Monday, April 22, 2019

FRUIT TREES UPDATE

It was a good, clear weekend.  I didn't have to mow, which was a nice break (weekly mowing will be here soon enough).  I stopped at the store and got my trimmer string so I could edge around the raised beds and house and outbuildings.  I love when it's done because it's always so clean and neat.  


I also picked up three bags of hardwood mulch for the three citrus tree beds.  I topped them off with mulch and... 


,,,they look much nicer and more "finished" now.  Hopefully it will keep the weeds at bay.


Speaking of the fruit trees, we have fruiting.  These are fruits on what is supposed to be a peach tree, but we're not so sure they look like peaches.  I hope they make it to maturity this year so we can figure out what they are.


These are plums, both plum trees have them.

With several trees starting to fruit, it's time this coming weekend to get them surrounded by netting to keep the fruits out of the mouths of hungry deer.   It's not URGENT because someday when we are out there full time, we'll be able to more easily manage keeping the deer away, but we'd at least like to get some to eat ourselves for the next few years.  Would be nice to enjoy the fruits of our labor.


Speaking of, to give you an example of how far we've come, when I planted this pear tree, it was about as tall as me.  This is the top now, it's higher than I can reach with my hand all the way up in the air.  I supposed I need to trim those tall ones just a bit.  The growth by starting them in the raised beds has been amazing. 

Stop by tomorrow for part two of the fruit tree adventure, there is another part that I need to take care of this coming weekend and it's odd.  

Sunday, April 21, 2019

HAPPY EASTER 2019


We hope you have a wonderful Easter!  It's been a good, quiet weekend for us.  I will have more of an update this week since today everyone will, hopefully, be busy today with family and events or just relaxing and doing what makes them happy.

It is gorgeous weather here, cool, clear, breezy.  Yesterday was a lot of work at the farm and today. we're hanging in town, 2nd Man is going to roast a chicken and is currently rolling out pie crust dough for a lemon pie.  I'm also hoping for a side of pasta, because, well, pasta, ha.  


Friday, April 19, 2019

FRIDAY FUNNY


HA!  We love a good play on words like this.  

Well we had storms and heavy rain yesterday morning, and then it passed on through and now it's cool and beautiful.  The plan for this Easter weekend is to clean out the rest of the garden beds (more on that this weekend) and the raised beds that hold the fruit trees behind the house.

But more on all that tomorrow.  For now, just have a laugh, the world could sure use some more laughter after this week, that's for sure.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

ONE TREE ONE TABLE INSPIRATION THURSDAY



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!


One tree, a simple table and some lanterns.  What a beautiful way to have dinner (weather and bugs permitting of course, ha).  There aren't a lot of spots on our property with just one tree but this shows us that with an easy to set up table, a couple of chairs, maybe a box full of lanterns, we could quickly turn any spot under a tree into a quick, intimate, beautiful place to eat a special meal.  

Or wouldn't it be cool at a get together dinner party type event to have a few setups like this scattered around for people to sit at?

Be inspired!

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

THOUGHTS WITH PARIS

The images were so difficult to see and even more difficult to wrap our heads around...

Image via Wikicommons
Arguably the most iconic church in the world on fire...

Image via Wikicommons
Such a tragedy...

Image via Wikicommons
It is still unknown how extensive the interior damage will be from both fire and smoke and the hundreds of thousands of gallons of water poured on it...

Image via Wikicommons
Or those iconic and incredibly beautiful stained glass windows throughout the building...

Image via Wikicommons
And of course the gargoyles that have stood watch over the church and Paris for hundreds of years...

I heard a woman on the news being interviewed, she said she was not a religious person by any means, but the first time she ever went inside to see Notre Dame, she was moved to tears at the beauty and magnificence of the building.  Indeed she started crying when recounting watching it burn.  She said it felt like the world lost a piece of its soul.

A sad day indeed...

Monday, April 15, 2019

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DAY MAKES

Stormy sky
I find these pictures fascinating...one day storms, the next day sunny and clear.  The top was from Saturday.  As ominous as this looks, it actually barely sprinkled.  Thankfully it was just wind and thunder and lightning.  On Sunday there wasn't a cloud in the sky, just blue, clear, cool and beautiful.


It was weird.  Saturday was not going to be a day to do stuff there anyway because of the imminent weather threat and the fact that we were going to the rugby game at the new stadium (we lost, ugh). 


So yesterday I was able to go and get my Zen on, ha.  For the first time in two weeks.  It needed it.


Here is my mowing stat for the day.  About average, an hour and a half. 


