Blogs | Living the Country Life


September 30, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Fall skies are the most beautiful. The sunsets are baby blue and gold, while the afternoon skies are brilliant blue. Don't try this at home. Bob is fixing a leaking roof without using a safety harness.  Two days after his roof work, he was...see all
September 30, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
My 11-year-old friend and neighbor Leo likes learning about birds as much as I do. Sometimes his enthusiasm is greater than my armchair knowledge of our local feathered friends. So last weekend we set off together on a field trip to the Hitchcock...see all
September 21, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
We were delighted last week to host contributing editor Debra Prinzing while she was in town to produce a local flower story at PepperHarrow Farm, just a short drive south and west of Des Moines. The farm sits on 20 acres nestled among the covered...see all
September 9, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
The new ‘Strawberry Blonde’ marigold variety (Tagetes patula ‘Strawberry Blonde’) from PanAmerican Seeds made a stunning garden border along my driveway this year. I loved them so much. The marigolds bloomed prolifically all summer in pinkish...see all
September 9, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
Lyn Berry and Margaret Knight set out to crochet a humble 120 poppies to “plant” on Remembrance Day in 2013 at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance. It was this simple tribute of love and honor that sparked massive community interest, with an...see all
September 8, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
This is not a naked mole rat, as my niece suggested, but just one of the many huge sweet potatoes I harvested this week. Bob finally made a fourth cutting of alfalfa. It was ready a month ago, but August was too wet. Warren loaded the...see all
August 31, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
My garden is so weedy, I didn't know I had these melons until I tripped over them. It's rained every third day this summer. That's my excuse. I'm not taking a garden photo unless the produce is cleaned up and on my kitchen table. How's your garden...see all
August 18, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
New adventures often begin this time of year. Caroline is heading to Maryland to help my parents on their farm and look for job opportunities. She made a car magnet for Caroline Freese Designs on Facebook. My garden is out of control. Who knew two...see all
August 16, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than digging in the dirt with a young person. So I jumped at the chance a few weeks ago to visit an Edible Schoolyard in Brooklyn, New York—actually P.S. 216, The Arturo Toscanini School on Avenue X—to produce...see all
August 11, 2016 | Everyday Gardeners
Seeds surround us. From our morning coffee to the cotton in our clothing, the spices in our foods, and the cosmetics we use, seeds are part of nearly every aspect of our lives. They give us food and fuels, intoxicants and poisons, oils, dyes, and...see all