Tag Archives: garden

Book A FarmStay!!

12 Stones Farm Guest House

As promised, more information is coming your way about my amazing friends and their outreach to better the lives of others.

First up, are my friends, Eric & Hope Bright, who owned and operated a profitable dairy on their farm with lovely Jersey cows grazing and gracing the green hills of north Missouri.

Enjoy following along families, children, duck, chicken, and cow adventures on Instagram or Facebook.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Alas, once their children, who were homeschooled like ours, flew the coop, they moved to warmer clime in south Missouri, just a 30 minute easy drive to Branson. We miss them being our neighbors. 😦

12 Stones Farm Guest House is a unique farm stay with children enjoying bottle feeding dairy calves, rounding up the ducks into their pen each evening, feeding the chickens, collecting eggs (then fixing those fresh eggs for your own brekkie!), milking gentle Jersey cows (and enjoying the milk!), playing with the cats, watching the dog guard the fowl from aerial predators (he takes his job seriously!), helping with the garden if you like, or launching a kayak in the Swan Creek just outside your cabin door.

If active farm stay is not your cup of tea, enjoy the peace and tranquility of a rural setting as you relax into your private hot tub just off the master bedroom with sounds of a tom turkey gobbling occasionally and the splash and gurgle of nearby Swan Creek. Then you might be off to take in the sights and sounds of the ever popular shows and attractions in Branson, MO. Each evening, build an outdoor fire, roast marshmallows and enjoy brilliantly starlit skies.

Enjoy eggs and milk fresh from the farm during your stay and extend the memories and enjoyment by purchasing extras at the 12 Stones Mercantile located on the farm.

As the weather warms, availability may become an issue as families and couples seek to get away from the city and breathe fresh air and relish peacefulness. Start your enquiry at 12 Stones Farm Guest House (sleeps 5) on AirBnB, VRBO, Flipkey, through Eric and Hope’s website, or just give them a ring!. You won’t meet nicer hosts! Also, if you need a really private getaway, take a look at their 2 person cabin on the same property but just a bit away. Available through AirBnB. Eric and Hope have 5.0 star reviews and are Superhosts!

French doors adorned with quilted window dressings lead to your private outdoor hot tub!
Forgive my terrible photo, but i include it anyway to give you an idea of the spaciousness of the open areas of the 5 person cabin. Behind the DeKalb sign is the loft with 2 twin beds for low ceiling sleeping. Cabins are fitted with all the comforts of home. Quick snapshot in between packing water to Eric who was laying tile in the fabulously upgraded yet still retaining its rustic feel shower and bathroom. Yup, i was helping!

Don’t even hesitate to book this 2 person cabin on the same property and enjoy the same amenities as the 5 person cabin. This trip was the first time i have seen it finished (it was in the infant stages when i visited before) and, as expected, Eric, with his amazing carpentry skills, and Hope with her eye to artistry and detail, have created another oasis.

Corned Beef & Corn on the Cob

Tough to top this delicious lunch for today!

img_8964

Corned Beef

Sandra Best from her days of preparing food for the sheep shearing crew in Longreach, Queensland, Australia

INGREDIENTS: 

  • 5 lb rolled rump roast
  • 4 1/2 quarts of water
  • 2 lbs coarse salt

DIRECTIONS: 

Heat water to dissolve salt then let cool completely. Stab thawed roast about 60 times with a long-tined meat fork. Pour salt water into a #2 ceramic crock and submerge roast into it. Weight down the roast with a brick or whatever. Place crock in a cool place and cover with kitchen towel. Let sit for 9 days. (I found some recipes, which called for turning the roast everyday, but we forgot to do that and it worked fine).

To cook:

Rinse roast, then place in a stockpot filled with enough water to cover roast 1 inch. Bring to slow boil, then pour off water, rinse out pot and refill with enough water to cover roast 1 inch. While water is heating add 2 tablespoons brown sugar, two bay leaves, 1 onion, quartered, 2 teaspoons nutmeg, and 1/4-cup vinegar. Cover and bring to slow boil, then simmer until meat falls off of a fork or skewer. (about 3 hours).

Serve with mashed potatoes or for an easy potluck, break up the meat and stir into potatoes and serve in a crock pot. Or let cool and slice off for sandwiches to take to work.

Life Lesson in the Garden

A life lesson from my friend Tina Reichert.  She lives and works on her husband’s family farm and hosts guests from around the world at their Sycamore Valley Bed and Breakfast home/farm stay outside Brunswick, Missouri.

Enjoy and Shabbat Shalom!

tauna

A Little Life Lesson from My Garden

Training the blackberry canes, mulching, weeding, watering, weeding, watering, weeding, more training, weeding, weeding and finally some fruit. Then comes pruning the dead canes that are spent from producing the season’s fruit. But the weeding, watering, training continue through the summer into the fall in preparation for the next year’s crop. I am hot, sweaty (or is it “glowing”), and scratched from the process today. But there is a sense of purpose and accomplishment that makes me smile.

