Category Archives: Pictures of our Farm
Happily, spring is just a couple weeks away. It doesn’t much look like it, since we’ve been inundated in the past two weeks with an accumulation of 18 inches or so of snow–which we are NOT prepared for here in Northeast Missouri! Last week three of us were stranded in town for the night simply because the small amount of new snow drifted so badly on Lost Branch Way that my dad even got stuck in our four wheel drive truck! We are very grateful for the moisture, though, since the drought last summer really depleted our water supply.
The primary location for the 2013 Missouri Blueberry School was moved to town, as the snow was too bad out here. It went very well, however, and many brave people came out to practice pruning some of our blueberry bushes amid the drifts of snow.
Below is my dad giving his talk during the blueberry school, along with Patrick Byers, a University of Missouri Extension horticulture specialist.
Another pic of the pets is in order. We saw this this morning and had to document it…
The lambs are still coming. ”My” black sheep had twins yesterday! I saw she had a white one, so I went outside to investigate. Seeing a mostly white exactly-like-a-Katahdin lamb was kinda disappointing after all my speculations as to what a black Finn/Romanov crossed with mostly white Katahdins was going to look like. But, I was then delighted to watch the birth of this:
Like Mother, like daughter. And she is turning out to be a pretty good Mother, thankfully, since I had heard that her breed might not be too good at lambing.
Mama is keeping a wary eye on the black thing that makes weird noises and flashes.
The idea is to mulch between the plants, using cardboard boxes, in an effort to squelch the ever encroaching weeds. (The little sand piles are just to hold the cardboard down.)
From the east side of the asparagus patch, you can see that, before it got freezing cold, we started piling wood-chip mulch along the sides of the new blueberry rows, in which we hope to plant several hundred more blueberries this spring. We’re just hoping to get a jump on the process of mulching by having some of it done before the young plants arrive.
And this is a picture of the havoc wreaked by the disease outbreak triggered (as we think) by drought stress last summer. This picture is in Zone 1 (the oldest plants on the farm). You can see there is a significant swathe of plants that are gone, cut down to their base. We are hoping some of them will sprout back up again this spring. Zone 2 sustained significant damage as well.
Yes, our farm has been graced with the presence of four lambs within the past few weeks. In spite of their unintentional arrival at such an early date, they seem to be thriving even in the cold. The rest are set to arrive in February…due to a final escape of the rams last fall.
If you’re searching for a project that will both amuse and annoy you, allow me to suggest hand-shearing a pet sheep, without really knowing how. That is, I did print off instructions from the internet for guidance, but there’s nothing like a little experience.
As you can see, everything is in order. Sheep in a (supposedly) helpless position, brother holding it in place, shearers–and bucket of soapy water to clean them–handy, and instruction paper secured to the ground for easy reference.
We started on the belly, but never really finished it since it was too easy to cut her. We proceeded up the neck, around the head, and down her body. Grant actually took to it much more naturally than I did, so he did the tricky parts. At first Karisey (the sheep’s name) protested vehemently. She then decided to be good for a while, (probably just so she wouldn’t get heat exhaustion), then renewed her attempts to escape.
“In case you wondered, this is NOT fun!”
Emerging from her stifling coat.
Free at last! Doesn’t she look so funny! I may try carding some of the wool, just for fun.
Burning to make the grass grow better and greener!
A worker handling hazardous material.
A beautiful March evening.
And, as an end note, the herb seeds from Thyme Garden arrived today. We’ve never ordered from them, but the seeds arrived promptly…we’ll have to see how they grow. The reason I got the seeds from them was because they had an astounding variety of herbs, almost anything we would have wanted.
Daddy and Grant’s latest project has been transforming the area south of the main blueberry patch into a scenic herb garden.
Taking a breather while they survey their work. Notice the delightful sturdily-crafted rustic bridge!
Now you can see where they are, from a different angle.
Another rustic bridge in progress.
As for the herbs, some of them are getting their start in the comfort of our house at this moment. Currently growing herbs are cilantro, dill, oregano, thyme, tarragon, two kinds of parsley, and three kinds of basil.
I recently ordered more herb seeds, including angelica, calendula, rue, fenugreek, sweet marjoram, mullein, sheep sorrel, and creeping thyme for a ground cover.
Today Karise and I were out in the lovely “winter” weather…pruning the blueberry plants. This is a job normally done with snow on the ground (we typically prune during the months of January through March)!
But the Lord has graciously showered us with many gorgeous fall-like days–days of sun and temps around 60 degrees! Today we reveled in full sun, a gentle breeze, and a temperature verging on 70 degrees!!
This has been the best day yet, and I hope there’ll be more to come! It makes the job of pruning much easier and more pleasant.
Purple pruners. Pretty awesome.
Using alcohol to sanitize the pruners between pruning each bush. It helps prevent the spread of disease.
These Florian ratchet-cut pruners are pretty feisty…
Nevertheless, we sometimes have to get out Big Brother for really large branches…
And wrestle with the blueberry bush.
We always welcome your comments! Let us know how your winter has been so far.
A black Lab named Edmond seems mighty interested in the Taste of Home magazine newly arrived by mail.
(These pictures were snapped last winter while I was mulching blueberry rows. Edmond joined me in taking a quick break to look at the mail.)