Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Monday, July 22, 2013

Eating My Words

Was I whining about my garden earlier in the season?  Yes, I do believe I was.  "This was dying, that was wilting, this didn't grow, that isn't producing, the critters are eating it, blah, blah, blah".  Well, I was wrong, wrong, wrong, and I take it all back.

This is my pumpkin patch now.  It's a solid mass of healthy vines with pumpkins hidden among them.

I started out completely demoralized which caused me to break down and use Sevin dust to control the squash bugs.  I'm ashamed that I resorted to using a chemical, but hey, I'm not overrun with squash bugs and I don't spend hours searching for and killing them like I did last year.  Next year, I hope to get some guineas to control those pesky bugs.

This eggplant was an experiment.  I had eggplant last year and saved some of the seeds.  I planted six and this was the only one that came up.  It's late, but it is producing, so I know that if I save seeds again this year, I'll be able to grow eggplant again next year.  Maybe this is something that will do well in the aquaponics system.

And, just for fun, here's a little duckling that my tomatoes produced.  

Saturday, July 20, 2013

What Are Little Boys Made Of...

made of?  What are little boys made of?

Frogs and snails

...and puppy dog tails (and pure delight).

For Liam's third birthday, Paden and Lucy turned this Playskool car into the Batmobile.

Liam was the envy of the town.
They put little convex mirrors on the front for the headlights.

And personalized it with sparkly letters.

So cute.  And he was thrilled.

That's what little boys are made of, made of.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Aquaponics Update

The plants in the aquaponics garden seemed to have stalled.  A couple of weeks have passed and they are still just tiny seedlings.

Well, they have gotten just a little bigger, but not much.  According to the material Tom has read, they're supposed to grow faster than plants grown conventionally, but that's not happening.

Tom emailed the professor who wrote the book that Tom is getting his information from.  He wrote back that he thought the plants looked like they should look at this stage, but that we needed to go ahead and add our fish.

Tom looked on Craigslist and found someone who was selling out their stock of Mozambique Tilapia and they live just around the corner from us.  Convenient, huh?  So, Tom ran over and got them.

They're busily swimming around in our tank now.  We have an albino one.  

It'll be interesting to see if this will make a difference in the growth of the plants.

Thursday, July 18, 2013


I broke this window today.  Either the mower or the weedeater threw something up and hit it.  I didn't know it until I came back through with the blower.

It is completely shattered from top to bottom and I'm walking around on tip-toe hoping it doesn't fall out.  It's making little popping noises continually.

Waiting for the glass men to come measure it and possibly put some duct tape on it if they think they can touch it without having it fall apart.

Double click on the picture.  It's kind of pretty.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dog vs. 'Dillo

We had a little excitement on our back porch a couple of nights ago.  Usually, Harry and Ginger aren't allowed in the back yard, but Harry jumps the fence when he thinks the occasion calls for a little disobedience (Ginger can't jump it yet).  We heard Ginger barking out by our bathroom window on the outside of the fence, so I looked out the back and saw two armadillos digging in the yard.  Harry jumped into the yard and went after them.  I heard his teeth knock against one of the 'dillo's back, so he tried to attack it, but couldn't get ahold of it.

He chased them up onto the porch.

Unsuccessfully trying to bite one of them.

There was a standoff.

One of them scooched up under the grill.  

Harry got bored and wandered away, I shooed him out of the yard so that when the armadillos decided to come out of hiding, they wouldn't all go tearing through my flower beds.  I'd rather have a few armadillo-dug holes scattered around than having the tank that is Harry plowing through the flowers.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

A New Look for Our Farm Entry

We intended to do this last fall, but decided to wait until the heat of the summer to do it so Jordan and Tom could sweat in the sun.

This is the before picture.  These old brick pillars are falling apart.  They look like they've been repaired before, rather sloppily, so they're kind of on shaky ground.  It's past time to tear them out, but I didn't think Tom would go for spending the time and money (which will be nominal since we're doing it ourselves and reusing the brick) to do a project that's pretty much just cosmetics.  But, when he ran into one with the tractor last year and kind of crunched the side in, he suggested that it's time to rebuild.

Also, over the years, the dirt has shifted and piled up, covering the lower brick retaining wall and the foundation, which we didn't even know was there until the digging commenced.

Tom got this pillar knocked down and cleared away yesterday morning.

Jordan finished up the other two working yesterday afternoon and into the evening.  There are three on each side.  Now we're embroiled in an engineering/building debate as to the best way to rebuild the design I've come up with, which involves a change in the shape of the brick pillars and big slabs of cedar wood from some trees cut down by Jordan and milled by our friend with the saw mill.

Oh, and it's about 100 degrees.  

Can we do it?!  Yes, we can!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Preserving the Bounty

Whew.  I think the worst thing about having a garden is trying to figure out what to do with all the excess.  That sounds awful.  That should be the best thing about having a garden.  And don't get me wrong, I am very grateful for all the food and all the bounty that God provides us.  I'm just weird...and maybe lazy, I guess.  I enjoy the planting of the garden and the beginnings of watching it grow.  If someone else would come do the pickin' and the preservin', I'd be a happy camp...er.

At first, I was really upset that the chickens, or various other critters, were ruining all the tomatoes.  But now, well, not so much.  Critters are getting about half of the tomato crop, even though I'm picking them before they ripen completely.  Even so, I've got more than I can keep up with.  Well, not really more than I can keep up with...more than I want to keep up with.

This is not all of them, I have a whole bunch ripening in a basket outside and many more still on the vine.

In the past two days...

I've made stewed tomatoes...

and the dehydrator has been going non-stop...

shriveling up tomatoes.  This is the easiest way to preserve them, but I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them now that they are dried.

And the cucumbers!  Ay-ay-ay

Eight pints of bread and butter pickles didn't even make a dent in the big ol' pile of cukes in the fridge.

Speaking of which, I'm going to go taste them now.  This was my first time to make these and my neighbor's grandson wants some.  I need to make sure they're edible before I hand them over.

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Spaghetti Cacio e Pepe

This was our dinner last night and it looked so pretty on the plate that Tom said I should take a picture.  So I did.

Tomatoes, cucumbers, and basil from our garden.  Ranch dressing made with goat milk.  Mozzarella cheese from Costco.  Gluten free spinach spaghetti from our local health food store.

Recipe adapated from a recipe by Fabio Viviani:

One 12 oz. package Tinkyada gluten free spinach spaghetti
6 T. butter (you can probably get away with 4)
2 tsp. (or to taste) Black pepper, freshly cracked
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil (about a tablespoon of salt).  Add the pasta and cook to al dente.  Save some of the pasta water when you drain the spaghetti.

White the pasta cooks, melt butter in a large saute pan over medium heat.  Add the fresh cracked pepper.  When the butter begins to bubble, remove from heat.

When the pasta is ready, add the noodles and 2-3 tablespoons of the pasta water to the saute pan.  Cook over medium high heat until the liquid bubbles and thickens, tossing the pasta as needed.

Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese, tossing rigorously until all ingredients are incorporated into a creamy sauce.  Garnish with additional black pepper and parmesan and serve immediately.