Monday, August 29, 2011

I have been accepted into the Tulsa Master Gardeners Internship!

I am so excited!  It is a very intensive, weekly class that starts September 7th, and runs through December 14th.  Once I pass the class, and I will, I will be an intern for one year.  I am really looking forward to learning everything about gardening here in Oklahoma!  

On another note, the last time I cleaned the rabbit cage I did not do the latch right and they all got out.  Two were killed.  I was left with one doe.  After spending three and a half hours on the phone last week, calling Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and ALL over Oklahoma, only to find out that most of the New Zealand rabbits have died due to the heat this summer, I finally found two five miles up the road from our house.  The bonus is that they are two months older than the the ones we "lost" so we will still be right on track for babies in the spring!  

We are ordering our chicks this week.  The weather is finally starting to cool off a bit.  The nights are even beginning to be quite pleasant.  I love it when a plan comes together! 

Our fall garden is in.  It is the smallest we have done in years.  I'm going to be doing beans, kale, cabbage, lettuce and of course, tomatoes.  I am refusing, yes, REFUSING to do any vine crops!  I'm going to try and starve the squash bugs out of my garden.  I'm not going to plant any vine crops until next  summer.  Unless I learn some awesome way to get rid of them in my Tulsa Master Gardeners class that is.  LOL!

Enjoy the cooler weather everyone!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I can not believe that it has been three months since I wrote anything here!

     Don't fool yourself though, just because there haven't been any posts doesn't mean that there have been many idle days around here!  The garden has been a frustrating adventure this year.  The heat has been so hard on the plants and the people.  The plants are growing, a little, and producing, a little, but most of the blooms are falling off before they can fruit.

The heat has been so extreme that at times it's been difficult to justify the water bill by the produce harvested.  This is the second year in a row that has been this way.  I say this every year but next year I am going to do things differently.  Next year I am going to get my cabbage, red potatoes, lettuce, spinach and peas out of the early planting.  For the summer planting I am only going to do peppers, melons, okra and strawberries.  They are the plants that love the hot weather and are producing in this heat. I am already clearing out spaces and planning for the fall garden.  Last year it was my fall garden that gave me the most.  I hope that it will do the same this year.  One of the wonderful aspects of gardening in Oklahoma is that we have an insanely long fall.  Last year I was harvesting tomatoes clear into October!  It still gets warm in the days but the cooler nights are what gives the fall garden the advantage over the summer garden.  The water seems to go a lot further as well.

These are all the materials needed.
     I did step it up in the garden this year and take two of my beds and really do the "square foot gardening".  I thought I could do it by eye-balling it, which is what I tried to do with the other three beds, but BOY, WAS I WRONG!!!  This year I actually did the square foot dividing and it blew my mind how much more I got out of the two beds I did the right way and the three beds I "eyeballed".
Dividing the bed into square foot gardens.


Needless to say, I will be doing all my beds this way next year.  Thankfully, the community garden that we joined has been wonderful!  We have gotten peas, broccoli, beans, kale, Swiss chard, all kinds of lettuce, collards and turnips so far.  We can buy all of the produce at wholesale costs and even lower if we go out in the heat and pick the stuff ourselves.  We always bring the kids to help so it doesn't take us nearly as long as if it was just me.  I bring them home, separate out enough for dinner and then clean, blanch and freeze the rest.  Now we are getting ready to head out there and pick zucchini, yellow, and flying saucer squash, okra, tomatoes, peppers, onions and other summer goodies.   
Sweet Sarah helping with the beans.  
Add caption

Grammy harvesting some beans.

Sybil podding the peas.
We have gotten three New Zealand rabbits, one male two females.  They are reported to be excellent meat rabbits.  My brother, Shawn wants to start selling rabbit in his restaurant, Amicci's Italian Eatery.  That is what inspired us to start raising them.  I figured he's got to buy them from someone, might as well be me.  They are the easiest livestock to raise, not to mention that they are sweet mannered and adorable.  I told the kids when we got them that they could not name them.  Once you name them they go from livestock to pets.

Each female can have up to twenty four babies per year.    They are pretty inexpensive to feed and once they start breeding  you only keep the babies for eight weeks before butchering them.  Ours should be ready to breed by next spring.  MM will be building a permanent hutch for them as soon as he is done with the chicken run.  I love being married to a man who can build anything! 

