Saturday, September 8, 2012

But Most Times it IS Sunshine, Rainbows, and Unicorns

The deer quite like my spaghetti squash. They've eaten 4 so far. You're welcome Mr. Bambi.
Call me insanely optimistic, but I always think that when things get really, really bad there is something really good on its way. Yes, last week was a bad week for us, but this week has seemed like there were little miracles waiting around every corner.

 Yes, the deer have been enjoying my beloved spaghetti squash, but I managed to pick two like this one. Yum. Paleo spaghetti here we come.

The tomatoes are putting on like crazy and we've been able to start picking them! Let me tell you, it's absolutely true that there is nothing like a homegrown tomato. Store bought doesn't even begin to compare.

Eating farm/garden straight to the table is am amazing thing. Who needs a recipe? I just chopped up some heirloom white cucumber, some of our amazing tomatoes, drizzled a little olive oil on, and sprinkled with a little sea salt and basil. Best. Thing. Ever.

Do you remember that flowered tree we found last spring? OK, you probably don't. There was a tree at the far back corner of our property, half hidden by willows and chokecherries, with blooms on it last spring. We had never noticed that tree before. To our knowledge there were only chokecherries, willows, and cottonwoods back there.

We hadn't been going back to the second creek where this tree is because bears had been enjoying the chokecherries back there. Call me crazy, but I was going to let them help themselves! 

The chokecherries have been all eaten for a couple of weeks. Saturday we decided to go check "the tree". I walked back there and saw something bright and red.

My little miracle tree.

It's an apple tree! We'd suspected it might be a crab apple. Those are common around here. But if it is it's like no crab apple I've ever seen. The apples are bigger than a crab apple and are slightly tart, but tasty. Crab apples are generally very bitter/sour.

It's right next to a small pond and the second creek, so I'm sure the roots are drinking well. They must be, because even with the crazy dry year we've had the tree was filled with little yummy apples! 

It took a lot of work to cut the willows and chokecherries away to get to the tree, but we were so excited we made quick work of it. You'd have thought we'd found gold.

Ellie and Fiona were great help picking apples.
We've done better than expected financially this summer and have started working on the house again. (You have no idea how amazing this is, we haven't been financially able to work on the house in YEARS). We painted it and will be putting new counter tops in the kitchen soon! I'll do a full post on our house soon, it has a very cool story.

We've also had lots of purple beans, green beans, peas, zucchini, yellow squash, and eggs of course. Oh yes, and Red is happy as ever.

It's been a good week. Life is amazing. Tough times come, but tough times always go. We are grateful.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

It's Not All Sunshine, Rainbows, and Unicorns

I have another post I'm working on with updates and garden pics and good news...this is not that post however.

We've had a tough week. 

One of our spring calves
You see, we're passionate about grass feeding our cows. Generally that is not an issue, it's just what we do, but this year has been tough because it hasn't RAINED. 

Our cows have been on a pasture that we leased for the summer because of the dry year and my dad's place not having enough pasture. On top of the cost of the leased pasture (we share all costs with my parents thank goodness) there will need to be hay bought for the winter, again because of the dry year  my dad's place made no hay either.

Not a big deal. There are dry years, there are wet years. We adjust and move on.

However, in the last 3 days 3 of our cows have died. We're not sure why. We've called the vet and hope to figure out what's going on soon. In the meantime we are moving the cows back to my dad's because of concern it's something they're ingesting.

Two of those were steers that were to be our food for the next year. The other was a mama cow with a 3 month old calf. Together with my parents we had 14 cows at the beginning of the summer, and 11 right now today.

So...on top of all of those expenses we will now have to figure out what to put in our freezers for the next year.

I hesitated sharing this post. But this is our reality right now. This is the truth of our lives. Our spirits are good. We know this can be part of the deal. But, at the same time we care about our animals. They're not just feedlot numbers to us.

We've had a tough week.