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October 28, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I planted dahlias for the first time this year and they are stunning. The flowers started blooming in early July and got bigger and bolder each week in October. A hard freeze will zap them in a few days, but I will cut the blooms and bring them...see all
October 24, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I was visiting my parents in Maryland last year when Mom's first cousin Jim Crothers (far left) stopped by to say hello. As we reminisced about family history, Jim mentioned that he had served in Vietnam in 1969-1970. I hadn't known that. I...see all
October 21, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Don't stop by an animal shelter if you don't want this to happen. We've always had a cat or two on our small farm. The first, Max, lived to be 15. Another cat, Marvin, lived to be 17. During those years, other cats came and went, including Mario....see all
October 16, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I let the milkweeds grow in the back of my garden to provide habitat for monarch butterflies. Jodi Henke, radio editor for Living the Country Life, brought some milkweed pods to the office last week so everyone could let the seeds grow on their...see all
October 13, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
This bass was caught in our pond on Saturday. What a whopper! I debated posting this photo because we don't want people hopping the fence and fishing in our private pond. But I am so happy to see our pond healthy. Five years ago we had a winter fish...see all
October 8, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I've been making salsa all week and the tomatoes keep coming. The crop was slow to ripen during the cool, wet August and September. Now it's October and I have a bumper crop! We love salsa, so I add onions, pepper, cilantro and lime to the chopped...see all
October 1, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
The last hay is in the barn. The crop was weedy and late, but decent when cut (below). But then it got rained on twice. I give this hay year a D. Instead of putting it in the barn we should create hay bale art in the front yard. Jodi Henke...see all
September 24, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
It's time to cross up our good Dorset ewes with some Hampshire genetics. We love the white-faced females, but their lambs are more musculer and the meat more flavorful when a Hamp ram is the sire. Every few years we buy two rams from Dean Houghton...see all
September 19, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Caroline's art class at Iowa State University built a coffin shaped like an ear of corn. You can read about it here, and watch a video. Once it is finished it will be on display at the school before being auctioned off. This would be the perfect...see all
September 15, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Our pond went over the emergency spillway last week, the first time that's happened. We had 6 inches of rain in 24 hours. Another storm hit us last night. The grass in our pasture has never been more lush in September. Our ewes love it. Our...see all

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