Wednesday, February 28, 2018


We're on a sheet pan kick!  

I sort of started it and now 2nd Man has jumped on board and created this last weekend.  

He chopped up some small bell peppers and asparagus into bite sized pieces.  Then he put it on the sheet pan with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. 

Next he diced up a one pound package of sausage (the already cooked "heat and eat" kind) and scattered it on top of the vegetables.

Then he beat about six eggs.  We say 'about' because it depends on how much space you have on your sheet pan, more or less veggies or sausage can affect how many eggs you need, 5 or 6 or maybe 6 or 7.  This batch he seasoned with 1 tsp of onion powder, but of course you could put anything you wanted at this stage (cayenne, garlic, etc).

Pour it slowly over the sausage and vegetables until it is evenly distributed. 

Sheet pan eggs, sausage, veggies
Put it in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes until eggs are just starting to set.  Remove and then...

Sheet pan frittata with cheese
...cover with 2 cups shredded cheese, any flavor you like.  Here we used a cheddar blend. 

Making a sheet pan frittata with veggies and sausage
Put it back in the oven for 15 more minutes or until eggs are firm and cheese is melted and browning.

Remove from oven, allow to sit for a few minutes and  then slice it up and...

Sheet pan frittata 
...serve and enjoy!  It's super easy and very good.  A great item for a buffet if you are serving brunch or like us, just to eat and then snack on throughout the weekend!  We're not sure how it would freeze but it might make for a nice quick breakfast if you did. 

We'll have to leave some the next time, ha. 

Tuesday, February 27, 2018


With the cold, wet weather over a few weekends, it was time for me to tackle the barn/workshop. 

I went to Home Depot and bought some HDX storage boxes over a couple of weekends so I'd have a variety of sizes.

We bought several of each size. We liked these containers because they have an overlapping lid that latches them shut and creates a tight seal.  You can even use tie-wraps to really lock them down and they also stack on top of each other perfectly.  

I didn't get any before pictures of the barn itself, but I did have these pictures of the empty loft.  

So I got started.  I had a vision of getting it all done in one day but, um, that wasn't going to happen.  I just started with the blank slate of one loft...

 And started boxing up and organizing.  We kept the plastic boxes we already had and moved them up.  Then we disposed of anything cardboard and transferred them to the new plastic boxes.

It didn't take long to fill up this side... 

...and then I had another side to fill up too.

It didn't take long to get them up there too.  It's a combination of holiday decorations, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, and some collectible type things we want to keep for now.

There is still room up there for more boxes plus we have another loft on the other end of the barn that is the same size and completely empty.  We'd like to keep things a bit organized by maybe keeping this end decorations for various things at the farm and maybe the other end will be tools that I don't use often or other things related to the workshop.  

The floor of the barn is much clearer but it also still needs more clearing.  I think we need some shelving around the sides and places to store things like the tools and woodworking supplies.  

Baby steps!

Monday, February 26, 2018


It was a yucky weekend.  Sorry for our absence.  We had a funeral on Friday and a baby shower Saturday.  Amazing having those events back to back, the whole circle of life and all.  Sadness and joy.

To top it all off, it pretty much rained all weekend.  Sunday I went to the farm by myself in the rain.  Any other weekend and I would have skipped it but the Zen Machine (i.e. John Deere tractor mower) is being picked up today for its annual maintenance and I had to take it out of the shed and park it in the driveway so they could pick it up (free pickup/delivery, can't go wrong with that!).  

Necessity is the mother of invention.  I didn't want to leave it out there uncovered in the rain.  We had a cover when it used to be in a three sided open shed but it got all cracked in the elements over a season or two. Once we got the mower shed, we didn't have to worry about covering it so we discarded the cover.

 Add new mower cover to the list

Anyway, I found a painters drop cloth that we had, still in the package.  It was the perfect size.  I just put some rocks to hold it down and it was good and dry.  As this posts, it should already be picked up.

The garden is still producing.  We should have two or three more cabbages before we need to repurpose the bed for Spring planting.  Hurry!

This is the best the garlic has ever looked at this point since we've been trying to grow it (this is third attempt, third time's a charm?).  Hoping we finally have a harvest this Spring.  

I checked the fruit trees and look!  Leaves coming out on all of them.

Both of the plums are putting out flowers.  

The apple is putting out leaf buds as well.

As for the citrus...well, this is the lime.  I scratched it in several spots, it's brown.  Dead.  It was the most freeze sensitive, usually down to mid 20's.  Any other Winter that would be OK.  We got down to 16.

Add new lime tree to the list.  

I forgot to get a picture of the lemon but it's brown up top with a small amount of green way down at ground level, near the base.  Not sure we want to start from that small.

Add new lemon tree to the list.

But in the GOOD citrus news department, here is the orange tree.  Lots of tiny green leaves coming out so we think it made it through the freeze.

And there were robins!  Everywhere!  We haven't seen them since last year!

We think it's safe to say, SPRING IS COMING!!!

Friday, February 23, 2018


Took these photos the other day at the grocery store.  Yep, these were just two ordinary boxes of heirloom tomatoes they had just gotten in and taken the lid off.  I was immediately mesmerized... 

Heirloom tomatoes 1
I took out my phone and snapped a pic of one box of heirlooms...

Heirloom tomatoes 2
...and then the other!  I was so happy with how they came out, I thought I'd share.  2nd Man said I should have them made into prints for the kitchen.  I might have to look into that.

