Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nasty Bees!

Yes. This one is really late, if you look at the date tag on the photo. But I decided to write a country safety note today.

If you have things laying around your property, you're bound to have something living in or under it.

Mystery Lump In The Dirt
Gee! What could this be?

Ground Bee Nest!
Bees! Yep, ground bees. Some people call them yellow jackets. Anyhow, this was what was under some lumber we had laying out back behind our barn. Hubby was cleaning up the junk laying around and moved the lumber. Needless to say, Hubby got stung a few times. He's slightly allergic and had to take antihistamines to help. This beauty was 5 layers deep and 10" by 10". It's amazing how they do these things when you don't even see them doing it. We got the exterminator (me at night) to put bug death on them while they weren't looking. I have to tell you, there were some that didn't die. They were under the very bottom of the nest when I dug it up. A couple of scout bees came back the next day while I was back there checking on this. They are no more, too.

Hubby is OK. I'm getting to be an expert at exterminating things.

Fun in small farmville!

Bee safe...hee hee!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Strawberry Plant Dilemma

In a previous post, I mentioned about taking strawberry plants to work. The main guy who asked for them came looking for me today. He didn't get but 2 plants! Whoa! So I went out and raided my garden and packed some so he could get a patch started. Even though these are more of the itty-bittys, he said he'd take them. Next time, I'll personally place them in the hands of the person who asked for them.

The land dried out a bit today. It wasn't sunny, but it was pretty nice. Our strawberry patch really looks sad. The water floated chunks of grass and leaves all over it. I hope they are OK.

I hope we don't get any more rain for a while. All of our plants need to perk back up. I better watch what I ask for. My version of 'a while' means one thing. But, to Mother Nature, it may mean drought. I hate to think that way, but it's possible down here. You never know!

Take care.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Some More Rain!

OK. I wish the rain would give up already! The ground is totally saturated and the ditches are full. Here in SC, the ditches are at least 4' deep because we are in the Low Country. That means pretty much at sea level. I didn't get to go back to the strawberry patch today, but hubby says it is under water. Most of it is high ground back there.

I guess I can't really rag on the rain. I love rain and dreary days. I don't know why. I am a water sign, though. I can just picture myself sitting on the couch with a hot cup of tea while reading some favorite magazines. I'd have my new afghan on my lap to stay nice and toasty. My dogs would be gathered around me. My hubby would be on his favorite recliner. Ahhh! Nice dream. I'd really love to play hooky one day to do that if my conscience wouldn't get the best of me.

On a good note...I got 3 eggs from my hens today. Yay! That's a record for these ones. They haven't been laying well. I only have 7 hens left so that's pretty good.

Keep high and dry!

Take care.

Monday, February 25, 2013

More Rain

Yesterday was such a lovely day. Today we had more rain! Everything is saturated again. It is cold again!

I finally finished transplanting my tomato seedlings into bigger flats. They are doing better than I expected. Usually they wilt a bit, but I tried really hard not to disturb the roots. It worked! Hopefully they'll be OK. All I have to do is wait a few more days to see.

Hubby promised some of my seedlings to the neighbor lady. She said he promised. He said if we had any left. Oh, well! Easy come. Easy go. It's nice to be nice to the neighbors. ; )

Sorry...but I don't know what is with the photo uplink. I'm still working on it.

I can now upload photos, but I don't have pics for this one. Go Bob!

Take care.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Rain, Rain. Go Away!

Beginning Thursday afternoon, we've had rain. Lots of rain! We were shin-deep in water on our property. Where we live, we are pretty much at sea level...maybe 1 foot above. If we dig a hole, we get water at about 1 foot. Sometimes a little more. This means we have to have a deep ditch around the perimeter of the property in order to grow things. Well, sometimes it still floods, but the ditches make the water clear off quicker. Needless to say, Thursday, Friday and Saturday our strawberry patch was pretty much flooded. One low end was under water along with our mustard greens and onion sets, which is planted in front of the last row. This is not good because the strawberry plants grow from the crown. Those shouldn't get soaked like that. I may lose part of the strawberry patch. As soon as I can figure out why I can't post pics, I'll get pics to show you the strawberry patch and part of the food garden so you can see what I mean.

Also, the chickens were partially under water. On days like this, I call them duckies because they sometimes have to wade through water. Luckily there is a large portion of their run which is high and dry. I'm sure they get upset when they get water like this. I'm thankful it only happens a couple of times a year.

Today, we have no rain. It is sunny! Yay! I went outside and got my potting soil and compost mix so I can transplant seedlings from indoors. Right now, I have red peppers, yellow peppers, eggplants and summer squash transplanted. They are sitting outside under the picnic pavilion hardening off for a bit. It's a little over 60 degrees F outside, so they'll be getting a little bit of air. Hopefully they will get good stalks from being outside. They're a bit spindly right now.

