Sunday, September 16, 2012

Farm Name and Logo

A few years ago, Nate built me a bottle tree.  I wrote about it here, and it is by far this blog's most popular post.  I love my bottle tree for the structural beauty it adds to my garden and the love it represents.  I also love that I can't kill it. 

Since that time, I've had a farm name stuck in the back of my head.  I kept thinking one day when I have a farm, I'll have a name ready.  But, I realized one doesn't need acreage to have a farm.  To me, a farm can be anywhere.  My farm is on less than 1/2 an acre.  I raise food for our table and pantry in the form of vegetables, fruits, eggs, honey, and meat.  Farming is hard work, accomplishment, disappointment, satisfaction, sadness, fear, gratification and more.  It's slogging through ankle deep mud to feed and care for animals who depend on you, but it's also, opening your pantry and seeing the canning jars full of food ready to please the taste buds.  Farming is a mindset and a way of life.

We may never move to acreage, so I asked myself why am I waiting on giving our labor of love a name.  My answer was to contact a friend of mine and ask him to create a logo for me. 

I am so pleased to present my farm name and new logo.

Happy homesteading,

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Squash Blob!

"Well it's kind of a - kind of a mass. It keeps getting bigger and bigger."  The Blob, 1958

We planted Upper Ground Sweet Potato Squash this year. It's supposed to be a good squash for the south and the fruits are only supposed to be 4-6 pounds, at least that's what I read. It is also supposed to do well in unfavorable conditions. So, with that in mind, how do you think it has responded in my environment?  You can click the photo for a better view.

This was taken from the roof of Nate's workshop, and believe it or not, there are two 4x10 raised beds under that jungle.  Okay, I really don't have alot of real estate to devote to something like this, but it just seemed to take on a life of its own, and I didn't have the heart to try to contain it.  I mean, could the blob be contained?  
"I think you should send us the biggest transport plane you have, and take this thing to the Arctic or somewhere and drop it where it will never thaw."  The Blob, 1958

These photos show one of the squashes before it ripened, but the perspective with Nate's hands is good.  They ripen to a light creamy orange and the flesh is about the color of a sweet potato.  I cut the first two ripened squashes off the vine last weekend, and they each weighed 40 pounds!  I just went outside and counted 9 more on the vine that are almost ripe.  The ones left are not as large as the first two, but pretty close to it. I would say probably 30 pounds each.  We did lose a few more to the chickens pecking them when they were very young and soft, and I found two this weekend that had become separated from the vine before they ripened and were starting to rot. 
This weekend I cut open one of the harvested squashes and managed to shred 19.5 lbs of squash for the freezer.  And, the first recipe I tried was one of my favorites for zucchini.  It turned out delicious.
So, even though I'm a failure with summer squash because of the vine borers, I have totally redeemed myself with this winter squash.  I'm super excited to try more recipes with it.
Happy homesteading,