Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garden Is Growing!

This is what our garden looked like this morning. Everything is growing beautifully. The hay around the plants is doing an amazing job at keeping the weeds at bay as well as keeping the moisture in. It does take a bit of hay, which works well for us since...well...we have two huge barns filled with the stuff! But even if you don't live on a hay farm, I'd highly recommend the purchase of 1 square bale to mulch around your plants. It will be well worth the $$.









Monday, April 25, 2011

It's Sweet!

Just over one week ago we launched a business!

I've been thinking of y'all who follow the Rickstrew Ranch and wanting to post pictures of the happenings around these parts, but you'll have to excuse me as I've been running around like a chicken with its head missing these days. I hope to post garden pictures soon (as it's growing HUGE and oh-so-beautifully!), kidlets photos, and general farm life happenings soon.

In the mean time, you can find me managing our Facebook page or out in the barn making some SweetSeats.

Check us out @


and

here on Facebook...go head, give us some love.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Happy Birthday Abram!

Yesterday was a big day around the Rickstrew Ranch. Our middle son turned TWO!
Happy Birthday Abram Oak.

He awoke from his morning nap to a ladybug cake that I made for him. He had the look of total surprise and delight when he laid eyes on it. He said "bug" over and over.

After he saw his cake, we directed him to the front porch where and even better surprise was waiting for him. A new tricycle! But this isn't just any tricycle! Grandma sent a farm-road worthy, mud-safe, all terrain tricycle. Thank you!

Riley was delighted with this new toy also. He helped Abram ride it all over the farm.

Then we came inside for a big birthday feast. We had italian sausage sandwiches, german potato salad, chips and salsa, and a green salad.

Grandpa and Gigi gave Abram this wonderful horse and hay barn. It is really well made with all kinds of great features like a real hay loft and moveable stalls inside.
We love it!

Abram played with this barn for hours into the night yesterday.

Nana gave each of the boys a stuffed animal and the corresponding Eric Carle book a month ago. Abram chose the ladybug and the book, "The Grouchy Ladybug." He sleeps with it every night and carries it around the house. I thought a ladybug cake would be fitting for this little gentleman.

Under that smooth fondant icing was a lemon poppyseed cake. I used the same recipe that a friend used for our wedding cake 10.5 years ago!



Here's Sila-berry goofing off in the swing!

Around 6pm, the big boys got all gussied up and headed to San Antonio for a special Titanic memorial Dinner at a brazilian steakhouse. Thank you Grandma for these nice clothes for Riley and Tom.

Father and Son.

Going to see if Grandpa was ready to go yet...

Grandpa, Papa, and Son.
Three fine looking men (in front of Gigi's beautiful roses), in my humble opinion.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Lunch

Before

After

Want to make THE BEST salad dressing? Here is the recipe:

Garlic Dressing
2 cloves minced garlic
1/4c. Parmesan cheese
1/2c. Olive oil
1/4t. salt
1/4t. pepper
1/2t. oregano dried
1/4t. thyme dried
1-2T. mayo (optional)
1T. lemon juice

Recipe courtesy of my friends at DelSisters Kitchen


Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Garden

I know I've been absent from bloggerland for a couple of weeks now. I can explain. But my explanation will have to wait. Our family is working on some very exciting business prospects and while I'd love to divulge details here...you have to be patient and in a short while, I'll tell you all about it.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of our spring/summer garden. It's warming up around these parts with highs about 85-89 everyday and warm nights, which vegetable starts L.O.V.E.

This is an overview picture. This is what you see from our garden gate. So far we've planted sugar snap peas, cucumber, eggplant, lots of tomatoes, butternut squash, zucchini, yellow summer squash, tomatillos, green bush beans, okra, cantaloupe, watermelon, sweet corn, cilantro, sweet green, yellow, and red peppers, serrano peppers, jalapeno peppers, and a malabar spinach.

Loads of carrots and beets leftover form the winter. We roasted them with potatoes the other day with rosemary (also fresh from the herb garden), olive oil, and sea salt. Yum!

Isn't this tarnished copper pot the best? Tom brought it home from the "Free Pile" across the road at the exotic game ranch he's been working at. I planted a comfrey root in the middle of it.

I think we have 26 tomato plants.

When we first moved here, I was used to Humboldt sun and Humboldt gardens. We planted three tomato plants thinking that would produce plenty. All of our neighbors (who plant at a minimum 70 plants!) spoke about their ability to can what they couldn't eat in the summer so that they were able to never buy another can of store-bought tomatoes and that sounded good to me. So year two, we planted 15 tomatoes. I bought even more this year.

Another reason I love having chickens. We emptied out their coop yesterday and spread the manure/hay all over our plants. It will help to control weeds and minimize watering.

Tomatillos are already growing!

These are Roma tomatoes. We have about 6 or 7 varieties.

These are yellow pear tomatoes (my favorite!)

Strawberries that never make it inside because of two little boys I know who love to snack on them all day long.