     We have also added the chicken coop to the property.  We will be ordering New Hampshire Reds mid-August.  Can you believe that they MAIL them to you?  Dad says they have always done that.  That is how they use to get their chickens when he was a boy, he's seventy-three now.  Fifteen hens and one rooster.  They are good for both laying eggs and are big enough to get some decent meat off of them.  We were going to do it now but I am worried about the heat.  We have some neighbors that have had some chickens die in this heat.  Babies are fragile.  I want to be careful.  Besides, by doing it the end of August we will still have three more months of decent weather.  By the time snow hits they will be fully feathered.

Michael has done a great job on the coop.  He has built it like a house.  I joke and tell him that if we threw some insulation in it we could rent it out when times get rough. This coop will easily last twenty to thirty years. 
Sarah has been his little helper through out the entire process.  Any time that Daddy is home I know where to find her.  To tell the truth, I really love that.  

I'll post pictures of it when it's finished.  The door and the window is in and it is primed and painted, sage to match the house and stable.  The only things that are left are the ramps and the little hole they go in and out of to get to the run and the run itself.  We have the materials it is just a matter of MM having the time in between his work to do it. Since I won't be letting the chicks out till they are at least eight weeks old anyway, we have a bit of time to get it finished.  
     The next projects on the board will be the rabbit hutch, the aqua-ponic fish garden and the rain water barrel system.  Slowly but surely we are getting closer to be self-sustainable.  Woo-hoo!  Hope this finds all healthy, happy and making the most of your summer!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Saturday was a perfect day!

     Mary Ann, me, MM, Sarah-bear and Jimmy went to the Annual Herbal Affair in Sand Springs, OK. It is our fourth year in a row and is now to be considered a tradition. I love those! There is something so comforting and fun about them. We start the day with making everyone an excellent coffee, meet up at Mary Ann’s house to load her wagon. Everyone gets out to go and look at their garden. Bob did a great job at building her raised beds! We’re about tied now in the square footage. We have a bit of a friendly competition going on between us. Then, we all load up, girls with the girls, boys with the boys and head out to spend the day in the sun, finding all of our deals.              As always, I bring my camera and get a pic of us unloading the wagons but nothing else till I’m home. I always get too excited looking through all the plants for my little treasures that will complete my well-planned masterpiece. 


I was able to find every single plant I wanted except for one. I was also able to get quite a few new and exciting ones as well. Wrap the outing up with a ten dollar pizza from Pizza Hut and head home to plant the beautiful bounty we purchased. It only gets better, Bob has volunteered to come over and help MM fill the final bed! 
There is something so special about an empty garden bed. When the soil is ready and beckoning you to fill it. It’s like a canvas screaming for some paint to fill it’s emptiness. We are taught that we were created in His image. Man and woman in His image. He is the master creator. So, it stands to reason that if we are in His image, when we create, anything, that we are at our finest. I sure feel like it brings out the best in me

Can it get any better than that? 

Yes, yes it can! I get the house straightened up, Mary Ann comes over to our place, helps me plant, we have a blast, my mom brings home armfuls of clothes for me and Sarah-bear’s grow-up box from garage sale hunting and a gorgeous new rug for our living room! To top it off MM helped me get some sentimental plants of mine out of the full sun. They just aren’t ready for it yet and if anything happened to them it would make me cry. Yes siree, today was a perfect day

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A good friend of mine said, "In order to write you have to sit down and do it.",

and all I can think is "ouch".  They are true words indeed.  So this is me, sitting down and writing.  I have thought about writing for the last month.  Things have been very hectic around here.  I've always had a good excuse not to write, after all, I am a very busy woman!  However, enough is enough, so here goes.  
     Many things have been done around here since I last posted.  The two additional raised beds have been built in our garden.  One of them has even been filled.  It was a huge job that the whole family helped with.  That always makes it better.  In spite of the occasional whining the day was fun.  I've had to change the plans a couple of times, but I'm flexible.  The seedlings have been transplanted, except for the tomatoes that will go in the last bed.  
That makes a grand total of seven beds in the winter garden.  I call it that because it is the garden we use year-round.  We also got the composter put together and in use.  I love being married to a man who can do anything!  It is a wonderful device, however, the fourteen day compost is only achieved when you shred all your materials and add it all at once.  That's okay though.  I'll get there eventually.  
 The flag-pole garden has been dug out, lined and refilled with better soil and less rocks.  It has also been planted with carrots, radishes, beets and carrots and onions.  

