Raised in a Barn…

Day-to-Day Life of a Country Mama

Slow Win

I think I may slowly be winning the fight with the squash bugs. I found one adult and two leaves with eggs yesterday, but the plants have resumed growing squash. I am taking this as a sign that I’ve made at least some progress. I am still going to treat the plants with peppermint oil even after I no longer find adults (if I reach that point). I figure the plants will be susceptible to easily getting infested again. 

I wasn’t prepared for the corn coming on so quickly. I think I have missed my opportunity to treat the ears for worms. I need to read my information on it again and decide. I’ll get the mineral oil ready just in case. I have yet to see any tomato worms so I am hoping we may skip those this year. I wish you luck in all your pest control endeavors!

Yard Salad

I’ve found a combination I like for a salad. The best part is I can step out in our yard and get the makings for it any time during our growing season. Lamb’s quarters leaves balance the tartness of dandelion leaves nicely. I gathered both the other evening for supper. I tossed in some diced tomato and a bit of dressing. Thus proving again that “weeds” aren’t always a bad thing. I’ll definitely be gathering it again!

Squash Bugs Squashed

The squash bugs may have picked a particularly bad day to show up on my two prettiest squash plants. It has been a long, frustrating, mostly-unproductive day and (even though it is ending on a good note) I’ve been taking it out on the bugs I found. 

I stirred up a solution of about 20 drops peppermint essential oil in like 8 ounces of water. I then proceeded to spray almost all of it on the two plants. I concentrated on the base stem, root and surrounding mulch. As they moved away from what they obviously didn’t like, I began trying to crush them. I discovered a half-inch,slightly-pointed stick on the ground that worked effectively for the job. It was small enough to reach between stems. I spent every bit of 20-30 minutes out terrorizing them. 

I will look the plants over good in the morning. Hopefully, I made a dent at least. I will probably be repeating the process again. We shall see if it makes a difference this year. 

First Green Bean

I forgot to get a picture, but we got our first green bean of the season this week. The vines have all kinds of blooms on them. There are several little forming pods, however only one was big enough to pick. It was good looking though! 

The vines are thick and spreading over the latticework good. A couple of plants are behind the others, but I am hoping they catch up soon. We will probably be getting a good number of green beans in another week. Next hopefully will be the first tomato. 

Lemon Blueberry Scones

I made these for services last Sabbath and the recipe is amazing. I stayed true to the recipe except for using lemon juice because I didn’t have zest. I also used a lemon glaze. All that is needed for it is lemon juice (2 Tbsp) and powdered sugar(1/2 cup). I’m already wanting to make some more since they were so good. Below is the recipe. 

Kitchen Work

I am finally reorganizing the kitchen. I’ve gotten about half of the cabinets done. I am hoping it makes things a little more efficient. I will now have a section each for cooking, baking and canning items. I am also planing for space for bulk containers. I want to switch over to this as we become more self sufficient and I make more things from scratch. 

Between this, the garden and two teething children, I’ve had a busy past few days. Throw in hauling a good amount of hay on Sunday and it feels like the week should be more than half over. (Speaking of, we ended up with around 650 square bales from the two fields we baled.) There is still much work to do before the week is over though. 

I think my day is almost over…. Caroline is just about ready to be put to bed. Hopefully, she will sleep peacefully from now until I get her up early for market. Good night to you all and may your days not be as drawn out as mine!

Garden Update 

The garden is looking pretty good. The tomato plants are getting very bushy and blooming. Before long I will be needing to tie them up. The green beans are vining up the lattice nicely and blooming as well. The regular beans are being a little slow in their vining, but they will get there. 

The corn has shot up and is about four foot tall just like the sunflowers. The sunny weather we’ve been having has really helped it along. The squash plants have beautiful blooms and a lot of little squash growing. 

We’ve been watering the garden every other day, except for our tanks which we fill around once a week. The work continues, but we will begin enjoying the results soon! I hope everyone’s garden is growing well. 

First of the Squash

I got the first zucchini and summer squash this morning! There are a good number to come on each plant too. I see zucchini cookies and fried squash in our future…. I’ll hopefully get time to give more of an update on the rest of the garden soon. 

Repurposed Tubs

I have been given starts of peppermint, chocolate mint, and lemon balm. These are all invasive and can quickly get out of control so I thought I would plant them in containers. I had thought about building planters for them to set in my herb garden area I am crrateing. 

I was talking with my folks about some other container I was looking for. They mentioned having empty horse protein slick tubs. The tubs were too big for what I originally thought to use them for, but they are a good depth for my herbs. 

I have drilled a few drainage holes in the bottom and planted my lemon balm first. I think they are going to work perfectly! I’m already looking forward to having them come back fuller next year. 

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