Blogs | Living the Country Life


July 20, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Let's start with the bad part of summer. The deadliest internal parasite for sheep is the blood-sucking stomach roundworm Haemonchus contortus, also known as the barber pole worm. It causes severe anemia and death. Wet grass and hot weather bring...see all
July 13, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
A portion of our 400-acre Iowa farm floods almost every year when the nearby river comes out of its banks. This flooding has become more frequent in the past decade. Changing weather patterns and farming practices upstream may be the cause. Last...see all
July 7, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Storms that blow in and drop a half inch of rain in July are beautiful.  These soybeans in northern Iowa are as good as they can be. I love visiting farmers this time of year. Here's another booming crop - zucchini! I've learned to pick them...see all
June 28, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
We are not traveling anywhere for vacation this summer. A staycation in my backyard in Iowa can be pretty sweet. My garden provides veggies for every meal, the yard is perfect for reading on a nice day, and the opera is in town!  A bee in my...see all
June 22, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Caroline came home for Father's Day and Bob put her to work. Be sure to watch the video of her stacking hay in the pasture. It already has more than 135,000 views. He also decided to worm and vaccinate...see all
June 13, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
A balloon flew over the barn as Bob was baling the last stretch of hay in the pasture. It was a beautiful day to bale hay. Three days later, quite unexpectedly, we got 2 inches of rain in a thunderstorm. These racks of grass hay smelled...see all
May 31, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
We had a lot of debate on the Living the Country Life Facebook page about whether these are peonies. They are. The plant is about 100 years old and a single form peony. Bob found a stack of old straw in a corner of the hayloft and I'm using it to...see all
May 23, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
This almost never happens, but Bob was able to rake and bale (small square bales) the first cutting of alfalfa on a sunny, hot, windy day in May. The hay was down for five days and never got rained on. Usually the first cutting is delayed until June...see all
May 19, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
Our small farm is green and growing! Bob was able to mow the first cutting of alfalfa last night. It was choked full of invasive wild mustard. We are going to need to reseed our fields with Roundup Ready alfalfa so we can kill that weed next spring...see all
May 11, 2016 | Betsy's Backyard
I wanted to share some of Caroline's senior projects, as she graduates from Iowa State University this month. What a college adventure! At the senior gallery reception, Caroline showed her table, chairs, and ceramics. She designed and made...see all