Saturday, June 23, 2012

Honeymoon Trip!

We had a great time!  Tuesday morning we headed out and spent a very nice couple of days exploring Long Beach, Oysterville, and Ocean Park.  The weather was wonderful! 

The highlight of our trip was walking through Jack's Country Store.  It was AMAZING.

The shortest way to describe the place has EVERYTHING!

We were amazed!

I love doing anything with Richie...but shopping with him is especially enjoyable ;-)  It's one of those little things that I always looked forward to doing with him.
He's very entertaining.  I love him to pieces.  

The plan was to stay out on the WA coast Tuesday-Thursday at least. 
We both got homesick and decided to come back Wednesday afternoon :-)

We love our little place up on the hill.  We still have a lot of unpacking to do, but most of it will have to stay there for awhile.  I've been cooking out of a cast-iron skillet that Janet gave to me as a shower gift, as well as using the microwave and toaster oven.  What more could you need.  We have a (VERY) good life! 

The doorman

You know you're on the farm when the reason you always close the door behind you is that the horses and chickens will follow you in ;-)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

A New Farm Member

Many of you know that Richie and I put a "Jersey Cow Fund" on our wedding registry.


Yes!  Although some folks probably think we have a few screws loose, (no, not us!) we were pretty excited about it. 

Richie was keeping his eye on craigslist, (was? He's always on craigslist! LOL) and found this beautiful girl.

It's difficult to find a young dairy cow that isn't being sold because she has lots of problems, so we were, as usual, a bit cautious and skeptical.     

On Monday Richie, Victoria, Janet, Rich, and I all met at the library and drove the 2 minutes to go meet this perty cow. 

Her owners are great people, and spent quite a bit of time showing us their farm and cows.  I even got to hold their little girl while her mom got the cows ready for milking!!!    

And to top it all off, as we were driving down the road to leave the barnyard, the man stopped us, and gave back $200 dollars worth of the down payment Richie made on her.  He told us that he and his wife would like to contribute it to our cow fund as a wedding gift!  
How sweet!!!

Needless to say, it was a wonderful day.  We bought a beautiful cow, and made some new farmer friends in the process! 

What a blessing...thank you Lord! 

The cow's owners even agreed to keep her until the end of June!  (It would have been rather difficult to take a dairy cow on our honeymoon, I think.)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What I've been up to lately!

Yes, I've been gardening :-)

I can tell you one thing for certain, my hands aren't going to look like a fairy princes's on our wedding

Today I worked on planting the tomatoes.  I put in some chicken manure for the nitrogen content and eggshells for calcium.  I am figuring the plants may need extra nitrogen because the wood chips that I am putting over the surface of the soil take nitrogen out of it. 
I also sprayed them with a secret (shhhh!) mixture to try and prevent the early blight that Washington tomatoes tend to suffer. 

Here it is:
1 TB Vegetable Oil
1 Tsp dish soap (as mild as you can get, ours is "environmentally friendly"...which is also the cheapest brand at Costco:)
1TB Baking Soda
1 Aspirin Tablet
1 Gal of water

The aspirin tablet actually isn't specifically for blight like the baking soda is.  Tomato plants naturally make salicylic acid, the active ingredient in aspirin, to trigger natural defences against bacteria, fungi and viruses. Thus, Aspirin is an activator of "systemic acquired resistance" (SAR)  A lot of times, plants don't produce salicylic acid quickly enough when attacked by a microbe to prevent injury. Especially if they're going though the shock of being transplanted.  Spraying aspirin on plants speeds up the SAR response.

"Why are you using wood chips?" you ask.  Well, we're trying out a method we learned about recently called "Back to Eden" gardening.  I would encourage anyone who has a garden or who is interested in having one, to visit the guy's website and watch his full-length film.  Many have grown very successful gardens this way.  Basically, the chips keep the weeds from growing, protect the soil from erosion, retain moisture (so you never have to water!) and over time add organic matter as they decompose. 
Sounds too good to be true, huh? 


The peas are looking good!

This was yesterday's project.  The green beans (Blue Lake Pole I think) are planted along the fences, and there are some Scarlet Runner beans and Louisiana Purple Pod beans on the arch ;-)
The poor little onions are starting to look a little better.

Meanwhile, the busy bees have been doing their job...very well.  The orchard has quite a bit of fruit!

Back at the Bowes house, Valerie and Mommy have been hard at work in the garden too!  Valerie is very excited about learning to garden this year.  I'm so glad she wanted to take it up!!

She's been pulling weeds all day!

I have another exciting post to put up soon, until then, I leave you all in miserable suspence. ;)