Friday, July 15, 2011 0 comments By: seasonsofgrowth

flowers and fruits

Hello all...
its been a crazy long time.... turns out erik and i are both quite terrible at keeping this updated!

Our garden is in full swing. Most of what we have planted is now blooming.... which is real exciting.
bush bean blooms...

blooming pumpkins....

can't remember what these are but they are lovely :D

climbing peas...

We have been spending a lot of time weeding the past couple weeks.... And our hard work is about to really pay off.. Our squash patch (which was almost completely covered in  tall weeds) is about to begin to produce. I am quite sure we are going to have zuchinni coming out of our ears... 

straight neck yellow summer squash...

cocozelle summer squash...
The best surprise was the first taste of podded peas today... Erik and I each ate one delicious pod. yum. fresh. delicious.
so exciting.
Erik was especially overjoyed by the peas.
In addition to the peas we cut our first greens today.... Lovely swiss chard anyone??? we have three shopping bags full of that and also one bag of spinach.... tasty.

swiss chard...

Danko tomatoes...


Cherry tomatoes...
There are soon to be many other wonderful things for the eatin.

In other news our goats have gone through a few bouts of poor health. We are actually sad to confess that our beloved little Molly has died. Erik did a lot of research and ended up diagnosing the problem as coccidiosis, and internal parasite that commonly occurs in goats under four months of age.
The treatment is tablets of a sulfur-based drug for 5-7 days. We just finished the 7th day of shoving pills down their troats... and we think that we licked the nasty bugger in the butt...
We've also identified that due to the stinky parasite, Ruby and Billy are anemic. Which means they now require daily shots of vitamin B12 and loose minerals for iron deficiency until they get totally healed.
Erik's new books...
I don't have much else to add right now.... Thanks for checking up on us.

much love,
j. rae.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011 1 comments By: seasonsofgrowth

long awaited update.

Hello friends.
About time you say???? I apologize for the delay in bringing you this update. A few computer difficulties but we are back up and running for the moment.
So much has happened since we've last written. Erik and I made a huge leap and decided to buy three goat kids. One, Ruby is a LaMancha milking goat. We eventually will breed her and have more babies and then start milking her. It will be around a year from now before we can do that. The other two, Billy and Molly, are meat goats although I think there is not a chance in the world I could ever eat either of them. Way too cute! I think You'll agree! They were from a young mom who had triplets. They were smaller and got put on a bottle because the mom wasn't producing enough milk for all three babies.

Molly is on the left and Billy on the right. We have to bottle feed all three of them every day. twice a day. We will prolly start weaning Ruby soon. She is a bit older than the others already eats hay, grass and goat feed quite well.
We still have the 6 chickens... But we had to mourn the loss of the three duckies. We found out that the feed that we were using from our chicks (that they told us would be fine for the ducks) was medicated feed and within 3 days our ducklings were belly up. Lesson learned... ducks don't like medicine.

The birds are getting rather large. We have fashioned a home for them in an old water tank we had for horses back in the day. Once we have a home built for the goats we will  repair the chicken coop (which has been used as a temporary home for Ruby, Billy and Molly) and put them in their rightful place.

Erik and I have both started work at a coffee shop in  Sibley, Iowa. The Lantern is about a 25 minute drive from Hospers... I LOVE IT! Making coffee brings joy to my heart. Adam, the shop owner roasts all the coffee in shop and let's just say he knows what he's doing. I have so missed working on a real espresso machine and pulling shots with my own hands. The last two establishments that I worked at used fully automatic espresso machines.... which takes almost every bit of art out of preparing lattes.
I am bound and determined to master getting a rosetta with every cup I pour. I'm getting a few in... but consistency is going to be the trick.

The garden is almost all planted. I think we have just a few things left to put in. We have 8 different types of squash, sweet corn, bush beans, pole beans, sugar peas, snap peas, carrots, cucumbers, lemon cucumbers, 3 types of pumpkins, 3 types of gourds, 4 kinds of melons, red onions, sweet onions, yellow onions, 4 types of tomatoes, 5 kinds of peppers and I'm sure I am forgetting something... but eh... you get the idea. Its pretty much huge!

We've got sprouts coming up from most of the squash. I'm very excited to watch how quickly everything takes off, now that its in the ground and the weather is warm (above 95 yesterday and today)

We've had some time to do some small projects for my mom. Erik helped her spray weeds this weekend, a job put off way too long! We've always wanted to grow morning glories on this fence near our garden... so Erik and I made a flower bed along the edge of it... Planted those morning glories and some four  o'clocks there yesterday. 

I've been enjoying some of the flowers that already have bloomed. The Lilacs. which are all done with... and my Dad's pride and joy...

