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A farm week

July 2, 2009

Everywhere I turn, something needs planting, harvesting, weeding, cooking, feeding, hauling, picked up, butchering, watering and moving.  The days are long and the nights are short.  I’ll just try to say it in photos.  Food, slow and close to home.


I think I may have vanished into thin air… .  They do too!


Don’t let people tell you Cornish Cross won’t graze – if they didn’t, this broth and schmaltz would not be golden.


And the the broth is gelatinous too.  Perfect for adding extra nutrition to your cooking.


Hakurei salad turnips and Mishayage Daikon radishes.  These are not your grandmother’s turnips.  We snack on these like apples they are so sweet.  And the greens are good too.


Another myth:  It’s hard to grow celery in the home garden.  Of course, it won’t look like the stuff from California.  But it will take neglect, low water, and is great for adding flavor to summer salads and soups.


Been spending some time here harvesting too… .


Grassfed tallow awaiting rendering.

Our share of Blackie.


Himalayan blackberries on the way.  Love/hate relationship with these noxious weeds!


Garlic scapes.


Found again currants near the corral.

Meat and milk on the hoof.



Crunchy lettuce for a quick dinner.


Parsnip seed


Styrian seed pumpkins


Kale planted last July.  Still kicking, but not for long.  This should have bolted but I guess a greenhouse on your head kinda changes the order of things.


January King cabbage from last July too, same greenhouse treatment… .  I don’t recommend this method of perpetual cabbage – just stick with reseeding. 😦


Ruby Ball cabbage from last July.  Apparently I cut these in the right place on the stem to stimulate more head formation.  You can see how large these plants are – Melvin weighs about 75#’s.


Joan rutabaga seed.


Berries calling my name.


We’re pooped!

Hope all this didn’t make you too tired to check out Food Renegade’s Fight Back Friday collection of posts for July 3rd.  Looks like some good recipes, reviews and always some good opinions and facts!

31 Comments leave one →
  1. July 2, 2009 11:05 pm

    Fantastic photos! All of that and you have time to take pictures, blog the pictures, and keep your fingernails looking purty.

    I would like to try that variety of turnip.

    • July 3, 2009 4:36 am

      Sarah, I find if I remember to take the camera, I just might get a good shot. LOL – That must be my only clean fingenail!

      TURNIP WARNING!! If you start growing these, your kids will devour them. Plan on succession plantings. 🙂

  2. July 3, 2009 1:37 am

    Thank you for your pictorial tour and roundup 🙂 Everything is growing so well, I love the picture of the scapes especially. How do you use the kohlrabi? I got some in my CSA share this week and don’t know what to do with it.
    Oh, the hakueri turnips, nice to know there is another huge fan! I have been eating them raw, not just with meals but also randomly through the day. Addictive. Especially so as I’m not that fond of the traditional turnip. But my CSA always brings tons of hakueri since the farmer(s) are particularly fond of them. And so am I!

    • July 3, 2009 4:41 am

      Mangochild, I had to dig back through a week of pictures, and things have grown in the garden since then with the long days. I need to do a garden update of successes and failures, just not enough time.

      Oh, I agree with you on those turnips, ours end up getting eaten at all times, never at meals. Sometimes for a juicy snack while weeding, just brushed off, and devoured. As for the kohlrabi, it goes the same as the salad turnips. Usually sliced and eaten raw. Also good grated in coleslaw or lightly steamed. The greens are excellent too.

  3. July 3, 2009 2:34 am

    Gorgeous! My favorite is the sun through the currents!

    • July 3, 2009 4:46 am

      TC, I was excited to see those currants. They are in our “deer” orchard, which is on my Danish grandparents place. You know, with a grape so high in the apple tree it takes a pole pruner to get any 🙂 Anyway, I had taken cuttings from these plants and started some for the home garden, and I haven’t seen (noticed) this plant for 20+ years, but I noticed yesterday when I was building a new grazing area. Couldn’t miss that red!

  4. July 3, 2009 3:53 am

    Nice pics Nita. I hear you on the endless things to do. Happy 4th!

  5. July 3, 2009 4:30 am

    Ok Nita I just read back several post to get caught up on what you’ve been doing. God I’ve missed you. Learned lots! Never really thought too much about cows and flies. Never had to much experience with big livestock but will shortly….if we ever get a chance (time) to get set up with fencing/housing and all. Liked the father’s day post. It sure is nice to have a handy, hardworking man around. We sure do love our maine man and all he does. Thanks for sharing all your knowledge and wit with us!

    • July 3, 2009 4:48 am

      I hear you on the handy guy thing! We sure love ours!! I bookmarked MM’s plucker tutorial – I’m putting that on my list:)

      Good luck with the cows!

  6. nfmgirl permalink
    July 3, 2009 4:40 am

    All your veggies look so good, without blemishes or bug nibbles. Do you use pesticides? Looks to “perfect” to be organic.

    I’m exhausted just going through your pictorial tour!

    • July 3, 2009 4:54 am

      nfmgirl, thanks, nope no pesticides here, only occasionally BT for cabbage moth. Lots of compost, row cover on pest sensitive crops and a pretty good insectary make a huge difference. If I look at my crops the smaller stunted, weak plants do get bothered by insects while right next to them in the same row, there are healthy plants. Usually the unhealthy plants get pulled and fed to the chickens. The healthy ones remain and grow on.

  7. July 3, 2009 5:23 am

    Lovely… what a great life! You are certainly blessed. Your photo of the currants is captivating and I got a hoot out of the cows with you “missing”!

