Saturday, July 21

Tail End of the Week: Get Your Friday Farm Fix #19

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 (mostly on Fridays). Just joining us? You'll find all the Friday Farm Fix posts here.

(19-1) Beautiful old oak tree that fell during Thursday's storm -

We had a slight change in the weather this week. It was still way too hot and way too dry, but for a (thankfully) brief period on Thursday afternoon it was also way too windy. A noisy thunderstorm whipped through the farm, sending chickens flapping, our big gas grill tumbling across the yard, and this beautiful old oak tree crashing to the ground.

(19-2) Big old oak tree that fell during Thursday's storm -

Fortunately Da Big Guy and The Kid, our two rams who are currently living in that pen, weren't hurt. One of the bunk feeders suffered severe injuries, but at least the little sheep hut was mostly spared. We got about 1/4" of rain out of the whole ordeal, and although it was better than nothing, I definitely would have preferred a little less excitement and a lot more water.

On to a more appetizing subject. I don't keep track of what we eat for dinner every night, but maybe I should start. Sometimes it can be easy to forget just how much wonderful food graces our table.

This week we enjoyed the first BLTs of the season, made with locally raised bacon (from one of the two butcher hogs in our freezers), juicy tomatoes from a friend, and homemade pesto mayonnaise (first pesto of the year! my favorite pesto recipe is here) on freshly baked Farmhouse White (with a few cups of whole wheat flour tossed in). And then the next night we had them again.

More food talk and another 15 farm photos below. Hover over each picture for a description. . .

There were homegrown lamb burgers with sharp cheddar and Dijon mustard on homemade whole wheat buns. Grilled pork chops with boiled and buttered freshly dug potatoes, and slices of the first ripe orange sun bell pepper, dipped in my easy low fat buttermilk ranch dressing.

We had a leisurely living room 'picnic' (one of our favorite meals) with freshly baked French bread, a platter of fresh veggies, leftover grilled meats, olives, and cheese. Cucumbers and tomatoes tossed with this Kalamata vinaigrette. More grilled pork chops. Last night we had tacos (a summer only treat) made with homegrown grass-fed beef and onions, peppers, and barely enough (because we couldn't wait any longer) ripe tomatoes from the garden.

Yes, all the time and effort it takes to put this wonderful food on our table each week is definitely worth it. On next week's menu? A bunch of scrawny roosters who are eating us out of house and home—and have all figured out how to crow.

To take my mind off the devastating heat and drought (and those stupid blister beetles) I've been breathing in the scent of fresh lavender from my one small flowering plant, snuggling friendly sheep, watching hundreds of dragonflies dart around the farmyard, and listening to the howls of a happy beagle on the scent (when he's not hiding from the heat, sprawled out on his kitchen Coolaroo).

A friend once told me that when you see a hawk, it means you're on the right path. This morning as I was snapping photos of the four freshly picked King Arthur peppers below, I heard a familiar cry and looked up to see a beautiful, low flying hawk right above my head. As I watched it circle around a few times before flying away, I thought about the path I'm on. And then I wondered if the hawk had simply been contemplating a chicken dinner.

(19-3) Sweet basil and purple basil destined for the season's first pesto -

(19-4) Blooming lavender and wild burdock next to the greenhouse in the kitchen garden -

(19-5) Homemade swing in the hayfield -

(19-6) Freshly baked French bread made with beer instead of water -

(19-7) Beagle Bert doing his morning route before it gets too hot -

(19-8) We had to put the wayward sheep back out in the front field but there isn't much to eat in it -

(19-9) The blasted blister beetles have attacked the greenhouse, hence the dusting of diatomaceous earth on everything - FarmgirlFare.comThe ravenous blister beetles have moved into the greenhouse, so I've dusted everything with food grade diatomaceous earth. You can read more about organic methods for controlling blister beetles here and learn about the many ways we use diatomaceous earth around the farm and garden here.

(19-10) Digging up Yukon Gold and red potatoes planted in early March - FarmgirlFare.comMy EZ-Digger (also called a Korean hand plow) is the best tool I've found for digging up potatoes—and doing just about everything else in the garden. I've been using the heck out of mine for 17 years.

(19-12) The treat trough doubles as a handy scratching post -

(19-13) Parsley, English thyme, Greek oregano, and a few volunteer tomatoes from the kitchen garden -

(19-14) Cock-a-doodle-doo! A lot of those cute little chicks turned into roosters -

(19-15) King Arthur sweet red peppers from the kitchen garden -

(19-16) Lokey's chicks are in that scruffy teenager stage -

(19-17) Hawk circling overhead -

Don't forget to enjoy the little things this weekend.

