Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Big Onion

Now this is a big onion.....

We are really loving having dinner from the garden. This big onion is probably the best one yet.

Things have been going great - I think mostly because the weather has been so cool. Everyone is happy and enjoying the cool days. The humidity is low, the sun is dazzling, and I don't even mind it when it is cloudy.

It is kind of weird tho - this time of year should be hotter than the surface of the sun. In a way it feels like summer is over.... but we have at least two more months of hot or at least warm weather.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Do you have a big onion?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Holy Tomatoes!

Yesterday I gathered up just about everything I needed to make a lovely tomato sauce. 

Fixin's for a perfect tomato sauce. That pepper is a Giant Marconi - they are really terrific.

I used my lettuce bucket and filled it up.  I  found some beautiful tomatoes, a big onion, a perfect pepper....and a big handful of basil.

Holy tomatoes! That's a big one - one of my Cherokee Purples.

Some of the tomatoes were really big!

Nothing is better than dinner from your yard and this tomato sauce was perfect. I put a big spoonful of fresh goat cheese in a low bowl, added some pasta, then covered the whole thing in our fresh sauce. It was perfect.

Happy Monday everyone! Did you all survive our crazy weekend weather? After being on alert all day yesterday we only got one hard rain late last nite.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Morning Gardening Still Life

What mornings look like.... a gardening still life.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Frustrations

There is a point in the summer where you feel like that big freight train called "Everything That Needs To Be Done" that you've been running along side of and desparately trying to climb aboard.... pulls away from you and .... just.... keeps on chugging. All you can do is standing there and realize that you've missed that train. Yesterday was that day.

 That's right, eat up little pig.

There is so much I didn't get done.

If you believe the cicadas then we are now within the "90 days until the first frost." We are now limited to what we can plant. 

The harvests need to be done. Canning needs to start. And we passed that day where I can keep up with the ripe tomatoes. We still need to paint the deck, fix the roof on the Turkey House, get new fence posts for the goat yard, fence in the pond... and heaven forbid, we need to start working on fire wood.

Look a this! It's like a little stump house.

Add on to all of that... we've completely forsaken everything inside that needs to be done. I could not produce for you a clean, matching pair of socks if you paid me $1000. Dishes? It's every man for himself. And now Zander and Kai are blowing their coats. There is dog hair everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. The only reason the floor is not "bear killer" colored is because my dear husband shampooed the carpet in the living room last weekend. But it needs it again to tell you the truth.

Anybody got any clean laundry in there?

And then I went out on Wednesday to find my best rooster dead. Real Dead. I'm still very mad - of the bunch that we have he was the best roo and now his shattered remains are in a sack in the garbage. Later that day we found what was left of that missing duck - he was dead too. Two in one day isn't fair - that's what one of my best pals said.

Varmints? Predators? Nope - I think it was just bad luck. Rooster vs turkey....and TurkZilla won... and we aren't sure what happened to the duck but Zander and Kai looked really really guilty one day.

You want lunch? Well, there are 20 lbs of just-dug-potatoes on the counter - so get busy. And our freezer is about empty so we really need to butcher the pig if you want anything other than potato salad.

Don't even get me started on the weeds in the garden. I'm glad we had a few good rains but now it's like a jungle out there. My shabby attempt at growing eggplants have now been swallowed up by gargantuan weeds of who knows what variety.

Then yesterday we had a hasty visit to the vet. Our cat Pepper needs dental work - she has some bad teeth. So I had a short work day yesterday and Monday will also be a driving day.

And sadly, even as I'm typing this I know that someone, somewhere out there is critiquing my bad spelling and rearing back to send me a snotty comment about it. Or how I'm doing it wrong. Or they want to tell me how my life is so easy and their's isn't.... I tell you the truth the internet weirdos have been on spin cycle lately and don't I know it.  Sheeh.

And someone needs to mow.

So what do you do when you get to that frustrating point in the summer where it's too late for most things but that mountain of 'to do's' just keeps getting longer?

The best you can.

