Monday, September 21, 2009


These are some of the beautiful peppers we harvested from our garden this fall. This is actually a sweet pepper that resembles a hot pepper. The Yum Yum Farm garden was considerably more productive this year than last year, for a number of reasons. First, our weather was much less violent this year. Second, we've done some substantial amending of our worn out soil. Several truckloads of compost, plus a cover crop of medium red clover added much needed nutrients and organic material. We also started the majority of our veggies inside this year, so were able to control their environments from the time the seeds germinated. Crops this year include 3 pepper varieties, 2 onions, 6 heirloom tomatoes (Green Zebra, German Pink, Gold Medal, Beam's Yellow Pear, Italian Heirloom, and Cherry Roma. German Pink is the favorite so far, although all are scrumptious, and all are varieties available from the Seed Saver's Exchange, in beautiful Decorah, Iowa), "Bright Lights" Swiss chard, lacinato kale, leeks, arugula (have you seen the price of arugula in Whole Foods these days?--Barack Obama), green beans, 2 potato varieties, 2 eggplant varieties, garlic, and a ton of herbs. Enjoy the pictures, while we enjoy the food!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Oh Yeah, the Blog part 2

Gentle readers,
Maintaining this blog during the process of building our home was a joyous exercise that I rushed home every night to complete. Turns out living here is more fun than maintaining a blog about living here. Nevertheless, I am not throwing in the towel, and will endeavor to visit this electronic diary more frequently. Tonight, I took pictures of a harvest of 5 different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, haricots verts, an assortment of herbs, and a lovely array of peppers. Since our last posting, the seedlings have matured and nourished us for some time now, and continue to provide a seemingly endless stream of delicious, gorgeous fruits and vegetables. Hopefully, this will help reduce our health care costs in the long term.

Sadly, we mourn the loss of Mary Travers today. One of the first things Joanna and I did together was to take in a Peter, Paul and Mary show in 1995. I've had a weakness for their brand of folk music for a long time, and to this day, one of our favorite pasttimes is enjoying a sprinkling of their sweet harmonies mixed in with the raunchy rock and roll that populates most of our music library.

Updated pictures will follow soon.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Oh yeah, the blog...

Here's the "farm" part of the Yum Yum Farm. The very healthy young tomato plants are hogging the frame, but they're not the only thing we're growing this season. Behind them under the grow lights are leeks, thyme, marjoram, onions, a variety of peppers, kale, basil, red basil, eggplant, sage, oregano and...I think that's it. This grow light contraption is about 10 years old, and we use it to get a head start on the growing season, and to allow us to grow varieties that aren't easy to find at the garden centers. Most of our seeds come from the Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. Please support this wonderful organization. If you're a gardener. If you're an Iowan, it's well worth a day trip to see this beautiful old farm in a beautiful part of our beautiful state. In our outside garden we've already planted carrots, lettuce, arugula, chard, and (last fall) garlic. We have some herbs, hollyhocks, and perennials that hopefully survived the brutal winter out here on the frozen tundra. Actually, it wasn't that bad. They should be fine.

So much for living in the middle of nowhere. This crowd of large pickup truck drivers (I mean the pickups are large--the drivers were a variety of different sizes) convened up the road from the Yum Yum Farm for the spring farm machinery consignment auction at Duwa's. This is a really interesting event, even if I don't understand what the people with the microphones are saying. They all kind of sound like Dan Aykroyd singing "Rubber Biscuit", which makes me walk around smiling to myself. I particularly enjoy the old tractors, which are well represented at this event. This takes place spring and fall, and draws a huge crowd. In fact, the large pickup trucks are parked all the way to our farm, which, we've discovered, is .8 mile from this spot. It was hard to find a bargain this particular day. Oh well, what do you want? Ruuuuubbber biscuit?

Yikes! This water is not supposed to be visible in this photograph. After a particularly rainy couple of days on still-frozen ground, the creek to the south of our property decided to emerge from within its banks and check things out. Fortunately, this receded pretty quickly, and hopefully had the effect of depositing some useful, nutrient and mineral-rich stuff on the field. The area the water covers is actually just south of our property line. It's never quite reached our farm, but I think this is the highest it's been. Fortunately, the weather has been fairly mild through this early spring. A little on the cold side, but we can live with that. We are anxious to see the aforementioned veggies start to thrive though. We're getting awfully hungry after the long, cold winter!