We also got the vertical beds put in two of the winter garden beds.  I am very excited about the extra space we will have to grow things.  It has effectively doubled the growing space for the beds!

On a different note, some of you might remember me mentioning that the farmers I buy my milk from, Rex and Marie, have a community garden that they host all year, every year.  For either $50.00 or seven hours of weeding members can buy their veggies at wholesale costs.  We have decided to become members of that garden.  It has been so wonderful eating the seasonal crops that they are turning out.  I throughly enjoy every minute that I spend with them.  They are wonderful people who enjoy what they do.  They are a real inspiration to me.  I took some pics of their hoop house.  We bought some kale, collards, and swiss chard and had the most wonderful salads for the next week. If any of my locals would like the info on the community garden,please, feel free to contact me.
I have learned that foods eaten, when in season and local,are more nutritious simply because they are fresher.  

What's in season now?

Eating with the seasons is a great way to maximize nutrition and minimize the environmental costs of our foods.  Foods that are fresh (i.e., in season) and locally-grown are going to be more nutritious because nutrients degrade during shipping and storage. It's also better for the environment (and the economy) because the alternative (shipping foods long distances) uses so much energy.  
Makes total sense eh?  I'm looking forward to the fresh fruits and veggies coming up in our garden!  I am including a list of the plants we have planted currently and some that will be added soon.  Also, some pics of my garden plans.

Okay, so the list is too long for me to do today.  Sorry about that but the day is ticking away and there is still laundry to do and dishes to put away. Hope this finds everyone enjoying spring time as much as we are!

God Bless our blooms!                                                   

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

This is an exciting time of year for us.

I've really come to enjoy this time of preparation.  Getting the soils ready, planning out the different harvests, what we are going to do or plant or start, the possibilities abound!   This year we have some really big projects on our plates.  Some are going to be easy, some a little tough.  You never know for sure how much everything is going to cost.  The money never lasts as long as you think it will.  The first thing on our agenda is:
1.  The soil in the existing beds has got to be built up!
   A.  We got the peat moss today.  It was $10.00 dollars a bag! 
Still, it was cheaper than a load of top soil.  Besides, our soil is just about perfect this year.  We had it tested last year.  We had done a great job of getting it up to par.  As a result, instead of buying a load of dirt, which is very expensive right now, we have decided to get peat moss and till it into our beds.  We got all the raised beds weeded today and two of them turned and tilled.

   B.  We have been doing a compost barrel for the last year.  We have a great "recipe" going on that has not stunk up the area one time. 
   C.  Getting the cold weather plants planted and springs plants started.  This year we broke down and bought a couple of four-level small green houses.  I'm thrilled for that because this year I won't loose our kitchen table for 2-3 months.   Pics
2.  Chicken coop, with a run, big enough to house 24 chickens, built.  
   A.  We are getting all the measurements down tomorrow and the materials this weekend.
   B.  We are buying the chicks in the  next couple of weeks.
   C.  Still have to research the best layers and fryers to buy for longevity in this area.
   D.  I have been pouring over plans for the coop for days now.  I think we have it narrowed down.  I love being married to a man who can build anything.  (big smiles)  I can't say enough about and  all of the affiliates they work with like Herb Companion  and Grit magazines.  They are a great for a venue for people who are trying to re-learn to provide for themselves.  I've been doing this for five years.  It is a lot of reading, however, it is so worth the time.   
There are many, many more that I would be happy to pass on.
3.  Closing in existing garden to hoop house.  
This is the plan we have decided to go with this year.
   A.  We were considering doing the new hoop house deal but several things came into play.
       1.  Money.  Why do  a new one when we could easily and cheaply make one out of garden area we have already?
       2.  We are really trying to work towards a year-round garden and we can't do it with out some shelter.
       3.  We can always build more beds for the seasonal gardening at a later date.
       4.  If we were to get in to aquaponics we would need the shelter as well.

It may seem a little extreme but is hitting it hard-core when it comes to things that we should be doing as Americans.  I believe that at least one person, per generation, in a family, should be supported while they learn how to grow food and livestock, and the room to do so, so that in the event that we loose the convenience of our super markets that the family will be able to survive. Here is a link to a site where a family of four raised 7,000 lbs. on 1.5 acres last year.  They even have livestock and the like!  They are an amazing and inspirational family.  

