Saturday, July 30, 2011

Green Beans & the Garden

Today is working green bean day...Grandma Schlatter planted the green beans this year and brought over about a 5 gallon bucket of them yesterday when she dropped Cousin E off for a visit.

Last Tuesday the kids and I went over to Grandma's to pick green beans and we got almost two 5 gallon buckets which I worked up and got 19 quarts out of.  I'm going to get another 13 out of this latest batch she brought me.

Our garden isn't doing much this year.  We ended up with 3 of our 4 cabbages and I was able to work them up into Cabbage Burger filling.  I froze the filling in balls so that I can quickly pull them out and put them in bread dough to bake.

The tomatoes got frozen this year and had quite a set back.  Now we get green ones, but they rot or the chickens eat them before they have a chance to ripen.  In fact, Marion brought in just a few of our first tomatoes of the season today.  And I think we got like three!  I'm hoping they start doing better now that Marion has been able to put the cages and straw around them.

Our beets just didn't do anything this year...I'm quite sad.  And we won't have a terrible amount of carrots either.  I'm thinking that maybe this year I'll try canning the carrots and see if we use them better that way.

None of the sweet corn we planted came up, but we were very fortunate to have gotten quite a bit from Marion's aunt.  We worked that up the other day and I have pictures of that I'll try to get posted in our updating when I get to it.

I've also got some mint growing that I'd like to get dehydrated and our peach tree has some peaches on it.  The first picking was full of worms so I didn't get many from them, but I see that Marion brought in a small container of some that look really nice.  Maybe I'll at least get some peach jam made this year.

Oh...and I've still got some garlic to dehydrate.  I never got around to doing that with all the activities we've been having.  With the food processor it doesn't take long to chop it up and get it onto the trays.  Then it kinda processes itself until its done.  We really like the dehydrated garlic!

Well, that is about all that I have for garden/produce type of stuff.  Off to put the last of the beans into the canner!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Making Progress....

Well, I don't have any pictures for you because my camera card is FULL...I never thought I'd get to the point of saying that.  I think it is like a 4 or 8 gig card but my memory is full and I haven't had time to do anything about that...but I hope to get to it soon.

However, we are making some great progress:

The BIGGEST of news is that I FINALLY got all the waist high weeds pulled out of the front flower bed!!!  I was so excited I did a little jig and almost could have done cartwheels (except I didn't want to break my neck and I was sure I'd slip cuz I was a sweaty mess...HA).  Anyway, there is of course still stuff to do out there but at least all the massive weeds are pulled.  I'm trying to convince Marion to get a new lawn mower with a bagger so that we can use the grass as a mulch instead of the wood chips that we have to buy but as of yet we haven't gotten there.  I'm hesitant to get a bunch of mulch this late in the year as I have some bulbs coming this fall and I still want to rework the flower bed spreading out the daffodils and tulips I have, splitting the iris out, and that sort of thing.  Not really excited about having to dig through mulch to do all of that!

On other progress news, we are less than a week away from starting school!  Yes sir, we will be having a kindergartner, 2nd grader, and a 1st year pre-schooler this year!  YIKES!  But I'm excited.  I've got all the totes cleaned out, the paper tubs organized and Abigail's schedule all lined out.  I still need to go through Nathan's things and try to figure out some type of schedule for him but I'm hoping that won't be too hard.  Jonathan will be very informal...mostly just a first introduction to the letters, colors and numbers...nothing overly monumental but something to start him sitting and doing 'school'.

There really is SO much to update you all on.  Since VBS back in June things have just been a landslide around here and I haven't had much time for posting.  Once I get the computer work caught up and the kids into a schedule, I'm hoping to get some posts done.  They'll probably come waves but I'm hoping to get all of June and July caught up without getting behind on August!

Well, speaking of getting caught up...I better get back at the computer work.  Just had to celebrate the HUGE accomplishment in the flower bed up front...really...you have no idea the magnitude of the implications that one task had on my life.  I hope to be able to share that with you all soon.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Old Fashioned Plow Day 2011

Every year a guy from Smith Center organizes an old fashioned plow day.  He gets several farmers together to team plow a field.  This year, they were fairly close to us and we had a great time watching all the different tractors and plows working hard.  

Nathan and Jonny even got to ride along with Grandpa for awhile.

About lunch time everyone stops and heads into the tents for a free luncheon.  Here are several pictures of the tractors and ploys:














Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Friday, July 22, 2011

Abi's 7 year Photo Shoot!

I took Abi outside to shoot some pictures for her 7 year photo!  Some of these are silly...some of them are serious...some of them are just fun.

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10
11

12

14

15

16

17

18

If you'd like to vote on which one you like best...just put the number of the photo in the comments and I'll tally them for the winner.

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Corn Shucking Time

This year, Marion's Aunt Sharlyn raised quite a bit of sweet corn and we were blessed to be able to pick some for ourselves.  After picking it, we had the whole family help us shuck it.  This was really the first year that the kids got in on this and were actually helpful.  

Jonny and Ethan playing on the swing nearby.

Showing off the corn they had shucked.

Our set up.

The crew hard at work.

Shuck...Shuck...Shuck.

What can I do?  Take the ears out of the bucket...sure I can do that!

Catch me if you can...I've got my ear of corn!

I'm not afraid of the worms...see?!

Shuck...Shuck...Shuck!
It didn't take us long and we had all our corn shucked and ready to process!  Thanks Aunt Sharlyn for that bountiful blessing!

Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Baker Abi

I've been making bread for a while now and Abi has been asking to learn how.  So today was the day.  

I gave her the recipe and told her what steps to take but I let her do all the measuring, mixing, and kneading.  

Here is Abi with her own loaf of bread:



Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

An Outside Nap

Today the kids BEGGED to take their nap outside.  I didn't see any real harm in it so I let them.  After they had been outside for awhile, I took some pictures.  This is what I found:

Abi & Nate chatting while JB rested.

They had their legs going in all directions.

I'm truly surprised Jonathan can rest through all their antics.

Oh wait...maybe he was just pretending.

Finally...they all settled down.
Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Smith County Fair 2011

After the pedal pull, we took our time to view the fair exhibits and eat supper at the 4H food booth.

We always enjoy looking at the horses.

Pigs and Sheep


Ethan was very interested in these large creatures!

A neat way to water the pigs!





Chickens and Rabbits

Goats

Cows -
I thought this was a great pic with the boys all lined up!
After the exhibits we headed off to the jumping/balloon rides:


Even Ethan got in on the fun...though here he isn't looking so much like he likes it!




Copyright © 2011 All Rights Reserved MMFarmlife - Melanie Schlatter