I WILL arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade. ~William Butler Yeats

Saturday, September 13, 2014


Ok, I can admit that waking up to this (even if it is September) is pretty cool.
 The snow put harvesting on fast forward.  Even the beekeeper came early to harvest the honey.
 I tipped over the potato cage and gathered the potatoes.  They aren't huge, but it is better than what I got when I planted them in the ground.
 I made 6 jars of crab apple jam, 10 jars of spicy vanilla peach jam, 14 jars of spiced peaches, 8 jars of spiced crab applesauce.  1 huge jar of brandied peaches, 1 gallon of rhubarb wine, potatoes, apples, sweet corn, plenty of leftover crab apples and one honeycomb.  
 I will make wine and more jam with the crab apples.  The sweetcorn will be frozen.  Who knows what will happen with the honeycomb.  I'm happy with my little harvest.  There is also box of green tomatoes, as the greenhouse was unable to fend of the freeze.  

I've had lots of people amazed we had snow this early.  Seriously, nobody else got any snow? How lucky can we be:)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Double Drat...

Yes, I these photos are from today.  Why is the weatherman only right when he predicts snow?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Hummingbirds and sunflowers...

We went back to Minnesota a few weeks ago.  It was a good trip.  It is always good to see family.  I also enjoyed the show my mother-in-law's hummingbirds put on.  I had one this year, but she had a plethora.  I put on my pink hat and tried to take as many photos as I could.  I'm a sucker for hummingbirds.

 The sunflowers in South Dakota were breathtaking.  The fields literally glowed.  I'm sure those were happy bees in those hives.

Finally, for my loyal readers.  During a meandering Minnesota drive, I about jumped out of the pickup while it was moving.  Lo and behold I saw that Darlene had made it to 70. Congratulations Darlene!  You were just 60 three years ago.  Someday I will stop and meet Darlene and her sign painter.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

What the heck happened?

So I really thought I had this vegetable gardening down.  The last two years I had some wonderful harvests.  Well, not this year.  I guess it had to do with the cool weather all year.  This is my first harvest.  Yes, fellow gardeners this is my FIRST harvest and I don't foresee much after this.

I was hoping to make crab apple jelly, but they are still a tad tart.
My sweetcorn has about another week to go, but now my husband is saying it is supposed to snow Wed or Thursday.  Drat.
At least I can close up the greenhouse and try to coax some more tomatoes and peppers.  No berries and no garden produce from this year's harvest.  It is a good thing I don't rely on them for survival or I'd be losing some weight.  Guess I will have to go with my gardening credo... "maybe next year."

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The garden is alive...

There is nothing more enjoyable than capturing nature in action.  My garden is definitely bursting with life.  I hope you enjoyed the close ups.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Hecklers will be disqualified...

I was at the store the other day and thought I would buy a lawn game.  That is until I saw the price tag.  $60 for a cheap made in China game.  I came home and did some Pinterest searching.  I then asked my husband how much a 2X4 costs.  When he said around $3 to $4, I made a plan of action. 

I had a few days off, as it is the Sturgis Rally and I prefer my sanity. I hide in the cabin and avoid paved roads at all costs.  Luckily there is a washboard, gravel, free of motorcycles road that goes from my house to the local lumber store.   Ten 2X4s and $40 later I was on my way home.   Here are the results of my efforts...
Project #1:  Lawn Jenga
Pretty simple take six 2X4X8s  ($20)and cut them at 10.5 inches.  Volia 54 cuts later a Jenga game.  That is after you sand them. That was no small task.  Notice my little sanding workbench.  Behind the sander are the three finished blocks.  Only 51 more to go.  Good thing I have my big glass of lemonade and a place in the shade.

 All done and ready for a mean game of Jenga.  Just watch your toes when the tower goes:)

I came up with a carrier for it.  I put little feet on a 14x14 piece of plywood.  Then drilled holes for cording.  The last cord can be un-clipped so the top will come off.

Project #2:  Bean Bag Toss
This required a few more things:
4 4 1/2 inch long  3/8 inch wide Carriage bolts
3/8 inch washers
3/8 inch wing nuts. (total $6)
4 2x4x8  ($14)
2 2 feet by 4 feet pieces of 1/2 inch plywood (already had in the garage)

 Cut four 2x4 four feet long and four 2x4s 21 inches long. Cut plywood to 2 feet by 4 feet.  Construct a 2 by 4 foot frame.

Measure 9 inches from the top and 12 inches from either side and mark the center of the hole.  Use a compass to draw a circle 6 inches in diameter.  Cut the hole with a jigsaw.  This is no easy task and requires a steady hand (something I don't have).  Sand everything.  Then attach the plywood to the frame by screwing in place.   All this was pretty simple.

 The legs were anything but simple.  Cut the remaining 2x4s into 11 5/8 inch lengths with one end cut at a 99 degree angle.  Round the other end.  This part got complicated quickly and there are no photos, because I probably would have broke the camera.  Attaching the legs to the frame with the carriage bolts was way harder then what those directions said.  There are a few extra holes in the the frame and the legs.
 The bean bags are old uniform pants cut into 7x7 inch squares and filled with one pound of beans.  I drilled holes in the side and added a rope to make it easier to carry.   We will paint it with latex paint once we decide on the colors.  Finally, we looked up the rules of the game and I wrote them on the inside of the board so we didn't have to look them up every time we played.  I especially like the "hecklers will be disqualified" rule.
There you have it.  Two American made games for $40.  
I used up some materials that were sitting around. To be honest I really had fun making them.  I like using power tools.  I can't wait for somebody to visit...  
circa 2011 The ORIGINAL Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop

Sunday, August 3, 2014

A bee loud glade...

My flowers are just busting to get out.  Literally, with this sunflower trapped in the greenhouse.

The garden is surrounded by wild flowers.  Among the daisies, you will see wild evening primrose and a Blackeyed Susan.  The sweetcorn is starting to tassel.  If you look way in the back you can see the bee hives by the orchard.

I also planted a bunch of flower seeds from last year.  It seems the cosmos and marigolds liked their new digs.  The bees especially like the cosmos.

 For years I've been trying to hide our well.  It is in the middle of the yard and was just sticking out like a sore thumb.  It is no longer an eyesore.  Can you even see it in there?
The rose bed is the best it has ever been.  It is a favorite spot for my one little hummingbird.

Last, but not least, my favorite visitor is back.  I was even able to get a photo.

The garden is abuzz with both bees and my little hummingbird.   Hope you enjoyed the tour.