4.  Building additional beds.  
   A. That has been moved to the back burner.
5.  Look into aquaponics at
6.  Look into grey water.
   A.  I have a dishwasher and two sinks that are on the wall that runs along the garden.
7.  Get the rain gutter system up to par for watering the gardens.
   A. We just got the seamless guttering system.  I was AMAZED at the amount of water that came off of our roof on our first storm with the new system!!!
   B.  Now we need to buy rain barrels for all the spouts.
   C.  It is our goal to eventually install an in-ground tank to accumulate all the rain water. 
8.  Order the real tumbling composter.
    A.  Got the composter ordered today.  Should be here by Friday- Monday.  Got it with Dad's free shipping!  So excited!!!
9.  Expand garden areas.  More on that later as well.
10. Purchase the garden planner from Mother Earth.
   A.  What a blessing to the farmers that do not have generations of wisdom being handed  down generation to generation.
11. Check out Farmer-to-Consumer laws for Oklahoma.
12.  Flea Markets.
13.  Purchase pomegranate, peach, apple, plum trees to plant here.  
14. Purchase pecan and walnut trees.
15. Purchase all kinds of berries.
a. we started pomegranate, black berry, blue berry last year.  Hope they make it to this year.
16. Concentrate on perennials.
17. Learn to butcher chickens from Rex and Marie.
18. Build a green house.
   A.  A new hoop house is not happening this year.  Or at least not a new one.
19. Learn how to milk cows from Rex and Marie.
   A.  Will be doing that this spring.  I have decided that I will not get my own cattle for meat or dairy until I know how to do it and teach it to the ones that are following me.
(yes, they are some of the coolest and helpful people I have ever known!)
20.  Once the beds are tilled and ready then fertilize with horse manure to start with to get the plants grown and then fertilize with chicken manure to get all the plants to go to seed.  More to come on this later.
21.  Start the cold weather plants in the ground and pot-start the spring plants.
   A.  We got four racks of starts done today.  We will keep doing this daily until they are done.  
   B.  We have the mini-greenhouses up and ready.  It will be very nice not to loose our kitchen table for three months this year.  Mom has plenty of room for them by a sunny window at her place and besides, it will encourage us to work together and allow her to still be a part of the gardening process.  Sweet Sarah is so excited to be my assistant this year again and helped mom plant all the starts today.

      Well folks, it's been fun but it's been a long and productive day and I still have to pull some cheese.  I have an order for some basil mozzarella, ricotta and some of my brother's famous breads.  
Enjoy the days!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Man, do I have some cool things to share with you!


 First of all, I have some good news/bad news/great news.  The bad news is that Mr Thompson sold his cows.  The good news is that he sold them to a wonderful couple right up the street.  The great news is that I just spent the most wonderful morning meeting them.  I wish I had remembered my camera when we were all sitting at their kitchen table.  Their names are Rex and Marie and if anyone wants their contact information, it will be listed at the bottom of this blog.  They are such wonderful people and so willing to share their knowledge.  I walked away literally bursting with new ideas!
     They do many things.  They have their cows and chickens.  She's made all kinds of great cheeses, which she was kind enough to let me sample, and yogurts, cottage cheese, butter, I could go on and on!  One of the things that I respect the most is a members only, u-pick garden.  Now that might sound a little daunting to start but let me clarify.  You can pay the fifty-dollar annual membership or you can work it off with seven hours of labor in the garden.  It is very important to her to provide this service to people.  I hope I do it justice in sharing it.  She has been through tough times herself.  She remembers how hard it was to buy the healthy foods her children needed.  Fresh fruits and vegetables are quite expensive when you are on a tight budget.  For fifty dollars a year you can buy the produce you pick at wholesale prices.  For example, if Wal-mart is selling tomatoes at a dollar a pound, you can get them at sixty cents a pound.  Here is the kicker.  These vegetables blow store-bought vegetables out of the water with better flavor!  We all know that everything always taste better when it is grown at home!
     She also gave me a start of Kefir grains.  No, it is not a grain.  It is a culture.  It contains all the good bacterias that our bodies need.  You put some in a glass of milk, top it, let it set on the counter over night.  Then you strain the kefir out and start tomorrow's batch and add honey to the first batch, shake  and refrigerate.  It is thinner than yogurt.  I had a glass and it was delicious.  What is it good for?  When I got home I googled it and here are the results I came up with from http:/

