Thursday, October 18, 2018

Post-Florence Farm

Our farm fared pretty well through Hurricane Florence. We had no flooding in the house at all, but still, a hurricane levels your garden and blows all the pecans from the trees. 
Only one cedar tree fell during the hurricane.
We had tentative plans for a fall/winter garden of greens and such, but no longer. Adam still has potatoes in the ground, but otherwise our garden is asleep for the winter. He stripped down the greenhouse before the storm. My gourds are drying nicely, and I'm harvesting loofahs now.

Our HVAC system was wrecked by the flooding, and Adam pulled it all out - the unit and all the duct work. Like everyone else, now we wait until a crew comes and removes it from the side of the road. 

where the old central unit sat, at ground level
We were thankful to have a window AC unit! However,  two days ago it also bit the dust -- just when the weather turned cool!

 This was a nice unit, $350, made by Electrolux. It had already paid for itself with lower electric bills this summer.
In order to get a replacement unit from the company, among other things Adam had to cut the power cord and send them a photo of it:
We bought it in April, and the company is sending us a new one. However, the big central unit must be replaced by another comparable system (for the mortgage company, and for selling of the house whenever that might happen), so Adam will be installing a multi-split system, a very quiet, energy-efficient system that's becoming more popular and doesn't place any duct work under the house. That will happen when the insurance check arrives. It looks like this:
Image result for multi-split air conditioner
They're placed higher on the wall and can be zoned in the house.

All the chickens survived the hurricane too, and egg production is just fine!

 The large black hens are my "teenagers," only 24 weeks, and not quite laying yet.
Below is my mama silkie and her "baby," who is now about 12 weeks old.
I noticed some panels missing from our soffit above the front porch. The pieces had blown into the yard and Adam put them back ... carefully.
I've been cooped up in the house all summer because I absolutely loathe working outdoors in the heat. But this morning I felt the cool air and asked myself, "Why can't you go outside and work now?" So I did. I cleaned out parts of the barn, organizing my gardening/potting stuff on some shelves that I moved from the greenhouse. 
It's not the most clean or impressive barn on the planet, but it's better than it was ... a little. Maybe that'll be my autumn project: to tidy up the barn one bit at a time. It's pretty frightful out there!

Thanks for stopping by. Not much happening on the farm right now, so I appreciate your visit!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Spider Morning

Our days are still hot, but the mornings are a little cooler.

This morning we had fog, so I roamed around the farm and took pictures that hint at the season change. Spider webs. Flourishing loofah blooms. Cedar galls. Green sweet gum balls.

 


 

The open grass was scattered with little spider web pockets.
I visited my old chickens.
 Punkin was camera-shy, so I waited until she turned around.

On their fence is a passion flower vine.
 My zinnias continue to cheer up the world! I've picked so many.
 

 I finally cut most of my large sunflower heads and put them on the front porch to dry, out of the beaks of greedy birds. I grew these to feed my own birds, who have names and give me eggs.
 Tall, bright sunflowers in full bloom are beautiful, but there's something lovely about this dried flower head too, with its curling petals.
 Virginia Creeper is ... well ... creeping, right across our front porch.
 

 I've found one, and only one, ripe, luscious fig this year :(

Today Adam declared that he would back the Jaguar out of the garage and begin the task of putting it all back together.
He drove it part-way to the farm three years ago, so it's not an issue of its not running, so much as putting all its little parts back in all their right places. The front dash is removed, and one front seat, and the wires are everywhere. When he lifted the hood to inspect the engine, he discovered that others had been there before him.
Mice. They pulled in everything they might possibly need for a massive nest in this dark, protected space. Twigs, paper, chicken food (sigh). Well, when that engine revs up, they'll be glad their babies aren't in there trying to sleep!

Last question, friends: We hope to paint the shutters on our house sometime (like ... in the next year, haha). Here's their color now, kind of a bleached-out pale blue/gray.
With the bright red roof, they look all wrong. Should we paint them:
1) black
2) green
3) red to match the roof

Please advise!!

Monday, August 13, 2018

Weary August Farm

This was a hard summer for gardening. Way too much rain (about 35" so far), too much heat in June, but 3 weeks of drought thrown in there too .... I must admit, it didn't help that I was emotionally unmotivated! But amid the knee-high weeds, a few things are still alive out there. Here's what I found this morning:
 Sunflowers! At last!


 The verdict is still out on the loofahs this year.
 

My gourd hill is doing well.
 I picked one and have at least eight more on the vines. I'll let them dry there.

 The only part of the garden that looks loved right now is the potato row. Adam planted the little potatoes from the first harvest back in, for a second harvest this fall ... we hope.

 

A handful of small carrots. A few last tomatoes.
 I threw some overripe cukes to the chickens. 
All in all, an exhausting summer and a less-than-encouraging garden yield. I didn't even can or freeze a single tomato; I still have some frozen from last year! But the farm is still a beautiful place to live, and if we can get our spirits up, and our "mojo" back, we may have a fall garden yet. Adam plans to clear out all the beds. (He is doing better in the motivation department than I am.) I would be happy to see a few fall/winter crops there and tend to them in the cool of the year.