Blogs | Living the Country Life


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
July 21, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Potatoes! Who wants potatoes? Come get your potatoes! What possessed me to plant so many? Actually, I didn't plant any more hills than in past years, but we got so much rain, and added so much sheep compost to the soil, each hill produced half a...see all
July 18, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
My gladiolus are fabulous this year. We have had a lot of rain and that makes big blossoms. I am hoping to enter a few in the county fair next week, although most plants have a curve in the top, which would keep them out of the running. They sure...see all
July 14, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob and I visited my folks on their farm in Maryland last week and had a great time picking and eating raspberries and blueberries, among other activities. The fruit crops, including strawberries, were great this year -- except for my sister's...see all
July 12, 2014 | Lisa's Kitchen
Summer just isn't summer without making homemade ice cream. It's even better when it's shared with friends, and better still, I learned, when using goat milk! Our neighbors have added several dairy goats to the menagerie of dogs, chickens, and...see all
July 2, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Stormy weather makes beautiful clouds. All the rain means green lawns, lots of weeds in my garden, and broken limbs for the chipper -- but it beats drought hands down. Here are some more photos around our place. We redid all the brick,...see all
June 24, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
My cabbages are already huge and it's a month until the county fair. This guy will likely split by that time. I can still enter it in the Largest Cabbage contest. I don't water my garden, so the fast growth is due to timely rain and heavy use of...see all
June 20, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
I visited farms in northern Iowa this week and saw many flooded fields and swollen creeks. It's always either too much or too little rain. Southern Minnesota just set the record for June rainfall. More is falling. The creek above is actually a...see all
June 16, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob finally baled the first cutting of alfalfa (mixed with a lot of wild mustard) and the kids stacked it in the barn. First cutting is never the best hay, but you have to get it off the field for the prime second crop to grow. Now it can rain...see all
June 11, 2014 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob took a sick lamb to the vet clinic today and Charlie the clinic cat became the caregiver. What sweet animal bonding. Charlie makes a fine nurse. "It will be okay, little lambie," says Charlie. Let me hold your hoof and give you a kiss....see all