Want a bigger farm fix?
(click here to see all these posts on one long page)
Friday Farm Fix #1
©, where you can tell I love my $2 star spangled vintage colander from the junk store. I didn't realize it was missing its feet until Joe pointed it out, but I think it actually works better this way.


  1. Is that a left-handed Korean hoe? My friend lent me hers when she was traveling (back to Korea actually) but it was right handed and didn't work for me. But yours looks like it is left-handed?

    1. Hi Kate,
      No, mine is the regular kind as far as I know. I'm right handed. But it does look like it would work for a lefty in the photo above, doesn't it? I guess it's just the angle. I never thought of it as being a right-handed only tool. That's too bad!

  2. We also had a bad storm and it blew a tree right through the house into our livingroom -- two huge tree limbs right through the ceiling and down through the coffee table to the floor! Sorry to hear that you did not get much rain. The mid-Atlantic area is getting a good soaking. I hope you will get some soon.

    1. Hi Dana,
      Oh no! That's terrible - and scary. I hope nobody was hurt. We have two HUGE trees (even bigger than the one that fell over Thursday) growing right next to The Shack and they make wonderful shade, but Joe is always terrified they're going to come crashing down. I'm so sorry to hear about your damage.

    2. Dear Susan,
      Thank you for writing. We're fine and are well insured for the damage but had another tree which hangs near our bedroom done the same thing, I wouldn't be writing this message! Good luck to you and Joe and let's all hope that the weather will be kinder to us in the future.

  3. Ha! I have the exact same colander (inherited) and mine is also missing it's feet! And I agree, I think it works better without them.

  4. Hello Susan,
    We have been having a very hot and dry days here in central Italy as well; It has been in the 107 degrees for more than a month and every single kitchen garden and field is in a dire need of rain. (Italians are so fond of their kitchen gardens and in the tiniest space they will make a kitchen garden, which the call orto. :)

    Well, today is a different story as it has been pouring cats and dogs since last night. I'll keep my fingers crossed that it will reach your shores as well :)

    I love the idea of having a weekly menu; I, even though I live alone, write a weekly menu depending on what is in my kitchen garden and what is in season. I'm blessed to be living in the mountain in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by so many organic small farms :)

    Anyway, I really do love your blog and by the way I'm an old reader of yours; I have been visiting your blog since 2006, when I was still living in London UK. I really admire you and your hard work; you inspired me to ditch my killer shoes and immaculate dresses, take the plunge and move to Italy. Now, I want to move to the US :) Do you know, by any chance, of a single farmer who is looking for someone, who is excellent at cooking, pickling, gardening, keeping animals and all. Haha.

    I love the weekly fix and look forward to it. Thanks for sharing your amazing journey with us and I'm still waiting for your first book :)
    Kind Regards

  5. Hi Susan, Glad the downed tree did not hurt the rams, yikes. Gorgeous potato harvest, congratulations. Glad to hear you got some rain.

    Please tell me, do you butcher those roosters yourself?

    Stay cool :)

  6. Wow, I'm glad the tree didn't hit the rams! I hate those storms with little rain and big wind. :(
    How fun that you were able to snap a picture of the hawk! Whenever I have my camera they are too high and when they are nice and camera. LOL!!
    I love cooking from scratch too and it's extra special when I can use produce from the garden or Farmers' Market. Thanks for the weekly "fix!"

  7. That looks like a red tailed hawk - I don't know if you have experienced otherwise, but in theory even though they are called chickenhawks, they supposedly prey mainly on rodents in farmers' fields, and the urban hawks in New York City, like the famous Pale Male of Fifth Avenue, dine on pigeons and rats and frankly do the city a service.

    I started reading about hawks a few years ago when a red tail pair nested on our hill - we'd see them gliding in concentric circles over the nearby saltmarsh, and chuckle at the clumsy, squawking juveniles learning to fly in late summer.

    The Southwestern author Tony Hillerman quoted the Hopi as saying, one hawk overhead is good luck, and two overhead is better luck. I guess that means we have healthy ecosystem to provide good hunting, so that is lucky. Another interesting thing about red tailed hawks is they are very loyal - they will feed a grounded mate or brother until the injured bird recovers (or doesn't), and will reliably adopt orphaned babies, including eaglets.

    So I'll keep my fingers crossed for your chickens, but hopefully your hawk is just controlling your rodent population :-)


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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