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Cleaning House

Spring is coming, surely it is just around the corner. If it’s not I really don’t want to know. I can’t wait for warmer weather, gardening, planting flowers and taking Elly for her first horse ride. So in anticipation of this joyous event we took advantage of a warm January day to clean the house. It was long over due, we haven’t touched it since fall. To tell the truth it was developing a quite unpleasant smell. Things were laying about rotting and mice had been all through it.

What house did you think I meant?

Back to Work

I am back to feeding the calves this week. Over Christmas break My multi-talented husband who is the preferred assistant did the honors. Then half of the calves were gone so it wasn’t worth making my mother-in-law baby sit. More calves have arrived and so I am back to work. I missed it strangely enough. I was thinking about that as I broke ice in the tanks in four degree weather. My fingers and toes were numb with cold as water splashed onto my clothes and face freezing instantly on contact while the rest of me sweated. My arms ached until I thought I wouldn’t be able to lift the bar one more time and I was so happy to be getting some exercise. Or I was thinking that until I broke through the ice and whacked my self on the head with the solid metal bar. Then I just thought owww.

That proved to be some what of a theme for the day.

After feeding we put out new lick tubs out for the cows. Against my better judgement I hoped onto the payloaders bucket with the lick tubs where I clung for dear life during a bouncy ride to the pasture. This seems like a very bad idea to me but every one else does it so I figure it must be alright. I survived the trip out and he sat the bucket down to unload the first tub. I put my back into the unloading attempting to rest a couple hundred pounds of molasses and mineral to the ground. Rocking the tub to its side to roll it out I smashed my fingers between them. Back onto the bucket for a ride to the next unloading spot I looked down to see my dog hunting rabbits between the loader and the wheels. I yelled at her and she ran around to find me as the payloader rumbled forward. She seemed destined to join Zip. Finally she gave up and ran off after other prey.

It was a short trip to our next destination. Having determined that this was the perfect spot for the next tub my father-in-law promptly tipped the bucket successfully unloading me if not the tub. I stumbled back a few steps stopping to look up at him as he continued to tip the bucket. He looked back at me and then at a spot over my head. Looking surprised he stopped the movement of the loader. I looked up to see what was there. Maybe two inches over my head hung the point of the grapple. I think that would have hurt worse than the metal bar.  My formerly much loved husband informed me that he usually just hangs on to the support arm for the grapple and stays in the bucket for this exciting ride. I don’t think I care to try it.

Having no other options I rode back in the bucket. From now on I am not giving into peer  pressure. That was my last ride in the bucket. I suppose that makes us even for the whole calf roping thing earlier.

Microgreens, 2

Well our experiment was mostly a success. Both the sprouts and the micro greens were delicious.

The sprouts were from a premixed bag expressly for the purpose of growing as sprouts. The bag was a little old and not all the seeds sprouted. The ones that did sprouted at different times. In the future I think we will buy individual seed types and most importantly not put near as many in the jar. They doubled in size with one night of soaking and were crammed in tight once they began to grow.

We didn’t try them in sandwiches with hummus or tomato and miricele whip. We didn’t try elaborate grilled cheeses either. We did add them to salads though and they were delicious. I am also rather pleased that we have not died of botulism, always a good thing.

The micro greens worked quite well. Using seeds we had on hand that hadn’t worked very well in the garden, we planted two rows of radish a row of spinach and two rows of lettuce. The spinach didn’t come up. The lettuce is so small it is difficult to harvest. The radish though was beautiful. I tried pulling it root and all first but found the washing nearly impossible. Cutting  the steam with scissors worked much easier. I am going to try pulling the lettuce next time they were to short to cut but maybe they will wash easier than the radish.

The radish greens tasted like radish. They added a nice kick and I didn’t worry as much about food poisoning. We ate them on pizza and in salads. I didn’t try the mushroom and micro-green omelet Martha suggested, hopefully next time.

In the future I wouldn’t start the greens and sprouts at the same time. It was difficult getting every thing used up. We still have greens left which is nice, I don’t feel as rushed to get them used up right away. All in all it was very nice to have fresh home grown greens in January. We will definitely be doing this again.

The Wreck

I was glad we hadn’t waited around to watch them pulling it out.  Unfortunately there hasn’t been one word about it on the news which at least tells us that the driver was okay. We didn’t stop to ask the cops holding traffic, they were looking decidedly less than cheerful by afternoon.

As hard as we looked we couldn’t see anywhere that the fence had been broken which leaves us to believe that the semi cleared it. It would have been some thing to see when it happened. A flying semi leaping gracefully into the air. Yeah, it’s good that we weren’t there.

