Posts

Auld Lang Syne...

I have been reflecting on 2017 and everything that it brought into my life and the life of my family.  This year has been a very stressful but equally successful year.  
Some of the highlights this year were:
My oldest winning the science fair with his project on infrared radiation and global warming.My youngest playing soccer with his dad coaching the team.Completing the kitchen remodel in the barn (it is absolutely beautiful and I am VERY spoiled).A weekend trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park.Celebrating being married and not killing each other for 17 wonderful years.Growing a beautiful kitchen garden... the tomatoes this year were out of this world.My youngest growing a cabbage larger than himself for a school project.Speaking at the ASHS National Conference in freaking Hawaii - life was rough for a whole week and I didn't even have to pay for it...Visiting Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and the Amish in Pennsylvania with my mama.Being awarded a scholarship to be …

Rebuilding the Big Yellow Barn...

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Big changes for us farmgals and farmboys have kept me from being in contact with all of you, but I am trying to get back on track.  I have set some pretty awesome goals for Backyard Farmgals over the next few years and am excited for you to share this journey with me.  
About 18 months ago Woodman and I bought a dilapidated mess of a barn house and have been fixing it up bit by bit.  It is right across the street from the farm which makes life really easy.  Before I was driving to the farm a couple of times a day, although it wasn't far, it was a chore.  This house went up for sale and we jumped on it; and the realtor thought we were nuts (we might be, but that is a whole different blog post or series of posts).  
The Big Yellow Barn, as we lovingly refer to it, was built in 1981 and has had a number of owners, with the last few being less than ideal.  In fact, the last owner of the home, after painting the barn a horrible color of baby poop brown became extremely depressed after …

Weekly Snippet... Graduation

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This week's snippet is really exciting:


I graduated with my bachelors degree, summa cum laude, in plant science, cropping systems!  

WooHooooooo!

It was a perfect day, minus the hot stage.  I was absolutely thrilled to walk across that stage; it was so much better than when I got my nursing degree.  Plus I got to walk with two great friends.  I have made two of the best friends a person could ask for.  These two guys have been my support, my shoulder to cry on, my hug when I need one, my study group, and are always a great laugh.  We walked together, one right after another, with our families and professors cheering us on.


The best part of the day was when they asked us to recognize those in our lives that have been so supportive of our journey through school.  I have the most amazing hubby!  He comes home from work so I can run to school, he listens to all my frustrations, he helps me when I need it, and makes the stress melt away as much as possible.  I am so lucky to have him…

Arroz rojo...

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Happy Cinco de Mayo.  Because it is a Mexican holiday, we are celebrating with taco night.  My kiddos love taco night, but I really think it is because of the rice, not the tacos.  I make this really yummy red rice that is packed with flavor and is super easy and fast to make, it is always a favorite.  I recently took it to a Mexican fiesta party at my son's class and all the kids were happy about the red rice.  I heard about it for days from all the moms.  Let's face it, it isn't easy to please an entire room of 7-year-olds, but I think this rice came close to pleasing everyone.

I think this rice has made me a people pleaser.  I can't decide if that's a good thing...


Arroz Rojo backyard farmgals


12 ounces Tomatoes, very ripe and cored - or 1 can stewed tomatoes
1 medium white onion
2-3 medium jalapenos
2 cups long grain white rice
1/3 cup canola oil
4 minced garlic cloves
2 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste (only if using fresh tomatoes)
1 1/2 teaspoons…

Albino...

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A little snippet from the past week.  I was cleaning up the raspberry trials at the Extension Research Farm and stumbled across an albino mutation.  I was completely boggled, after a quick e-mail to someone who knows a lot more about berries than I do, I learned that this is caused by herbicide uptake.  I have a sneaking suspicion that the plant won't live long, it should be very vulnerable to sunburn.  Chlorophyll, which is what makes plants green, acts like sunblock in a sense, it reflects some of the light that hits the plant.  Also, I don't think this plant will be able to make enough carbohydrates to support the plant appropriately.  Albinism is a likely death sentence for this plant.


We put down a pre-emergent herbicide in the rows last fall because our berries have some serious problems, and weed pressure adds to the problems.  Signs and symptoms equivalent to that of a virus (curling, margin burning, stunting, poor fruit formation, yellowing leaves, interveinal chloros…

Tart Cherry Hedging...

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Here's a little snippit from my Monday this week:


There are some pretty wild and fun things that I get to do as a master's student. This one was so interesting and I enjoyed it greatly because I got to drive the tractor and hedge trees at one point. The best part was that the trees are in full bloom, and as I drove, petals were falling like snow. Best. Day. Ever!


It is really difficult to be a tart cherry grower. Trees go in the ground and they are not typically harvested for 6-7 years after. Waiting for a crop can be financially difficult. We are trying to find ways to help a tart cherry tree reach production maturity a little faster. By doing this, the investment return would happen sooner, and it would give growers a few extra harvests from their investments. Sustainable agriculture is so important. To help us reach this goal of faster production, we are hedging trees. We are hopeful that by hedging the trees, there will be new spur growth that will form flower buds this fa…

Lasagna Rolls...

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These will make your butt big!  I'm just putting that out there now so we don't have a problem later.  These are a fabulous special dinner.  I always make this when someone in the neighborhood has a baby or surgery and they need a meal to help them get going again.  It is always a hit, thank you Giada!  This is a Giada De Laurentiis recipe, I think the heavens parted and gave her inspiration because it is pretty, not too technical, and it makes you look like a domestic goddess when you take it to someone (and don't we all need a moment like that every now and then?).  Plus, it is really tasty.

Aren't women awesome?  We do stuff like take in meals for each other just because we can.  Women rock!  When I had my babies, there was always someone that was sweet enough to think of how hard it is to care for a new baby and make dinner too.  Bless those people that helped me.  I was on my own with my first baby, no mom or mom-in-law to help, no family to pitch in, and a hubby…