Tuesday, November 20, 2018


Napa cabbage.  Getting bigger.

Also looks like my "centering skills" were lacking when I planted a few of the seedlings.

Did a little better job of spacing these out.  Here are the collards.  Doing nicely.  We have had a freeze so they should be sweeter now when we do get to harvest them.

And here are the two garlic beds.  Wait!  What are those?  Do you see them there?

Maybe this will help...

We have sprouting!!

Yep, both beds have little green shoots coming up through the straw.  I guess this means good things are happening underground.  I checked the blog entry for last year and it was the 13th when they came up.  I got them in the ground a few days later than last year so we are right on track.

And for today's Thanksgiving yucky foods...

Anyone up for a wonderful treat called
"Frozen Jellied Turkey Vegetable Salad"?


Monday, November 19, 2018


Well it was our first (and one of the earliest on record) freeze of the season.

The house pipes were fine.  The lowest temp at the farm was 29 and pipes are usually good down to mid 20's before we need to worry.  Usually, in January or so, we drain the pipes and blow the water out until danger of hard freezing is over.  

The grass is officially dormant.  It hasn't even grown.  This is two weeks post mowing.

The pineapple survived, yay!  Good thing too, I forgot to cover them.  But they are on the porch, in the corner up against the wall so were probably shielded from the harshest blowing cold. 

Texas lilac in the freeze
This is the Texas Lilac (Vitex) next to the porch.  They all look like this but they are fine, they are hardy down to near zero.  Just going dormant now for Winter.  I'll prune them next year after the last frost and we'll get some beautiful new growth.

Citrus trees
Here are the citrus trees and they did fine as well.  The third one is just out of camera shot.  All three made it.  The first real hard freeze forecast though and I may bring them back into town to protect them until Spring when I can get them in the ground.

Raised beds
The grass is starting to turn the same color as the straw mulch on the fruit tree beds, ha.

Banana trees
These took it the hardest.  They are the two banana trees.  I never planted them because I was letting them get bigger before planting them and of course finding the right spot for them.  I didn't cover them and the blowing wind hurt the leaves.  The plants themselves seem fine so hopefully they will bounce back.  The "parents" these came off of (my coworker gave these to us last year from her parents' plants) freeze every year and come right back and still produce bananas.  Fingers crossed they make it!

Checked the forecast for the next 10 days and we're good for no freezing so nothing to worry about..yet.


Today's Thanksgiving yucky foods mention...

What about this?  This was touted as a wonderful side dish to serve at Thanksgiving that would have all your guests raving.  Yeah, we think "raving" is probably not the right word.  

Ham and Hollandaise sauce covered bananas? 
Would you dare?

Sunday, November 18, 2018


It's raining today.  Supposed to be a rainy week ahead too.

Crazy looking clouds. I believe these are called "mammatus clouds".  

It's been a weekend of getting things ready for Thanksgiving.  

No, we're NOT having Spam birds, ha!  Found some hilarious vintage Thanksgiving food horrors, will share one each day this week.

So what about it, do Spam birds sound good? 

Friday, November 16, 2018


OK we're probably sure you can figure out why we posted this, because it's friggin' adorable and of course we love cats!  We'll take one of each please!  What cuties.  Glad she didn't have four, that fourth one might have been invisible, ha!

Hope you are having a good week.  Our weather is still cool, we got down into the upper 20's two nights in a row.  Now it's slowly warming up.  Supposed to be 70 on Sunday.  But next week we may have storms and heavy rain on Thanksgiving Day.  

Speaking of, we can't believe next week is already time for Thanksgiving?!?  Are we ready, um, yeah sure, aren't you? 

Thursday, November 15, 2018


Every Thursday we like to post a picture of something we've found online that inspires us to do something similar at the farm. Sort of our own blog bulletin board so that we can eventually look back and someday, hopefully anyway, recreate it...enjoy!

I've always liked climbing roses.  My Grandmother used to have them in Oklahoma and she had something like this, though not NEARLY this big and nice.  But it was pretty and unique and made an impression on me.  When I saw this picture, it was something that reminded me of what she had.  

