Tag Archives: gardens

Homestead Update 9/10/17; Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma

10 Sep


When they first started talking about Harvey two weeks ago, it reminded me to check my preps. I got my two generators out and fired them up and let them run for 5 minutes each. I checked and made sure we had batteries for all of our flashlights and electric lanterns. I have Coleman Lamps and Coleman Stoves with plenty of fuel. I have propane fueled lamps and heaters with plenty of fuel, as well as kerosene heaters with fuel. I have a wood burning fireplace and a natural gas cook stove. The pantry is fully stocked. I only have 10 gallons of water stocked up which needs to be rotated and I need to add to that total. You might remember I had a shallow well bored two years ago, and I still have not attached a pump to the well. That will be one of my projects in the coming weeks. Spare water is definitely one of the areas I fall short in with regards to prepping.


We have a small garden in the back where we have been having a fair harvest of tomatoes, squash, okra, and peas. We shelled two gallons of peas just this week and my thumbs are sore!


I saw this 1966 Ford pickup at Lowe’s last week and instantly wanted one! He had it restored really nice but he was driving it around not just using it as a show truck. Nice!


All of the talk of removing our monuments just makes me sick and scares me to death. For any of you that have not read the novel “1984” by George Orwell, this is exactly the prediction he foresaw while writing the book. The government controlled every aspect of your life, even what you could think. There was an entire, huge department of government workers whose job it was to rewrite and erase history that did not conform to the governments desired perception of reality. Scary spooky isn’t it? The communists and socialist are destroying this country one tiny step at a time and we are letting them do it just like a frog in a pot of boiling water. All the more reason to keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 7/2/2017

2 Jul


Well let’s see what has been going on around here the past 3 weeks other than working 70 hours a week. These are some of the onions I harvested from my raised bed garden.


I picked this apple from our orchard. Most of the peach trees had no fruit because a late freeze got most of the blooms. But, one of the trees bloomed later and was loaded down with peaches. Unfortunately, every peach had a hole bored into it! I haven’t sprayed our trees, I have been just letting them grow and get established. I think next Spring I will spray them, they should be ready to produce some fruit by then.


I was out working and I noticed this garden beside the field I was checking. There was a nice, old-fashioned, scarecrow to keep the birds away.


I also parked in front of this old, closed down storefront. You don’t see many stores like this anymore, it’s a shame it is closed. I actually have a hat I would like cleaned.


I found this jaw bone in a field. A horse maybe?


I found these native American artifacts in a field. I found all of them within 10 feet of each other. I have found a lot of artifacts this Spring. I’ll take some pictures and show them to you later.


I saw this large, blooming hedge by a field I was checking. I think my bees might like this.


Anyone know what this might be?


I have a large pile of soil I scooped up with my front end loader when we were building our house. I finally got around to making a soil sifter to clean the gravel, glass, nails, etc. In my very first wheel barrel load I found this nice projectile point, two marbles, and an old penny. Who knows what else I might find. I’ll keep you informed. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update 6/25/16

26 Jun


It has been so long since I posted anything I hardly know where to start. The picture above is what a good garden should look like, unfortunately it is not mine. I just grabbed one from the net to show what I hope to obtain someday. I do have my one raised bed that is looking very good, but now is the time of year to determine whether the raised bed gardening method is do-able. It is becoming very hot and dry so I will have to see how the bed holds up with the amount of irrigation I can apply to it.

IMG_20160426_074800060 IMG_20160426_075212477

My longtime readers know I am a fan of Hostas. I recently received these Hostas in the mail. I was real leery of the condition these Hostas would arrive in, but they looked great! I ordered them from Hostasdirect.com and I have received one other order from them and it arrived perfectly as well.


I planted them in pots and placed them under a tree. You might notice the two pots on the right seem to be empty. That is because they ARE empty! These pots are sitting on an 18 inch tall table, so the only thing I can figure is a squirrel got up there and ate them. Well, if it’s not slugs or Voles it is going to be squirrels. Just another reason to hate those filthy treerats!


