Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday Morning

The Sunrise was beautiful this morning! Projected high temperatures for today are 105. We spent most of the weekend watering animals several times a day and trying to stay cool. O Wise One is picking another row of red beans as I write on this Monday morning. He picked and I shelled a row of them yesterday. I am trying to pick and shell a row a day. Once the red beans are done then I will start on some field peas. We continue getting lots of okra, tomatoes, cucumber, squash and zucchini.  The watermelons and cantaloupe are growing and getting big. I can't wait for fresh melons daily. 

With onions to chop and freeze or dehydrate, new potatoes to can, peas to can and tomatoes to cook and can my posts will not be as often for a week or two. I will try to take lots of pictures and do a couple of tutorials as I go for all you new canners but for the most part I need to quickly knock these things out and get done with them. Although I love you all..... getting my winter stores put up and feeding my family has to be my priority right now. 

Our drought conditions continue here and the local news are filled with warnings. Extreme heat warnings, fire warnings and such. The farmers are starting to sell off stock. Many soybean farmers are starting to bale their soy beans as hay to feed their cattle. The radio warns local farmers not to feed their cattle their ruined corn stalks because of high nitrates. Hay is up to $65 a large round bale. It is scarce and one neighbor said that as he baled his field there were 3 different people that stopped and tried to buy it straight out of the baler. I am afraid most of the local crops are lost. Our own last sweet corn crop has not filled out and we are feeding it to the turkeys/chickens and pigs. Ours is not high in nitrates : )   If we had cattle it could be chopped for silage as in days gone by was a regular practice before high nitrate fertilizers. I can remember my grandfather chopping corn stalks and mixing the chopped pieces with grain and molasses for the cattle.  

Like rebellious teenagers our 5 turkeys would not go in last night to roost with Mama Hen. They decided they were going to roost in the tree above her cage. There was no coaxing them down as they stared at us from a good 30 feet above us on the branches. So we reluctantly left them knowing that they would probably not be there in the morning. This morning there were only four and a pile of feathers beneath the tree. The owls had found them. From years of experience we know that everything must be secured at night in predator proof pens to survive here in The Holler. So now our 4 remaining turkeys will have to remain in a pen no longer able to roam freely. We were lucky they only got one. I will miss them following me around the place begging for me to throw them treats and Mama Hen struggling to catch up.

Rocky and Bullwinkle the new baby goats are now tethered out EARLY every morning to forage near the weed patches around the farm. Once the sun comes out and the day starts to heat up they are returned to their pen for the heat of the day to eat feed and rest. Then late in the afternoon they are allowed to forage again before they are returned to the shed and locked up at night.

All of the animals including the chickens, turkeys, pigs and goats are enjoying daily feedings of fresh vegetable peelings and scraps from the garden and also from the local farmers market vendor.

So as you can see we have fallen into a summer routine of early morning taking care of the animals, watering and harvesting. Then spend the rest of the day replenishing water supplies and canning or preserving what we harvested that morning during the heat of the day. Then repeating our watering and animal care late in the evening at almost dark. Lots of sunscreen and lots of water and staying in the air condition as much as possible.

We continue to pray for a break from this heat and RAIN.......but are ever thankful for what we have harvested and will hopefully continue to harvest in the future.

Blessings from The Holler
The Canned Quilter


  1. Thanks for taking time to share with us how you are coping with the weather and how you work for your own food. My life has only a few items that aren't "store bought" and yet I do buy local as much as possible. That's as close as I can get to your self sufficiency. Sending you my admiration! Barb the part-time potter.

  2. Have you ever thought about clipping one side of your remaining turkeys wings? That would keep them from getting up in the tree at night and you could put them in with momma hen and they could still free range :)

  3. getting my winter stores put up and feeding my family has to be my priority right now.
    Of course! Especially with prices of everything expected to go up.
    We can read when you have time to post afterwards. Congratulations on your great gardens. ♥

  4. We took a tour of the local corn and bean fields this weekend and they are burnt up. And I mean brown and dead. And, even if they weren't, the forecast is for more of the same hot, dry weather until August. I think we have one shot at rain on Thursday and it's a small one.

    On a brighter note, CQ: I wanted to let you know that I've nominated your blog for the One Lovely Blog and the Very Inspiring Blogger Awards! You can see my post about it over at I hope you'll accept!


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