a hard frost a few weeks ago killed off many of the new leaves.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (5)

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (6)It's been even stranger seeing falling brown leaves everywhere.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (7)It's getting hard to tell Dan and Gnat apart! Of course Dan is Gnat's Grandpa Daddy. What can I say, these things happen (with livestock they call it line breeding). Thankfully Gnat didn't pop out with three ears or anything, just most of Dan's DNA.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (11)Chicks dig chard.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (12)Which is a good thing, because it's growing like crazy in the greenhouse.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (13)And out in the garden.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (14)Planting bush beans (again) last Saturday. Two of the three varieties I sowed on March 27th never sprouted (I was using up old seeds and didn't take the time to test them first). We love the really thin green bean varieties. These are Masai (an old favorite) and Slenderette (new to me), both from Pinetree Garden Seeds—and they all sprouted in less than a week.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (15)The garlic is looking great.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (16)And the comfrey is very happy.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (17)The potato plants recovered from being frozen a few weeks ago and are doing really well. I may go ahead and keep planting them in March (as per local custom) rather than in April or May like I usually do.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (18)We enjoyed the first green onions of the year in salads. Delicious!

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (19)Lulabelle's two chicks are in that scruffy, silly looking stage.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (22)On the Mole Patrol

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (29)This scrumptious Cinnamon Chocolate Banana Mexican Monkey Cake is one of our favorite treats. I've been adapting my recipe to fit a 9"x9" pan, but the original 8"x8" version, which I've been making for years, is here.

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (30)

5-4-12 Friday Farm Fix (31)

I hope you're having a good weekend!

Want a bigger farm fix?

©, where Joe and I are loving the Friday Farm Fix because it always helps answer that constant question, What the heck have we been doing all week?


  1. For Joe's back....MIGHT help....get an electric blanket and lay on it, as hot as he can stand it. Better than a little old heating pad. I use a throw-sized blanket.

  2. Hoping you get your rain soon! Sending healing thoughts to Joe.

  3. Send your Hunky Farm Guy Joe to an Acupuncturist if you can find one. Good healing and hoping you get some rain soon!

  4. First of all I must commiserate with Joe. My degenerating lower back disc can pinch the nerve and send me flat out for three days and in bed another four if I twist the wrong way. It's awful and yes do(Rx)drugs if you have to. Ice immediately is the best initial first aid and OTC Robaxicet asap as well. Get the swelling down fast is key.
    Secondly I LOVE your Friday roundup. The images of dead spring time leaves usually are not beautiful but the ones in the water tank make for an exceptionlly beautiful picture. The sheep in the meadow following a way below it is my favorite pasture pic but they are all wonderful. If I could send you some of the almost non-stop rain from Saskatchewan I would. GET WELL JOE

  5. As a fellow low back pain sufferer, I know only too well the agony it can induce. So I say to Joe, "Get well soon", and second Jen's suggestion of acupuncture.

  6. Oh man, I was hoping this late "Fix" meant that you guys had been out and about and busy all weekend because Joe was feeling better. Boo :(

    Not to layer on more stuff for you all to try, but we (me, Bubba, my grandma, my mom, too many friends to count) do love physical therapy for more things. My grandma's been having back pain and knee pain for years and *just* agreed to go to a physical therapist and BAM! she's like a new woman - at 86!

    Not that Joe's an 86 year old woman or anything. Same goes for Bubba and his back - PT is a miracle.

    Hope you guys get some rain and that Joe's back works up better really REALLY soon.

  7. Dear Susan, I adore reading your stories and lifestyle and made many a recipe!! I might be able to help you with a natural solution for backpain. I always use Osmond's Witte Oliƫn (white oils). It is actually meant for horses (really!) but it is amazing stuff, I use it for almost anything, from muscle pains to headaches. It alleviates stiffness, strains, sprains, rheumatism, swellings, thick heels, but also bronchitis, sore throat and paralysis. It is based on Camphor, which is a cramp-relieving analgesic, so it has a really strong smell, people either like it or they don't...

    It's a Dutch product, we always got family to take it with them while visiting us or ordered it online, See I've recommended it to many a thankful family member or friend, might even start a shop..

    Massage the oil on the painful area for five to ten minutes twice a day. You might even put on a dry bandage after that to let it permeate the skin. When treating your leg or body rub upwards. Treatment of head or neck rub downwards.

    Hope this helps Joe..

  8. Just read that today May 8 is World Donkey Day! Who knew?
    So naturally I thought of you!


  9. It's been raining here for two days straight - wish I could send you some. Hope your guy is feeling better soon.

  10. All that gives our lives meaning and defines us as people and farmers depends on our physical strength in many ways. I have suffered many a desperate thought when my back has been injured---who will care for the animals? How can I grow the vegetables? What am I going to do?! I have been thinking about you with the mysterious toothache and Joe with the back wishing you both a quick recovery. Pain interferes with being able to appreciate the simple pleasures that surround us every day. I get annoyed with myself when I am focusing on my pain rather than the sweet greeting of my beagles or a nuzzle (or hug!) from a favorite sheep! THAT is what life is about! A big hello to all of your farm family there in Missouri...especially Bert.

  11. Hi Everybody,
    Thanks so much for all the kind words and helpful suggestions. We both really appreciate them. :)

  12. One more back suggestion--the back muscles are some of the thinnest in the body so they can dehydrate quickly. At the first twinge or sign of a problem, drink 2 large glasses of good filtered water and rest, with knees elevated for 30 minutes. You'll be amazed at how this helps...


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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