Monday, February 12, 2018


First the bad...

It was wet this weekend.  How wet?
We got almost 4" of rain over the weekend.   

This is where we normally park.
Not this weekend!

This was out near the barn and shed.  

The water runs this direction naturally, down this depression and on down the driveway toward 2nd Family's house.  We are at the high end of the property.  It goes on through their yard and toward the road and then down the hill.  So we are safe from flooding, like flooding the house type of flooding, but that doesn't mean that the yard doesn't get water standing in it in places.  

Standing water
This is me in my rubber boots.  And yes, I was wearing shorts, it was 74 on Saturday.  Sunday it dipped down into the 40's.  If all this froze, we could host the Olympics, ha. 

So that might be the bad you ask but alas, it wasn't.  Sure it's a mess but the bad stuff was yet to come.

"R" came up to help us get the water back on.  I was in the house when he turned it back on, all the faucets came on because they were left open.  We went around and shut them off.  When the last was closed I yelled out "Everything looks good!"

Then I heard water running.  

Did I leave the outside faucet on?  I went outside and checked.  Broken pipe under the house.  Water spraying everywhere.  "Shut it off!" I yelled.  We turned the valve to the house and it broke off.  


Gushing water (NOT ours)
OK, so it wasn't this bad but it felt like it.  

We shut off the main valve at the well so no water is going to the house at all. "R" said it was a pipe that had a dip in it and we didn't get all the water out when we blew it out with the air compressor.  We'll have to figure out something for next Winter but we'll worry about that next Summer, ha.  

His first job was as a plumber so he said he would fix it for us, when things dry out and the weather warms up of course.  I like to help him so I can learn some of these things myself.  He's a great way to learn!

So no water in the house until then.  We filled up some buckets so I can water the porch plants next weekend.  The rains are taking care of the in-ground plants, that's for sure. 

Storm clouds
Speaking of, it started getting dark and sprinkling so we had to wrap the day up.  More rain.

Now the good stuff...veggies! 

Raised bed garlic
Garlic is doing GREAT!  I've watered when it hasn't rained and the rest of the time we've had plenty of rain (and snow ha).  It seems very happy and is much further along that at this time last year.

Raised bed cabbage
Look!  We have cabbage (almost).  They are all developing nice tight heads.  

Cabbage head
Here is a closeup.

Probably another couple of weeks and we'll have some nice heads of cabbage to harvest and eat.  We think it will end up being a success even though we started a bit late in the season and our screwy weather confused it.  We are looking forward to it! 

Collard green harvest
And lastly, we harvested another nice basket full of collard greens.  We LOVE this stuff.  I think this is the fourth harvest.  Next Fall more will be planted.  It's so satisfying to go out and snip off the big leaves around the outside of the plants and bring back a big basket like this.  Was in the elevator carrying this and someone said "oh my, what lovely collard greens!"

That made us feel good!

Hope your weekend was better!


  1. Are collard greens different then the cabbages? Or are collard greens the outter big leaves if the cabbages?

    1. Camille,
      They are two different plants.

    2. They are from the same family of plants I believe, but as Parsimony said (thank you!) they are different plants for sure. Cabbages form heads in the middle, collard greens just grow from a central stem and you harvest leaves.

  2. i have garden envy! i just made homemade sauerkraut this morning. it will be ready in about 6-8 weeks. bummer about the broken pipe but great that you have someone to fix it!

    1. Homemade sauerkraut? Have you ever posted that on your blog? I'll have to check. 2nd Man is not much of a sauerkraut fan but maybe he just hasn't had GOOD sauerkraut. We'll have some cabbage to try it out. Thanks, oh and I have FOOD envy every time I visit your blog (well that and adorable puppy envy, ha)

  3. Yep, been there, done that with the frozen pipes. Try using RV antifreeze next winter...non toxic and will save you frustration.

    1. Whoa wait, what? Seriously? I am totally going to have to google that, never heard of it but sound like it might be a great option. Thank you!

  4. Maybe this summer would be a good time to ask him what to do eventually for when you live there full time. I put sand in low spots, so the dirt will not wash away, plus it encourages grass.

    Did you tell the person who compliment your collards that you grew them?

    1. Yep, we thought about that. He's such a good teacher. We've already learned so much. Sand is a good idea. I took a LOT of pictures so we'll know ALL the spots that are low. The one that looks like a stream is one we'll have to leave alone as it drains the water away from the house and down the driveway. But the ones near the house and barn, etc, yeah, those need to be filled in.

      Oh, and yep, the lady said that and I told her we had a little garden and she said we should have a farm stand, ha.

  5. Thank goodness that rushing water wasn't yours but still bad enough you sprung a leak.
    If you had that rushing water at your place you would have had water pond during the day and ice skating rink at night if that had frozen.

