Saturday, April 25, 2009

Some Shameless Bragging

Once again, for the benefit of those family members far away, I must brag a bit on my children. Today was the regional 4-H competition. We had 4 speeches win champion level at the local contests (not really that big an honor as there is rarely anyone else competing against them...).

Today, we had the craziness of getting three children to four different rooms (at the same time... yes... crazy is appropriate) along with dragging the other children around at the same time. If it sounds fun and relaxing to you, think again. [As an aside, I realized that in 10 years we will have 7 children in 4-H. I shudder to think of how crazy that will be.]

But it was all worth it... Josiah (How to Eat an Oreo Cookie), Angela (Africa), and Anna (Whales) all won reserve champion with blue ribbons. That means that if the champion of their category does not go to the state competition, they will go. And Anna won a Champion ribbon for her Flat Stanley speech... So sometime in July we will be going to the State Competition.

I couldn't be prouder of any of them. Great job, guys!!! And Note to Self: get a babysitter for the July thing. I really don't think I am up to have the little ones go with me...

In other family news, our farm has grown by one cow. We hope to have her around for the next few years to give us more cows for the freezer. We have never had babies born on our farm, except for chicks, so it is going to be exciting! And speaking of cows for the freezer, we get one from the butcher this week too. What a blessing.

And did you know that broccoli and spinach have more protein per calorie than a steak? But you gotta eat a lot of spinach to equal the calorie count. Please pass the steak.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Garden Club Friday

Hello Fellow Garden Friends! How does your garden grow these days? We finally have a dry stretch, and we are making MUCH progress in our gardens!

- Our garden plot from last year has 4 rows which are 4'x 30'... the first has my strawberries, and they look GREAT. It also has a lavender plant, and some thyme. Both weathered the winter well and look wonderful.

We have a full row of scrawny looking pathetic broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower. It remains to be seen if it will live or not.

We have a full row of more strawberries, but these were the old plants we got from friends, and only about 1/4 have any leaves at all. I will pull out the ones which are dead and put something else in there. I will let these which are just starting out to grow well this year (planting between them) to get established, and transplant them next year to a permanent strawberry bed. [Ahem... Eric - if you are reading this... just skip that paragraph. Oh wait - it's too late. ;) Yet another project for my wonderful husband...]

That leaves one row to be planted (120 square feet), and whatever is left between the strawberries. And watching to see if anything lives of the broccoli... thankfully we can try that sort of crop again in the fall, I am not holding my breath for it.

- We have another smaller plot which one of my sons cleared for us. I'd say there are 3 rows of about 4'x 20', and another smaller row, but the ground is really rocky. I am going to plant corn and green beans in this one, as I read they are forgiving to rocky soil. In each 4' "box" I will be planting green beans on the outside, and corn in two rows on the inside. This does not have a fence around it, so we will see how it goes, or if the animals will eat most of it. [Eric- ignore this one too... just in case I want to fence this plot in too...]

- We have two small 4'x4' boxes which are not fenced, and actually in our planned volleyball court, so I am not yet sure if we will plant them or pull them up. Anyone have a vote?

- Our close "kitchen garden" is completed. 3 boxes of 4'x 30, 26, and 22 feet respectively. In one I have about half in peas (sugar snap) interplanted with lettuce, spinach, and radishes. They have not sprouted, but the peas look great. On the other end (about 1/2 the remaining space) I have the 4 - 6 broccoli which escaped the rabbits before the fence was up, and some more pathetic looking cabbage.

These boxes are ready to be roped off in the gridlines to help with the square foot planting methods, then planted. That is what we will do today. I have lots of tomato plants, and seeds, but will have to buy some pepper plants, and depending on how many tomatoes look healthy, may buy a couple more of them too. Last year we did 40 tomato plants and the canned tomatoes / spaghetti / and salsa lasted only until January. So this year we are doubling the efforts, hopefully. Once again, we will see how it goes. ;)

No photos again this week, sorry. Maybe next week will not be as busy. ;) Maybe not.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Another Nathan Funny

Nate is just so funny these days. Today he checked the mousetraps, and commented, "Pet Store mice are nice, but house mice are MEAN."

That kid cracks me up.

I am home from the convention... had a wonderful time. Today we are visiting friends, tomorrow someone has to take Mercy to Cincinnati, and my in-laws are in town land hunting, so I may be scarce these days... talk to you later!