Aug 292009

We’ve been back from Jena’s certification trip for about a month now… she’s gained somewhere around 10 horses to trim and has prospects for more. She’s set up a Facebook page, stop by and become a fan!

Less than a week after we returned home, we headed up to Americus, Kansas to help our friends, Ben and Alice, celebrate their marriage. Josh and Jena were bridesmaid and groomsman for the couple. There are very few things that can get Farmer Josh to dress up in a button up shirt, much less a suit… guess a wedding is one of them! :-)

8-8-2009 (20)

Steve, Josh, Graceson and Jena have been putting up hay using a borrowed tractor since our Ford is still not going and we don’t have all the equipment needed to bale hay or put up loose hay using the horses.

8-5-2009 (17)

Imogene continues to be the Hoeing Hero. She can be found in the garden most days by 6:30 a.m trusty hoe in hand, slaying the weeds one by one. She is one amazing lady!

8-6-2009 (3)

The summer harvest has been somewhat disappointing. Tomatoes have been slow to start producing and now that they have begun, we’re having quite a bit of trouble with them rotting on the vine. Sweet corn harvest was limited but somewhat better than last year. Most years we’ve had trouble with voles or gophers tunneling through the rows eating the corn seed not too long after it’s planted. This year Josh planted castor beans among the corn and the varmints left them alone. Unfortunately, corn ear worms don’t mind the castor beans at all and they had a hayday in the corn, eating more than their fair share. The peppers and okra are going gangbusters though. Josh and Imogene just started transplanting into the hoophouses this morning, so we’ll have good stuff to eat out of the hoop houses well after frost.

8-5-2009 (7)8-17-2009 (13)

After several weeks of hot, dry weather, the Lord send rain to break the dry spell… 8 inches of rain in 4 days! It was so nice! The cow’s didn’t know what to think of having water flowing in the creek again!

8-20-2009 (9)

The turkeys are growing and are now happily catching grasshoppers in their paddock. We see the grasshoppers at the tops of the weeds, just as high as they can go when the turkeys are on the hunt… strange… you wouldn’t think a grasshopper would have the brains to know to get out of the way, but they seem to know somehow.

8-20-2009 (34)

Josh is working on another "Farmer Josh" update. He works on it evenings after he gets in if it isn’t too late and is hoping to be able to finish up within a week or so. With as long as it has been since the last update, I’m afraid it might be pretty long… stay tuned!

After the rain one evening while I was doing chores, I looked up to see this beautiful rainbow. What a priviledge.

8-17-2009 (7)

’Til next time!

Jul 182009

7-3-2009 (34)

The transition to horse power has moved slower than we’d hoped. This year we had hoped to do a lot more than we have been able to with the horses. Some cultivation has been done with the horses, but that’s about it. Bell and Blaze have had an easy start on Mitchell Family Farm!

The goal had been to mow and rake hay with the horses then bale the hay with the tractor (haven’t figured out the art of stacking loose hay yet!) Rebuilding the horse drawn hay mower is now finished. Josh got the tongue installed just the other day and was able to hook the horses up for a test drive.

7-4-2009 (64)

7-13-2009 (37)

Unfortunately, the tractor we need to run the hay baler broke down (a bearing flew apart in the transmission) so between taking it apart, ordering parts, waiting for them to come in, returning the wrong parts for the right ones… we’ve still not been able to put up much hay.

In the photo below you can see the tractor is in three big pieces – back wheels to the left, transmission in the middle, and front wheels to the right.

7-4-2009 (22)

Doing surgery on the tractor…

7-4-2009 (40)

Grease monkeys on the fourth of July!

7-4-2009 (49)

Gotta wash up outside before they can come in the house!

7-4-2009 (55)

Finally all the parts are in, hopefully everything will fit back together and run like it should real soon!

Spring has faded into summer and between all the equipment repairs the garden still needs to be tended. Josh has been foliar feeding many crops to help give them a boost as well as spraying pyrethrum and hand squishing squash bugs. Most of the irrigation pipe has been connected and is functional but still needs to be buried to protect it.

7-16-2009 (5)

The summer crops have been slow taking off. Many crops will have a late harvest this year.


Renewing a strawberry bed.

7-3-2009 (9)

The turkeys are 4 weeks old now, just big enough to start taking out on grasshopper patrols. They’re beginning to get the idea that there are some pretty good things to eat out there in the garden and are enjoying the hunt.

7-11-2009 (21)

CSA shares being filled this past Tuesday – lots of help in the packing house!

7-14-2009 (12)

Of course Jena has to spend time with her horses every day… Tartan is showing Jena he wants scratched… right here!

7-5-2009 (15)

The patriotic ladies all dressed up for Independence Day!

7-5-2009 (39)

A CSA member blessed us with a special Independence Day gift to encourage us to take time off work to celebrate… fireworks explode over the farm on the fourth!

7-4-2009 (76)