The man loved his peonies... we have these blooming all along our drive way... conveniently right next to the garden.
Mom, Erik and I have been looking through some books and magazines for good recipes make with our fresh veggies when we get them. We made a gingered spaghetti salad last night with chicken, cucumbers, red and yellow peppers. Absolutely delicious.
I'm gonna end the massive blog and eat some leftovers now!!! Thanks for reading!

J Rae
Thursday, May 26, 2011 2 comments By: seasonsofgrowth

Trying to organize pictures on Blogspot makes me want to hurt someone.

This is Uncle Randy with his sweet tiller.

This is a demonstration of my proficiency with a hammer and nails

Jordan carefully crafting a door for our chicken coop

Jordan with her fully finished door

Our chicken coop!

Chickens in the "ugly phase"

Ducklings in their stinkin adorable phase

First plant of the season! RASBERRIES!

Workin the soil
Change of plans...


Old plan
Giddy with delight!

First tomato plant in the ground!

Whats done so far

Me with my sweet knife/spade/weeder tool

Sunday, May 22, 2011 0 comments By: seasonsofgrowth

oh the joy of becoming a farmer

lesson one in farming. the weather doesn't care about your plans.

we have been hoping to get moving on our garden for two weeks and have yet to plant anything out of doors. it seems as though everytime it works for my loving and caring uncle to come help, the heavens open up and cause the ground to be too wet for tilling.
its a bit of a bummer but i know the time is coming soon when we will have seeds in the ground and beautiful sunshine to help them grow....

that is all the news i have to give today.... more to come as things progress.

j rae.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011 0 comments By: seasonsofgrowth

back to the city

Jordan writing...

no my friends we are not headed south... east is our direction and Chicago is our destination. we will be traveling to see my good friend gradumicate from college. Its strange to think that if would have stayed in school, I would most likely be wearing a funny square cap as well... So we will be gone for the weekend, but no worries we shall return next week to put seeds in the ground....

stay tuned to this station.. its gonna be a great summer.

Today is Wednesday.

Hello friends.  

My name is Erik. 

Let me tell y'all a little bit about how I came to find myself on a farm in the north western corner of Iowa.  I was born in Wisconsin then moved to Minnesota when I was about 7 and then when I was 21 I moved to Kansas City Missouri to be a part of the International House of Prayer.  So when I left MN I had to leave a pretty secure job that I had held for about a year and a half ish.  It wasn't all that great of a job but it was secure and my manager treated me very well.  I was an assistant manager at a gas station.  It was glamorous.  I moved to KC in April 2010 but I was in an internship for the first 3 months that I lived there and in this internship they gave me food, water, and shelter so I had no need for a job.  It was great but 3 months passed very quickly and I moved into a rental house with some friends.  I enjoyed most of this time.... Most.  I just realized.... "most" is a weird word when it stands alone.  Anyways.  The internship ended in June and savings goes away really fast when you don't have an income and are paying rent and utilities.  So to save money I bought a 25 lb box of rice and had a hunger induced mental breakdown.  This short time of my life was, honestly, a very precious time for me.  I learned a lot about trusting Jesus.  Hunger is NOT the worst thing that could happen to me.  But praise be to God I found a job!  A really good job that I still love and met a lot of people there that I love a lot.  I worked at a Whole Foods Market.  While at this job I met a lady girl named Jordan that soon became one of my favorite people and through her met a lot more people that I love a lot.  Soon Jordan, her sister Chandler, and their roommate Jeska, after many game nights and trips to Latteland and late night Wal Mart runs, adopted me as their brother.  This was a joyous day with much celebration and rejoicing.  Not much changed in my life other than the addition of some awesome people.  Which isn't a bad thing....  Right from the beginning though I could tell that this friendship was going to cause us both to grow.  Which is a very good thing.  Because, I don't know about Jordan but I can always stand to grow a bit. 

 Well we continued on, working at Whole Foods for a few months, always talking about how awesome it would be to have a garden and be able to grow our own food and eat healthy things for real cheap.  Whole Foods is definitely worth the money.....but it's real expensive.  Then one day Jordan was talking about how she was thinking about moving home to plant a garden.  To be honest, I was a little bummed (probably more than a little) that she was going to move away because I tend to be one of those people that is really bad at being a friend and I lost touch really easily.  It's a  pretty big character flaw that I have.  So I was bummed at the thought of my surrogate sister leaving.  But then she asked how I would feel about moving back to IA with her to help her and her mom, Kim, with things around the house and things and stuff.  Another part of the deal was that we would plant an enormous garden.  All I needed to hear was the word garden and I was all in.  Also there is a prayer movement stirring so that's just a bonus.  A month passed and I quit my lovely job with the hope of going back at some point and I picked up my life, which fortunately fit into my Honda Accord and headed to Podunk IA.  And now I'm here.  Writing this blog post.  And enjoying every minute of existing in IA.

More to come.... sooooon,
Tuesday, May 10, 2011 1 comments By: seasonsofgrowth

Random pictures!

These are in no specific order right now.
More to come soon!  -Erik