Obviously Pepper is a our priority and we will get her fixed up. Next, I'm taking on one project at a time and that is determined by the weather and what absolutely needs to get done. Everything is day by day. What is most valuable? What is most vulnerable? What can I do at the same time? Pick peppers and weed as I'm going along is a good strategy. Dig potatoes, run the tiller over that spot, and plant fall crops works really well... And then make more potatoes for dinner.

We'll find a day for that pig and it's going to be soon. My Amish neighbor grows fine eggplants - and zucchini's too since I can't grow those either. I can make some sauce with the tomatoes tonite and we'll use that as a start for dinner this weekend.

The goats will just have to tough it out down in the new area without me standing there and if I get them out there early enough the flies won't be bad.

I'm spending a lot of time brushing out the dogs out by the fence line to keep that evil bunny at bay - so that solves a couple of problems.  And if I can get a big bunch of dog hair out behind the hen house then any lurking varmints should think twice about coming around. I'm not sure what to do about my roo-killing-turkey but his number might be up.

Just keep growing...

So I'll just keep working, just keep getting along, and tomorrow I'll get up and do it again. Amen.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

An Unusual July Day

The weather guy just said that this will be an unusual July day... but if this is global warming I'll take it. The last couple days we were in the fire swamp - hot hot hot and high humidity. But this morning I have all the windows open. It's like heaven out there.

So much has been going on.

The pigz had a large day.  When it was hot I set up the hose so they could sit in the spray if they wanted. They thought it was amazing.

Daisy didn't have a great day .... flies!

I've been digging potatoes. It's the best "egg hunt" ever. We've gotten some real beauties too. Remember these spuds were completely free

 My bucket has been filled with peppers...and onions... and celery.. and tomatoes.

We are going to review our new goat yard. For whatever reason the flies are just horrid down in the new goat grazing area. The girls come back covered in black flies and are very unhappy about it. So I've been having to sit with them as they free range a little higher up on the hill. I'm glad we didn't do permanent fencing - it will only take a few minutes if I have to take out the electric we put up if we have to take it all down.

We should have the cool weather for the next couple days. It's absolutely glorious. And now... I'm going to go and dig more potatoes.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Macro Monday: Thai Basil

We are having Macro Monday because I never know that day it is and apparently I forgot to do something important. Rather.... I remembered but I just don't know what day it is. I blame the new math...and living life without any sense of time. Anyway, I'll see everyone later.

Thai basil - I can't get enough of it.... It's beautiful and smells heavenly.

And an extra shot of Zander being very dapper. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Yard Full of Angry Goats

We set up the new goat yard. Then I ran around, snagged, and dragged the goats into their new yard. All I got for my trouble was a yard full of angry goats. They were very mad.

Angry goats. 

I was thrilled to set up a brambly area for the goats to graze - and I wouldn't have to stand there with them. They were not happy about it. At all. I got a lot of mean looks.

Fence line thru the bramble. Step 1: mow.

I put this yard together really quickly after my husband's expert mowing the other day. All I really needed was some push-in posts and to string up more hotwire.

Once it was all laid out I could use this expert technique to hook it up to the existing pig yard. You can't pay for this kind of professionalism....

Any actual electricians out there getting a twitch in their eye? Ha!
Seriously,  just twist the wires together and you'll be fine.

After a certain amount of running and chasing I got all the big goats - and one small one - into the new yard. The complaining and mean looks began immediately.

Behold -  the chair in which I sit and give zero hoots for a bunch of complaining goats.

When the mean looks didn't work the goats started bellyaching. That didn't work either as the sad lamentations of angry goats has never successfully moved me to action. I continued to sit in my chair and enjoy the cool day.

After I got up and walked away the goats called pitifully after me.  I wasn't sure they'd stay behind the hotwire but they did and I'm calling this project a huge success. Since we moved the pigz into the yard where the goats used to free range I've had to stand there and shepherd those goats. Now I can just take them down to their new yard and go on about my business.

All this fencing and refencing is pretty boring - but that's what has been happening around here. Sometimes there are long stretches of doing the same-same everyday. Fencing, refencing, weeding, and garden maintenance ... all while I wait around for the tomato onslaught to begin.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you moved by the sad lamentations of angry goats?

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