Friday, October 23

Friday Farm Photo: Have a Picturesque Weekend.

Breakfast in the front field.

Any plans this weekend? We're finally getting a little bit of much needed rain and are hoping for more tonight or tomorrow. It's mostly dusty and crunchy and brown out there, and the cool season grasses that the sheep and donkeys usually graze on this time of year simply aren't growing. Fortunately we've reduced the size of the flock so much in the past few years that we—knock on wool—should still have plenty for everyone to eat, plus the moisture from the early morning fog we often get down in our little valley helps a lot. But I think many of the local cattle farmers are going to have to start feeding out their hay much earlier than they'd planned.

I'm also hoping the rain will wash away these unseasonably warm temperatures (after two frosty nights we're back up in the 80s) and the thousands of little yellowish-green beetles with black spots that have been decimating the several beds of beautiful autumn greens in the kitchen garden that were supposed to keep us fed for the next couple of months. In 21 years of gardening in Missouri I've never had any trouble with—or seen so many of—these incredibly destructive bugs. This has been a really strange year in the garden. (Update: They're spotted cucumber beetles, which unlike striped cucumber beetles, feed on over 200 crop and non-crop plants. Crap. Thanks for the pest ID, Candy!)

Meanwhile we're working our way through the several pounds of only-slightly-nibbled lettuce and kale I managed to salvage that are stashed in a giant cooler in Joe's workshop (he's thrilled). Every night is Giant Salad Night! But between the fresh crisp greens and the last of the vine-ripened garden tomatoes, neither of us minds a bit.

©, home of the half hidden donkey.

Monday, October 12

Monday Dose of Cute: It's a Brand New Week.

Bring it on.

©, powered by The Jaspernator, who is currently sprawled across the top of one of the chest freezers downstairs, staring at the wall.

Saturday, October 10

Attention Farmgirl Fare Feedblitz Email Subscribers!

Battered cattle gate on the property up the valley from ours.

Hello! For those of you who receive Farmgirl Fare posts via the Feedblitz email subscription service, I just wanted to let you know that all those extra ads that have been appearing in your newsletters lately aren't my fault!

In exchange for offering free email subscriptions to Farmgirl Fare (and to millions of other blogs), Feedblitz runs its own ads in the email updates that it sends you.

I have no control over these ads, nor do I receive any revenue from them. Unfortunately Feedblitz recently increased the number of ads in all of its subscriptions, and in my opinion they've gotten a little excessive.

If you still want to keep up with everything on the farm (and I sure hope you do!) but the Feedblitz email ads are too annoying, there are a couple of things you can do:

1. The easiest option is to keep receiving your Feedblitz email subscription, but as soon as you open each email, just click right through to the Farmgirl Fare site and read the new post there instead.

Simply click on the title of the new post, which appears in blue near the top of the email (right under an ad!) and that will bring you to Farmgirl Fare. So for this post it would be the catchy title: Attention Farmgirl Fare Feedblitz Email Subscribers.

2. Or you can follow along via Facebook. I announce each new Farmgirl Fare post on the Farmgirl Fare Facebook pageTo make sure you receive the new post announcements, click LIKE on the Farmgirl Fare Facebook page, then under LIKED click on Get Notifications and Add to Interest List. The new post announcements are the only things I post on Facebook, so you won't be bombarded with a bunch of other stuff in your feed.

Unfortunately you may still not receive the new post announcements because Facebook really wants me (and everybody else) to pay to reach fans, so you might check the Farmgirl Fare Facebook page or once in a while to see if you're actually getting the updates. I've heard from readers who thought I'd stopped blogging for a year when I was actually putting up several posts—and Facebook announcements for each post—every week.

3. You can also subscribe to Farmgirl Fare content updates via FeedBurner (in things like My Yahoo!, Newsgator, Bloglines, etc.) but I'm embarrassed to admit I never learned how that whole (now pretty antiquated) RSS feed thing actually works. There's also something called BlogLovin', but I have no idea how that works either.

I hope this helps. As always, your comments, emails, and feedback are greatly appreciated.

See you around the farm!

©, the totally low tech foodie farm blog (no smartphones—or even cell phone reception—down here!) where our mostly well-behaved bovine neighbors can sometimes get a little rambunctious.

Friday, October 2

Friday Dose of Cute: Have a Happy Weekend.

Hanging out by the new chickens (who are laying four six dozen eggs a week!)

Any plans this weekend? When we're not eating as many of the last vine-ripened tomatoes as we can (tacos! BLTs! hot melty cheese and tomato open-faced sandwiches on homemade sourdough rye! enormous salads!) we'll be spending as much time as possible outdoors enjoying this gorgeous fall weather, Joe mostly out on the big tractor bushhogging down the fields and me in the kitchen garden.

Two days ago it's like a switch was flipped and we went from hot and humid and thinking about a late afternoon swim in the river to cool and crisp and looking for a heavy long-sleeved shirt.

The nights are dipping into the low 40s, but we're still sleeping with the windows wide open. Cozy blankets, vintage quilts, slow-roasted dinners, hot cups of tea, invigorating breezes flapping all the laundry on the line, and the sounds of the first geese already heading south.

Autumn wakes us up and always seems so full of possibility. It feels completely different both outside and in our hearts. The sheep are suddenly feisty and full of energy, jumping around and playing like little kids. The kitchen beckons, and so do the woods. Firewood and flannel sheets. Pitch dark by seven o'clock. Fall has arrived. It's time to slow down and savor every minute.

©, the gracefully aging foodie farm blog where it's hard to believe our beloved Lucky Buddy Bear will be fourteen years old in January. His eyesight is fading, his hearing is going, and he now spends most of his time in the house, but this retired old stock dog hasn't lost his shine or his smile—and he still likes nothing better than to be surrounded by members of his feathered, furry, and wooly farm flock.