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 30, 2014

The Big Onion

Now this is a big onion.....

We are really loving having dinner from the garden. This big onion is probably the best one yet.

Things have been going great - I think mostly because the weather has been so cool. Everyone is happy and enjoying the cool days. The humidity is low, the sun is dazzling, and I don't even mind it when it is cloudy.

It is kind of weird tho - this time of year should be hotter than the surface of the sun. In a way it feels like summer is over.... but we have at least two more months of hot or at least warm weather.

Happy Wednesday everyone! Do you have a big onion?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Holy Tomatoes!

Yesterday I gathered up just about everything I needed to make a lovely tomato sauce. 

Fixin's for a perfect tomato sauce. That pepper is a Giant Marconi - they are really terrific.

I used my lettuce bucket and filled it up.  I  found some beautiful tomatoes, a big onion, a perfect pepper....and a big handful of basil.

Holy tomatoes! That's a big one - one of my Cherokee Purples.

Some of the tomatoes were really big!

Nothing is better than dinner from your yard and this tomato sauce was perfect. I put a big spoonful of fresh goat cheese in a low bowl, added some pasta, then covered the whole thing in our fresh sauce. It was perfect.

Happy Monday everyone! Did you all survive our crazy weekend weather? After being on alert all day yesterday we only got one hard rain late last nite.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Morning Gardening Still Life

What mornings look like.... a gardening still life.

Happy Saturday everyone!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Summer Frustrations

There is a point in the summer where you feel like that big freight train called "Everything That Needs To Be Done" that you've been running along side of and desparately trying to climb aboard.... pulls away from you and .... just.... keeps on chugging. All you can do is standing there and realize that you've missed that train. Yesterday was that day.

 That's right, eat up little pig.

There is so much I didn't get done.

If you believe the cicadas then we are now within the "90 days until the first frost." We are now limited to what we can plant. 

The harvests need to be done. Canning needs to start. And we passed that day where I can keep up with the ripe tomatoes. We still need to paint the deck, fix the roof on the Turkey House, get new fence posts for the goat yard, fence in the pond... and heaven forbid, we need to start working on fire wood.

Look a this! It's like a little stump house.

Add on to all of that... we've completely forsaken everything inside that needs to be done. I could not produce for you a clean, matching pair of socks if you paid me $1000. Dishes? It's every man for himself. And now Zander and Kai are blowing their coats. There is dog hair everywhere. I mean EVERYWHERE. The only reason the floor is not "bear killer" colored is because my dear husband shampooed the carpet in the living room last weekend. But it needs it again to tell you the truth.

Anybody got any clean laundry in there?

And then I went out on Wednesday to find my best rooster dead. Real Dead. I'm still very mad - of the bunch that we have he was the best roo and now his shattered remains are in a sack in the garbage. Later that day we found what was left of that missing duck - he was dead too. Two in one day isn't fair - that's what one of my best pals said.

Varmints? Predators? Nope - I think it was just bad luck. Rooster vs turkey....and TurkZilla won... and we aren't sure what happened to the duck but Zander and Kai looked really really guilty one day.

You want lunch? Well, there are 20 lbs of just-dug-potatoes on the counter - so get busy. And our freezer is about empty so we really need to butcher the pig if you want anything other than potato salad.

Don't even get me started on the weeds in the garden. I'm glad we had a few good rains but now it's like a jungle out there. My shabby attempt at growing eggplants have now been swallowed up by gargantuan weeds of who knows what variety.

Then yesterday we had a hasty visit to the vet. Our cat Pepper needs dental work - she has some bad teeth. So I had a short work day yesterday and Monday will also be a driving day.

And sadly, even as I'm typing this I know that someone, somewhere out there is critiquing my bad spelling and rearing back to send me a snotty comment about it. Or how I'm doing it wrong. Or they want to tell me how my life is so easy and their's isn't.... I tell you the truth the internet weirdos have been on spin cycle lately and don't I know it.  Sheeh.

And someone needs to mow.

So what do you do when you get to that frustrating point in the summer where it's too late for most things but that mountain of 'to do's' just keeps getting longer?

