Meanwhile, at the farm…


…everything is growing beautifully, I am at war with a skunk, the kittens are hunting, I’ve started my 2017 canning/preserving as well as infused oil and tincture crafting (wildcrafted and homegrown), we took our second cut of hay, the orchard is about to be ready for the first harvest of plums.

Comments

  1. the onlyhurricanegirl says:

    Looks like your farm is coming along just wonderfully, that Turkey, just love him, and every medicine chest needs a little Makers Mark!!

  2. Chris Moore says:

    I want to be the angel on your shoulder!

  3. Farm Heaven!

  4. That Makers Mark in the medicine cupboard makes me giggle.
    I am curious – I know you are very sensitive to wild things, however, cats (obviously) have a tendency to kill songbirds that are often already in decline due to habitat loss, etc. Is that something you consider having your cats outdoors? I ask this with no judgment in this question or in however you respond, I’m just honestly curious if there is a perspective I have not considered.

    • Great question.

      To be honest, I rarely consider the loss of songbirds. Our cats eat the occasional birds but I find they’re hunting the more common species (sparrows, starling, doves/pigeons, quail). They eat WAYYYYYY more voles, mice and packrats then they do birds. It’s easier hunting for them. When I do catch them with a bird, if it’s a less common species, I do give them a little bum swat and say, “Stick to the rats, pussycats!” I really do tell them that and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t compute. HA!!!

      You know I keep cats specifically for vermin control of the mouse and rat persuasion, though it’s not just about keeping the rats and mice away! When vermin populations are under control around the house and outbuildings we have fewer snakes around — rattlesnakes that is. Something I talk about with my other girlfriends who have farms or are living in more rural settings is how you kind of set up a territory with your space, like any wild animals does. A male mountain lion or a wolverine or a badger has a set territory — an established patch of country with which it sustains itself. In the wild places and in the tame places we can’t always live side by side with everything and ALL thrive. You have to kind of scratch out a territory and then maintain it, set boundaries and defend them…live a little tooth and nail.

      At our place, less mice and rats is better — they start to cause trouble — everything from nests in the truck engines to cities in the house walls. NO DEER IN THE GARDEN (though they can eat all they can reach in the orchards). No skunks allowed at all, EVER. The fewer rattlesnakes the better. If I find a porcupine girdling my trees, I’m going to have to do something about it. There’s a zone we are cultivating and making our existence in here and it needs a little protecting in order for it to thrive and for us to thrive. That said, our cats are a part of it all and we’re going to lose the occasional songbird.

      • Thanks so much for the extended reply! I appreciate your perspective. Being a city girl, we don’t have the same vermin control issues, or snakes or other various types of wildlife, or sense of space that the country and more wild places do (well, we do have city rats and mice, and even my indoor cat keeps the mice down…) so it’s not something I give a lot of thought to. It certainly helps me understand the world better to hear how others live and their reasons for why they live that way, rather than jumping to judgy conclusions.

        • I sure appreciate you asking instead of knee-jerking a reaction at me. Questions are always welcome!

          XX

          • Knee-jerk reactions honestly make me cry – I get so upset when people make assumptions because it comes off as so mean-hearted – so I do my best to avoid doing it myself.

            It’s part of why I love reading about your life – it opens a different part of the world to me. 🙂

  5. Hi Jillian, looks like heaven on earth around there! What’s in the jar? I always do tons of canning but I’ve never tried whatever you’re doing with what looks like flower heads? Please enlighten me, thanks!

    • That’s some calendula oil I am brewing up a few batches of right now. It’s a simple oil infusion. Pick the blossoms, let them sit for 24 hours so they drop some of their moisture content, throw them in a mason jar, fill the jar with oil, set the jar in a sunny place to solar infuse, invert once a day for 30 days and then strain the oil off the blossoms.

      YOUR SKIN LOVES CALENDULA!!!

      It’s an easy, cheery flower to grow, too. Every gardener should be growing calendula.

  6. Farming looks good on you.
    Loving the medicine cabinet.
    And that huge chunk of turquoise (or variscite? chrysoprase?)
    And that triple turquoise ring–is that one of yours?? Gorgeous.
    I love every bit of this…the furry and feathered animals, the hay, the hard work, and the happiness.

  7. Looks pretty dreamy!! And hooray for plums! (and the bounty of summer in general!) We’ve been finding them at farm stands as we meander the Gulf Islands out here in BC. I’m loving these tart little yellow ones… Mmm.

  8. I love seeing pictures of your farm. Can I ask some farm questions? Mainly how do you set your garden up? Raised beds or in ground? Any advice to give to someone who would like to create an amazing garden/farm? My partner and I are buying land and it’s completely a blank canvas and I want to have a gorgeous farm but I’m unsure how to start. Any advice you have would be most welcome

    • Hey sweets! Sorry it took me a couple days to respond to this comment.

      We’ve gardened in raised beds as well as in the ground. If you are aiming for a really big production garden you probably want to put it in the ground. Raised beds are great if you have a smaller space to garden in and you need to import dirt — basically, you’re framing out and containing your growing space.

      If you have a big space to work with and you have good or decent dirt to begin with, put that garden in the ground!

      We’re mound gardening this year with asparagus rows running between mounds (they take 3 years to develop so we planted around them this year). I’m actually planning on shifting my current veggie garden space entirely into herb and medicinal flowers next year and I’ll move vegetables over into a new space. I’m always shifting things around.

      I think gardening is just one more craft to hone. This is my second year gardening in this specific area and I am learning about which varieties of which veggies really thrive here and WHERE they thrive on my property. I have a second flower garden near the house that is in shady spot that gets a blast of hot sun for a few hours in the afternoon so it can’t take specifically shade-loving plants…it needs plants that can handle shade but are also a little sun hardy…TRICKY!!! Gardening well is about putting in the time, pulling weeds, building up your soil and learning about what thrives in your dirt, in your climate, and what doesn’t.

      HAVE FUN!!! Gardening is so much fun. Ask your local nursery staff lots of questions. Go to your farmer’s market and see what other gardeners are growing. Keep a list of the plants that interest you and the veggies you like the taste and look of, research seeds…all of this will help you get your foot in the door.

      XXX

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