Today is the first day of summer. If you live in the south and say you like summer, it means you:
a. have a pool
b. spend all your free time at a condo at the beach,
(most likely indoors during the hottest parts of the day)
Summer is not kind here.
Saturday was potato harvest day and my mom came to help gravel potatoes.
Not bad at all for $1.50 seed potatoes and $40 for materials ~ ~ mainly mushroom compost and wheat straw. Stay tuned for the BEST red potato salad recipe.
There's a secret ingredient that had them coming back for seconds.
Go and Hide Your Crazy
I admit it. I'm a channel changer. No, not the tv remote. I rarely get to push those buttons. But in the car, the radio face is all mine. And a lengthy commute amounts to many exasperating moments of "NO THAT'S NOT WHAT I WANT TO HEAR THIS MOMENT - DAMNIT! I believe my mother labeled this genre jumping obsession as bi-polar. Phft...who me?
I don't typically linger on the country stations, but they are there programmed into the buttons. And if the normal 3 stations with music have a group of idiots with callers discussing the acceptability of breaking up via email or a "whose the hottest celebrity dad" discussion, I occasionally land on country.
This morning I'm really glad I did. Not Your Mama's Broken Heart is one of the quirkiest songs sung with Miranda's own brand of southern twang.
Last year, early June, I almost broke my arm patting myself on the back. "Good job" says I. "Fruits of your labor"....pat, pat, pat.
And then I was robbed. Robbed of the fruits of my labor and harvested ZERO yellow summer squash. Nada. A big fat goose egg.
This was a painful pill to swallow. Yellow summer squash in the south are as plentiful as mosquitos. They are a never fail, any idiot can grow them vegetable. Or so I thought.
To add insult to injury, the pumpkins suffered the same heinous death. Honestly, all was going so beautifully, and the plants were blooming and ready to produce their little bundles of joy. The garden was all green leaves and big POPS of yellow squash blossoms.
And then this happened. Overnight. Poof. Wilted. Gone.
Online research (cause you can believe anything if its on the internet) pointed to a creature so gross it will cause nightmares.
So what's a poor squash deprived farm girl to do? I don't generally use pesticides, and how in blazes you would get poison into the assheads anyway is above my pay grade. They are in the stem--crimini!
Row covers? Oh go pollenate by hand cause bees can't do it for you now that you covered the flowers. Wrap the stems at the base with tin foil---seriously? Who has time for this?
The one thing I did do differently this year was add mulch/dirt to the stems of the pumpkins as they branched out. The yellow squash don't really "run" like pumpkin vines so the only thing I really changed there was ample tilling of the ground prior to planting which supposedly kills the grubs buried in the ground waiting to turn into moths which lay eggs which turn into heinous creatures to wreak destruction on your efforts and then bury into the ground again. See a pattern here?
God summoned a beast from the fields and He said, "Behold people created in my image. Therefore, adore them. You shall protect them in the wilderness, shepherd their flocks, watch over their children, accompany them wherever they may go--even into civilization. You shall be a companion, an ally, a slave.
"To do these things," God said, "I endow you with instincts uncommon to other beasts: faithfulness, devotion and understanding surpassing that of people. Lest it impair your courage, you shall never foresee your death. Lest it impair your loyalty, you shall be blind to the faults of people. Lest it impair your understanding, you are denied the power of words. Let no fault of language cleave an accord beyond that of people with any other beast--or even people with other people. Speak to your people only with your mind and through your honest eyes.
"Walk by their sides; sleep in their doorways; forage for them; ward off their enemies; carry their burdens; share their afflictions; love them and comfort them. And in return for this, people will fulfill your needs and wants--which shall be only food, shelter and affection.
"So be silent, and be a friend to people. Guide them along the way to this land that I have promised them. This shall be your destiny and your immortality." So spoke the Lord.
And the dog heard and was content.
This has been a tougher than average week at Kelley Creek Farms, and I find myself at a loss for words....writer's block?
Umm... that's not exactly right. I have a lot of "words" swarming around in my head making up a sentence, sometimes in a moment of clarity, there are 2 sentences, but rarely at a time when I can get them on paper. And then the pictures don't match up to the topic or life in general gets in the way of sitting down and putting all the thoughts coherently together in one place. Or whatever.
I've dealt with mystery illness sleepy/droopy goslings for the past few days and brought the 3 youngest back in the house to keep a better eye on their recovery. This morning I hesitated to go downstairs to check on them. I knew there was a 50/50 chance I would lose the weakest of them. But somehow he was ok and chatty, talking back when I asked him if he was feeling better. "More lettuce please".
I think we farmgirls have to develop a blocking ability to deal with the unpleasantries that do come with farm life from time to time. And sometimes like in daily life, they come more than one at a time. All in all, I'm pretty lucky with the numbers game, and most things raised do very well and are healthy.
But not today. Today I need to cull a tiny duck that hatched with a club foot. A club foot duck can't swim nor walk properly so it has no chance at a normal life and best get the deed done before it develops a cute personality. It was one of 9 pastel call ducklings that hatched yesterday, and all of them look just like Butterpea and Biscuit . Cute little boogers so not the easiest of things to do, but I guess it's all part of the farm life. Doesn't make it any easier or any less unpleasant.
I couldn't have been more shocked if I'd found gold.
Kelley Creek Farms is a small (micro really) hobby farm located in Central Alabama 30 minutes south of Birmingham. We raise heritage and rare waterfowl and poultry along with a myriad of other creatures that give the farm its life. In addition to the birds, we raise heirloom tomatoes and vegetables.
Each day is different and brings a new set of adventures. Some make you laugh and some make you cry. Some are just plain frustrating. But we persevere knowing that tomorrow's set of problems will be completely different than today. Still figuring all this out ....one day at a time and striving for a more sustainable way of life.