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…