Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Garden Dogs....or what smart dogs do in the garden.

Every single day I'm glad I have smart dogs. Sometimes I see dopey or goofy dogs and I think, "Thank heavens I have smart dogs." Unfortunately that sometimes comes with a price.

 Kai thinks this is the best game ever.

Not only do I need to make sure that the dogs get their wiggles out all day by running them around... but I also have to make sure that they have plenty of mental stimulation. Bored big, smart dogs can be extremely destructive so I like to point them in the direction of adventure and let them figure things out.

Zander is blowing his coat - we are calling him Shaggy Dog.

So they usually work in the garden with me in the morning. Why? Because there are plenty of reasons for them to dig and sniff around. They usually make their own fun. Also, Kai is a stone cold Mole Killer so they actually do a lot of good.

But sometimes they dig in the wrong spot or sit on my pepper plants so we have a command just for the garden. It's "Get out of my dirt!" They all know what it means. They can sit on the grass - not in my dirt. Mostly it works out. If they dig in the wrong spot I tell them "No! Here.. come here! *points* What do you see?" And then they investigate the new spot.

This kept them busy for a good long time.

The other day while I was weeding in the upper garden I heard weird noises so I turned around to see Zander and Kai trying to get something out of a hollow fence post. I'm guessing there was a mouse inside of it and they were both on one end trying to get it. This went on for a long time. They even dug impressive holes in the dirt on their own side. Occasionally I'd hear huffing noises as they tried to sniff out their prey.

I let them go at it for a good long time. The digging was physically tiring for them and trying to figure out how to get the mouse out of the post was keeping them engaged. It was the perfect activity for them.

However, I dropped the camera and starting running and yelling "No! no no no!" When Kai started chewing on the end of the metal fence post. We do NOT need another jaw dropping vet bill for expensive dental work.

We are about ready to run right out there this morning. Today who knows? More mole hunting? Maybe they will get that rabbit? Or maybe they will just glare at the neighbors dogs. Anything could happen.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Are you exhausting your dogs? Do they work with you in the garden? Did they catch that mouse?

Monday, July 27, 2015

Corn Fritters

One of my favorite summer treats - corn fritters. They are heavenly.

Fried in lard in a cast iron pan. (Sorry #badfoodphotography)

I was thrilled when I found this recipe online several years ago. I actually used to go to that restaurant back in the day and I remembered that the corn fritters - along with the pomegranate martinis - were the best thing about it. I don't think it's there anymore.

I really love Cooking for Engineers - it's very straight to the point and his directions make sense. However, I don't think he keeps the site up anymore. One thing I don't like about some food blogs is that the writers feel the need to go on and on about a hilarious/poignant/boring story about what the recipe means to them... Look, honey, I just want the recipe and I don't need a macro photo of every ingredient.  *sigh*

Anyway, summer is back, baby and things are really heating up around here. To try and keep the house as cool as possible we've been using the grill a lot.

The latest grill cam.

I'm not sure if this is our very last ham slab...but I think it is... hum... We should do something about that.

Happy Monday everyone! What are you grilling? Do you love corn fritters? It's the one thing I could make myself sick on.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Worker Bee

Today is sunny and beautiful... not time to talk so enjoy Macro Friday.

Worker Bee.

Happy Friday everyone! Hope you are enjoying the weather like I am!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Taters and beans and maters

Today we are having another stunning day - blue sky, low humidity, and sun-sun-sunshine all day! I'm heading out in a second but here is what is going on in the garden....

Taters are coming up!

Remember those free potatoes I got from a nursery - they were just giving them away? Yep - check it out... they are doing terrific! They have already sprouted up a lot. I'll have plenty of time for these taters for fall harvest.

Remembers also that since I deeply mulch them with clean straw this part of the garden will be friable next spring. Taters are such hard workers.

Cutest little beans ever.

My baby beans are coming on - these should be full sized in a couple weeks. Aren't they late? Late for what? I'd rather can them later in the year so I'm happy with how these are coming along.

