This barn is getting quite full. I believe we can stack about 7,000 square bales into this barn. With all of the rain we've received this year, our hay crop is growing really well. So well, in fact, that we're having a hard time keeping up with it. By the time one field is cut, raked, and baled, another field is ready to go. This means long days on the farm.
Tom is driving our bale wagon back from the field with a full load of hay.
We have so much hay we've overflowed into the new barn. Here is the first stack to ever be placed in the new barn.
This new barn was built last fall for equipment and extra hay storage. Tom and his dad have been working busily to weld the backstop you can see at the far end. This will keep from falling backwards when the bale wagon drops the stack of hay. Up next? Lots and lots of tin all over the main two rain-ward sides.
Is there anything better than bread 'n butter pickles from your own garden? I catch my boys (the tall one too) at random times of the day standing with the fridge open with a fork in their hand and vinegar dripping down their chins.
1 lb. pickling cucumbers, slice 1/4"
1 small white onion rings, sliced 1/4"
2 c. white wine vinegar (any vinegar will do)
3/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. kosher salt
1 tsp. celery seeds
1 tsp. mustard seeds
2 bay leaves
Place sliced cucumbers and onions in a heat proof bowl. Bring other ingredients to a boil until sugar and salt are dissolved. Quickly pour over cucumber/onion mixture and let sit. When the bowl contents have reached room temperature, pour into quart size canning jar and place in fridge. Easy and yummy!
There is nothing this boy is afraid of touching. If I see a garden pest and am...well...nervous about it...I'll call Riley, my exterminator, over and he'll gladly pick the bug off of my plants and dispose of it.
This was one cool caterpillar. BUT, even beautiful-looking bugs must get off of my carrots.
Wonder what kind of butterfly this one will make? Does anyone know?
We had an abundance of little red cherry tomatoes on our porch this summer. As soon as they started turning bright red, Abram was drawn to them. He crawled up onto the bench and started snacking.
He loves tomatoes...just like his Grandma!
Abram thought Papa was building a huge playhouse for him before the chickens moved in their new home. He loved to crawl inside and explore. Now that the chickens have moved in, he and Riley don't go inside but they get to stand outside and peek in the windows.
"Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things unseen."
Growing potatoes is a lot like faith. You plant seeds and you watch the plants grow but you don't really know what is under the dirt until the time is right and you dig everything up. It was like a big surprise on Christmas morning!
Our harvest was about 10 pounds of the best yummiest yukon golds we've ever tasted!
We'll definitely keep potatoes on the "Must Grow" list.
We expanded our ground and quadrupled our growing space this year. We're growing tomatoes, cucumbers, butternut squash, summer squash, zucchini, onions, watermelons, cantaloupe, green beans, sweet corn, sweet bell peppers, ichiban eggplant, cabbage, broccoli, snap peas, lettuce, radishes, tomatillos, spinach, potatoes, jalapenos, serrano peppers, carrots, and mammoth sunflowers.
Chris and Tom made these cucumber/ butternut squash trellises from cattle panels found at our local feed store. It was Chris' first welding experience and I'd have to say he did quite well.
Two cabbages harvested and turned into jars and jars of sauerkraut.
We have 15 tomato plants. We'll get scores and scores of the red fleshy fruit this summer. I'm ready for another round of canning diced tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, marinara (chalk full with our own basil, oregano, thyme), salsa, and pizza sauce.
Every garden needs the weeds to be pulled. The raised bed in the bottom right of the picture held our potato plants. Pictures of that yummy harvest to follow soon.
We said goodbye to our last two puppies. All of them were sold and placed into good homes from San Antonio. We placed an online ad in the San Antonio Express newspaper and within five days, they were all gone.
We all bonded with these cute black pups. In a way, it was sad to see them go. But knowing they're in good homes makes it all bearable.
Riley definitely misses the puppies as he played with them every day. They all would follow him around the farm, flopping their big ears, and pouncing on him when he'd lay in the grass.
Abram liked them a lot too.
But he wasn't so sure of their licking.
One last goodbye
Within minutes of this picture being taken, the family drove up our driveway and we wheeled them their new puppies in this wagon. They wanted to take all three cuties home but we apologized and kindly let them know...the one in the back of the wagon was NOT for sale.
Sad to say goodbye to these faithful friends. They finally gave out and the soles have disintegrated. I've had them 11 years. They've been to Africa and back three times. They have climbed mountains and waded in streams. They've doubled as running shoes and (in their day) were dressy enough to wear to a fancy dinner. They were my favorite go-to shoes...always secretly wishing I were wearing these if other shoes were on my feet.