I've sunk the summer squash stems about 2" into their new pots. Some say that the squash won't transplant well and they'll die. I've wondered why this is? They sell the squash starts at the garden centers. I've always sown the squash seeds directly into the garden. So this is one of my experiments for this year.

In a couple of weeks, I'll be transplanting all into the garden after the frost has finished. Wish me luck!

Good luck to all of you with your gardens this year!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Strawberry Plants

We've been selling our extra strawberry plants this year. We have been propagating and using the Ozark Beauty variety for about 10 years. It seemed like a shame to till them under for compost, so we sold some. It's been fun seeing people and talking to them. Yeah. We don't get out much. Nor do we get much company since we live WAY off the beaten path. Actually, our road is well beaten! So we enjoy anyone who comes to visit.

Each couple who bought some plants had a story to tell. Some were getting a piece of country for their retirement years. Some were young couples just starting out. Some were first-timers with the strawberry thing. 'I've always wanted to try them.' they'd say. And I still had a bunch left over.

Sooooo...I took a bunch to some contractors at work - gratis. By a bunch, I mean several hundred plants. You'd have thought I gave them a million dollars. They seemed to really appreciate the plants and I showed them how to prepare them for the ground. I usually do this when I prepare the plants, but hubby chunked them out of the ground and put them into boxes for me. I was grateful for that!

Anyhow, one guy was left out and he really wanted some plants. Now, I don't have large plants left, just seedlings. Itty bitty ones, at that. So he's going to get a bunch of itty-bittys tomorrow. I hope he likes them. They may not bear this year, but he'll have a load of plants for next year! I got about 50 plants out of one of last year's itty-bittys.

I can't wait to see him tomorrow.

Take care. Happy spring planting!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Lazy Me!!!

Yes. I've been a lazy poster. It's not because I haven't been busy. It's because I've been lazy.

I promised pics of a craft I was working on. I'm still working on it. Lazy me!

I've been meaning to post on the goings-on about our small acreage. Lazy me!

I've been meaning to tell all of you what I've been cooking for the holidays. Lazy me!

Well...I have to get back into the swing of things. I enjoy reading everyone else's blog and seeing what they've been up to in small farmville. Just maybe someone wants to keep up with us?

For some reason, I cannot download pics today. Every once in a while this happens. Sorry.

I can now upload photos. Much thanks to the computer guru at work! Go Bob! November, for Thanksgiving, we had some company come up from Florida. It was hubby's brother and his daughter and family. It was great to spend some time with them. I especially enjoyed it since I really didn't know them that well. One thing my niece and I had in common was SHOPPING! If you don't know someone that well, go shopping. It's a great conversation starter and an all-around fun olympic sport. ; ) We spent a day bargain shopping! No guys, just us girls. I treated them to some homemade pizza when we returned. I made dough in the morning and we had two very large pizzas in the evening. YUM!

For Thanksgiving dinner we had loads of food. My brother-in-law wanted to treat us to a dinner. So he had his daughter cook. What he didn't know was that when the rest of the family came over, there was more food coming in. I did my usual desserts and breads. Everyone else brought sides. It was great!

Pumpkin Pie, Cornbread, Rolls

Biscuits, Cookies, Banana Cream Pie, Lemon Cranberry Bundt Cake, Honey Butter
 Then in December, I still had flowers blooming in my garden. My lantana was busting out with flowers because it was still warm. The butterflies were everywhere! There were some yellow flowers growing up into my weeping holly bush. They were really outstanding with the red berries from the holly bush. Crimson and yellow together were really pretty for fall.


Unknown Pretty Flower
 Then, we were invited to go to my Florida brother-in-law's place for Christmas. It is a pretty short trip and we had great weather. Sunshine all of the way down. : )  We spent a day at BIL's house then went to his daughter's house in Palm Harbor, clear on the other side of Florida. It only took about 1-1/2 hours to drive. It was a really nice drive. We had great weather the whole time we were there and stayed in Palm Harbor until the day after Christmas. Then it was home again.

In January, we started planning for our spring garden. This meant getting seeds germinated and a strawberry patch ready. Last week, I finally transplanted the last of the strawberry plants that I was going to plant. In the large patch, we have 1110 plants transplanted. In the nursery patch, we have 135 plants planted. Were we busy? You bet! We're experimenting with a watering system this year since we have such a large patch. Wish us luck with that! But we still have somewhere between 200 and 400 plants left to get out of our other garden before we can plant tomatoes, beans, peppers and such. All of those left over strawberry plants will be lifted and I'll take them to work for the guys there.

Hopefully, I'll be able to insert photos again by the next post.

I wish you all well.