Blogs | Living the Country Life


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
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