Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

Like this little Black Hills Spruce, The Stranded Tree Farm has a vision to grow a little bit each year, to be bigger and brighter than the year before.

This has been another busy year off the farm which affects family (obvious), friends (our few faithful readers) and the farm itself. We've had a few disappointments on the farm, such as two plantings of sweetcorn that failed and the loss of several fruit trees. Some surprises along the way, like the late green bean crop that was shared with our neighbors.

We hope everyone's Christmas is happy as we look forward to another busy year. If we can get more accomplished, we will see less from our disappointed robin (and I saw this guy a lot this year):

In the tradition of sharing Christmas songs:

Merry Christmas from the Stranded Tree Farm!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Wednesday wildlife, our green friend

Found among the blackberries:

I enjoy the small things like these frogs and hope he fills up on those Japanese Beetles this year. The neighbors have been spraying to try to control those devastating pests and they decided to congregate on my corn instead.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Drought warning for August, 2017

With barely an inch of rain since June 1st, this is the result:

What likes the Grand Canyon, this is an example of what the hay ground looks like. This is the 5th summer out of the seven that we've had the acreage where rain has been way below average. This week will be spent on pump repairs. And weed cutter repairs. Oh, and work on the mower. You get the point. (It's been one of those summers.)

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Legacy trees, pin oak and red maple

A good friend of ours retired earlier this summer and as a tribute to Bill and his wife, Kathy, we decided to plant a couple of trees in their honor. Bill picked a picked a pin oak and Kathy chose a red maple. Interesting choices in that we have a plentiful supply of seeds and acorns and typically transplant young sprouts each year although not close together.

That changed as I planted several pin oak seedlings in the row next to the hay ground in the same row as red maples that were planted a couple of years ago. Space was available after we lost several due to our ongoing battle with rabbits.

Here's a look:
Pin Oak

 Red Maple

I've known Bill and Kathy for over 35 years and our paths have come together and diverged at least a dozen times in that period. I know that they've supported us behind the scenes throughout the years. As an honor of them and our friendship, these two seedlings are a reminder of their legacy here in Iowa and I think of them each time I haul water, cut weeds and other work.

Just a small token of appreciation for a couple of people that made a difference in our lives.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

June brings berries

Very low yield for our first year of strawberries. After almost three weeks of no rain and with a pump breakdown, we only got about 5 quarts. You can't expect much without moisture and starlings taking their toll.

Flavorful and low numbers, but still enjoyed.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017