apple cider - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Hard apple cider and a cat named Mr. Sh*thead

Around here, autumn is heralded with the making of hard cider.  The apples are pressed.  The top secret ingredients are mixed in with the apple juice.  Then, barrels upon barrels of cider are buried in the ground to work their magic over a year or more. If you are a hard cider master brewer, the…

sunrise - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Am I “strideless?”

The “entertainment reporter” was carrying on and on about a certain actress who’s done this and that and more of this and that and how she’s “hit her stride” with her current project. So, as I stood in the shower this morning, fishing my daughter’s long hair out of the drain, I got to thinking…

australian shepherds - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

And… my socks keep falling down!

Ugh.  It’s been one of those days. I awoke at 4am to an overpowering smell of skunk.  “NO, no, no, no, nah no!” my brain was screaming. “Too late,” my nose was saying. Now, if you’ve never smelled skunk close up, than you’re lucky.  It smells nothing like the skunk smell you are used to when…

apples - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

A rogue skunk and volcanic applesauce

Fall is just around the corner and the trees on the farm are heavy with apples.  A gluten for punishment, I picked 4-5 bushels and got down to canning applesauce.  After chopping and slicing and dicing, I filled a 22 quart pot with apples and began my first batch of sauce. Making applesauce is quite…

tomatoes in window - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Windowsill tomatoes

One of my earliest childhood memories is the kitchen of my paternal grandmother.  It was a tiny room with baby blue walls and a hulking white enamel, coal fired stove.  A harvest gold refrigerator sat catty-corner across from the stove and was always filled with Hershey’s fudge pops.  And next to the fridge, were two…

hereford bull calf - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Pardon me, but there’s a cow in your ceiling

We call him “The Jumper.” He’s a gazelle disguised as a bull-calf Hereford. He can leap tall buildings in a single bound. He is the bane of my existence. Throughout the years, there have been many, MANY calves born on this farm.  All have been well mannered and easy going…  except for “The Jumper.” He…

wheelbarrow - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Go greased lightning!

Pigs.  They are deceiving.  They look like a 1971 Ford Pinto, have the speed of a cheetah and are harder to hang onto than a bull at a rodeo. It was time to muck out the pig stall, which means I have to get the big wheelbarrow in the pen without losing a pig.  My…

pile of pigs - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Ain’t no sh*t like pig sh*t

I’ve shoveled a ton of sh*t in my days – cow, dog, goat, donkey, and even some from a septic tank (I’m referring to the cell phone incident of 2013, but that’s a story for another day). Pig sh*t is hardcore – it’s not for the faint of heart.  And since it was my idea to…

tomato early blight - TheFarmersInTheDell.com

Tomato blight and my quest for world domination

Sometimes I wonder why I do this gardening thing.  Just when I get one problem in control and things are looking good – BAM!  Almost overnight, early blight sinks its dirty little spores into my heirloom tomatoes.  And now… {cue dramatic music} I am in the midst of total tomato turmoil. Early tomato blight usually…