Monday, April 29, 2019


It was a beautiful weekend but not enough time to get everything done I needed to.  But it's OK, it still felt productive. 

The first thing I did was edge around the barn and shed and the fruit trees again, so that the mowing would clean up the edging residue, ha.  Then it was time to mow.  I got the yard mowed, well, I guess if you can call 3.4 acres "the yard", ha.  It was right in line with the usual time of mowing, a little over an hour and a half.

It's my Zen Time so I'm OK with it.  It was not TOO hot either, though it did peak at about 80 degrees and was getting to be a bit humid by the end of the day.  The next project was cleaning up the garden. 

With our rainy weekends for most of February and March and then me building the raised beds for the citrus, getting them set up, filling with soil and compost and then planting and mulching, my plans for a Spring garden got delayed.

And delayed...

And this was the end result.  The two at the back end are the garlic beds, they are fine (more on that in a bit) but you can see the others were out of control.  I knew they were getting out of control but it was a project for another day.  Saturday was that day, ha.

And a couple hours work, I was able to consider it "mission mostly accomplished".  The beds were completely cleared out.  That was the main goal.  I pulled some random weeds around the beds themselves and a few coming up through the seems in the landscape cloth.  But I missed a few because I just ran out of energy.

Going to skip a Spring garden this year which is fine, gives me time to do some other stuff (like getting the fruit trees all finished).  We might try a quickie Summer garden with some herbs and heat loving veggies, but I'll need to figure that out, what grows best, went to plant, etc.

Here is one of the garlic beds.  They look great and are right on schedule.  At least we hoped.  And so of course, since I am one of those who always wants to open a present early, that extends to my gardening.  I pulled one to see what was going on "underground"...

...and here is, that "early present", ha.
It looks great!

The heads (assuming they are all like this one) are just about the right size.  Another month of growing before pulling out of the ground and they should be perfect.  We can't wait to have fresh homegrown garlic again and hopefully twice as much as last time since we planted two beds full this year.

I didn't get to the "wheat harvest" (the straw mulch that sprouted, ha) but this coming weekend is the plan for that.  I'm hoping I can skip mowing again (depends on the weather this week) and then I can focus all the time on cleaning them out.  I'll need to pull all this and then add soil if needed and of course mulch with WOOD mulch instead of straw, ha. 

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday, April 27, 2019


It's a beautiful, clear and dry.  



More edging

"Harvest the wheat" (ha, see post earlier this week)

Clean out the raised garden beds

That's not too bad.  Should be able to knock out that list fairly easily.  Of course, we always get out there and then you never know what happened during the week that will alter those plans, that's the way it goes.  Stay tuned for updates.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, April 26, 2019


 Now THIS is a diet we can get behind, ha!

Beautiful weather here, clear, cool(ish) and no rain until mid week next week.  Should be a good weekend, if we can get through a Friday.

Thursday, April 25, 2019


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!

We've posted a couple of pics over the years of "spilled flowers".  Not sure if that's the official name for this, but that's what I call this trend.  Usually they are smaller, like a bucket on its side with flowers spilling out.  Sometimes it's a wheelbarrow.  In this case however, it's a really neat older vintage looking cart with a cascade of flowers spilling out and onto the ground. 

This is much grander in scale but it still looks really fun.  I would assume it's a mound of dirt/soil that is piled up and then planted with beautiful flowers.

Be inspired!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019


Yesterday I posted an update about our fruit trees CLICK HERE and I mentioned at the end of the post that we had an "odd" occurrence.  Here it is...

So for the last few years, we've used this product and loved it.  It's the EZ-Straw mulch.  The package says it biodegrades, just leave in place.  That's what we've done the last few years.  Never any problem.

Last October/November, I pulled all the weeds and put this mulch down for Winter.  Here is the picture the day it was added.  

Nice and neat.  

Since they are fruit trees and were going dormant for the Winter, I stopped watering and it was only rain that took care of the watering from then on. 

Here they are are as of this past weekend.

See all that green stuff?

Whoa.  Wait.  What?

EZ Straw mulch
Closer up, here is one bed a few months back...

EZ Straw sprouting
...and here is the same bed again this past weekend.  So what is that growing in them?

It's apparently wheat.

Yep, the straw from EZ-Straw package says it is made from wheat grass straw.  It's not supposed to sprout, I mean, that sort of defeats the purpose doesn't it?  But yep, I guess you can say that we are now growing WHEAT at the farm, ha.

Ironically it has kept the grass out of the beds because it is really just clumps of wheat growing and they pull up easily.

While we'd like to leave it there until it turns brown and dries out so we could use it for some decor in the Fall, as you can see, it's just big and makes it all look so messy and overgrown.  Does anyone know if we harvest it like it is now, green?  Can we hang it up to dry out?  We'd like to get something like this that we can decorate with but not sure if pulling it green will result in this later or not.

Anyone know?  Or have any other ideas on how to use our green new wheat?

Monday, April 22, 2019


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


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


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


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


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


Stormy sky
I find these pictures 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


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...'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.  


Friday, April 12, 2019


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


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


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.