Blogs | Living the Country Life


September 9, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I challenged readers to a "Biggest Tillage Radish" contest this fall. I planted a few seeds in my garden in August. The plants are up and growing. I'll wait until November to pull them for measuring. The goal of tillage radishes really isn't to grow...see all
September 2, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Janis Gandy, our copy editor, made these delicious apple desserts for the office. Yummy. My harvest this week was butternut squash. Some of them aren't fully ripe, but the squash beetles killed the vines. I will cut them in half, clean out the...see all
August 28, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
My peach tree fell over two months ago during a storm, but didn't die. I propped it up on portable fence panels. The tree was heavy with fruit, so I waited until after peach season and after we got several inches of rain to straighten it altogether...see all
August 26, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob seeded alfalfa with a nurse crop of oats on Aug 14th. It only took a few days, thanks to rain, for the crop to emerge. You can see the difference a few days makes in the photos below. Why the oats? Grasses provide better snow catch and...see all
August 18, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Last week I visited research farms in Woodland, California, as part of Seminis (Monsanto) Vegetable Seeds Field Days. It was fascinating to learn how seeds are bred, grown, processed, and marketed. I'll share my photos with some veggie and fruit...see all
August 11, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I took a tour around the ag side of the Iowa State Fair on Friday and then worked with Caroline in the Iowa Sheep Industry Association food stand. Food options included a Greek sandwich with seasoned lamb on warm pita bread, a lamb kabob with onions...see all
August 5, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
The last time we painted our house, Bob rented a cherry-picker and hired a neighbor to help him. That was probably 10 years ago. It's a big job -- we have a tall house with 100 years of paint to scrape. This time we hired a crew of college kids....see all
August 2, 2014 | Lisa's Kitchen
At my house, we love pork. We also love a good deal! One of our neighbors' sons was raising some hogs to show at the county fair, but thanks to a paperwork snafu, he wasn't able to show them. They had spent a lot of money on expensive show feed and...see all
July 31, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
We've had no rain in three weeks, so Bob has been Crazy Hay Man. He even baled alfalfa at two neighboring acreages. Warren and Caroline are stacking grass hay in our pasture above. Here are some other photos of the action. The old rake still...see all
July 25, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Our wonderful Warren County Fair (Iowa), now in its 158th year, is underway and I entered vegetables and flowers this year. I was most nervous about the flowers, because I had never entered before. Here are photos and captions with some tips....see all