I’ve had another bad experience with my honeybees. I ended up with 7 swarms captured, but through my own neglect I lost one of them. I went out late one evening and picked up the trap then placed it atop the new hive where I intended to transfer it to. When I went out at 7:30 am to do the transfer, there was a passing, brief, pop-up thundershower occurring. I needed to go to work so I left, planning to be back by 10:00. It turned out to be 1:30 and when I opened the trap I was sick. Those bees were dead, suffocated from heat. I killed those bees plain and simple. Well, I will chalk it up to  a lesson learned. You can’t leave the traps out in the direct sun when the temperature is 85 degrees. That is making me wonder about my other hives sitting there in the full sun. I am definitely going to construct some wire vents to put on some of them when it really gets hot to check if they do better than the conventional hives.


Two weeks ago, I developed a case of shingles. I had these red sores under my arm and running down my ribcage. I went to the doctor and got some medication for the problem. About one week after I started this round of medicine, I had a severe (and I do mean severe) allergic reaction to the drugs. The rash started out as whelps on my stomach and back and it has steadily gotten worse.


Now I am covered with this rash, front and back, from my neck down to my knees. As you read this, I will be checked into the hospital receiving treatment, so I will update you on how this works out. Keep prepping everyone!

Workweek Update

20 Jun

Let’s see if you might find anything interesting about my travels last week.


These old cars are sitting in the backyard of a house on the edge of a field I check. I asked the man what he intended to do with them. He said he was going to get a couple of them fixed up and running.  That was over twenty years ago when he told me that and they are still sitting there! That’s just typical of us men and our “big boy toys” isn’t it?


I found my usual assortment of sharp, rusty metal junk I pick up to avoid someone having a flat tire.


I found these teeth on the ground. I don’t think they were human, they didn’t have any gold fillings at least!


I saw this painted turtle, and you can’t tell from the picture, but he is almost 12 inches from nose to tail. That is huge for a painted turtle! He acted like he was supposed to act. When I approached he just went into his shell and sulled up and didn’t run all over the place like that racing turtle I encountered last summer!


I also encountered this huge soft-shelled turtle. She must have been 18 inches from nose to tail! She was digging a hole to lay her eggs so I snapped my picture and moved on so as not to disturb her anymore.


I see several nice gardens like this one as I travel around. Someday I will have time for a garden like this one. Until then, how is your garden growing?


31 Aug


And cowcrap too! This is what the pile of muck looks like that a farmer piled up around one of his feed lots. That pile is a combination of hay, mud, and manure accumulated over an entire winter of feeding cows hay in a hayring.


You can see what the ground looks like after he scraped up the muck. If you look in the background, you can see another pile of manure in the other pasture. I know of 5 different places where there is a pile just like that, and I sure did want some of that. I had in my mind getting an entire dump truck load of this manure. I was going to spread it out and wet it down, add some more rotting hay, throw in a few handfuls of fertilizer to aid the composting process, then take my front end loader and pile it back up and let it compost for a few weeks  then repeat the process. By next Spring I would have a wonderful pile of composted manure for my garden. I would have bet you $100 that after the farmer found out I wanted some manure he would have told me to come get all I wanted, ,,,But he didn’t! He hoarded it all for himself! I would have lost that bet. Oh well, I’ll just keep looking.

Fresh Corn On The Cob

30 Apr


I was in the grocery store today looking for baking potatoes and I spotted a display for fresh corn on the cob. HUH! I wonder where this came from. I think it would be too early to have corn from California, Texas or Florida. Maybe this corn came from Mexico or even South America. I don’t know where it came from, but I cooked it on the grill with a small steak (a small one was all I could afford, the price of meat is outrageous!) and the corn was delicious! I am going back for more tomorrow! I don’t think I can grow corn on the homestead until I work up a permanent plot and surround it with a solar electric fence, but that is in my future plans. Keep prepping everyone!