She Sat Up!

Not like we sat her in an up right position and she stayed, but as in we laid her down and she did a sit up.

Go Techno Huskers

The littlest ember of the team

The littlest ember of the team

The Local Robotics team is in Kearney today for the regional robotics competition. They made it down safely having left early Friday to avoid the blizzard. Hopefully the trip home is as uneventful.We wish that we were going with again this year, last year was a blast. My darling husband helped coach the last two years but this year something else (small goblin child) kind of took up all his time.

Robotics is awesome. Our team is  Four-H sponsored, for kids 9-14 to learn about science and technology. They build robots out of lego’s, Then they build an obstacle course, or as they call it a thematic playing surface, also out of lego’s. They then have to program the robot to complete missions in and around the course. I am sure they can explain it much better than I at usfirst.org and firstlegoleague.org

 

Last year

Last year

Marigolds

Technically that includes a color so we are sticking with the theme.

I love marigolds. I think they are beautiful, I even like the smell. Properly called Tagetes, the common name is derived from “Marys Gold”. They are an excellent nectar source for butterfly’s, their beautiful orange color can be used for food color but most important here they are supposed to repel insects. Because of that particular attribute they are good companion plants for tomatoes and pepper as well as many others.

We had aphids on the peppers in the green house. The lady bugs were already feasting but didn’t seem to be keeping up. I had some marigold seeds that I had been planning to plant around the house. So I though I would just plant a few in between the peppers. It was so fun to watch them come up. The seedling were so healthy and vigorous. So very very vigorous. They grew and grew and grew. We rechecked the package, it did say Marigold, height 12 to 24 inches. Well that was taller than I had expected I guess I should have been more careful in selecting type.

But they kept growing. Soon they were taller than the peppers and reaching for the ceiling. I suppose we could have pulled them. Gotten rid of the problem altogether. The peppers weren’t doing much any way though and the flowers were pretty.

Micro Greens

First it was purple now green, I’m working my way through the colors.

Looking through the latest Martha Stewart Living I found an article on growing sprouts and micro greens. It may be a good magazine to replace  Glamor after all.We have been surviving without home grown greens for so long we thought we would experiment with growing these.

I don’t know what sprouts are supposed to be eaten with or on but there were a couple of recipes included in the article. I do love grilled cheese with tomato. Their suggestion of grilled cheese with bacon, apple and sprouts I don’t know about. Martha may just be to cool for me.

So, sure that we would find some use for them, we began our little experiment it will be fun to see what happens.

Purple Carrots

I have a subscription to Martha Stewart Living now. One of the kids at school was selling subscriptions and I was looking for something to replace Glamor which I am afraid I have finally out grown. The January issue had recipes for roasting vegetables. We still have vegetables from the garden. I thought “Hey, I could roast the vegetables”. It was quite the epiphany.

So I gathered some garlic, an onion, threw in a couple potatoes and we ventured out to the greenhouse to dig up some carrots. We have been sorely lax in our carrot digging this winter. Fortunately the in-laws are making good use of them. They have dug up nearly half. However upon arriving at the purple carrots they seemed unenthused. We found many large purple carrots strewn about the ground. Maybe people don’t share my enthusiasm for purple vegetables? Someday I plan to grow an entirely purple garden. I have seen purple cauliflower (not that I would ever touch the stuff), purple kohlrabi, purple asparagus, purple potatoes, even purple tomatoes. But I digress.

After washing I tossed all the vegetables in olive oil, added a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then spread the larger ones one a cookie sheet. The smaller ones I saved to add later. They roasted for a good hour. The smaller ones half that. The garlic I should of waited until even later to add.

It was scrumptious. The carrots were chewy and sweet. The garlic we added to the mushroom gravy which we poured over the potatoes and our stakes. The whole thing was delicious, it was so nice to be eating from our garden even in the middle of winter. I would like to try some squash this way too, I wish I had been more careful about bringing some inside instead of letting it freeze.

It’s a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

2012-12-27 09.33.06

Not.

Twenty-seven degrees outside right now according to my computer. We got a light powdery snow last night and now the wind is howling. I understand there was a nice little ground blizzard going on on the way into town today. I suppose all the guys in town will be out plowing snow on their four wheelers.

For once there is stuff going on on the main street cam. What is the main street cam you say? Why it is a service provided by our stellar local computer store/repair shop. A live web cam showing the lively down town. Not that their is usually much to see

http://mainstreetcam.enebraska.net/