Blogs | Living the Country Life


August 1, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I just edited reader entries for a Funny Animals photo contest and decided to show you some of my own photos from the past week. The county fair always provides plenty of funny animals, and by that I mean humans. This horse wandered the fairgrounds...see all
July 30, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Our town is hosting the National Balloon Classic this week, which means mornings and nights where 100 balloons fly over our small farm, scaring the sheep. I was in the garden the first morning they went up and the newly-weaned lambs raced back and...see all
July 26, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
The vegetable show was the big attraction at the Warren County Fair last night. No it wasn't -- that was the figure eight races. But there were some anxious moments as judge Barb Osborn, Iowa State University, placed the top three entries in white...see all
July 25, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
The vegetable contest at the county fair is tonight, so I've been digging potatoes. The red spuds are the best I've ever seen, but my white potatoes and onions are late and small. I'm entering Brussels sprouts for the first time. I found that it...see all
July 22, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
Our wonderful cat, Marvin, died on Friday, age 18. We got Marvin when he was four from my friend Natasha. He had bitten her young daughter when she pulled his tail. Marvin was a large neutered male with claws, so he wasn't the perfect cat for...see all
July 18, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
It hasn't rained in three weeks, so Bob has been making lots of hay. He likes the heat index to be about 100 degrees when he goes in the hayloft. Here are some photos of the various equipment. Bob calls this a hay turner and says they aren't used...see all
July 16, 2013 | Lisa's Kitchen
Some days, it seems like all you see on Facebook are recipes. Some look super good, and others just look frightening. One I've been seeing A LOT of lately is rhubarb dump cake. Now, I love rhubarb, and I love cake, so naturally I wanted to give...see all
July 16, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
At daybreak I let the sheep into the west field to graze. Heads down! At work we had a visit from the American Lamb Board and chef Adam Sappington of The Country Cat in Portland, Oregon. He showed the food editors at Meredith how to cut up a lamb...see all
July 15, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
After a wet spring, the drought is back in full force for our Iowa farm. You can see the state of our grove below. We turned the sheep in there on Sunday and they could find very little to eat. All the rain has been going east and turning my parent'...see all
July 12, 2013 | Betsy's Backyard
I was filling the water tank at the well the other evening and found myself staring at the magnificent walnut trees in our grove. In the 26 years we've lived there I haven't fully appreciated their beauty. The size and scale of these 100-year-old...see all