The best you can.

Obviously Pepper is a our priority and we will get her fixed up. Next, I'm taking on one project at a time and that is determined by the weather and what absolutely needs to get done. Everything is day by day. What is most valuable? What is most vulnerable? What can I do at the same time? Pick peppers and weed as I'm going along is a good strategy. Dig potatoes, run the tiller over that spot, and plant fall crops works really well... And then make more potatoes for dinner.

We'll find a day for that pig and it's going to be soon. My Amish neighbor grows fine eggplants - and zucchini's too since I can't grow those either. I can make some sauce with the tomatoes tonite and we'll use that as a start for dinner this weekend.

The goats will just have to tough it out down in the new area without me standing there and if I get them out there early enough the flies won't be bad.

I'm spending a lot of time brushing out the dogs out by the fence line to keep that evil bunny at bay - so that solves a couple of problems.  And if I can get a big bunch of dog hair out behind the hen house then any lurking varmints should think twice about coming around. I'm not sure what to do about my roo-killing-turkey but his number might be up.

Just keep growing...

So I'll just keep working, just keep getting along, and tomorrow I'll get up and do it again. Amen.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

An Unusual July Day

The weather guy just said that this will be an unusual July day... but if this is global warming I'll take it. The last couple days we were in the fire swamp - hot hot hot and high humidity. But this morning I have all the windows open. It's like heaven out there.

So much has been going on.

The pigz had a large day.  When it was hot I set up the hose so they could sit in the spray if they wanted. They thought it was amazing.

Daisy didn't have a great day .... flies!

I've been digging potatoes. It's the best "egg hunt" ever. We've gotten some real beauties too. Remember these spuds were completely free

 My bucket has been filled with peppers...and onions... and celery.. and tomatoes.

We are going to review our new goat yard. For whatever reason the flies are just horrid down in the new goat grazing area. The girls come back covered in black flies and are very unhappy about it. So I've been having to sit with them as they free range a little higher up on the hill. I'm glad we didn't do permanent fencing - it will only take a few minutes if I have to take out the electric we put up if we have to take it all down.

We should have the cool weather for the next couple days. It's absolutely glorious. And now... I'm going to go and dig more potatoes.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Macro Monday: Thai Basil

We are having Macro Monday because I never know that day it is and apparently I forgot to do something important. Rather.... I remembered but I just don't know what day it is. I blame the new math...and living life without any sense of time. Anyway, I'll see everyone later.

Thai basil - I can't get enough of it.... It's beautiful and smells heavenly.

And an extra shot of Zander being very dapper. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Yard Full of Angry Goats

We set up the new goat yard. Then I ran around, snagged, and dragged the goats into their new yard. All I got for my trouble was a yard full of angry goats. They were very mad.

Angry goats. 

I was thrilled to set up a brambly area for the goats to graze - and I wouldn't have to stand there with them. They were not happy about it. At all. I got a lot of mean looks.

Fence line thru the bramble. Step 1: mow.

I put this yard together really quickly after my husband's expert mowing the other day. All I really needed was some push-in posts and to string up more hotwire.

Once it was all laid out I could use this expert technique to hook it up to the existing pig yard. You can't pay for this kind of professionalism....

Any actual electricians out there getting a twitch in their eye? Ha!
Seriously,  just twist the wires together and you'll be fine.

After a certain amount of running and chasing I got all the big goats - and one small one - into the new yard. The complaining and mean looks began immediately.

Behold -  the chair in which I sit and give zero hoots for a bunch of complaining goats.

When the mean looks didn't work the goats started bellyaching. That didn't work either as the sad lamentations of angry goats has never successfully moved me to action. I continued to sit in my chair and enjoy the cool day.

After I got up and walked away the goats called pitifully after me.  I wasn't sure they'd stay behind the hotwire but they did and I'm calling this project a huge success. Since we moved the pigz into the yard where the goats used to free range I've had to stand there and shepherd those goats. Now I can just take them down to their new yard and go on about my business.