Sure wish I had pictures of hers.  I remember it was built in the remains of an old shed, sort of just a frame building without any siding or roof and she always seemed to have these red and pink roses all over it.  Not sure what climbing rose variety works in our climate and soil but this is a project I'd like to try someday when I have the time. 

Be inspired!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


OK, this made us laugh...

Candy Corn clearance 
Was at the store and saw the clearance section.  It was filled with leftover Candy Corn!

It was every variety and package style and brand, on clearance.  I think they were about 50 cents each or less but I'm not sure if they sold any even at that price.  I guess if you DO like it, that would have been a bargain too good to pass up.  Otherwise, it just goes down as bad Halloween candy.

Yesterday, 2nd Family texted and said it was SNOWING at the farm!

Stock animation NOT actual footage, LOL
 The ambient air temperature was in the upper 30's so nothing stuck.  Here in town there were flurries all over as well.  "J" said it was quite the sight to see out there.  It is now the earliest "snow" ever recorded in Houston's history.  Not sure how this portends for the rest of our Fall and upcoming Winter.  

Last night it got to 30.  We hope the farm is OK.  I didn't really prep the house for freezing but from what I've read, pipes are OK in these short bursts of freezing temps.  I did cover the citrus on the porch so we'll have to see how it all makes it. 

This Sunday it's supposed to be 70 degrees!!

Monday, November 12, 2018


 It was a cold and damp weekend.  On the way out, I stopped at one of my favorite places, Tractor Supply, and picked up some EZ Straw.  

EZ Straw
This is the mulch we've used the last few years on the garden.  The stuff has been wonderful and this year we decided to use it on the fruit trees.  

Mulching the raised beds
Going to use it more to just keep down the weeds and keep them moist in the Winter since we don't go out there as often when it's cold.

Raised bed orchard
I did all eight trees.  It was windy but the sprinkling rain helped keep it from blowing around.  Hey, you work with what nature gives you, ha.  They all look much better and now we're good until next Spring.  I still need to edge around the beds but it was just too wet with some standing water and that's a mess to edge in.  I can do that in a week or two, no hurry.  It's definitely not growing that much and if we have a freeze this week, then that's it for the season.

And finally, here is some gratuitous food:

We had some leftover beef, a bag of tortilla chips, shredded cheese and pico de gallo (tomatoes, onions, jalapeƱo).  That seemed like a meal, ha.

We chopped up the meat, put everything randomly layered together in a baking dish and heated it in the oven until melted and bubbly.  Then we just dished it out and topped it with some fresh cilantro.  Super easy and you can do it with just about any meat (chicken, pork, beef), any kind of cheese, and whatever vegetables or seasonings you like.  It certainly makes for a quick and filling dish.

We'll see if this week brings our first freeze. If it does it will be slightly early.  We'll see.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


It's been a cold and damp weekend.  As I posted yesterday, I went to the farm solo.

First up, of course we need to thank all our Veterans and their families (let's not forget the families) for their sacrifice in service to our country.

It never got above the 40's.  When I got there it was 44, the highest it got was 48 when I left.  Even inside the house it was 50's.

It was like this all day.  Cloudy, sprinkling rain, windy, standing water.  It was not a good day to get a lot done but I did at least manage to get to a couple of projects.  More on that this week.  I didn't have to mow so that was good.  I could have edged but there was some standing water and that makes a mess.

Here is the garden, growing nicely.  These are the Chinese cabbages, they are looking really good.

And these are the collard greens.  Getting really big with a lot of new growth.  Should be harvesting our first in a few more weeks.

There is some color!  This was a lantana that I've basically ignored because it's in a flower bed I was thinking of redoing.  I might have to just work around it.  Nature found a way, ha. 

On the way out, I stopped at a store to pick up some supplies and found these.  They are wooden tags designed to hang on the wall or cabinet pull or even a doorknob.  Not sure where we will put them but they were cute and I couldn't resist a sale. 

