Blessed with Berries- Part 2

As promised, here is an update on the strawberry patch….we’re getting berries!  I’m so happy because I really didn’t expect to get any this year!

Since I posted the “Blessed with Berries” post (you can read that here), I have made a few changes to the strawberry patch.  First, I weeded it—wow—the weeds really started to take over!

Next, the Sheriff and I headed out to the field to gather up some straw.

A good friend of mine told me that straw is a great way to keep weeds down and I found that it gives some cushion for my knees as well.  I put the straw between the rows of berries and I’ve got to say, it sure made a big difference.

Lastly was putting up some old chicken wire that I found on the farm.  This was the first time I worked with chicken wire, and boy, was that a work out!  The height of the wire was 6 feet so it was quite a challenge trying to unroll it and then putting it up without it “catching” you!  Thankfully I have a steady supply of baling twine which is the answer to most problems on the farm.  Just use baling twine!

I do have other plans for my strawberries, but for right now, I’m working with what I have and preserving the wonderful fruits of our labor.

The chicken wire seemed to be keeping the critters out, but not the birds.  I didn’t have enough chicken wire to cover the top, and I know netting is an option, but I decided to use an old fashioned method- aluminum pie plates.  What a great and inexpensive way to keep the birds out!  Here is the finished product, pie plates and all!

I have to thank my mom (who is 74 years young) who helped me hang the pie plates!  She loves to be outdoors which helps her to stay active and healthy!  Thanks Mom!

Nana and the Sheriff showing off their strawberries!

Love!

And here is the Sheriff picking his first berry.  I know it may sound silly, but this picture puts a huge smile on my face.  It is such an awesome feeling to see your child picking food that you grew together!  He was super excited to see the strawberries and couldn’t wait to taste them.  He was so interested in the strawberries and was asking all sorts of questions!  It brought me such happiness to show him how his hard work paid off!

Apparently there was something else that was enjoying our berries as you can see from the chewed berry below!

Here he is with the first fruits of our labor.  Not bad for a first pick!

He wanted me to hurry up and take the picture so he could sit and enjoy his juicy strawberries!

A few berries ripening in the sun…..

Don’t forget to get out and get yourself some local strawberries before the season is over!

Wrapping up the Rye Season

Here are a few pictures of the remaining fields being cut and baled with the Mayor behind the wheel and the Sheriff riding shotgun!  He just absolutely loves being out in the tractor with his daddy!

While they were out in the field mowing, I was thinking about how my husband told me that he saw some coyotes out in the fields a few days ago.  I began looking around to see if I was alone in the field, then starting thinking of how I would protect myself if one should appear.  I saw the hay bales and thought “hmmm….wonder if I could jump up there?”  But before I had the chance to think of my next safety spot, a coyote poked his head through the tall winter rye!  My heart raced!!  He saw me and ran back in the tall rye!  Thank goodness!  And while I have lived in the country all my life, I have never had to deal with coyotes; so it got me thinking about protection. Protecting my son, my husband (if need be) and our livestock is my top priority, so I will be looking into my options.

Love this picture of the John Deere (which by the way if my favorite) with the beautiful sky in the background.  The boys are just about finished baling.

LOVE this picture!  I love how the one stalk of rye survived the mower and is standing tall!

Now that the winter rye has been cut and baled (well most of it anyways), it’s now time to get this stuff wrapped!  Our friend, Mr. Cob, brought his wrapper down along with some very fancy teal colored wrap!  This machine is the “Cadillac” of wrappers and to be honest, it was pretty amazing to watch!  Even the Sheriff couldn’t take his eyes off of it!  This machine lifts up the bale, wraps it, cuts the wrap and dumps it over on the right side!  Amazing!

The Sheriff and I visited a Church yard sale a few weekends ago and that is where we found this awesome fire truck (and I picked up a box full of canning jars!!).  I enjoy doing this with him for a couple reasons:  #1, he pays for his treasures with his own money and #2 it teaches him that buying used items can be just as good as brand new.  Here he is, testing out his new truck at the farm.

Love my home, love my farm.

Stopping to check the herd, and this little guy walked over to get a look at the Sheriff and me.  Isn’t he just the cutest thing??  It is amazing how baby calves can bring such spunk on the farm.  I really enjoy watching them run around the pasture chasing one another!

This picture will definitely find a place on the wall in my home!  Love these two so much!

The weather was very hot and humid today, and this mama found a way to beat the heat!   Drink directly from the hose, then put your head directly in the stream of water!  Smart girl!

Another picture for the farmhouse wall!  I have so many favorites, that I’m going to have to build more walls!

I have taken this picture several times over the past couple of years.  It is a reminder to me that Daddy & son time is so important and that life goes fast; time spent together doing even the simplest of things will never, ever be forgotten.

Blessed with Berries

We love strawberries….and nothing says summer like picking fresh strawberries on a hot summer day!

Last year, my mom decided that she no longer wanted the responsibility of growing & caring for her strawberry plants, so I was super excited when she gave me permission to come and dig them up.  First, I did some research and found that the best time to transplant was in the fall when the hot and humid days were behind us.  So, once the weather had cooled off, I headed to my Mom’s house and dug up all her plants.  I wish I had counted how many I dug up, because the digging went on forever, seriously.  Those plants multiply like crazy and shoot out in all directions!

The day was gorgeous and it felt great getting in the dirt; however, my thighs and calves were singing a different tune!  I kept reminding myself about the benefits I would reap from all this hard work; benefits like…homemade strawberry ice cream, strawberry shortcake, strawberry jam and how about watching the Sheriff just eating strawberries right off the vine!!!  YUM!

I’m also super excited because these are the first edible items I have planted on the farm…however; they will not be the last!  I know that I may not have a single berry next year, but I’m still very anxious to see how the plants fare the transplant as well as the winter.

Here is a picture of my mother’s patch and though it may not look like much, it is quite a bit of strawberries!

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Made with Love by Mom!

Back on July 27, 2012……..

Today was a great day! The reason it was so great is that I was able to spend it with my Mom!! We had been planning a day of sewing together for quite some time and today’s agenda included cloth napkins which we made from scraps of material and old sheets. My reasoning for doing this was so I could be more earth friendly and also so I could save some money on unnecessary paper products.

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