All this fencing and refencing is pretty boring - but that's what has been happening around here. Sometimes there are long stretches of doing the same-same everyday. Fencing, refencing, weeding, and garden maintenance ... all while I wait around for the tomato onslaught to begin.

Happy Friday everyone! Are you moved by the sad lamentations of angry goats?

Thursday, July 17, 2014


What a great day! Yesterday was even better than this superduper day last week. While all my friends on the West Side are baking in extreme heat.... we have good and lusciously cool temperature. It's just like heaven. It was so cool in the morning that I needed a sweatshirt for the first hour I was outside.


We got so much done yesterday. But the very best was that my husband spent most of the day mowing so I didn't have to do it. When he was done we were wow'd by how well it came out. Between the goats, the pigz, and the mowing we have a lovely green swath going down to the woods. Just in time to do more fencing!

Dahli took one for the team yesterday. She was screwing around - like normal....

Oh Dahli....

... when all of a sudden she started screaming, hopping around, and bucking. I saw the tell tale swarm around her which looked to be mean ground beez.


The goats have learned to listen to me - albeit begrudgingly. They know the command "Run" and we all did. It took me a while to get ahold of Dahli - and yep she had a big ol' welt right on her big ol' udder. She hid inside the goat house for a while and was fine by the time we did evening chores. Dahli has never been my favorite but she is a good sport.

Today will be just as lovely as yesterday so I'm headed out. Happy Thurday everyone!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


I can't believe that one of our biggest garden successes this year has been..... celery. Seriously. I never thought of growing it before.... but the store celery is just so bad and so expensive I figured why not try a couple six packs?

Who would have guessed?

It has been the best thing ever. I love being able to go and get a stalk from one of the plants for potato salad, my lettuce bucket, or a stir fry. Unfortunately I've been stealing stalks and some of the plants need time to come back from a hard pruning. If I remember right I think I can over winter some of the plants inside. I'll have to go back and find my resource on that....


My tomatoes are really coming on also. These last few big rains and going to yield some big 'maters. Some of the plants are bigger than me!

Good thing I have Shine in the garden to keep it bunny-free. 

Kai did an excellent job with the pigz this morning. She and my Dog#1 came and helped me again. Kai is really doing a great job at holding her ground and also controlling her prey drive....there is no nippin' at the heels with bear killers. She could have one of these pigz down within seconds. One of the reasons I have her working with my Dog#1 is not only to learn the ropes... but also to make sure that she follows his lead. She did great.

The pigz tried to nose up on her but Kai gave them the mean face and her growl. Then I had Dog#1 move the pigz back towards the woods - Kai was right there bullying them back from me.

Of course the pigz only wanted their milk and corn and couldn't figure out why I brought in the Brute Squad.

Not only is this great training for Kai but it's also teaching them pigz they can't just run up on me. This weekend I watched while the pigz swarmed my husband when he went in to feed them. One of the overjoyed porkers darted between my husband's legs. There was almost a hog wild rodeo. It was funny when it happened to him... but the fact is if those pigz did that to me they would have just tumbled me over. If they would have gotten me on the ground it would have been no laughing matter.

So the dogs always come with me and have a strong message for the pigz to stay back and give me plenty of room.  I'm glad every day I have such hard workin' farm dogs.

The Brute Squad. 
Kai was so proud of herself when we walked up the hill. You should have seen her prancy, princess wiggle walk!  Good job, Kai!

Happy Tuesday everyone! Did you plant celery? Does your princess have a wiggle walk?

Monday, July 14, 2014

Monday Happy Snaps

Wow what a rain! Inside day today.... here are a few happy snaps of what has been going on.

Basil box. Nothing is better than having fresh herbs... I love walking out to get a handful of basil. 

Shine has been keeping everyone in line. And racking up the bunny kills. Our best assassin.

Zander's reaction to the pigz. He gets his ridge up, curls his tail tighter, and huffs at them. 

The pigz are so happy in their new spot. Our main focus has been "growing meat" this summer...

...and this is why. We had these Dinner plate sized chops the other nite. Heaven. Pure heaven. 

