Farm shopping today.

Looked at 5 farms with the agent today.

Farm # 1:  Promising, but the lock box was not on the house, so we couldn’t get in. (The house looked like it needed some work from the outside.)  30 acres, 16 tillable, 14 woods with a creek going through it.  There is an old barn and there were about half a dozen pigs living there.  And 2 dogs.  And at least 2 cats.

Farm #2:  Only 4 acres were cleared and the rest of the 12 was impenetrable thicket.  The house was ok.  4 tillable acres is not.

Farm #3: Former dairy farm with 11 acres.  The house was pretty nice, an older farm house.  The humongous dairy barns were taking up a lot of the land and it was way more barn than I could ever imagine needing.

Farm #4:  38 acres of land with a 1903 farmhouse.  High ceilings, wraparound porch, inside the house was in good shape.  It has an old barn which is fairly tired, a new pole barn (just finished in August), and a really new detached garage that will fit three cars at least.  I really liked this one.

Farm # 5:  11 acre horse farm.  Pretty nice old farmhouse with some weird aspects (like no doors anywhere inside.. not even on the bathrooms?)  with a newer horse barn & big pasture.

We’ll go farm shopping again next week.  Stay tuned.


We accepted an offer on our house this weekend. It’s a relief, but also stressful because now we HAVE to find a new place.

We’ll be looking at farms on Thursday.  We have categorized the listings available right now by location and will be looking at them in some order approximating nearest to furthest.  Naturally we can get more land if we live farther away.  After all we’ve done to our current house we feel prepared to do some serious renovating if needed.

What the garden is doing

There are so many tomatoes right now that we aren’t keeping ahead of them, canning only on the weekends.

Dug the first hill of Yukon Gold potatoes this week.  They look nice, but there just are not a whole ton of them with the weather we’ve had.  Potatoes like a lot of rain when they’re trying to potato, and it has not rained much here this summer.  There is another partial hill of them to dig, so I won’t post the yield until they are all out of the ground.

I’m looking forward to digging the “All Blue” potatoes a little later, when the vines have died down.   The description in the catalog said they were very abundant yielders, so we’ll see what that means when it hardly rains at all.

An authentic “ScaryCellar.”

One of our long-time friends, when first visiting our current house, remarked, “It has a ScaryCellar!”  Yes, just like the one Dorothy is trying to enter in “The Wizard of Oz.”  Complete with disreputable doors and tiny, uneven steps.  Inside, there’s nothing more interesting than a pressure tank and the whole-house water filter.

I wouldn’t mind if our farm came with a ScaryCellar.  Maybe we could even use it for something, depending on the specifics of its condition.  The current ScaryCellar has too much heat pump ductwork to actually maintain ground temperature.

Fall garden

I have had really variable luck with fall gardening.  I’ll attribute that to the fact that by the time midsummer rolls around, I’m just not as organized with planting, watering, and weeding as I am in the spring.

Last year we had probably the best fall garden ever, and it was still just a “win some, lose some” type of situation.  I learned 2 things last year:  1) If you’re going to plant cole crops in July, you need some kind of cabbage worm deterrent, and 2) There is a reason our local cooperative extension calendar does not suggest trying to grow fall peas.

Anyway, I planted beets, carrots, radishes, and some other greens today.   I’d like to at least get some more lettuce in the ground, then we’ll move the soaker hose so that hopefully the stuff can germinate.  With the weather we’ve been having, I’ll have to run the hose every day to get things to come up.  I’ll update later on what happens with these crops.  I think it’s a bit late to be planting some of them.

The acorn squash that was planted pretty late in June (or maybe even early in July.. like I said, once summer arrives I’m a lot less organized) looks beautiful.  It is setting fruit already and the borers are ignoring it for now (they are focused on eating the summer squash, which is fine with me.)

Toward the farm

I contacted a listing agent today to get a CMA done on our current house.  The in-laws have had an offer on their place which is in the midst of negotiations and may or may not go through, but I think it’s definitely a sign that I need to get moving.   HAH no pun intended.

Market time

The scale came… while I was outside picking green beans. So we had to go to the UPS depot at 7 PM to get it. But at least we got it.

Market day was very successful. I sold all the garlic by 10:30 AM. The red shallots sold out around the same time. There was not much interest at all in the grey shallots. I might not grow them again if I can’t manage to get them to size up better. However, right now I have plenty to replant in the fall and eat all winter, so maybe we’ll try them for one more year.

We sold a good number of onions as well. Next time I might cut the tops off, but I didn’t want to do that this time because they weren’t done curing. We have plenty left for canning.

No one seemed overly excited about the onion braids. They did, however, add a nice decorative touch to the booth.

Speaking of the booth… take a look at it.


Like all engineers, we enjoy gadgets.

Yesterday I got gadget # 1, a wheel hoe.  Put it together and took it for a spin.  It’s pretty nice.  Maybe I’ll post a picture of it later.  It should be a lot easier on my back.

Later this week we’re expecting a legal-for-commerce scale.  Electronic fun!