October 2011

October is such a mixed blessing. I love the fall, but am sure not crazy about the season to come. This month has been clean up and getting ready for the winter. We’ve had frost and a mild freeze. If we could only have one more month!

We still had a lot of flowers hanging on right up until the end. The sunflowers held on until around the 15th, we still have celosia, zinnias, belladonna, snapdragons, strawflowers, marigolds and calendula. Little sparks of color along with the glorious colors of fall.

The birdhouse gourds have been fun and we’ve brought them under cover to start the drying process. We still have a garden full of root crops, cabbage, kale, brussel sprouts, broccoli, parsley, sage, leeks, spinach, lettuce and raspberries. Grace and I made her specialty, potato leek soup and we also made a 5-gallon pot of vegetable soup known as End of The Year Soup. I look forward to making it all year. It has every vegetable we grow in it, with a beef and venison stock. There was enough to share and freeze for the winter months. Delicious and healthy!

We dug our potatoes, which were happy this year. We put 4 bushels in the cellar for winter. We store them in a wooden bin, in layers, covered with pine shavings. The cellar stays a consistent 55 degrees.

We have started getting the tobacco in. Many of you have asked about the growing process here in Michigan. I’ll get a page up about it soon. Yes, it does grow well in Michigan, without the 4,000 + chemicals associated with commercial tobacco.

I also got some bad news over the past few months. I have broke both my neck and back in past years and it seems to be coming back to haunt me.  The goal is to be able to continue doing what I do, but it has put a damper on a lot of things around here. The fall tilling  has not yet been finished, the cover crops are not planted, the new perennials have not yet been tucked in. The weeds are beginning to take over and I still have many trees I would like dropped. Next year, there is always next year. Until I get some answers I feel like life is on hold.

Pat has been getting firewood in and replacing the barn roof along with some of the heavier things I’m not doing for now.  And mowing, which never seems to end. He always has a bit of humor to inject into every project. Rain or shine, he keeps his sense of humor, which we all enjoy!

 

August 2011

Rainbow over Glenn Arbor, Michigan

We had a wonderful weekend at Pat’s nephew’s wedding in Glen Arbor.   That area is one of the finest in the world and we got to visit with so many people we seldom get to  visit with. The wedding was fabulous, one of the best we’ve ever been to.  Congratulations to Matt and Kristy!

Omena Flower Farm

 

We also had time to visit a farmers’ markets and Omena Cut flowers. If you are ever in the Leelanaw Peninsula area, be sure to  try and visit.  We enjoyed  seeing the fruit of someone else’s labor and love. This farm is a show stopper, right off of M- 22. The farm overlooks Omena Bay. http://omenacutflowers.com/

 

We  had a group from KinderCare come to visit. The kids had fun making samores, visiting with the animals, and picking sunflowers.

 

 

The flowers here have been coming in beautifully since the heat of July is over. We’ve been filling a lot of orders for weddings and parties. In bloom this month are:

Ammi – Green Mist and White Dill Millet- Purple Majesty
Bells of Ireland Nigella – Pods
Black eyed susan Purple cone flower
Calendula – Flashback Sage – White
Celosia – Bombay Rosemary
Celosia – Ruby Parfait Shasta Daisy
Celosia- Pampas Plume Snapdragons
Cosmos- Sea Shells and Orange Strawflower
Delphinium – Belladonna and Pacific Giants Sunflowers – Branching – Buttercream & Moulin Rouge
Echincea Sunflowers – Procut – Orange, Lemon, Peach, Gold, Bicolor
Gomphrena – QIS and Strawberry Fields Sunflowers – Sun Series-Sunbright and Sunbeam
Grass – Tall variegated Sunflowers – Sunrich- Gold and Orange
Hops Sunflowers – Zohar
Hosta leaf Zinnias
Lisianthus

 

Dried Flowers in Flower Shed

 

The drying shed is also filling up this month with celosia, statice, strawflowers and millet.

 

 

Kids playing on trampoline with sprinkler

 

 

The kids have been having fun playing in the sprinklers and helping in the garden. Laney came to work for me for several days this month and she sure was a lot of help! This is the month to start getting new perennials and old perennial divided. I got a new bed of foxglove in and a few new beds dug out.  Next month we’ll begin to tuck everybody in for winter.

July 2011

July 2011 post

July has been another month of extremes. We really shouldn’t complain, but it’s sure been hot, windy, horribly dry, then wet, this month.  Plants are sure adaptable and the gardens are full of blooms. Although our veggie garden is the saddest it’s been in years, it’s still blessing us. This last week of July with it’s high rainfall has helped everything to bounce back. It’s nice to get out of the heat and drought stage. So many flowers are in bloom now. I love this time of year.

We enjoyed a few days of visiting with Pat’s sister, Helene. I adore this woman more than I can say. I feel at peace and blessed whenever she is around. She is also a work horse who does not know the meaning of “vacation”. She cleaned my horrible messy garden shed and cooked a fabulous breakfast for us. I felt like the guest!

Pat’s got first cutting hay done.  We got it all inside with no rain! Pretty amazing. On the 4th we had a BBQ and Mark, Kirk and Grace helped us get a good load out of the field and in the loft. Grace’s job is to push the hay onto the elevator.

The kids have been having fun playing in the sprinkler, helping with the gardens, picking flowers for their mom’s and playing with the critters. They have the goat doing agility and it’s pretty entertaining!  Laney came to work for us for a few days this month. She’s a good worker! We started to get some of the everlastings hung in the drying shed.