And then there are these characters... Geese vs Goats. No matter who wins we all lose. 

Happy Monday everyone! Are you staying dry on a soggy day?

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Moving the pigz again...

I wanted to document moving the pigz to their newest lot. Partly because I want to keep track of when we moved them but also to let folks know how easy it is to put up new fence. We talk a lot about fencing here. Some folks put way too much thought and dread into their fencing projects but really all you have to do is get out there and do it.

Electric hotwire on the inside of field fence. Easy peasy!

I was lucky that my husband was around for this run of fence. As you know I can do projects like this myself - and so can you - it would take a while for me to heave ho the run of fence down the hill... he just cave-trolls it down there and gets it done without even breaking a sweat.

As with before we staked out the electric to make sure we had enough wire. We just re-used the wire and push in posts from when this was the goat grazing area. We had plenty.

The meadow before. This used to be heavily treed.

Then we pounded in the 6 1/2 foot tposts. I always think they are so expensive but Tractor Supply had them for less than $4 each. The other day I bought 10 of them - we only needed 5 in addition to the posts that were down there.

Happy pig in his new yard.

Next we measured how much field fence we needed. It was about 100 ft to cover this new section. The new fence section connected with the line of fence we set up a couple years ago. All we were doing was closing in the yard. I stood on the tail end of the fence roll and my husband unrolled it down the drive way. When he got to mark in the drive that indicated 100ft he used bolt cutters to clip the fence and voila!

Then it was just a matter of lugging the fence down the hill and stringing it up along the posts. That's all the time we had for that day. But the next morning me and the dogs made sure the electric hotwire was close to the field fence line, added an electric gate connector, and tested the fence. It worked!

No fancy gate needed.

To our mind a gate is really just a break in the fenceline. Some folks scoff at our "gates" thinking they need to be some kind of expensive, fancy, prefab thing... but a short section of hog panel works just fine as the "door" to the actual gateway.

Once we confirmed, again, that the electric fence was live, we opened the gate where the pigz were standing around watching us.... and lured them in with corn and goat milk.

There is always that one guy that just doesn't understand how the gate works. GO AROUND! Pigz.

The pigz started looking around and thought this new place was great. I think they loved the tall grass and bramble. Then, you know, this happened. *sigh*

My big idea was to put a lot of corn around the ground hog hole so the pigz would dig it out.

Yesterday the pigz figured out that there is the new and wonderful place called "The Woods." Part of their new yard is down the in cool and heavily treed part of the property. Now they have given up on the meadow and my clever plan to get them to dig out the ground hog... and the pigz are all about the woods.

This project to move the pigz, yard by yard, down to the woods has been a terrific success.

Happy Sunday everyone! Did your pigz find the woods?

Friday, July 11, 2014

Pig in a Tub

I don't even know what to do with this....

I guess "pork stew"?

Totally an inappropriate use of a water trough.... but hey! I got the pigz moved into their new yard. The electric worked and everything! And they are still in the new yard so I guess it's a win. More on the move to the new yard later.


Pigz. What are you gonna do?

Happy Friday everyone! Are your pigz weirdos?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

A Spectacular Day!

Yesterday was spectacular here on the farm. The weather was sparkling and not too humid, we got a ton of work done, and we are closing in our next big project.

Kai thinks pigz look delicious - dat ham!

The Big Man took Kai into the pig yard with him. She thinks the pigz look delicious. She is doing a great job of learning "keep them back."  Kai and my Dog#1 get the pigz moved over into their first yard so I can easily move around in the rest of the pig yard without being stampeded by oinkers.  The dogs stand in the gateway to keep the hogs in one place. Kai is very cute - she has her "mean face" and gives a low growl. We only see her as our princess but she's all 'hell yeah.'

Then we had some dueling mowers and got a few other things done around here.... including digging some potatoes.

But the big news is that we strung up the fence to move the pigz into the next yard. I'm completely overjoyed at moving the pigz into their new place. I will close off their first two yards and then start planting in these pig-tilled yards. I'm very excited. I'll have more on this project later and also my plan for that dastardly ground hog.

