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December 5, 2010

Garden & Farm News

We pulled up the tomatoes in an effort to save all the fruit possible before too many more freezes. I found an article online that gives several methods for ripening green fruit. We chose to pick all the fruit (70+ pounds!!) and store it in boxes in the house and barn and let them ripen slowly. I hope we have many weeks of garden tomatoes. It truly was a bumper crop, and the fact that we planted in a bed never before used for tomatoes is not lost on me; I may put them there again this spring and then rotate next fall. The crop we harvested is such a blessing.

We have also started a new project, inspired by the trip to the island (off grid). Dave built a platform for a water tank to collect rain water. This first one will be a gravity system to keep the dogs in fresh water, next we plan to do the same for the chickens water supply and then a larger tank with a pump for the garden. If Murphy's Law plays out we will have a drought for many months--I will remain optimistic that we will get plenty of precipitation in January and February like we usually do!

Other farm happenings:
We gave Spottie a ball with a sweet potato inside, it didn't take her long to get the goody out and then she pushed the ball around the pasture having a grand time.

Max was caught red-handed (pawed) with a stolen yam from Spottie's supply in the barn (they were on sale a Wally World). He is trying unsuccessfully to look innocent! Cooper got his pic taken because he was still for a minute, doesn't happen very often!

We received confirmation that Ginger is indeed pregnant (blood test send off), we thought she was but the written confirmation is so nice! She has a standoffish attitude with us, I imagine it will take her a little while to regain trust since we took her to the vet for the dehorning.
Vera is a sweetie and quite the bunk-checker and is constantly on the lookout to see if we are bringing treats. Slightly spoiled.

Edited to add:
I forgot to include the recent attempts at propagation or making more plants! The blackberries have many runners and volunteers which I am scouting for to fill another fence line. Hopefully in a summer or two from now we will be harvesting from them.
I also took cuttings from the fig and the gardenias, two of the easiest plants to root, and put them in a shallow pan (4") with dirt that I will keep moist for several months until they grow roots and are ready to transplant (when it is warmer outside). This is how we have any gardenias at all, a friend gave us cuttings 12 years ago from her plant which was 25 years old, and came from a cutting from her mother's plant.


  1. Are your cattle Guernseys? I had them for many years and they gave me endless pleasure.
    I also have a rainwater harvester for my animals and it supplies 100% of their water, but the UK has a plentiful supply of rain!
    Good luck with your farm.

  2. Hello!
    No, they are Jerseys. I would love to have a Guernsey sometime, they are stunning!