It was all done and looking nice. With our unusually cool temperatures we suddenly have, I'm hoping it won't need to be mowed this coming weekend.  I really need to edge but I forgot to stop and buy trimmer line for the weedeater.  Oops!


In other good news, I was finally able to get the Meyer lemon tree I had left to plant in the last raised bed.  The other two (lime and orange) are looking great after two weeks.  I watered them all well since there was so little rain Saturday and none in the forecast (at least at this point in the week anyway).

Did a few other things, I'll share more pics in upcoming posts.

So now we have a mini orchard in the back yard.  I am thinking of some fig trees.  I also have the banana tree a coworker gave us and a muscadine grapevine I'm trying to figure out where/how to plant.  They need to be trellised and can take up space.  Oh and have a pecan tree that needs to go in the ground but THAT is going to have to be in the right spot since they get HUGE.

Also have some "forgotten fruit trees" I'll share a post about soon.  

Hope your weekend was good!
  

Saturday, April 13, 2019

WEATHER WATCH AND GAME DAY

The skies have been dark and foreboding and sadly, there has been at least one tornado to the North in a small town that has caused very significant damage.  As I type this, a severe thunderstorm warning alert just popped up on our phones and TV.  


For some reason though, it has avoided the farm.  Most of the heavy stuff has moved around it.  We'd have been better off out there instead of in town where it's been hail, wind, lightning, but no heavy rains so far.

The good news though is that once this next line of storms moves through, we're in the clear.  And that's good because...


...it's rugby game day!  Our local professional rugby team, the Houston Sabercats, has their first game in the BRAND NEW STADIUM!  The city in conjunction with private investors, built a new stadium for rugby use only.  It is called AVEVA Stadium and so we bought season tickets again this year.  They have already had a few games (won a couple lost a couple) but were playing either on the road or at a minor league baseball stadium here in town.  

Looking forward to seeing the stadium in person.

The weather looks to be clear by game time today.  Then tomorrow is supposed to be clear and beautiful and cool.  I'm hoping it's dry enough at the farm to mow and edge and then I need to plant the last citrus tree (orange) in the raised bed.  

GO SABERCATS!

Friday, April 12, 2019

WEEDS A FRIDAY FUNNY


Isn't this the truth?  Sigh.

If we wanted to grow weeds on purpose, we'd be doing well.  They just appear from everywhere don't they?  And they thrive without water with too much water in bad soil in good soil.  I guess they have adapted to survive over hundreds of years.  

Today is Friday.  We have an iffy forecast for tomorrow.  Possible heavy rain but they say it may be scattered.  So heavy downpours, but maybe not anywhere on our side of town?  Who knows.

We'll see. 




Thursday, April 11, 2019

CONTAINER FLOWERBED INSPIRATION THURSDAY


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 posted images before that have an old washtub being used as a planter like this.  This one goes a step further and has other containers around it.  I'll be honest, I kind of like this "container grouping" idea of planting flowers as a focal point instead of an in ground flowerbed.  No worries about soil conditions, ease of changing out what's not working, seasonal, etc.

Now not everywhere of course, but for something quick and easy, a nice variety of galvanized tubs put together in a spot and we could easily have some medicinal herbs, mints (so they won't spread), flowers, etc. close at hand.

Be inspired!

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

LEMON HERB CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES SHEET PAN RECIPE

Hope we don't bore you all with these sheet pan meals but they really are so easy and best of all, cleanup is easy as well.  I'm becoming our sheet pan whisperer, ha.  Here's another:


Here are the ingredients, plus some salt and pepper to taste. 


And here the chicken, in this case 4 leg quarters.


Chop the onions, slice the zucchini, put the garlic cloves in whole, along with the cherry tomatoes.  Really at this point you could use any vegetable that you might enjoy.  Cut the lemon in half and thinly slice one half and use the other half for its juice.


Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken, rub it around and put on salt and pepper to taste.


Whisk together 1/3 cup olive oil with the juice of half a lemon and toss to combine. 


Please all the vegetables evenly on a sheet pan and toss the rosemary thyme pieces (rosemary is from our porch plant) on top of all.  The oven should be preheating to 425 degrees.


Please the four chicken leg quarters on top of the vegetables.  Scatter the lemon slices around the chicken and veggies and place into the oven.  


Roast at 425 degrees for about 30 minutes, rotating at least once during cooking.  Cook until the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees.  By this time the sweet potatoes should be done as well and the other veggies should be getting some nice color. 

Lemon rosemary garlic sheet pan chicken
Take it out, plate it up and enjoy!

Super easy, easy cleanup and it looks pretty nice on the plate as well. 

Enjoy!

Monday, April 8, 2019

STORMY WEEKEND

Woke up Sunday morning about 8:30am and checked the radar...