Winter Storm Damage

5 Feb


Even though we escaped the brunt of the last winter storm, the freezing rain continued long enough to finally cause a tree to fall across the driveway to my barn.




It was a fairly large tree, and half of it fell into my yard and half of it fell into my neighbor’s yard. The temperatures are predicted to stay below freezing until Sunday; after that I will cut the tree up for firewood. The trees are still coated with ice and even though we are not expecting any more freezing precipitation for a while, so there won’t be much melting going on. If the wind starts blowing we might have more tree damage. We lost power for 2 hours yesterday so I am really hoping for some solar radiation to help melt some of the ice. I was in Lowe’s today and I watched an employee wheel in a display of garden seeds, so I guess Spring must be on the way!


I spent a half of an hour forgetting about Winter and thinking about warm, sunny Spring weather and planting some garden plants. Spring will be here someday, until then, keep prepping everyone!

Grow A Vegetable Garden As Your 2014 “Gym” Membership And Save Big!

1 Jan

This is a great idea and I have been telling This to Sweet Thing all along!

Old World Garden Farms

It’s always amazing to watch the thousands of commercials for work-out facilities, weight loss supplements and diet plans that fill the airwaves right around the New Year. Over the next few weeks, one thing you can bank on is that memberships to gyms will soar. So will purchases of salads, fruits and vegetables – all in an effort by people to honor their New Year’s resolutions to eat and live better. Maybe this is the year to put the two processes together and work-out to grow your own!

Mary and I like to think we belong to the best gym of all – but for us, the “GYM” stands for Garden and Yard Maintenance. Not only is membership free – it comes with an added benefit – we end up with our own personal farmer’s market reward of fresh vegetables. It’s a win-win in the live better – eat better…

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Fall Garden

27 Sep

I went out to check my fall garden today and I wanted to post some pictures. The weatherman said it would rain last Friday and he was right for a change. I went out on Thursday and planted some seeds and we had a slow, all afternoon rain that totaled 1.25 inches, just perfect.


In the center row I set out 9 cabbages and 9 broccoli. This is my first try at growing broccoli, I just recently discovered I really like it! On the left side of the row I have a 4 foot wide strip of turnips and on the right of the row I have a 4 foot wide strip of mustard greens.


You can’t see it too well but I also planted about an acre of deer browse composed of wheat, oats, greens, clover and winter peas. All of it is coming up nicely.


I picked the last of the squash.


I still have several heirloom tomatoes still coming on.


I have some late cantaloupes growing over the outdoor cat enclosure. As you can see Kensey is helping me check out this one.


I had a good bit of purple hull peas mixed in with the sunflowers. I am going to let them dry on the vine then save the seeds for next year to see how they do. Sweet Thing already saved some tomato seeds and I am considering saving some of the squash and cantaloupes just to see if it can be done.



The cosmos are still blooming.


The sunflowers are dried up and the birds are really working them. As a matter of fact, the little yellow colored finches have stopped coming to my feeders, I think they like eating the seeds off of the heads better. How is your fall garden coming along?

Finally A Day Off!

17 Sep

I finally took a day off to do some chores around the homestead. I put mulch around the base of the newly planted trees in the orchard so the water won’t evaporate so quickly. I also disked up some ground in the back opening by the woods to plant some deer browse. I am also going to plant some mustard greens in expectation of the rain we might get this Friday. In order to disk the ground I had to take the bush hog off of the tractor and hook up the disk. I can’t do this alone so Sweet Thing has to help me hook it up. When I shout out instructions to her she gets upset because I am yelling. I am yelling because the engine is running and I have to yell to be heard over the noise of the engine! Besides, it makes me feel better to yell at her, the disk, and the tractor because it makes everything work smoother when you yell and cuss. Right?


I finally labeled the drawers on the workbench I got from
Sam’s. I got tired of having to open 3 drawers to find what I was looking for everytime I needed something. Keep prepping everyone!