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Welcome! Our blog focuses on environmental conservation, education, green living & wildlife rescue! We have put together links to resources, books and information to help you and your children learn more about these topics. Please feel free to comment on any items posted. Rate or review us on NetworkedBlogs (Facebook app) & Blogged. Tell your friends about us. Follow us on Twitter and other sites listed on this page. There's a banner & widget if you would like to include us on your webpage. All we ask is that you please keep any comments here G-rated for the kids!

NOTE: The birds & squirrel pictured at the top of this page and in the slideshow below are just a few that I have helped rehabilitate.
WARNING: Please do not touch a wild animal, especially the young ones. If you remove a baby from it's home, sometimes the mother is just off getting it's baby food and will be back.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

Dear NFL Owners and Players;

Dear NFL Owners and Players;

I sincerely hope you'll find a settlement sooner rather than later. In the meantime, I'll keep harvesting and cooking one of my favorite fresh vegetable combinations:

Green Bay Packers beans.
Say it with me: green and yellow, green and yellow, green and yellow...

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Farmageddon; a great movie supporting local agriculture!

As you all know, I am very dedicated to supporting my local farmers as much as possible.  But for me, living in the mountains and not really having local farmers that is a little harder to do.  It is a learning process (one that I am very much still in the process of), Colorado may not be the biggest agricultural state, but by golly it is an agricultural state by some standards; mine included.

I am very proud to be a part of the agricultural business, I say it is in my blood.  It must have skipped a generation (my Mom is not really into the whole animal/growing thing-ha!).  See, my Grandparents were farmers in Iowa; they moved here to leave the farm life behind, I do believe.  But somehow it is just inside some of us, and I can't help myself...when I collect the eggs I am fascinated with the smooth little jewels of various colors.  And oh, my wonderful sheep that bleat for me if I am late to feed them...

And as for my packing llama string...I recently saw some pictures on Pinecam (our local gossip emag-ha!) of our ranch with Charlie Royal doing pack strings with horses...Well aren't we just going full circle?  I wish I still had that much land Charlie...But anyway, the joy that they bring me and our visitors is unparalleled; we get to teach our guests about our area, our way of life, but even better yet, how to be good stewards of the environment!

So to me, being a farmer these days is a lot more than just throwing stuff in the ground or raising organic animals.  It is about defending our rights to do so.  And teaching people about why we are doing it that way.  And why it is so important for us to raise heirloom varieties and heirloom chickens and sheep so that we don't have only one kind of corn or tomato or potato (and that there are still some nutrients in them).  No matter which way you say it; tomato or tomahto, potato or potahto, if there is no variety it would still suck.

Needless to say I was really excited to hear about this documentary:

Farmageddon - Movie Trailer from Kristin Canty on Vimeo.

Made by a Mom.  Check it out, there are screenings in towns all over the USA, or you can buy the DVD.  I have to wait for the movie....bummer!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Garden Mishaps

I can't seem to get peas. I just can't seem to get them right. Either I have a wimpy support and the peas can't climb, or the peas are trapped in a non-sunny spot, or something unknown prevents them from doing well. My pea vines are already dying, and there aren't many pods to pick. You see the peas here behind my excuse for a scarecrow: old CDs.

Chuck came in and asked, "Did you kill your chives? If you killed the chives, I'm revoking your gardener's license!" Well, no, I didn't kill the chives. I transplanted them last year so they're closer to the house. He had observed these: the shallots.
Shallots were (are?) an experiment this year. I wasn't sure if I had the time or the right kind of soil to grow them well. I'm still not sure. This lying down on the job act: does that mean they're ready to harvest, or does that mean they're dying? Anyone have a clue?

To conclude this valuable discussion, I'll just leave you with some philosophy. Garden growth is dependent on so many variables. Rain, sun, quality seeds, critters... oh, yes, critters. I walked out to the garden to pick the few peas that are growing, and I found this little furball sitting in my lettuce. In my LETTUCE!!

My reaction (you won't be surprised) was to stop in my tracks, look that bunny right in the eye, and call out, "How did YOU get in there?" It didn't answer me.

I call him Peter, even though I'm not Farmer McGregor. He's better not invite Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cottontail to a lettuce party. I'll be waiting.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Speaking of soaker hoses....

While in the process of finding and then getting my camera to cooperate, I thought I would do a quick post on how absolutely brilliant I am.  Oh wait, I thought this post was about soaker hoses.  That's right.  See, this has some background to it, because the men in the family said I couldn't do it...So I, of course had to try all that much harder-ha!

For some reason this has been the year that a few of our hoses have decided it is their time to go.  Take for instance this last hose.  I was trying to water my new garden and was wondering what was wrong with the water pressure, when oh my, I turned around and my hose looked like Popeye!  I didn't even want to get near the thing in fear of it exploding!  Well, Tom had already insisted that one just like this was junk so I quietly set it aside until all the men were gone....

That is when the real fun began.  My daughter and I got up early one morning and got a nail and a hammer and we went to town on that hose.  I mean we just put holes in it everywhere, it was really a pretty cool project because there is no right or wrong about it.  I then just hooked it up to the water and watched it go.

By this time the boys were up, so I had to do my happy dance....Too bad Tom wasn't here to see it, but believe you me, he heard ALL about it-ha!  And we all got to be in on the fun of making little adjustments to the dripper system while it was running and add a few holes here and there and get sprayed in the face when we removed the nail.  We had a ball.

PS:  When I went online to look for pics I remembered that I needed to tell you that I had a sprayer nozzle that I used to cap the end of my hose, but I do intend to get some sort of more permanent cap.  When time and money permit....get things as you can is my motto, and make do with what you have.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rain, rain, come my way!

The thunder yesterday sounded encouraging, but the storm dropped so little water that I felt I still needed to lug around the watering can again.

It's been so dry (how dry was it?) that I've used up all the water in both rain barrels and I'm filling the watering can from the house tap. Sigh. It feels so wasteful! I've almost - almost, mind you - been tempted to hook up a sprinkler.

In the category of wasteful, sprinklers score a capital W for Wasting Water. The water sprays into the air where much of it evaporates and never reaches its target. The area watered by a sprinkler gets wet - all of it. Vegetables, flowers, weeds, and walkways all receive the same amount of water. Water ends up soaking the leaves rather than the roots, too. Some water will evaporate from the leaves, but too much may cause diseases. When I bring out the watering can, I can direct the water to individual plants and pour it straight into the ground for those thirsty roots. A sprinkler doesn't do that.

Soaker hoses are better. I own a soaker hose, a short permeable hose that lets the water drip out into the soil. I can wrap it around the areas that need water the most and know that very little will evaporate. It's especially fun to hook up the soaker hose to a rain barrel, but you heard me earlier; my rain barrels are empty.

Sigh. Mother Nature, the rivers in the North Dakota are high enough. Send some rain this way!