    Will you be making anything with the tallow you are rendering? Any posts coming up with that information as well?

    • July 3, 2009 8:24 am

      Comtesse, I was captivated by those currants. I thought the bushes were gone and really it shows I just wasn’t paying attention. You’d be surprised at how effective those gloves or a shirt can be as a deflective device when moving cattle. They are so curious about anything that is out of place.

      The tallow will be probably used for soap and a little for cooking. I probably won’t make soap again until fall and I’ll post then about that.

  8. July 3, 2009 6:27 am

    Nita, looks like you’ve disappeared from all of the hard work. Our weather is forcast for 103 degrees today. I can’t stand this heat with no sign of rain. I posted pictures of some of our crops. The green beans were excellent, but I really loved the Lady Cream Peas. They are small but excellant to eat. My dogs like to eat them raw.

    How do you keep your camera clean when you are outside all day? Beautiful pictures and I loved the garlic scape.

    Happy fourth of July,

    • July 3, 2009 8:26 am

      Pam, those calves were so funny looking at those gloves on the other side of the fence. Luckily I had the camera with me. So far, so good on keeping the camera clean – but we sure get dirty!!

      Are those like Blackeye or Yelloweye peas? Our dogs love the peas too, pods and all 🙂

  9. July 3, 2009 9:30 am

    This made me tired just reading it……………you sound like you’re in your glory though 😉 Busy, busy and more busy, it’s summer time!

    • July 3, 2009 10:09 pm

      Linda, LOL, you make ME tired, at least I don’t have to go rope my turnips!!

      Yeah for summer, although it is a little dry for me, my webs on my feet are drying up… 🙂

  10. Kristen Fry permalink
    July 3, 2009 1:57 pm

    LOVED the pics….still laughing over the glove picture..:-)

    • July 3, 2009 10:11 pm

      Kristen, I couldn’t resist – when I came back they were captivated by those gloves! Temple Grandin writes about the seeking behavior in cattle and these guys were text book examples.

  11. July 3, 2009 2:58 pm

    It’s so fun taking a tour of your place. I was tempted to grow celery this year, but went with beets instead. Of course, as I was chopping store bought celery this morning, I wished I had grown my own. I’m almost finished reading Read Food by Nina Planck. Now I need to find a good meat supplier for beef, chicken, and pork. Want to make my own lard, but that’s a story for another day.

    The best part of your post was when my youngest peeked over my shoulder right as I was looking at your chicken broth jar. She said to me, “That layer on top is the good kind of fat, right?” Yep, baby girl, that’s liquid gold. A little bit of that and some chicken broth will cure whatever ails you. I proceeded to explain to her how you homestead and are as self sufficient as much as possible. Then, bless her heart, she asked me if you had chickens, too. “Oh yes”, I dreamily replied, “both the kind for eating and the kind for laying.” Funny thing about that is that she is my most “cosmopolitan” child … always drawing fashion designs, singing and dancing, and wanting to wear make up. This same little girl, though, loves to spend hours working in our garden and jumps at the chance to plant, water, weed, and harvest. From high heeled fashion to up to her elbows in dirt, she’s at home in both worlds. She’s a pip, for sure.

    Anyway … love the diversity of plant life on your farm. Looks like you’ve got lots of good eats in store for the family.

    • July 3, 2009 10:29 pm

      Paula, your daughter sounds like a very well-rounded person, she will go far. 🙂

      Sounding like chickens might be in your future??? How’s hubby man doing on the chicken front?

      Happy Independence Day!

  12. July 3, 2009 5:04 pm

    sigh. I think I’m more jealous of the tallow than I am of the meat. I can find well raised, humanely slaughtered meat – but getting tallow or lard from those same animals seems to be impossible.

    • July 3, 2009 10:31 pm

      Hayden, it’s a toss-up but that meat sure tastes good… .

      Maybe in MI things will come together. Trying to formulate my answer about the pigs and garden spot!

  13. July 3, 2009 8:24 pm

    Love the new header! Our little bull (saved from slaughter… for now… and added to our petting zoo) keeps biting my backside when I turn around. Apparently I look more like a mama cow than I’d like to admit…

  14. July 6, 2009 3:28 pm

    MoH, but look at how all that hard work pays off! (Secretly, I do wonder how you manage to keep up with it all.)

    And I didn’t realize that Melvin was such a big boy.

    My garden is far behind yours will all the rain we’ve been having this spring. Today was the first day we saw sun in a few weeks.

  15. July 7, 2009 9:22 am

    Your produce is coming along fine. We are a bit slower than you on things. Summer is just so busy, but I wouldn’t trade it for winter, ever!


  16. July 9, 2009 9:56 am

    Your veggies are looking great! I had to throw out all my turnips because of root maggots. I read that I can use floating row covers to stop the flies from laying the larvae. Did you use a floating cover? Am I getting suckered into buying somthing I don’t need?

    Thanks Margaret

    • July 9, 2009 10:43 am

      Margaret, I do use the floating row cover for the root crops of these types, like radish and turnips. However, I have found that the plants that put their edible portion on above ground usually don’t need the cover. For instance broccoli, cabbage etc. You may lose a few plants or they may be stunted, but to me it isn’t worth the hassle. For it to work though, you have to put it on immediately at seeding and keep it in place until harvest time, and if you’re careful with it you can re-use it for several seasons.

      It is easier for me to grow things that are more resistant to root maggots like kohlrabi, and rutabagas, although I am pretty hooked on those salad turnips!


  1. Fight Back Fridays July 3rd | Food Renegade

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