Blogs | Living the Country Life


September 5, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I grew Brussels sprouts for the first time this year. I started picking the sprouts from the bottom of the stalks in July and they just keep forming up the stalk as it grows and grows. I wonder if Jack climbed a Brussels sprout stalk instead of a...see all
September 3, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Summer is not officially over for a few weeks, but it seems like we've turned the corner to fall. It's been another dry season for our farm, with less than an inch of rain in August. Below is my favorite photo from the summer. Nowlan came home for...see all
August 28, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob tilled up our west alfalfa field and planted a cover crop of radishes and turnips last week. (See the links for more information on these cover crops.) The seed bed was prepared well, but we haven't had a drop of rain and temps have been near...see all
August 26, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I had a great food gig on Saturday -- I helped to judge the Taste Iowa All Iowa BBQ Showdown in Conrad, Iowa. The goal is to showcase Iowa-grown foods and have fun! Main food ingredients must be from an Iowa-grown source to qualify for 5 bonus...see all
August 21, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
My gladioli (or gladiolus or just glads) are late this year, but lovely. I planted a random assortment of colors all over my garden, a few bulbs every few days here and there, marking them with flags. Each evening after work I go out and cut the...see all
August 20, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
My peaches are huge this year! The variety is Reliance. It is a cold-tolerant, self-pollinating peach developed in New Hampshire that produces a heavy crop of fruit even after frigid winters. Peaches are medium to large with a sweet, mild flavor. I...see all
August 14, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
This week has been one to count our many blessings. Nowlan graduated from Clemson University with a PhD in biology -- we have another Dr. Freese in the family! He arrived home for a visit, bringing his cat, Rin. She will stay with us while Nowlan...see all
August 12, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
The Iowa State Fair is in full swing this week. Caroline was working for the Iowa Sheep Industry Association selling lamb, so I popped over to annoy her. Here are a few things I encountered along the way. I thought I was ordering a caramel apple,...see all
August 9, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
While I was in Buffalo, New York, last weekend with Ag Media Summit, I visited Niagara Falls. If you haven't been there, go. From the American side you can get right next to the water. To get the best view, take a ride on Maid of the Mist or visit...see all
August 8, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I attended the Ag Media Summit in Buffalo, New York, this week and brought home a trophy for Brent Olson, our columnist for Living the Country Life. This is the second time Brent has won first place with his columns. You can download 10 of Brent's...see all