Farm Fresh Eggs

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Picking the Green Beans

Anybody who has grown green beans knows that they don't pick themselves. Even though we have lots of sets of little hands in this household, nobody likes to pick them.

Heck, Tay's forearms break out in a rash every time we pick. She has some sort of hypersensitivity to them. Since nobody seems to like the pole beans, we're growing the "tastier" bush beans (sounds odd, but they do seem more tender and better tasting). Their close proximity to the ground is not kind to bad backs, that's for sure.

To inspire my girls in picking, I usually break out in song. "Bringing in the Sheaves"is my personal favorite...

Well, it's a team effort around here and eventually me, Tay and our four daughters get the job done every 3 or 4 onto the canning!!!


This years bean crop has been the most productive yet. We are three weeks into production so far and we have already canned 28 qts. I expect that we will have about 80 by the end of the growing season.

Having 4 kids to pick & snap has been key in keeping up. They hate every second of it and swear that after they move out they will never pick another bean as long as they live. Funny, I used to say the same thing when I was their age. I would dream about living a a little apartment with no wood to cut, no hay to bale and no vegetables to weed or pick. I did move away from farm life for short periods of time here and there when I was younger but I always seemed to end up right back where I started. I wouldn't last a week in an apartment of any kind today. The smell and the freedom of farm living is something I wouldn't give up for anything - and I'm sure the kids will feel the same way... someday.


We got a little side tracked last year. Lots of changes and updates in the 10 Acre wood. So, stay tuned and here goes...

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Busy Weekend (Thankfully!)

Yesterday, Tay and I were up at the crack of dawn and were able to get 56 tomato plants in the garden before the skies opened up.

Today, after the rain subsided, we relocated our fire pit to a nice cozy location in a small ring of trees.

Here is the old fire pit filled in and seeded with grass.

The next picture is our new fire pit area! Notice the chicken on the right side. Apparently the chickens also liked the upgrade and dug out a dust bath hole in front of one of the tree trunks.

One can only assume that they are enjoying the ambiance of the location as well.

The Peteys put in their customary half hour of work while complaining that we were killing them.

They were a huge help as they picked up a whole Big Red load full of sticks and wood and cleared tons of rocks from the newly cleared yard.

After all was said and done Tay and I spent a few hours enjoying the new
fire pit.

We've still got a lot more to plant and will get to it this week. We've got pole beans, all colors of bell peppers, cukes, zucchini, squash, more tomatoes and a few other veggies including asparagus.

It's shaping up to be a busy but fruitful week!

Even Tay's peach and apple trees are doing great above the garden and have been left alone by the deer.

We've also had a few wild turkeys visiting on a daily basis.

Life is good in the 10 acre wood!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Planting by the Signs

Since becoming interested in a more self-sustained lifestyle I am learning more than I ever thought possible about growing our own food here on the 10 Acre Wood. So many things I've planted over the years that were unsuccessful, I now realize that alot of my failures were due to planting at the wrong time. I never knew there was a right and wrong time to plant the summer garden. I believed that as long as the threat of frost has passed, anything goes. Not so! Did you know that lettuce, broccoli & onions like a good frost or two? It actually enhances the flavor. Did you also know that fall is the time to plant garlic? Depending on your frost zone (we are zone 6) there can be huge differences in crop yield depending on when you plant, so they say....which brings me to the subject of this post.

The Farmer's Almanac has been the hand book for many a farmer since the 1800's. Not only is there a right time to plant but according to the Almanac, there is a right day to plant. I have often wondered if there is anything to that or if it's simply folklore. Well, thanks to my friend Tipper who blogs over at "Blind Pig & the Acorn", I'm going to find out. We are doing a "very scientific" experiment and the findings will be posted here. "Hometown Seeds" has been kind enough to sponsor Tipper's garden this year and she has invited me to join her in an experiment. We will be planting some crops according to the signs & some crops not according to the signs. First up is Crookneck Summer Squash, I have 10 seeds, 5 will be planted on recommended planting day of May 17th or 18th and 5 will be planted on the 19th or 20th. One of the seeds looks like it's broken so I may plant 4 & 4 officially for the experiment. I picked up an Almanac & I've been browsing it when I can. Information ranges from gestation & mating tables for livestock to when & what kind of manure should be spread on your garden. You can even hatch peeps by the signs. I think this would be too difficult for me since we hatch by a broody hen rather than an incubator. I am very excited to see if there is any difference in my crop yields and if so, this could be the beginning of a whole new way of gardening...wish me luck.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Today's Morning Visitor

We got our first documented wild turkey visitor of the year today.

After having a Momma hen and her brood of twelve last spring as regular daily visitors to our chicken coop area, we have to wonder if this little one is one of the grown chicks.

If so, chances are we'll see him/her regularly stopping by for a snack during the daily routine.

...and maybe, just maybe, we'll have to invite him/her to our Thanksgiving meal as our guest of honor!