Saturday, November 10, 2018


I'm at the farm this morning.  2nd Man is staying in town because he has to work.  It's a drizzly, windy, cold day.  Not much I can do at the farm either, cold inside the house and wet and cold outside.  

Our first freeze of the season is coming mid-week.  It's not a plant or pipe worrying freeze though.  The "long range" forecast has us back to the upper 70's next week.  It's Houston, wait a few days and the weather will be completely different.  

As you can see it's drab and dreary today.  I'll water the plants on the porch, make sure anything that might be freeze sensitive is protected just in case do a few projects inside and then I'll head back into town this afternoon. 
More later this weekend. Hope yours is warmer and not quite as rainy!

Friday, November 9, 2018


Here is Artax, 2nd Family's horse, standing in her pasture.  I was pulling in the driveway and the sun was shining on her little patch of grass, some yellow wildflower ground-cover to stand on, and she looked as happy as could be.  Of course I had to have a picture so I parked the car on the road, jumped out and took a picture.

We are in for a big change in the the weather. Winter is coming (for us anyway, ha).  More on that later.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Up late last night, I had to make a short post today as I was falling asleep while trying to put even this one together, ha.  So, like we do in the Spring, here is a veggie update of the Fall garden:

This past weekend, when I planted the garlic, I had to check the veggies we have growing nearby and they are doing great.  Above is the bed of collard greens.  They have perked up and are putting on small new leaves. We should have some nice harvests of collards in a few more weeks.  

We hear they get better tasting after really cold weather?  Anyone ever heard of that?

Here is the Napa cabbage.  Also growing nicely and we're even starting to see some development in the center, where of course it will all come together and become the cabbage head.  When we grew these a couple of seasons ago, they were the most beautiful, store quality, heads of Napa cabbage, we'd ever seen. We are hoping for that again this year.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


We interrupt this blog for this important announcement:


2nd Man and I did our duty, we early voted last week.  But today is the day...

If you are registered and haven't already voted early, please vote today.  

It is not hyperbole that this may be the most important election in our lifetimes. 

As my Grandfather used to say, "you can't complain about the outcome if you don't vote..."

Monday, November 5, 2018


Got a few big projects done this weekend and this was one of them:

The same weekend as last year so it seemed like a good time to get the seed garlic into the raised beds.  Since we have new readers, instead of linking to last year's post on it, we figured it would be nice to have new pictures and details on we how things might have changed this time around.

Raised bed
I had already turned soil a few weekends back.  This was before, ready to go...

Holes for planting garlic
Then I took my tool and made 36 holes in the the soil.  About 2 inches deep.  Six rows of six.  

Seed garlic
Then I sorted through the seed garlic, breaking apart the heads into the individual cloves.  Now this isn't like getting garlic ready to cook with, you want to leave as much of the "skin" on as possible.  Of course in regular handling and pulling them apart, the skin does sometimes just fall off.  You don't plant the ones that are completely "naked".  

This garlic was ordered last Spring for shipment in September.  When we got it, we put it in the fridge drawer to trick the bulbs into thinking it is Winter...and they will be ready to do their thing. 

I sorted them into piles of twelve each just to make it easier to grab a handful and fill up a dozen holes at a time.  I also tried to get the ones that were bigger and seemed the healthiest.

Planting garlic
Then you just put them down in the hole...

Planting garlic pointed end up, root end down
...make sure it is pointy end up and root end down!

Raised bed with garlic
Since we still had a bag of soil leftover from cleaning up all the vegetable beds, I decided to fill the holes by adding a nice layer of fresh soil on top of them all.

I smoothed it all out and then...

Straw mulch
...I topped it off with straw mulch (it was windy and I lost some as you can see, ha).  Then I got the hose and watered it all down.  

Garlic in raised beds
OH!  And I did it TWICE!

Yep, since we had such good luck with garlic this year (finally), we figured we'd try to double that luck and so I filled two beds.  I dug 72 holes and planted 72 cloves.  We should end up with a lot of garlic in about six months or so.  I hope our friends and family like it...we might be giving a lot away, ha.