Tag Archives: Nature

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I delivered the last round for our fall CSA.  It was sad, for me…that was a great route.  Everyone, although I didn’t see you very much, it was a pleasure.  In case you were wondering, our CSA starts up again in April.  Tomorrow is a new day.  A day to do nothing…but the dishes, and the laundry and cook, and….and….

 

Here is a picture of me on day 1 of delivery…for the fall

Me

 

I was thinking about this moment right now!  It will be a nice break!  See you in April Fayetteville!

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 : )

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!

A little Orr-chard maintenence

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Our neighbor, Sir Richard Orr (The lion-hearted), is a certified arborist.  We needed his help the other day trimming trees, specifically the fruit orchard that we put the chickens on.  Those trees had never been trimmed and were in need of serious help.

Richard’s advice was to get Zen with it.  Here he is telling Jake about the exciting world of tree trimming.

Richard let everyone have an opportunity to make cuts.

Phone went ding*

As you can see, these trees got a TRIM!

The Master at work.

Grace is taking a picture of her feet right here.  I found it funny to look over and see this happening.

The chickens were eating the blossoms.  It looked really pretty to see them frolicking among the downed branches.

This was a different kind of tree than the others.  It had a whole new set of challenges, but remember: ZEN.

Almost done with this mad tangle of a tree: zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen zen!!!!!!!!

And last, but not least, Isaac showed up to hold a chicken.  AAAAWWWWWWWWWW.  That chicken was very zen.

 

 

 

G-Hock and ADUB= REGULATORS…the Bros. Jones too!

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My hands hurt.  This morning I was determined to revamp the ol’ herb bed.  It had been neglected and the crab grass, real name escaping me from sun/ wind whipped brain.  Anywho, the grass, grew great, and was choking out my herbs, so Grace and I used  compost forks and dug the whole thing up and weeded it.  We removed all of the plants and replaced them when we were done.  I split her away from the other work that was being done in the hoop and beyond by the brothers Jones.  I told her, “This will only take us an hour or so.” No one should listen to a word I say…ever.  It took forever.  And the bed isn’t even that large, twenty feet or less.  While we were keeping it real up front, the bros. were in the back planting carrots and kale and laying drip tape.  Busy day, I felt so accomplished and to top it off (by midday), Paul made cilantro pesto for lunch!  He took it to another level folks by blending it with avocado and adding lime…HEAVEN IN THE MOUTH!!!!  Scroll down and get the recipe!  I posted it a few days ago.  The photo of Grace and I in all our glory is currently being held hostage on her cell phone, but here’s a pic of the bros. working their magic.

You’re welcome!

Up and Over Rover

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Today it was 60 degrees.  Now, some of you might be thankful because in general people are winter shy.  Me however, am mourning the lack of winter, and have nothing but complaints over the beautiful, gorgeous, epic day today.  One thing I can’t complain about however is the lack of wind.  Why?  Well, because we’ve had this hoop house going up, and have been waiting all month, or longer possibly to get the plastic up and over the top of this behemuth…it’s been a long wait, but TODAY was the day.

In other news, a side note that helps propel this story forward, we received a new WWOOF’er yesterday, around evening time.  His name is Damian.  He comes to us from the great state of Texas, Dallas area (represent).  Now that you all have been introduced to him, the pictures that he’s in won’t seem so unfamiliar.  Moving on…

Why don’t I just cut to the chase and start feeding you pictures with captions.

Everybody, this is Damian.  Damian, this is everybody.  I’m assuming by this picture, I didn’t take it, that he has a sense of humor.

Whilst I was at school, the crew was working on finishing the south end wall construction.  Patrick, I like that you’re wearing the sweat band I crocheted.

I like this shot a lot, I titled it in my folder “Intimate Hands”.  I feel like we’re peeking in on this intimate moment of teamwork.

Whoa, the pull back reveals that it’s the brothers…that would make for an interesting plot.  I say this in jest men, thank you so much for the help.

Here is the finished end wall.

This is my artsy end wall shot from the other side.  This right here, is exciting!  Not the shot, although I think it’s neat, but the end wall.  It’s almost finished!

Forgive me, I was premature, I should have put this picture in the mix a little earlier.  This is the finishing touches to the end wall.

I like this little series here of Paul cutting the door out after the construction was complete.  I must admit, this has been a long road, putting up this hoop.  Even though the top is not on at the moment, this cutting of the door plastic, felt like a ribbon cutting of sorts.  Enjoy.

Suspense building…

HERE WE GO.  This means that the top is near.  A quorum of farmies came together to pull the plastic.  A lot of the faces were the same faces that helped us last year when we pulled the plastic on our first hoop.  Last year it was soooooo windy.  Not as windy as it has been lately, but windy none the less.  It seemed really frantic and critical to get it done and get it done quick.  This year, today, it was so calm and work at your own pace-like, totally a different mojo.  It made this process a whole lot easier.

Here’s Patrick.  Patrick is laying out wiggle wire.  The wiggle wire fits into a c-channel, which attaches the plastic to the structure.

The posse assembling, getting a tentative set of instructions.

Laying out the plastic.

I think this picture is neat.  I couldn’t decide between this one and one that turned out a little warmer. But, I like the coolness of this one.  Since it is February, we should all get the illusion that it’s cold outside…unless you’re standing underneath that plastic.

Photo credit: Mark Landry.  Awesome shot!  Richard Orr, prepare to become a star my man.

They are attatching the plastic here.  Working on the wiggle wire.  Most people are holding up the plastic.  For a time they were working in a bubble.  A few of us bystanders helped hold up more of the plastic so those guys could breathe.

Hi.  I was there too.  I pretended to be a tough girl and helped hold the plastic.  I almost dropped my camera trying to get a shot of me being tough, but this is what I snapped.  It’s tough to maneuver a camera with one hand.  But now you know that I was there too, and did some.  Thanks y’all who did most of the work, ahem*, Patrick, Jake, Paul Z, Barry, Pauly…and for those of you I’ve forgotten…I’m getting the flashing light, I’ve got to go…I love you all!

Patrick sacrificed and climbed up on the wall to cut the plastic to lay flat, so as not to interfere with the top plastic.  Hardcore Patrick…really hardcore.  Someone agree with me.

Here it is.  It’s happening.

Holy moly.  I can’t tell you how happy this makes us.  This was a feat.  Like the building of the pyramids, just not on such a grand scale.  High fives all around!  That’s Jo-nathan Bame down there.  He’s the CSA manager for Northwest Arkansas Local Harvest.  He’s giving a thumbs up, which you can’t see, but now you know.

There.  It’s up now.  This is EPIC.  A humble thank you to everyone who was present today, as well as throughout the entire process.