Here are some of the known kefir health benefits:
  1. Strongest natural remedy against any allergy
  2. Strongest natural antibiotic without side effects
  3. Treats liver disease
  4. Treats gallbladder, dissolves gall bladder stones
  5. Clears the body of salts, heavy metals, radionuclides, and alcoholic products
  6. Cleans the body of chemical antibiotics
  7. Treats kidney stones
  8. Good bacteria in kefir are able to fight off pathogenic microorganisms
  9. Lowers level of LDL cholesterol
  10. Cleans the gastrointestinal tract
  11. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  12. Treats gastritis
  13. Treats pancreatitis
  14. Treats ulcers
  15. Prevents and treats colon cancer
  16. Improves digestion
  17. Improves the body functions
  18. Improves the human immune system
  19. Cures Candida
  20. Cures hypertension
  21. Stops growth of cancer cells
  22. Speeds up healing process
  23. Treats psoriasis
  24. Treats eczema
  25. Treats inflammatory diseases
  26. Reduces size of tumors
  27. Treats heart disease
  28. Reverses calcination of blood vessels
  29. Clears the blood vessels
  30. Boosts the bodies energy
  31. Natural “feel good” food
  32. Treats lung infections
  33. Normalizes metabolism thereby can be used as for weight loss
  34. Cures acne
  35. Has anti-oxidants and anti-aging properties
  36. Nourishes hair
  37. Treats the gum disease parodontosis
  38. Lessens effects of medicines
  39. Replenishes body of good bacteria after antibiotic
  40. Balances the microflora of the body’s digestive system
  41. Regulates blood pressure
  42. Lowers blood sugar
  43. Lowers blood lipid levels or cholesterol and fatty acids
  44. Treats diarrhea
  45. Treats constipation
  46. Promotes bowel movement
  47. Anti-stress properties
  48. Treats sleeping disorders
  49. Treats depression
  50. Treats attention deficit hyperactivity disorder
  51. Improves the brains neuro functions like reflexes, memory retention, attention, the five senses
  52. Reduces flatulence
  53. Lactic acid fermentation enhances the digestibility of milk based foods. People who cannot otherwise digest milk, can enjoy the vital calcium rich Kefir.
  54. Treats yeast infection
  55. Eliminates vaginal odors
  56. Cures wrinkles
  57. Treats arthritis
  58. Treats colitis
  59. Treats gout
  60. Cures migranes
  61. Treats rheumatism
  62. Treats other stomach disorders
  63. Detoxifies the body
  64. Improves protein quality of milk, and enhances absorption and digestion
  65. Good bacteria manufacture B vitamins such as B3, B6 and folic acid.
  66. Aids in treating tuberculosis
  67. Treats stomach cramps
  68. Treats chronic intestine infections
  69. Treats liver infections
  70. Treats asthma
  71. Treats bronchitis
  72. Treats sclerosis
  73. Treats anemia
  74. Treats hepatitis
  75. Healing effects on catarrh, digestive nodes, astral nodes, bilious complaints
  76. Treats leaky gut syndrome
  77. Prevents metastasis
  78. Cures bad morning breath

Pretty impressive eh?  Especially considering how expensive all these yogurts are getting, aka: Danactive and Activa, it is so nice to know that I can give my family the same benefits and still stay on budget.
     I have touched on this next subject a couple of times.  There is a real battle going on in this country over real food and whether or not we have the right to eat it.  As I have gotten more into my gardening and learning to be self-sufficient I have come across it more and more.  If the FDA had their way, we would all be eating processed everything.  There will never be a processed food that will give your body what it needs to function properly.  I am going to list a website that is right smack in the middle of this battle and I hope that you will take the time to read about.  Another great site is  We all need to be a part of this movement.  
     It has been a good day.  Hope your's all were as well.  

Saturday, January 8, 2011

January, 2011. Fresh Starts.

