Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Where's spring?

16 degrees this morning and we're looking forward to weather that will give us these again:


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Just Relax

After a long day trudging through the snow that seems to keep coming back this spring, 

 
it pays to relax:


Monday, March 26, 2018

My excuse for lack of posts

Pick one:
  1. Laziness
  2. Not interested on sharing
  3. I can't keep things interesting/entertaining/informative
  4. Computer/fingers broken
I'm picking number 3 with a side of number 1.

With the day job plus commute taking about 12 hours a day, add in on-call and emergencies, that part adds up a ton of time. Weekends are filled with trying to get tasks completed at the farm and, of course, the honey-do lists. And I'm getting old and out of shape (can this snow end?)

We also have a side project going on that we've kept the lid on. It's not ready for prime time yet but I'm hoping soon.

I'd like to make this somewhat entertaining for people. Posting repetitive deer pics just isn't going to cut it, unless they are trophy bucks. The cabin is used more for storing tools than as a camp site and that is a source of frustration. Cabin-fever has been relegated to cabin-lukewarm.

I'm taking a day off today in hopes of getting a big push on the side project and get that back on track. Maybe we can get that "in the can" soon.

Oh, and spring is nearly here and I have a couple of new crops to introduce. Maybe we can finally have a late frost this year.

But as my motto states: Don't just stand there, get to work! Let's see if I can get something done.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Back to the "new" grind, WonderMill Junior

Hijacking a theme from David at True Blue Sam, we needed to do something about the corn harvest from last fall. We had an overabundance of popcorn and there is no way we could pop a bushel (plus or minus). We have a lot of movies in the library, but not that many.

We've raised Ladyfinger popcorn which is best to eat during a John Wayne marathon, but our second variety, Robust, has larger kernels. We used the Robust popcorn to make caramel corn that turned out okay. Cleanup wasn't fun though.

And... we got this in January:


A WonderMill Junior. Since I've been grinding, I discovered that I'm not really in shape for this and a half hour is about my limit (but getting better). Having to grind several pounds of corn to break in the stone burrs, I tossed the cracked corn to the birds. But today, we made this as our first attempt at making something for us to eat:


Was it worth all that grinding?

Yep.

I cheated a bit, though. I used a drill to grind with the included steel burrs on the first pass and break the hard kernel. Made a mess until I adapted a shroud to catch all the dust that flew everywhere. I put in the stone burrs to make a finer corn meal and ground it by hand.

The Mrs. used this recipe and it was pretty good stuff. A bonus is that I didn't break a tooth after biting something crunchy. It could have been a stone but more likely just a hard bit of a kernel. My choppers are still intact.

I'm looking at an attempt at tortillas, next. Tacos on Tuesday?

One good thing is that we are gaining confidence that if I lose my job again, we can at least feed ourselves with what we grow. We have the skills to grow our own food, preserve what we harvest and we intend to pass it on.

In the mean time, another square of cornbread seems to be within reach.

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.)