Monthly Archives: July 2011

Epilogue

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What became of the snake?  I didn’t want to touch it, but my neighbor Pauline told me I better get rid of it before it stinks and really becomes a problem.  The thought of this grossed me out.  “I have a machete in the truck” she tells me.  Uh Oh.  I ask her if she’ll do it, and she politely tells me that I need to.  I shudder.  So there I am with a glove on and a machete in my hand ready to hack that snake to pieces, when Paul’s beautiful logic saves the day.  He suggested that I get wire snips and snip the wire that the snake is snared in, and remove the snake in one piece.  BEAUTIFUL!  I wasn’t ready to wield a sharp blade and hack something to pieces.

Here we go, snip #1.

Paul says to me. “Stop looking like this is the worst thing in the world!”  I’m sorry, but to me this isn’t a pleasant experience.

So here I am, smiling and wincing, praying that this fat snake doesn’t land on my feet.

Here is the snake all cut out and still in one piece…Thank goodness!

This poor thing.

This is me facing a fear here.  I couldn’t tell if the pulse that I was feeling was the snake’s or my own, but it kind of felt like it wasn’t mine.  CREEPY.  We made peace with one another before I flung it into the woods.  Thanks Pauline for making me do this on my own.  When one is presented with an obstacle such as this, the easy choice is to not do it.  I had to A “man”da-up here and take one for the team.

 

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So much excitement and all before 8am!

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So much excitement and all before 8am!

This morning Paul comes in and tells the team over breakfast that plans have changed.  The original plans were to work on digging more row space or picking blackberries.  However some of the eggs under the rumps of our diligent chickens are starting to hatch, so plan B, make a new coop for the baby chicks.

Paul and Patrick are discussing plans for the new coop.

Finding materials to work with.

There are always usable pieces lying around.  Pat is putting the pieces to be used into a pile.

PS.  Don’t call it a come back!  The Missouri Angels were gone for about ten days visiting their family and such.  They made plans to go to New Mexico, but the farm there told them they were full at the moment, so they came BACK.  They couldn’t get enough, and I guess neither could we.  It feels really great to have their help once again.

Jake and Laura are stitching the holes in our deer fence.  So far so good on the security front, the sweet potatoes are still there.

Laura is going to LOVE this picture!  Sorry girl, I caught you blinking, but it’s funny.

So I’m in the house doing some activities with the kids, when Paul comes in and tells me about a problem with the chickens.  He mentioned how he had about four dozen eggs under four broody hens and that we have lost some to what he thought were other chickens.  That may be true, but within his next breath he mentions a SNAKE.  I gasp at the thought.  We were all excited about the possibility of babies, I don’t want to hear about a large rat snake entering the coop and eating them all.  For some reason it made me think of the book Rikki Tikki Tavi.  Then Paul tells me that it’s dead.  Dead?  Did you kill it?  I ask.  He explains that it somehow slithered  through the top that is covered with chicken wire, realized that it wouldn’t fit and came back out.  Mr. Rat snake must have been greedy and hungry, because it stitched itself back through the chicken wire one more time, only to meet its untimely death.  Chickens 1, snake 0.

It totally grossed me out getting this close to a dead snake.

An inside view.

Jake “Snake” Jones, sharing a moment with his brethren.

Crazy huh?  We don’t know what to do about it.  I personally don’t feel like cutting that snake out of there.  So if there are any volunteers, please raise your hand!  Maybe the snake can serve as a reminder to others to steer clear.

 

CO-OP Shots

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CO-OP Shots

Ozark Natural Foods, our local food CO-OP, sent out some representatives to take our picture to put above the produce section, along with other local farms and farmers who sell to their store.  Store Produce Manager, Pauline Thissen, has been a pioneer in publicising the importance of local foods to the area and is a steadfast supporter to many local farms.  It’s been a long time coming to get this picture taken, but it finally happened and should be up in the store by next week.

Something tells me Isaac had the camera, but I’m not so sure.

We’re all starting to congregate in front of the hoop house.

