Flower Field Update

The flower field didn’t get planted until really late this year so it’s just now finally coming into bloom. Not going to lie, it’s pretty gorgeous out there right now. If you want to start your own cut flower garden, check out this post about my top flowers for cutting. “Happiness radiates like the fragrance from…

Meet Keeta

As some of you know, we lost our sweet Colby in late winter. As a wire-fox terrier over twelve years old, she lived a full life that included many second chances; jumping out of a moving truck resulting in a broken leg, being viciously attacked by a neighbors dog and many fights with furry farm…

First Time Outside

Today was our first day outside. We got to check out the grass, meet a hummingbird, look for bugs, splash in the pool and eat floating kale in the water. I bought a short little fence to help me corral them and a new pool today and they both worked great. They go crazy for kale…

Garden Journal 7/15/2018

It was in the 80’s this weekend and we are in need of some rain again. I just watered all of my vegetables and some new hydrangeas I planted this year for the first time in weeks. Right now it looks like we have a chance of rain on Wednesday and I’m really hoping we…

Cormo Sheep

I’m sure you all remember my friend Libby from Libby’s Yarn Barn. She has English Angora rabbits, alpacas and now, Cormo sheep. Libby’s farm is about 20-25 minutes from ours but has a lot more animals! A cross between Merino and Corriedale sheep, Cormo is a fine wool like merino but area better suited for a humid…

Raising Ducklings Part 2

My sweet babies are now about nine days old now. They have been getting bigger and bigger by the day. They enjoy splashing around in this concrete bird bath one or two times per day. They especially like small chunks of kale floating around in the water. They go crazy for it! I might have…

Garden Journal 7/8/2018

A few photos from around the farm this weekend. I planted these Monarda (Bee Balm) last year and they are just blooming like crazy right now. In the mint family, this species borders on the edge of invasive. However, it’s a bee and hummingbird favorite so I think I’m ok with it taking up some…

Raising Ducklings Part 1

Several weeks ago we acquired six Blue Winged Teal duck eggs which we placed in an incubator on Saturday, June 2, 2018. Because duck eggs need turned multiple times per day, we went with an automated egg turner placed inside of the incubator which gently rocks back and forth throughout the day. During the first…

June Landscapes

We finally had a nice break from all of the rain we’ve been getting recently. It was a beautiful weekend and not too hot. I’ve been enjoying hiking around the farm and seeing parts of the acreage that I haven’t checked out much yet. Since its the last weekend in June, I thought I would…

Family Farm

We had an emotional Father’s Day Weekend in our family. One of my aunts passed away recently and we had a celebration of her life on Saturday. The entire family got together, which is no small feat, because we have relatives in California, Indiana and Missouri. Everyone came together in Alta, Iowa as we remembered…

The Swallow’s Nest

The June West Pott. Master Gardener meeting tonight was held at The Swallow’s Nest – Jayna’s Country Store & Gardens in Council Bluffs. We enjoyed listening to stories from the owners, held our meeting under the shade trees on the farm and then enjoyed a tour of their expansive vegetable and flower garden. It was…

Garden Journal 6/2/2018

We kicked off June with some more heat. My leafy greens are doing amazingly well. I’ve got several kinds of lettuce and kale along with arugula, turnips, beets and swiss chard growing in this market garden style bed. My agave sure are happy right now! They thrive in the heat. I planted a few coreopsis…

Longhorn Cattle

Meet our new neighbors. This is the first time they have grazed on our side of this hill. How lucky am I to have this great view! Aren’t they just beautiful!?!? They seemed very nice. Our neighbor must spend quite a bit of time with them. This one had the biggest horns.Although these were pretty big…

Oranges and Grape Jelly

I enjoyed a four day break from work and got so much done around my house over this Memorial Day weekend. My only complaint is that I wish it was slightly cooler. Nearly 100 degree temperatures each day made it hard for a lot of heavy outdoor work. But, clearly I didn’t work too hard…

Garden Journal 5/25/2018

After a cold and wet spring, we’ve jumped straight into summer here in southwest Iowa. On this memorial day weekend, we are expecting temperatures of nearly 100 for four days. I was able to to take the day off yesterday for some plant shopping and did some digging in the dirt when I got home….

Sleeping Hummingbird

We have an amazing sunroom on the west end of our house that has huge picture windows facing both south and west. We’ve placed all of our bird feeders outside of these windows and it creates and unbelievable bird watching experience. We put our hummingbird feeder out last weekend after I saw my first hummer…

Trees, Trees and more Trees

This weekend Ryan picked up and planted a lot of trees on our property. He planted Red Oaks, Burr Oaks and Norway Spruce. Below are pictures of the Red Oaks. I’d have to ask, but I bet it was a total of over 20 trees. Everything is starting to bud. Spring is finally here.  I…

Garden Journal 4/14/2018

This spring here in southwest Iowa has been one for the record books. Yesterday alone had a mix of rain, tornadoes, snow and flooding forecasted across Iowa. The day before the high was 71 and this weekend it’s supposed to snow. Most of my free time is on the weekends and we haven’t had many great…

Starting a Cut Flower Garden in Iowa

Growing a garden for cut flowers is becoming more and more popular each year. I began planning my first cutting garden over four years ago and here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way. Check out a prior blog post on the top flowers for cutting here. Sunlight. You’ll want to pick a…

Forcing Amaryllis Bulbs Indoors

Forcing Amaryllis bulbs indoors is a great winter gardening project. Most Amaryllis bulbs are sold as set with a pot, compost and even moss. Take apart your set and read the instructions. How To Force Amaryllis Bulbs Indoors: Some sets come with expanding compacted soil. Set your compacted soil disc in warm water and let…