Drove by pick your own peach farm and decided to stop.  Most of the local peach crop was destroyed by a late frost.  So I didn’t expect much.

The trees were loaded.


The peaches were so ripe that when the breeze blew you could hear peaches hitting the ground.

I picked 1/2 bushel in about 15 minutes.  


I love the trusting attitude.  Pick your own, leave money in the door.


Then, what do you do with piles of peaches?   I let the kids eat as many as they wanted.


But still had a lot.  So I made several batches of canned peach pie filling.


The kids loved apple pie filing last year.  It made for very quick pot luck dishes.  I usually just heated it with a crumble topping.  Instant apple crisp.  The kids liked it best on pancakes!

I also wanted to try a recipe I found on  Peach pepper BBQ sauce. 


I used a hotter pepper then the recipe called for.  It turned out very interesting, but not a BBQ sauce.   Tastes more like a sweet Asian chili sauce.  Good on chicken.


Savor the summer fruits, they leave too quickly!




Sigh. Month to fair and the calves are still so stubborn. 3 of the 4 require some one pushing while another pulls on the halter. We are walking them twice a day. Or should I say we are pushing them? Kids are getting very frustrated.


The kids are required to attend “super livestock judging”


Amanda identifying cuts of meat

The kids bring their record books.   These books are very time consuming.  There is a basic workbook section with general breed/livestock/animal well being questions.  

The second half is specific to their animals.  They need to have pictures, feed schedules, expense records, immunizations, etc.


Mike waiting his turn for feed identification

They  have interviews with judges and skill stations.   They have to  identify  types of feed, breeds of animals, parts of animals, cuts of meat, and more animal husbandry.

Long day!   They have top go through this in both beef and swine.

I was very happy with the overall results.

They were judged on one hog and 2 beef projects each with blue ribbons all around.  And 6 of the 9
projects were awarded outstanding ribbons.


Lots and lots of hard work this summer, always good to see it pay off!

Time to walk the pigs


Mike with Bertha

I love this time of year.   We have 33 days until fair and life is busy.

The pigs are finally big enough to walk.   We wait until they are about 200 lbs.  If you walk them much lighter they run too fast to control.

They all have different personalities.  Yesterday only Mike and  Amanda were to walk.

We could very quickly see that Amandas pig, weighing only 175# is a runner.   We opened the pen and  she took off running, to the back hay field.  You don’t chase or they run faster.  Very nerve wrecking to watch the kids projects run away!


Amanda and Snow White

Eventually, Snow White calmed down to walk.  Amanda uses a whip to walk, but with only very light touches.   Pigs are sensitive, a soft touch is enough to send then in the right direction.


Mike with both Spot and Bertha

Mike uses a cane.  But again, with very little pressure.   Once the pigs have been walking for a week or so it becomes much easier.

Chevy at home


Hiding behind the feeder hours after coming home

Chevy was weaned yesterday and brought from his farm to our house.   He had never had any direct  contact with people.

We had tried, but he never let us get close in the pasture.

24hrs in our little pasture resulted in an amazing difference!

First he let Rob pet him.


And within ten more minutes he tolerated a halter!


Finally Mike gets to pat him.   Good thing he is sweet  we only have about 45 days until fair!


Summer evenings

Picture perfect summer evenings this week

Lots of time just spent in the pasture.


Mike with Buddy

Weather has been warm, humidity low. 


Rob giving squirt a back scratch

Animals are in great moods with the pleasant weather.


Amanda hanging out with Mickey, he us almost taller then Mike

And the wild one, Mikes beef feeder calf was weaned today and came to live in our barn.

He is hesitant.  But Mike has managed to pat him several times today.  He is turning black as I was told he would.


Chevy home.

I am hoping he mellows soon.


Mike laughing as Buddy wants pet and Rusty is eating his shirt

I love summer.

We are in full swing for fair

Summer is sadly dwindling down.

Honestly it will feel over on Monday.

Daily football practices start.  Matching band the following week.

Judging for still projects is next Sunday.  This means, although they haven’t procrastinated much this summer,  they are all scrambling to finish project books.


Amanda is busy baking her last loaves of bread for “Yeast Breads”.


Kneading dough

Mike has three projects (his choice) so he overwhelmed.  He is done with “Fun with Flight”.  Almost done with Grill Master”.  But he still has activities for “Tractor 3”

Daily haltering of calves and steer is very time consuming.  At least an hour in the barn every evening.


Walking feeder calves


Every now and then you just get a great picture. Amanda with Frosty.

Livestock interview judging is in 2 weeks.  Kids need to get busy studying.

While I love fair, this nonstop chaos is exhausting!

Getting to be a jungle

Zucchini are out of control.  Huge, non stop production.

Miss one for a day and suddenly the zucchini are 18″ long.


When they accidently get this big we feed them to the pigs and cows.


Chopping oversized cucumber and zucchini for the pigs

The pigs squeal and run to the gate when they see me walking from the garden.

I cook zucchini with almost every meal.  Honestly!  They even get scrambled in my morning eggs.   I havent heard too many protests yet, but the kids portions are much smaller then they used to be.  Burned out!  I have loaves of bread in the  freezer along with many quart bags of shredded zucchini.

The tomatoes are loaded with mostly green fruit.  But we are struggling with blossum end rot.


Blossom end rot on a small ripe tomato

Watermelon and cantaloupe are getting bigger.  I hate not knowing when to pick them. 


Almost ready?


Basketball sized sugar baby

The peppers are doing well, they are so heavy with fruit they need staked.


Hungarian hot peppers. There are 18 ripe on this little plant!

I clearly didn’t space everything far enough apart.

It is hard to walk in the garden because there no spaced between plants!

Lessons learned for next year.


Cantaloupe, peppers, tomatoes


Dinosaur sized zucchini, peppers, and tomatoes