The red dot is the farm...and those storms were moving straight through.  It was slow moving and heavy and ultimately headed to Houston as well.  I went back to sleep.


2nd Man made a pan of biscuits...


This is a great thing to wake up to, ha.  Biscuits, butter and apricot preserves.  Yum!


Then a couple hours later, "J" from 2nd Family sent me this picture.  This was taken in what would normally be broad daylight.  She said it looked like the end of the world out there.  Winds were strong but not too bad, lightning, thankfully no hail, and we ended up with about 1 1/2" rain.  


By the time it made it to Houston though, it had grown strengthened and we had 60mph straight line winds, tornado warnings (and an actual touchdown) and widespread trees down, power lines down (200,000 people without power at one point) and some localized street flooding.

So no fun weekend update of planting or mowing.  This coming weekend will be busy for sure.  

Saturday, April 6, 2019

SATURDAY GOALS WASHED AWAY

Well today is was a beat the clock day for sure!

This is the headline on our local weather site:



So the plan today is was:

Stop and get soil to top off the new raised beds.  

Get trimmer line for the weedeater.

Mow.

Edge.

Plant the third tree.

And that was going to be it for today...


But that weather headline of today being muggy and mild was wrong.  I created this post to pop up this morning after I left for the farm.  But instead, we were awakened to thunder, I checked the radar and the storms were already here.  The farm is the red dot and this was just another band of rain/storms coming through. 

Tomorrow has the potential to be even crazier with the weather.  I guess it's a good weekend to stay in and read.  And nap.  And relax.  And eat.  

Not necessarily in that order...


Hope you have a better start to your weekend!

Friday, April 5, 2019

KITTY CAT OF THE EAST

OK, so first of all, no cats were harmed in the making of this picture and it's not our cat ha.  


We found this online and it made us laugh.  The person took the opportunity of their cat sleeping under a cabinet (they said their cat slept there all the time) to add a pair of fabulous ruby slippers to her feet...and then boom, just like that, she became the Wicked Witchcat of the East! 

I don't think any of our cats (past or present) would stand for anything being on their feet for ANY length of time, ha. 

TGIF!



Thursday, April 4, 2019

OUTDOOR SOAKING TUB INSPIRATION THURSDAY

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 wanted an outdoor tub.  Don't ask me why.  Maybe it is images like these that do it.  Just always seem to be so peaceful...


And beautiful...


And serene...

Oh sure, I totally know these things could totally have a snake in them when the cameras aren't on.  But still, they just draw me in and I imagine a long hot day outside being capped off by a dip in cool water with a glass of wine.  

Hey a guy can dream, right? 

We have a friend with a tub just like this that is in their storage and said we could have it anytime we ask for it, if they don't use it first.  Hmm...we'd go ahead and ask for it but we don't have a place to really store it (well, it would fit in the barn but I don't want to start loading that up with stuff for later on just yet).  If we don't get that one, we'll get the one we are meant to have when the time comes.

Be inspired...

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

SWEET AND SOUR ROASTED NAPA CABBAGE RECIPE

When we had our recent harvest of napa cabbage, we needed to find some ways to cook it. We found this recipe from Cooking Light.  It was yummy!

Full recipe at the end of this post.


We started with a beautiful napa cabbage.

Sweet and sour sauce for cabbage
Then you make the sweet and sour sauce of olive oil, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar, dijon mustard, garlic, salt and pepper.  


Stir together, taste for seasoning (if you need more salt, etc).  Plus it's just darn good!

Brush cabbage with sauce
Cut the cabbage head lengthwise into quarters.

Cabbage cut side down with sauce in oven
Coat one cut side and place that side down on a baking sheet.  Roast the cabbage in a 450 degree oven for about 6 minutes.  Remove, coat the other cut side with sauce and place that cut side down and roast for 6 minutes more.  

Remove from oven and turn broiler onto high.


Place them cut sides up, baste well with remaining sauce and place back in oven.


Broil on High for about 3 or 4 minutes or until it starts to brown and caramelize. 


Remove from oven.  It will have nice brown bits and edges and the sauce has flavored it beautifully. 

Sweet and sour oven roasted napa cabbage
Serve a wedge and enjoy!  We had it alongside a farro and beef dish that 2nd Man makes.  It was a great accompaniment!  Soft, full of sweet and sour flavor and the caramelized crispy bits of cabbage are just wonderful.

Ingredients:
  • 2 TBSP olive oil
  • 1 TBSP brown sugar
  • 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic
  • 1/4 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 head of Napa cabbage


Step by step instructions, as usual are above.

 Enjoy!