The Mid-Summer Garden

        It is a true law of nature that when things are at their peak of vibrancy, they are just about to begin to decline.  Here we are at a point of mid summer – not solar midsummer, but the middle of the season of summer, when bugs, heat, and frequent rains…

The Little Red Hen

My children got attached to one of the red Freedom Ranger hens from the last batch of meat birds.  I’m not sure how it happened, because those chickens all looked almost exactly alike, and they were kept way out in the pasture where no one ever played with them.  However it was, at harvest time…

Summer Pumpkin Soup

This is really a summer squash recipe, not a pumpkin recipe, but summer squash are ideally harvested when they are small and tender, and the reality of gardening is that no matter how diligent you are at picking, eventually you will find monster squash on your hands! Blimp-like zucchinis, and yellow squash that can only…

A Gopher Tortoise Nest (A Guest Post by Ethan)

  We have gopher tortoise neighbors at the farm.  I say neighbors, because we do co-exist with them on that level!  Gopher tortoises are some of my favorite animals, and I love observing them out grazing, or the fastidious house-keeping they do to their burrows after a big rain.  They can live to be over…

Southern Fried Okra (and Luffa Gourd)

Okra is a favorite vegetable around here, so I always try to grow it every summer. It’s not difficult to grow, but I find it to be the ninja of gardening.  Everyone says okra is easy to grow, and I would agree, but no one mentions what a pain it is to harvest! If I…

A Garden Interview With Tom Wootton

  I recently met Tom Wootton at a Grow Gainesville meeting, and was so excited to meet another person who has actually read Masanobu Fukuoka’s book, One-Straw Revolution, (so many of my non-garden friends sort of glaze over when I talk about this book) and has been putting ideas into practice!  We connected over a…

Farm Adventures

  Summer versus winter  butter.   These are busy, busy days with Ethan gone.  After 9 months of no income, he has at last found a job, but unfortunately it doesn’t just take him away from the farm, but out-of-state for many weeks. So it is just me and the children and the animals, busy…

Lost In The Garden Creamed Corn

  I don’t take gentle, evening strolls through the garden, admiring the neat rows.  I’m not that kind of gardener.  Sometimes I wish I was, but then I get too busy with the dairy animals in June, the peak cream season, and if we are still in no want of vegetables to fill the table,…

Aunt Esther’s Yellow Squash Relish (A Lacto-Fermented Version)

Every season I make a bunch of old-fashioned brined pickles to keep us through the in-between seasons.  Late summer and late spring are times when the old garden is dying and the new garden is not yet ready for harvest. I prefer this form of food preservation over heat canning, because it preserves the nutrition…

Mango Barbecue Sauce

Ethan’s grandmother is just about to turn 99 this year.  She lives in South Florida, so we only get to visit her a few times a year, usually on the holidays.  It’s hard to make it all the way down there and back with the farm chores to do, and three children that are not…

All-Raw Ice Cream Season

The every day summer rains have been hard on the garden, but the pastures are lush and green.  The hay season is over, and the cows knew it as they watched us in a huddle around the empty hay ring as we set up moveable electric fencing for the week’s grazing.  Loud mooings, some plaintive,…