Ripen! Ripen! Ripen!

The tomatoes tho... they really need to get a move on. Nothing is better than a fried egg sandwich with a big ol' slab of mater. So I'm eagerly checking these everyday.

We apparently have a bunny in the upper garden. Zander and Kai took off after something and crashed into one of my rows. I was wondering what was eating the leaves off my peppers... that bunny had better find a new spot because the BearKillers are on the job. Say, that reminds me of a story... hum....

That's what is going on in the garden.

Happy Thursday everyone! How are your taters, beans, and maters coming along?

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Finally! A dry spell!

The weather guy said that we are now entering the longest stretch of dry weather since May! It's about time.

My trusty garden hat.

Yesterday I worked outside all day. Mostly it was on garden cleanup and hauling gravel. The weeds are out of control. It was great to be outside but my job was mostly tedious and boring. But I loved it.

My trusty garden dog.

Someone needs to do a lot of mowing. Hopefully it will not be me. I'm already on notice for trying to break the tiller. Anything could happen.

Everything I love about summer right here.

We are also loving more summer food. Last nite I made my favorite risotto.... sweet corn, cherry tomatoes, and basil. It's perfect for summer.

No time to talk - I need to get out there. Happy Wednesday everyone!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Summer dinner

I love summer... I love dinner... I love summer dinner. We usually don't ever go "out" for dinner - there aren't a lot of good choices nearby and both of us hate to drive into town in the evening. So when we go "out" it's usually actually in...but we just get stuff we don't usually have here.

The lack of summer fruit has been abysmal so we got some berries and peaches for a crisp. 

But these are our potatoes for the tater salad. I think they are lovely. 

And we got steak! I love meat. Yay!

Meat.....meat meat meat meat MEAT!

We also had corn on the cob and mushrooms two ways (stuffed and sauteed). I had my huge t-bone smothered in onions and Gorgonzola...it was heavenly.

Unfortunately we had to run for our lives.... we were just finishing up on the grill when yet another storm system blew in. Hard. It blew in really hard and I was afraid it would blow the flame out of the grill. But we got grilled just in time.

Dinner was so good that I declared that I needed a cow... such is my love for meat. But I was hastily rebuked by The Warden... I mean... my husband with a reminder that cows hate me. I don't know why but it's well documented. In fact, there was an incident that may or may not have happened exactly like this.
(Part Two here.)

It is entirely true that, as I was standing there alone in a field with a big stupid cow running right at me... I thought to myself, "This is stupid." The worst thing that could happen to us isn't if the chicken house burned down or if a storm blew down everything in our garden. Nope, the worst thing that could happen would be if I got hurt. So we choose our battles wisely and for whatever reason, cows just do not like me. So, nope I'm not chancing it.

About this time someone declares that all's I gotta do is snuggle up them cows and then all my problems will be solved. Or worse some yahoo says that I'm afraid of them. Nope. It's just plain physics. Or animal instincts. I don't know. Maybe I'm just unlucky.

Sure they like my husband. They follow him around like puppies. Me? They start eyeballing me and then either start crowing me or just run away wildly. I do not know why.

We also don't have the pasture for cows. Sure we could feed them out but only a fool would take on cows in this part of the world right now. No one has any hay because of our bad summer...and I'm guessing things are going to get much worse as winter gets closer. In fact, we are going to have to start buying hay now for our new-and-improved-limited-goat collection.

As an aside and just so's ya know.... I do not miss Dahli at all. Good riddance!

Anyway. That's the story on why we remain cowless despite by love for meat.

Happy Monday everyone! Did you grill out yesterday? Was it better than going to a restaurant?

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This is how my morning started.

I don't know how your day is going... but this is how my morning started.

Yep. That's Lucky. 

Yep. That bucket is really stuck on his head. Kai is coming to check it out.

Not sure how the rest of the day is going to go but we are off to an interesting start.

Happy Sunday everyone!

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