Saturday, July 24, 2010

Home Grown Goodness

I have really big news to share... Mark and I planted a garden and finally have something to show for it!

Yep...real vegatables.  We have cucumbers, acorn squash, lots of jalepenos, bell peppers, roma tomatos and cherry tomatos.  I guess you could say I am a proud mother.  I even took pictures :)

Here is our solo squash and I really hoping we get more.  There are lots of flowers so I am hoping that means at least a few more squash for us!  It is by far the biggest plant in our little patch, but it probably should be because this is also one of the only original plants left after Mark's "accident". 

Let me explain.  Mark and I planted the garden just one short week before I left for my France adventures. It was a really big step for us and a really big under taking for Marko, but he never has food at his house and I love fresh veggies from the garden.  Plus, I knew I was going to want something to do at his house all summer!  So, I left all those fragile plants in his care and made him promise he would water it every day, weed and most importantly not kill anything. 

To make a long story short, he killed nearly everything in the month.  How?  Well, it's really so Mark.

Mark grew up on a very large crop farm, his family raises over 2500 acres of corn and soybeans each year and every spring and summer his Dad heads out and does his spraying to either kill the weeds or fertilize the fields.  To them, and most farmers, this is the most economical way to produce their crops.  And truly their system works well.  Well, my boy Mark decided to apply that same system to our little 6 foot by 6 foot garden. 

He started commenting that the garden wasn't growing very fast (he has no patience) and decided to take it into his own hands and help along Mother Nature.  I mean I understand his thought process "If that fertilizer worked on the field corn, why wouldn't it work on our squash and tomotoes?"  Well, it probably would have worked except he applied it a little too heavy.

Needless to say, our fresh-grown veggies are not "organic" and got a little bit of a late start, but the garden looked as good as new (and 80 percent was) when I returned!   Despite the little setback, Mark did a great job keeping up the garden when I was gone and now we are about to have delicious food to enjoy!  Here is some more pictures...

My favorite: cherry tomatoes.  It's so hard to wait for these little guys to turn red....are there any tricks to help them along?  I don't think we are going to have any even make it to the house!

Now, you have to look closely to see the green peppers.  We only have a few of them coming in, but honestly, that's okay because I don't know what to do with them anyways.  Any advice?

Now on the other hand, the jalepenos are growing like wild!  I am so excited to try the stuffed jalepenos my Texas friends suggested to me! I hope they are good because the only other thing I know what to do with jalepenos is make salsa.  Next year, we are going to have to be a little smarter with our plant choices.  :)

And speaking of next year, we already have BIG things in mind.  For a boy who wanted me to plant my vegatables around the flag pole, he really has taken to the gardening.  However, next year is a long way away and until then we will patiently wait for our cucumbers to get fatter and our tomatoes to turn red!  Fresh veggies from the garden are the best...even if they aren't organic :)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Sweet Summertime

I haven't had too many reasons to get worked up lately.  My biggest concerns are if my garden got watered, how I am going to get to the next cattle show and that Avery May is a happy little girl.  I guess I could say life is good.

Now don't get me wrong I have been busy in the last 25 days since I returned home from France.  But instead of it being a long-to-do-list-with-no-breaks-in-sight kind of busy it has been I-want-to-do-as-much-stuff-as-I-can-before-I-have-to-go-back-to-school-and-get-a-real-job kind of busy.  I don't mind that type nearly as fact, I pretty much enjoy it.

So far I have been to Dickinson, North Dakota to celebrate my friend Megan's wedding.  It was a great time and it was even better bonding with the boy :)  16 hours in the car in one weekend is almost too much fun!

I sure missed my country girls.  Hopefully we can catch up again soon :)  I will be holding down the fort in Fargo for them while they are off getting married, starting real jobs and being big girls.  My time will come...:)

I have spent some quality time with Avery May.  She is getting to be quite the personality and has her little finger wrapped around my boy.  He finds a reason to come to Kenyon nearly every time I watch her and manages to catch her waking up every time he checks on her napping.  I had to put my foot down last night when he wanted to wake her up at 9:30 at night. :)

I have given back to the program that used to dominate my summer--4-H.  Mark and I are coaching the Rice County Livestock Judging team and those kids are a hoot.  We have this little guy who told me every heifer was wide and long...needless to say we are working on his vocab.  I have a feeling he is going to be the next great one though, he just needs a little TLC.  I also have somehow gotten to be an expert on fashion revue and was able to judge Washington County's purchased garment contest.  This of course brought me back to my glory days of purchasing pants for $2.34 and a sweater for $3.02 and shoes for $8.01 for a grand total of BARELY ANYTHING!   I mean why can't I find those good of deals today?   Probably because I never wore those outfits...but that wasn't the point of that project, was it??  Oh and I also judged my first show...and it was tough.  Hopefully things only get better from there!  10 head is harder than you think....

My latest excitement was traveling to Wooster, Ohio and then to Denver, Colorodo to reconnect with Certified Angus Beef and the American Angus Association.  It was great to be out at the National Junior Angus Show again and catch up with some familiar faces.  Plus, I was surrounded by some really really good cattle and I can never complain about that.  Avery and Annabelle did really well out there and Matt came home with two second place ribbons, definitely something to be happy with. While we were out there, Mark and I got one free afternoon and took a trip to Golden, CO and visited Coors Brewery.  Did you know they owned Miller Lite too?  It was a good time and the free samples weren't bad either!  Next time you head to Denver make sure to check it out!

Well that's my latest recap...I will try to be more timely in the upcoming days and before I know it I will be back to school and judging and hopefully will have lots of fun places and good news to post.  Until then, enjoy the beautiful summer days.  I hope you are getting to spend time with the ones you love, some good cattle and maybe even drink a glass of wine while watching the sunset over the cornfield. :)