(L-R)Jake”Snake”Jones, David Dallago, Marine Champion, Patrick Jones, Paul Chapracki, Amanda Wunderlich; (Front) Jonathan “Disco” Bame, Isaac Chapracki (in lap), Oliver Chapracki (with fist raised), Pauline Thissen, and Laura (I don’t know her last name, she’s our latest WWOOF’er from Missouri.)

Things were starting to get a little out of hand.

I’m sure Paul took this picture.  He really wanted them to get some “Depth of feild” and gaze into the hoop house for the shot.

This shot is definitely one of Isaac’s.  He is notorious for butt shots.

He also took this picture of Marine.

It was so hot this particular morning, we were all a little batty.

We all had a great time though.

LOVE

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LOVE

The best part about having a bunch of zinnias planted out in front of my house is not just their stunning beauty telling me hello everyday, but the BUTTERFLIES!  They go nuts over them, and in turn, so do I.

Thank you Paul for taking these beautiful pictures for all to see.  Let me know what you think about this and anything else going on peeps.  Please leave us some comments, show us some kind words, and thanks for reading.

The day the fennel and my glasses died

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The day the fennel and my glasses died

Once the tomato tasting and the farmer’s market was a distant memory, meaning later that afternoon I took a look at my “Bronze Leaf” fennel plants and noticed that they were nothing but stems.  The culprit(s) were little caterpillars who eventually turn into the blue swallow-tail butterfly.  At the time there was only one of these critters on the plant, but there must have been more that escaped my radar.  These types of caterpillars attack dill, fennel and parsley.  When you touch them these orange feelers pop out of their head.  It must be their defense.  That and a sour stink that they produce.  It doesn’t wash off easily, so if you see these beings and you don’t want them to destroy your plant(s), I suggest wearing gloves to remove them and fling across the yard.

The culprit…atleast the one who I caught.  These jerks stripped this plant clean.

This is me touching it to get it to show its defenses.  Also, I should note that my glasses fell off my head here and landed near my feet.  I decided to leave them there since I was going to take more pictures and they weren’t hurting anyone there on the ground.  Make a mental note Amanda, I thought to myself, your glasses are right there.  Don’t step on them.  Check.

Here is this creature showing its orange defenses, before I flung it far, far away.  CRACK!  What!  Oh NOOOOOOO!  I just stepped on my glasses and broke them.  Now I dislike that critter even more, and my fingers stink from touching it.  So consider this a loss on all fronts.  My fennel is toast, my glasses are toast AND my fingers stink.  Serendipity.

Taste this!

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Taste this!

These are Paul’s shots form when he snuck into the tomato tasting event.  He wanted a behind the scenes look at people trying our tomatoes.

A delicious tomato any way you slice it.  All day at the farmer’s market people asked, “How do you know it’s ripe?”  Because if you notice, there’s a lot of green on it.

These are one of my favorites.  TASTY!  They’re all tasty, but this Peron variety is really sweet.

This is the variety that a total stranger came up to me at our table and told me they were delicious.  That felt nice to get some props from the event.

Another shot of the Chocolate Stripe.

Thanks to all of those who came out to support the Ozarks Slow Food movement and the local farmers who produced all of the lovely tomatoes present.

Sell Outs!

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Sell Outs!

Here are the pictures of the table from the day we sold out of our wares at the farmer’s market.  It was very hot this day and also the tomato tasting event held at the Botanical Gardens, by the Ozarks Slow Foods movement.  Remember they bought several varieties of our tomatoes for the event.

 

The sign that mentions “Certified Naturally Grow” caught one woman’s eye who had a few bags full of produce.  She came over and asked a few questions about what it meant.  She said to me “Thanks for the information, I think I just bought produce littered with chemicals!”  I didn’t want to tell her she was right, but we are “certified” to tell you that we DON’T!

Blackberries, Okra, Chocolate Stripes, Peron’s and beautiful flowers.

That’s pretty much all she wrote.  Everything flew off the table and it was a great feeling, I’m not going to lie.