Week 38, 2022

September 24, 2022

Weather/Nature

The fall weather continues to be beautiful. We’ve been here long enough to see fall turn to winter, winter to spring, and spring to summer. So this last rotation of the year, summer to fall, completes a full rotation around the sun, and is so far our favorite.

Down On The Farm

I’m experimenting in the pasture with different methods of weed control. In one area I have clipped the pasture before the weed plants could go to seed. In another, I sprayed a broadleaf herbicide to kill the weeds, and in another area I am leaving it natural with only cows to (maybe) eat the weeds. We’ll see next year which area has the fewest weeds.

We are also starting to save seed corn to plant next year. The first step is to pick the best ears from the best stalks, from different areas of the corn plot. Then, freeze them for three days to kill any weevil eggs. Last, hang them to fully dry until next spring when we will rub off the kernels and plant again.

Best Thing We Ate

Surprising winner this week – we tried the garden potatoes that Erica canned and they were superb. Not mealy or mushy or overcooked. Perfect potatoes and great flavor. Just wish we’d gotten a greater yield.

From Family Worship

“I am doing a great work and I cannot come down.” Nehemiah stayed focused in the midst of distractions, temptations and challenges. He never doubted the purpose of his life and as a result was able to prioritize rightly. There are myriad ways to order our lives here on earth, especially in our day and age, but will we be a family who orders our affairs according to God’s word, saying to all else, “I am doing a great work and I cannot come down”? May it be so!

Other Happenings

I took Friday off work and we went to a local waterfall about 40 minutes from our house. We hadn’t been there before, and what a place it was! The weather was clear and mild, and it felt good to be adventurous.

Week 37, 2022

September 17, 2022

Weather/Nature

Beautiful weather this week. Mild days with windows open, cooler at night. Days are getting shorter and the angle of the sunlight is changing. Leaves keep dropping and some early color change can be seen.

Dead timber rattlesnake donated his rattle to a boy’s collection of treasures

Down On The Farm

Autumn crops are coming in, which fit the feel of the changing seasons. Our thoughts and work are starting to turn to winter things: cleaning the wood stove, chopping firewood, finishing the pigs.

We have black walnut trees everywhere on our property and in the surrounding woods. They are our most valuable hardwood tree, and drop tasty walnuts for the collecting. We are going to try collecting them for the first time, so more to come, but the green husks should dry out, and then you can get to walnut inside.

Inspired by Anne of Green Gables, the girls made “raspberry cordial” with berries from the garden. The raspberries first soak in lemon juice before adding sugar overnight. Then they get strained through a cheese cloth for the final product.

Best Thing We Ate

100% from our hard work and God’s provision. Pork sausage, roasted winter squash, sauerkraut.

From Family Worship

After finishing Acts, we have begun reading Nehemiah. In exile, Nehemiah had a prominent position as cupbearer to the king, which gave him access to the king. In God’s providence, Nehemiah had opportunity to ask the king for permission to return to Jerusalem to help rebuild the city wall. We learned from Nehemiah’s dependence on God, and how in his fear during that great moment of suspense before he opened his mouth before the king, he took a split second to shoot an arrow of prayer up to God for his help and blessing. Our God is always there, to be turned to in any and every situation.

Other Happenings

We went to Blue Ridge, GA for two days and a night to visit some FL friends who were renting a cabin. It was nice to see a new place and old friends.

And we got out for dinner one night!

Week 36, 2022

September 10, 2022

Weather/Nature

Some warm weather early in the week, followed by a nice 2″ rain that brought in cooler temperatures. Cool mornings and drier air a couple of days. Overall still a dry time of year, but that soaking rain should keep things watered for a while. Soon, we hope to see some fall migrating birds start to appear.

Giant ironweed
Blue mistflower
Red-tailed hawk
Viceroy butterfly?

Down On The Farm

We’ve begun feeding the pigs with the field corn that has ripened. We bring them stalks each day, and they eat the entirety of the plant – ear corn, leaves and stalk. This should help reduce our feed bill as we have about 1,400 corn plants to feed them.

We are needing to build a well house before cold weather comes so that the tank and lines don’t freeze. Last winter we had a temporary covering, and it is time to put up something more permanent. We thought about using leftover concrete blocks, but after watching some Youtube videos on block work, it seemed more than we wanted to get into. So, we are opting for a simple framed structure that will be insulated and air tight. The first step was getting a level base to build on.

Best Thing We Ate

Homegrown mashed potatoes!

From Family Worship

Paul was not ashamed to speak the truth of salvation through Jesus Christ, despite the trouble and difficulty it brought him. The darkness hates the light of Christ because it exposes things that many would rather keep in the dark. It upsets the apple cart and demands a response. Christians know that any difficulty encountered in faithfully following Christ is insignificant compared to all we have in our union with Him.

Other Happenings

Lots of connection with friends this week. Last Sunday we had two families from church over between services, which was sweet fellowship. And on two different nights this week we got together with friends.

We are thankful to God for these and other friendships that have been God’s provision for us here.

Also this week, we traded our passenger van for a minivan. The extra space of the big van was nice when we were making a lot of trips back and forth between FL and TN, but now that we are settled here the better gas mileage of a minivan is more valuable to us.

Week 35, 2022

September 3, 2022

Weather/Nature

On Thursday we had our first morning in the 50’s and drier air moving in. Most mornings have been very foggy, with warm and dry conditions causing things to get a little dusty. August is a dry month here, in general.

Down On The Farm

The last of the watermelon and cantaloupe were harvested, further opening up the area that has now been planted to oats and clover for a winter cover crop. A cover crop offers several benefits including the prevention of soil erosion, aerating the soil via root growth, and adding organic matter, but maybe the best benefit is that it taps into the soil’s fertility, “trapping” it in the plant tissue of the cover crop. These nutrients are returned to the garden when the cover crop is tilled under in the spring, preventing those nutrients from leaching out of the bare soil over winter.

Best Thing We Ate

It was satisfying to see one dinner this week that consisted of our own homegrown sausage, broccoli, sauerkraut, potatoes, onions and pickles.

From Family Worship

As we wrap up the book of Acts, one commentator made the observations that in Acts we see the good news of the gospel spreading outward from Jerusalem, the capital of the Israelites, to Rome, the capital of the world. This worldwide expansion of God’s covenant of grace with His people from every tribe, tongue and nation was God’s plan all along. To Abram God said, “And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Genesis 12:3), and in many other places we see the same thing. This new administration of the covenant of grace that was ushered in by Christ is far superior in every way to the old administration under Moses.

Other Happenings

No much other than a little basketball, a fairly quiet week.