Monthly Archives: July 2012

It Was a Scorcher Today

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Growing up in the Central Valley of California, where summer temps reach the 110° F or warmer, I thought I knew heat.  It was mother loving HOT today.  A friend said last night that when you have a fan going in a blistering hot house that you turn it into a convection oven.  Well, I believe I’m fairly well done now.  “They” said that the temps would be between 105°-107°F, yo no sé, all I know is….what was I just saying?  Sorry, I’m a bit sun-scorched.  One day, I’ll live in a house with air conditioning, but right now I’m putting in my time, on this whole homestead thing…I’m earning my stripes so to speak.  Chime in though, tell me I’m crazy.

See more pictures, of Heidi, Laura and I doing our thing at dusk, because that’s the way we do it around hrrrr.

Visit:  Ozark Alternatives

And thanks : )

2012=Sunset in the East

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This evening, something magical happened.  I’m just going to bombard you with pictures, because I couldn’t decide on the nicest few…I was so frantic in snapping them, that as a collection they are appropriate in giving you my experience, and also a sense of how quickly it came and went.

 

 

 

The Set-Up:  

 

 

I was in my front garden watering some green beans, looking west.  I just so happen to turn my head east, dropped my hose, ran for my camera and called to my son Oliver to come and see the sunset.  When he came outside, he looked west, and shrugged as if to say “so?”  I flipped him around.  He was excited about the colors, but wasn’t too excited about the fact that it was in the east.  Until I helped him put two and two together.  Fayetteville and the surrounds, if you were not lucky enough to see this magical sight, I hope these pictures do it a little bit of justice.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is what it looked like to the west…not quite as spectacular.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Weeding Stops Being Polite and Starts Getting REAL

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We have encountered infestation upon infestation this season, the first time ever for us to have to battle so many wars on so many fronts.  When things like this happen, and you grow organically like we do, you need to figure out some options.  What isn’t an option, is what most people would flock to, some Sevin dust, or some sort of Monsanto product.  Us fringe wackos use things like diatomaceous earth, or neem oil, or Pyrethrin.  Things that work, but aren’t a 100% knockout punch.  This morning, one of our WWOOF’ers, Heidi, and I were weeding in a bell pepper bed, and we had scores of uninvited guests also present with us.  These pictures I am about to show you are graphic in nature, and not suitable for all eyes.

These are Blister Beetles.  When squished, or if they get on you and give you a nibble, they have a defensive secretion that causes your skin to blister.  The chemical they secrete is harvested in certain species of beetles and used to remove warts.  I wasn’t expecting this kind of excitement at 6am, but at least I had on socks and shoes.   Poor Heidi had on shorts and flip-flops.  We soldiered on, the whole time thinking “NO WHAMMIES!!!”


Not only were the beetles on the pepper plants themselves, but on all of the weeds we were pulling.  I would sweep them to the side with my glove and then pull.  What’s the saying?  Hindsight is always 20/20?  Well, in hindsight, we probably should have got the hell out of there…it was like weed pulling Vietnam.  Poisonous bugs EVERYWHERE, that harbor a blistering agent…those sneaks.

The thing about these bugs, is that there are 7500 varieties of them.  These happen to be striped.  The ones we fought off in Big Poppa (Hoop House #2) were all black…they were goth blister beetles.  AND, these bugs were not there yesterday.  Ladies and gentlemen out there in cyber-land, if you know how to communicate with these devils, please let me know.  I’d like to make peace and show them some nice and tasty weeds to munch.  Isn’t that strange when you think about it?  Mammals and insects are no dummies when it comes to a tasty snack.  They wait until it’s practically ripe even…I just blew your minds, chew on that for a while.

It was definitely a party.  I went on one of those google searches to find a picture of a blister from a blister beetle.  I found the most gentle one to share, they can really tear a person up…so you’re welcome.


It’s a Christmas Miracle!

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Today around noon, I was out watering some green bean plants in the heat, in vain, thinking, I should blog about this…and then thinking no, people don’t want to hear me bitch all the time.  I swear, everything I want to write about is how the weather SUCKS, and is uncooperative in the summer.  It’s depressing fighting the good fight.  It was so hot earlier, that I would spray my feet here and there, because it was too hot to stand on the dead grass.  Occasionally I’d step on a tiny pebble and jump, because the pebble felt like a hot coal.  Too hot to stand on the dead grass!!!!  We took a break around 2pm, to grab some late lunch.  Out of nowhere, clouds rolled in, then rolled through DUMPING RAIN (!!!!!!!!!!) all over this region.  Good thing I watered!  I was so happy, I almost cried.  We needed the rain.  And by we I mean for all of us Northwest Arkansas, this rain was for all of us!  Thank you rogue storm, now my rain barrels are full and the ground is well watered!