Blogs | Living the Country Life


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
September 11, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
We had 6 inches of rain on Tuesday and it sent Middle River over its banks and into the mature corn at our farm. It has retreated today, leaving mud, sand, and silt. I hope the crop is still able to be harvested without too much trouble. Bob has...see all
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