    (link to information below)

    Collard greens are cabbage. They are of the same species (Brassica oleracea) as heads of cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, Brussels sprouts, and kohlrabi.
    Since they are a variety of cabbage, the leaves are tougher and more bitter than the leaves of spinach. Collard greens aren't very nice in their raw form, but become palatable after cooking.

    Spinach (Spinacia oleracea) is frequently eaten raw because the leaves are soft and mild in flavour. They can also be cooked.

    Collard green and spinach are both extremely nutritious vegetables, but there are some differences in their nutrient profiles.
    Collards are a great source of vitamin A, a good source of vitamin C and calcium, along with fibre, magnesium and vitamin B6.
    Spinach has even more vitamin A and magnesium, but less fibre and calcium. About equal vitamin C and B6. Spinach has more iron.

    1. Colleen,
      The guy you quoted does not know what he is talking about. That is just his opinion and not based on scientific names. Just because a plant is the same species does not mean it is the same. Collard greens are not cabbage, they are related just like spinach is but not the same at all. Be careful who you quote. You could just as easily say collard greens are kale using his information and flawed rationale. Read the opinion of a guy later on in that post and he says collards and cabbage are different plants.

    2. I can say this without a doubt, when they are growing and are small, I can't tell the difference between any of them, ha. It's kind of fascinating actually. It's like tomatoes being in the nightshade family which also includes tobacco and eggplant. Go figure. Thanks both for the info!

  6. Just curious, What is your ETA for permanent farm life?
    The cabbages look great as does the garlic. I am going to try garlic next fall and will be trying ginger this spring.We have great growing space at the lake place, but we also have great deer populations. Until we live there full time all our growing will have to be in my yard.

    1. Originally we said around the time I was 55. That's in two years. But the economy a few years ago and unforeseen issues with getting things done at the house have pushed that back. We're planning now using 2nd Man's 60th, which is in a little over 4 years. So we'll see. So far the deer, knock on wood, have stayed out of the garden, even though they could jump the fence. We'll see how it keeps on going and deal with it if we have to, ha.

  7. Congratulations on learning some new homesteading skills, you will eventually have time to do lots of your repairs and maintenance when you live out there.
    The garden produce looks very healthy and I'm sure tastes way better than store bought, isn't it lovely to have success and be eating home grown.

    I hope you will start a garden and farm journal to keep,track of what you did , what was planted, quantities harvested,bed rotation, special care etc. A lot of garden stuff is once a year and some reminders are very helpful. You could keep one on the farm for reference and one in town to organise purchases needed,seed ordering, maintenance supplies etc.

    All that water will become much needed subsoil moisture ready for Summer.

    1. hey, that's exactly what we want. I learn by watching and handling it, so I'm hoping to add some my basic plumbing skills, ha. You know I've been wanting to do that and always say I will but then I get busy and it seems too late. I use this blog as a bit of a diary of sorts (I do go back and see what I did when) but a journal would be wonderful. I will work on this. Thank you for the reminder!!

      And yep, the aquifers are filed and the ground nice and soaked deep down.

  8. "They are all developing nice tight heads." - heh heh heh. yeah, I went there.

    good thing you didn't leave before you noticed the water leak.

    1. You always crack us up! Love it! Go there anytime, life's too short to not have fun.

      Yep, very glad we didn't just turn it on and leave, though really should be grateful it was a bigger gush instead of a drip because that we SURE wouldn't have seen.

  9. 1st Man,
    Plumbing issues are no fun, we know from experience. Good to hear you have help! Garlic and cabbage in your garden beds look really amazing.

    1. I know what you mean, you've had the really bad ones, I hope y'all are all recovered from that. Thank you for the kind words. It's small but looking good, especially considering we aren't there during the week.

  10. That broken pipe was really bad news. Since you blew out the pipes, seems like whatever little bit of water was left would not have caused a break. Not having water is a real pain. When I lived in the country, my well couldn’t get fixed for over a week. It was NOT fun taking a bath in the rice canal!
    Your winter garden is doing so well! Those are beautiful heads of cabbage. Looks like you’ll have a bumper crop of garlic. I’ve been making garlic soup this winter whenever I’ve been feeling under the weather - it’s really good and I think that garlic has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties.

    1. Thanks! The pipe that split was one that instead of tight and up was hanging down with a dip in it and that probably held the water and that's where it froze. Ugh. It was 15 so I guess we should be glad that was it.

      The cabbage is very pretty hope it just keeps growing before it gets too warm again. I guess we can always harvest small heads too. And yep, garlic is very healthy. Of course friends and family might not appreciate it but hey, I love the taste too! Healthy is just a plus, ha.

  11. If you replace the plumbing under the house with PEX, it will never freeze and burst again. I think that it can freeze and bulge to 10 inches or ten times the diameter of the pipe without bursting. I forgot which. A different set of tools are required to work with PEX, however, the set of tools is only $50 at Lowe's. For the improvement in your pipes, it would be well-worth the money.

    1. Thanks for this info. We will have to research that. We don't have that much piping under the house anyway.


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