The Good Land Gin and Tonic. Sublime.

At the end of the day I had what is sure to be the signature drink of The Good Land of the summer.... a basil and mint gin and tonic. Three kinds of fragrant, spicy basil muddled with a hint of mint from the garden, a splash of gin, a big glug of tonic, and then finished with sparkling water. So refreshing!

Happy Thursday everyone! Are you getting things done?

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The biggest onion yet AND pork and greens

Finally! I grew an onion! I real onion!

 Look at it! Just look at it!

After years of working on this bad soil I am thrilled to present the first real onion that I have ever grown....

With my shoe for scale! It's a huge success! Don't worry I didn't step on it.


I was also thinking about a friend who mentioned traditional style Southern greens the other day... here is our version of pork 'n greens. Thanks pigz!

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

You don't even want to know.....

You don't even want to know what these two have been up to.....

But that face says it all.

Happy Tuesday everyone! What is your dog into?

Monday, July 7, 2014

Macro Monday

I'm getting a late start and I gotta get outside... weather is coming in later today. So here is a quick macro Monday.

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Tomato #5

As you know, I had my first garden tomato the other day. It was just like heaven. Since then I've been regaling some of my pals with every detail of the tomatoes since then.... the tomato in my salad, the one I ate entirely with salt and olive oil, the first tomato and fried egg sandwich.... and since they asked..... this...

Tomato #5...

I got up even before the sun crested the trees this morning and ran right out to get Tomato #5 out of the garden. I didn't even let the dogs go down and check out the ground hog hole... nope... I scooted everyone in, grabbed my fry pan and an egg, and got down to business.

I love fried egg sandwiches. I have never been able to make them as good as my mom - even tho I have her coveted egg pan. It's just never the same.

And I'm not a purist - I add a slice of swiss cheese. Yep. I can't help it. I grew up behind the counter of my grandfather's old timey country store. He always had a huge 50 pound block of swiss cheese sitting out.  I was allowed to use one of the razor sharp knives to get a slice of cheese. You guessed it - that's where I learned to cut the cheese. Of course the health department now would pee their pants at cheese sitting out but back then no one even thought twice about it.

At lunch my grandma would get an egg from the basket (also sitting out on the counter) and fry it up for me. Me and my grandpa would sit there passing the time eating egg sandwiches. It was a great way to grow up.

Happy Sunday everyone! Are you making an egg sandwich?

Editors note: What's that flaked stuff on my sammi? It's my new favorite thing - Trader Joe's Cypriot Pyramid Salt. I grabbed it the last time I was in TJ's and it's just terrific. Even tho the flakes are kind of big - it's not over salty. It was a lovely crunch and really brings out the tomato-y goodness of this Black Krim. And yep this is an affiliate link but someone is going to ask so this is the easiest way for me to show you this terrific new find. If you don't have a Trader Joe's nearby you can get a lot of their products on Amazon. You should check it out and in the mean time... if you already need something from Amazon just go there by clicking one of these links. Remember this gets me a tiny percentage of the sale. If you like this blog, or if I've helped you at all in your farming efforts, just make a purchase from Amazon from one of the links, my store, or the black Amazon search box on the right side of this page.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Ground hogs, dogs, and hogs

We had a very active morning already.... Zander and Kai found a ground hog hole in the field where I'm about to move the pigz. They thought it was amazing.

Hey, is that one dog or two?

The pigz wondered what the fuss was all about. 

Zander wants that ground hog.... and the pigz for that matter. Someone was asking if he is still bigger than the pigz. He's taller but the pigz probably weigh about the same.  Isn't he so smiley?

Kai just loves digging. Don't you love her curly tail? Ha! We call her Wiggles. And Digger.

The wind changed and our heat and humidity blew off.... we are having a stunning day. I think I'm on 2nd breakfast... or 1st lunch... but either way I need to hurry up and get back out there.

Happy Thursday everyone! Are your dogs on the hunt? Are your hogs wondering who their new neighbor is?

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