I think the produce guy (and maybe a customer or two, ha) thought I was nuts but I couldn't help myself, they just seemed so pretty sitting there with their vibrant colors and varied textures.  Sometimes we never see the beauty in such a simple object, a tomato, until we see it from a different perspective. 

Friday is here...!

Thursday, February 22, 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!

Trees with hanging baskets image via
OK, so it isn't the Hanging Gardens of Babylon but it's a neat idea.  We honestly never thought of hanging baskets in trees but it's really pretty and peaceful.  Granted, we know they have to be shade loving of course, and plants that require less water...

Hanging basket of flowers image via
...but they look really seem to add some color to a brown and green tree filled area. It might even be pretty mixed with hanging lanterns of light around the flower baskets. 

Be inspired!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018


You know in the last few weeks, I've been exploring "sheet pan" meals.  Here's another one I sort of threw together and it's so good...

Green beans (about 1 lb, cut and trimmed), 4 tilapia filets (or any white fish you like, we use wild caught tilapia) and about two cups of cherry tomatoes.  Put it all on a sheet pan.  I poured a drizzle of olive oil over the tomatoes and green beans (but not the fish), and then sprinkled it all with salt and pepper.

Lemon garlic butter
Here is 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted. 3 cloves of garlic minced, and the juice of 1/2 lemon.

Mix all together...

...and pour it over the fish.  You can use a spoon (or your hand) to spread it around so the fish is evenly covered in the lemon garlic butter mixture.  

Sheet pan fish with green beans and cherry tomatoes
Bake in a preheated 425 degree oven for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, turn the veggies (so they get a good roasting) and put back in the oven for 10 minutes more.  Move up to top rack and broil for about 5 minutes.

Sheet pan lemon garlic fish and vegetables
Remove from oven, drizzle the fish with a squeeze of lemon and place the vegetables on the plate. 


Monday, February 19, 2018


Since Sunday was Daytona Day, we knew we'd be limited this weekend.  Of course the weather didn't exactly cooperate.  It was drizzling rain and cold when we got there.  Low 50's.  Then it got warmer and more humid.  Sunday we made it to 80. 

Some new friends.  Two donkeys, both very friendly.  Came over to the fence to see me when I called for them.  The bigger one came right up and nudged our hands and let us pet her.  The smaller one was a bit more hesitant but still very curious. 

I worked in the raised beds a bit, it was still cold at this point.  I pulled weeds/grass from the open beds.  It'll soon be time to turn the soil, add some more compost and get ready for Spring planting (which should happen in early March).

Where does the time go?

In Spring planting preparation news, we needed some fruit trees to replace the two that didn't make it last Summer.  One of the two apples died and I found this one, an "ANNA" variety, suited to our climate...

...and I found this peach tree. It is the "TROPIC BEAUTY" variety.  It will replace one of two we have that seemed to be struggling.

Notice they are both already in bloom. I guess Spring is coming soon!  Speaking of...

LOOK! It might only be weeds, ha, but at least something is turning green.  Nothing on the mesquite trees yet but soon, it'll be soon!

And in garden harvest news, yes, we finally have cabbages!  Two of them!  The big one is perfect, it's firm and looks like a store cabbage.  The smaller one I went ahead and cut because it was the second biggest and I'm not sure with the warm temps if we'll get the rest.  Jury is still out on growing cabbage again.  The Napa cabbage we grew Fall before last had a much better harvest.  We might do that again.

The collard greens though have been great.  This is another bunch of them.  We LOVE them.  More of them next Fall for sure.  

And just for fun, he's another pic of the little donkey...  

Oh what the heck, here's another because the little thing was so darn photogenic!

Hope you had a great weekend!

Sunday, February 18, 2018


Those regular readers of the blog probably know this but for those new, we are NASCAR fans.  I grew up watching it with my parents and just became a fan through osmosis, ha.  2nd Man has just always enjoyed car racing.  

Today is "The Great American Race", otherwise known as the Daytona 500.  Someday, on our bucket list, is a trip to Daytona for the week.  


We have our shirts for this season and are ready to watch.  We're fans of a young driver, Daniel Suarez, who is now in his second season.  

We figured we'd fan crush on him this year, ha. 

For breakfast, 2nd Man whipped this up.  It's scrambled eggs with sausage links and diced sweet potatoes.  It was so good.  

Yesterday was farm day, but the weather was hit and miss, it sprinkled, it was cold in the morning then humid in the afternoon.  We'll have an update on that tomorrow.  

Today though, it's Daytona Day!

Friday, February 16, 2018


Regular readers know that I have a favorite place to look for bargains...our downstairs trash area!  Our building has trash chutes on every floor and they feed into a separate room, but for boxes and other things that people can't put in the chute, there is an area (indoor) near the loading dock, where people can put the things they don't want.  

I've found several cool items so far.
Here is the latest!

Four dozen glass bottles
Downstairs, I found these two cases of empty bottles. Topo Chico is a bottled sparking water. When I saw them I immediately imagined them as drinking bottles, with some cool striped straws in them, at some future event at the farm.

Most bottles like these you can't remove the labels... 

Topo Chico glass bottles
...but these peel off!  

And that will leave us with beautiful, blue green glass bottles. Forty eight bottles. It'll be some work getting all the labels off (great rainy day activity) and then washing them (well, the dishwasher in town will help that part, ha) but it'll be worth it in the end. We'll get a plastic storage box to keep them in and put them away until needed.