This morning’s garden experience has brought to mind this is a lot like relationships. Meaningful relationships take work, a lot of work, continuous work, sometimes unpleasant and even painful work. But if I want to see the harvest: healthy, vibrant, life giving relationships that flourish bearing much fruit in my life and the lives of others, I must stay the course and remain faithful to the “garden” of relationships the Lord has called me to tend.

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. ” Romans 12:18

I am no Master Gardener, but I know the One who is. He continues to teach little life lessons in the simplest of tasks. Another sweet reason to give thanks for my garden.

May you have a blessed day tending to your “life’s garden.”

Garden is Done

Last night hit 31 F and my garden is wilted and done.  Sadly, there are several large green tomatoes which will not ripen, but not a loss – fried green tomatoes are a treat.  My tomato plants just didn’t get a good early start this year; same with Zucchino Rampicante Squash.  Only two are grown and large.  Incredibly, last year, i had so many of these and they are such good keepers, that i still have 3 of them to eat!  It was a challenging year for growing food.

0ed3f310-68b1-4922-8fb1-6bb51d44348d-3693-000005ed1c9d2bf5_file
This squash is ripened and i’ll harvest it today.

4c6467c4-3f3f-4922-8ce6-188e0a7111c4-3693-000005ed055f4140_file
This monster at nearly 4 foot long isn’t ripe – i’ll harvest it and hope that it will finish in the house.

Hornworms in my Garden!

Hornworms earn their common name by the hornlike structure at the tail end of the caterpillar.   The tomato hornworm is actually the larva of the Five spotted hawk moth (Manduca quinquemaculata), whereas, the tobacco hornworm develops into a tobacco hawk moth or Carolina sphinx moth (Manduca sexta).

Tomato Hornworm (2)

Typically, the tomato hornworm is found in the northern part of the United States, while the tobacco hornworm is found in the southern.  Not sure how north Missouri is defined, but all i’ve ever seen on my tomato plants are tobacco hornworms.  Hornworms are not defined by what they are eating, however, since they tend to defoliate potato plants, eggplants, moonflowers, peppers, as well as tomato and tobacco.

TW10
Destructive little buggers!

Eggs deposited on the plant hatch into larvae in about a week in late spring, grow to maturity at about 10 cm (3-4 inches), then drop to the ground to pupate into moths.  They overwinter near the host plant – ready to infest the next year’s crop.

Control of the hornworms is essential if you want any crop production.  On smaller garden plots like mine (only 25 tomato plants), i pluck them off by hand and feed them to the laying hens.

IMGP4294 (2)
Parasitic wasps are a natural control.  I didn’t introduce this wasp, but it found this worm in which to deposit its eggs.   After hatching, the wasp larvae will feed on the internal organs of the hornworm.  On the back and sides of this hornworm are visible the cocoons of the wasp larvae.

Hornworm - Sphinx
Another species of hornworm without the horn!  This one is found on a wild grape vine, Virginia Creeper, and such.  It is an Achemon Sphinx. 

Hornworm - fuzzy
I added this photo for fun, though it is not a hornworm, but the larva of a Luna Moth!

On Safari in Missouri!!!

tauna

Antique Farm Machinery

So, i didn’t find any buyers for the old farm machinery i found on one of my farms last fall, so i put it on display!  Crazy, i know, but it’s either that, or they go to scrap iron for 4 cents a pound.

The two smaller pieces were fairly simple to wrangle into place, but the riding one bottom plough required the use of tractor and front end loader to lift into place.  Son, Dallas, took care of that.  He also was the muscle behind getting the shaft on the big wheel rotated so that it would set level.  I applied liberal amounts of rust buster stuff as well as loosened the rust around the opening with maul and punch.  Thankfully, the set screw came loose easily.  Using an old wagon jack, i lifted the low side up, then we started with the big pipe wrench, then as the shaft moved closer into place, i switched to a smaller wrench and a cheater bar.  Like i said, Dallas put all the grunt into the actual move.

There is one more piece i plan to move into my antique garden – maybe i’ll have time next week.

Life on the Farm!

tauna

IMG-3981
My John Deere 267 horse drawn Stag Sulky looking quite lopsided.

IMG-4038
Looking very dapper in its level ride position!

IMG-4039.JPG
“John Deere never saw a green tractor
From the time he revolutionized the plow in
1837, John Deere continually looked for ways
to improve equipment to make life easier for
farmers. While steam engine tractors began
to appear in the 1880s, when Deere died in
1886, the world was still using the walking
plow as its main means of turning the soil.”  The Plowshare

 

IMG-4040.JPG

Antique cultivator