January, 2011

     So the new year is upon us and I am filled with anticipation!  There is something so special about fresh starts, second chances or "do-overs", as we used to call it as a kid.  The good Lord knows that I have gotten more than my fair share of all of the above.   Moving out here was a fresh start in and of itself for me.  It was out in the middle of nowhere.  Too far for me to walk to town.  I gave up my keys, took my name off the bank account and checked into rehab.   After 60 days of that I came home to start rebuilding my life.  That was 6 years ago.  I've said before and I'll say it again; Sobriety rocks!  It's been the best six years of my life.   I am living proof that God can take you where ever you are and start from there.   I thank the Lord every day for the life he saved for me till I was strong enough to start living it for myself.  I have known so many souls over the years that lost their families due to their addictions and had to rebuild their lives alone.
     I have learned a lot since my first post.  The biggest lesson has been how hard the American farmer has been put upon by the powers that be.  If the FDA had it's way, none of us would be eating real foods.  They do not think we have the inherit rights to choose the foods we eat.  I pray for them all daily.  I learned that it is illegal for restaurants to use cheese unless it has been pasteurized.   I have learned how to pasteurize the farm fresh milk.   Next week my bff, Mary Ann and sister-in-law,  Nancy will be attending a women's business seminar put on by  They are a wonderful group that encourages small businesses here in Oklahoma.  Mary Ann and I are doing the cheese together and Nancy has a beautiful shop in Bixby, Oklahoma aptly named "Vintage Abode" where she sells antiques, transfer-ware, hand carved furniture and many other beautiful things.  Nancy also has a blog as well that is one of my favorite reads.  Here is the link.   You need to check it out.  I always love networking with other women.  It is my hope that REI will be able to help me with the labeling and marketing of my cheeses.  Once those hurdles have been overcome I will be ready to go.  
     I started planning this year's garden the other day.  I am really going to move things up this year.  I am incorporating some new aspects that we have not done before.  The first being fruit trees.   We will be planting peach, pear, apple and plum trees.  We planted two pomegranate  trees last fall.  I also heard that the state will donate pecan trees to anyone that wants to grow them.  I will be checking with the Department of Agriculture to see if that is true.  We also planted blueberry and thorn-less blackberries last fall.  This spring we will be adding strawberries and raspberries.  I'm really working on getting some perennial food sources going.  We want to get a beehive to put in the meadow to help with pollination of all our garden areas.  It blew my mind to learn that the bee population has dropped 90 percent in the last 50 years.  They don't know why really but that is a scary fact to me.  They are so vital in the food cycle!  I am allergic to bees but as I've gotten older I've learned how to avoid angering them and if we are going to have a thriving garden then we need their help.
     Another new venue that we will be incorporating into our garden this year will be grains.  We will be considering barley, buckwheat, oats, rye, corn and wheat.  You don't have to have acres and acres to grow them.  They can be planted in flower gardens just like ornamental grasses.  Once I have mastered growing them I will move to the "field" planting method.
     As always, we will be doing the herbs.  I am also concentrating on perennials in that category as well.  Oklahoma is perfect for sage, which will come back for about five years and rosemary and lavender, which will live for years and years.  The mints and oregano I'm going to keep in pots this year.  They both seem to want to take over the beds.  The rest will be bedded.  I usually get three to five harvest per year off of them when I do it correctly.
     I'm going to be moving my tomatoes, and the vine plants out of the raised beds garden this year. I have plenty of room around the property to accommodate them with out robbing the other plants of sun and nutrients.  That was probably the biggest lesson I learned last year.  I nearly choked out a lot of my plants.
     I will have the lettuce, chards, carrots, beets, onions, radishes and sweet potatoes in the ground in late February - early March.  I still have cabbages, swiss chard, garlic, lettuce and spinach growing right now!  I love the growing season here in Oklahoma.  In April I will get the snow peas, tomatoes, grains, berries, cabbages, peppers, eggplant, rhubarb, beans, asparagus, black-eyed peas going.  In June I will start the okra, squash and the rest of the vine plants (aka: cucumbers, melons, pumpkins, etc)  The squash bugs are too invasive in the spring.  Last year I had over 25 plants that were killed off by that stupid bug before they could produce!  Yet, when I replanted them in June they did great and produced well and they (squash bugs) were all gone for the most part by then.
     The other projects that we have on the burners right now are fencing in the meadow and building a chicken coop.  The meadow will be put off for another year I fear.  We just don't have the capital, unless I can get a grant or loan.  The chicken coop will be done this winter.  By fall I hope to be getting eggs and butchering some chickens as well.
     Well folks, I think that is going to wrap things up for now.  I hope this has been informative and entertaining as well.  If anyone has a desire to learn how to do any of the things I talk of here, feel free to ask me.  Here's hoping that your new year is full of love, mercy, forgiveness and grace.  
God bless!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
Galatians 5:22-23