Blogs | Living the Country Life


August 25, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
All the rain this summer turned my (so-called) landscaping into a jungle. Vines covered the lilacs and bridal wreath spirea on the west side of the lawn, even climbing the nearby evergreen to the top. I could see poison ivy hiding in some of the...see all
August 19, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
I have tomatoes coming out of my ears. That's okay. BLTs and Caprese salad every other night. Yum. I also had a bumper crop of peaches from my little tree. I froze several bags and made peach crisp four times. Yum. It's a delicious time of year...see all
August 12, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob got a chicken emergency call the other night, and it wasn't a disease issue with a flock. It was one pet chicken. He explained the cost to the owner up front and she readily agreed. This hen, named Louise, was three years old and perfectly...see all
August 5, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
When your grown kids come home to visit, you fire up the old John Deere and bale hay until the sun sets. That's Nowlan and his childhood friend Tyler on the rack. In other family news, our niece, Brittany, got married over the weekend and the...see all
July 24, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Our county fair is this week, and I'm showing flowers and vegetables. Our family was also in charge of working the pork producers' food stand one night, so Caroline came home to help. Our oldest son, Nowlan, also came home for a visit and helped me...see all
July 20, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Caroline just completed a fascinating art project in our farm shop. She made a self portrait (of sorts) as a collage made out of 20,000 Skittles. This is an Iowa State University focus grant and the final result, once framed, will hang in the...see all
July 14, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Last night, Bob and I hosted the Drive Across America team from American Agri-Women (AAW), the nation's largest coalition of farm, ranch, and agribusiness women. It was so nice to meet Sue McCrum (right), AAW president, Doris Mold (left),...see all
July 13, 2015 | Lisa's Kitchen
My youngest son, Will, has a cherry tree, and this is its third summer. His Grandma Prater got the tree for him, because when he was a little bitty guy, he'd go around to everyone and put his hand on their heads, and say, "A cherry on top!" It was...see all
July 10, 2015 | Lisa's Kitchen
One of the great things about social media is the sharing of recipes. I'm always seeing things on my Facebook feed, and on Instagram and Pinterest, that I just have to make. The most recent was a cherry clafoutis recipe shared by Lara Durben, a...see all
July 7, 2015 | Betsy's Backyard
Bob and I spent last week on my home farm in Maryland and a few days on the beach in Delaware. Enjoy some highlights! Mom and I had been picking blueberries on my cousin Jen's farm and she was heading to the house to make a pie. Dad had the...see all