Monday, November 9, 2020

Time for a Change: The Farm Report 11-10-2020

 Time for a Change
The Farm Report 11-10-2020

Well, for one thing, we need to change where we keep things out here on the farm. Much to my chagrin, I discovered the other night that the two cans in the pic look very much the same sitting on the pantry shelf by each other. I also discovered that while they look the same on the outside, what is inside them is altogether different. One is good to make the bread crust 'buttery' and soft when sprayed on the loaf immediately out of the oven, and the other is good to make the furniture extra smooth and polished. Neither can be substituted for the other, however, I learned. Especially when sprayed liberally on your fresh baked bread hot out of the oven. I thought that smelled funny......

Time for other changes too. It is November now and it would be a fool's errand to think the seasons won't change pretty soon now. The garden needs a good clean up and a long winter's nap. But where to start?

Henry Ford knows! I just happen to have (Ahem!) a little 2-bottom plow that fits Henry's 3-point hitch. Henry Ford made the tractors, and Harry Ferguson made the plows. Their names are on each, repsectively. This is a history guy's way to enjoy gardening and old machines at the same time. Old timers always plowed the fields in the fall. It is not the best practice, and we don't do it anymore at Oakdale Farm. In fact, we are a no-til operation here. The soil is better for it, and the harvest results prove it. But hey! I have the stuff and like doing it. A little plowing around in the dirt in my garden does make it cleaner, and that's that. No other justification needed.

Plowing is an art. It is a trick of planning. Do you start in the middle and go out, or do you start on the outside and work your way in? I did the outside and worked to the middle. Annie hunted toads while I plowed. The garden is full of 'em.

After plowing, then what? Well, out to 'implement row' and put on the landscape rake. Henry does it all.

A few times around and all is smoothed and leveled.

Check! Garden done and ready to put to bed. I may plant some oats for a cover crop if the weather holds for me. The Romans figured out the benefit of cover crops. We forgot all about that from about WWII until the 1990's. Gladly, we re-learned and now we're back at it. Cover crops do work to hold nutrients up in the soil for next year, and they add organic stuff, too. All good. Oats freeze off so I don't have to kill anything out next spring with chems or blades.

There's always something more to do in a garden though. The tarp garden will be last. Though it looks a mess, the tarp and frames make it a snap to clean. Stay tuned; we'll get to it.

It has been so dry here. We need a rain. Annie and O.J. are looking out at Walnut creek. It isn't foggy or misty - that is harvest dust in the air so thick it clouds the whole valley. No, I haven't got COVID yet, but I'm hacking and gaging like I might just as well have. 

Of course, there's always water to be found somewhere, and if there is, you'll find Annie Oakley there playing in it! Through all my years with all kinds of dogs, I've never known a dog as in love with water as our Miss Oakley. 

But wait! What's this? Another sign of the things that are changing. I've got the Ranger set up and ready to put on the snow plow at a moment's notice. I know Iowa!

Annie called Shotgun! She'll surely be a big help plowing snow...... not. But she'll want to ride with me anyway. I will have to put her in her Pink Tutu Harness and hook it to that jerk strap you see behind her to keep her from jumping out and trying to herd that snow into place. Yes! she will do that! She seems to like being hooked up though. She seems to know it is her safety harness. She comes right over to me on the seat for me to snap on the hook when it is time.

Blue sky at night; Sailor's delight.... or something like that. It was a pretty evening sky when I was driving Annie around the farm for her last run of the day. I drive the route and she rides with me while we go. Then, when we're back at 'Go' she bails out - after I give her permission - and re-RUNS! the whole path. Then she will settle down for the evening and be nice. Too much energy!

But if you'll use your 'Super Zoom Biggie-fier' and zoom into that pic, this is what I was really seeing. The one on the left is a big doe; the one on the right is a big buck deer. The seasons they are a changing around here - in more ways than one. Deer hunting will be next on the list. I have a story for you on that one, too! But it will have to wait until next time. For now, let's just say that the venison this year will taste a lot like carrots. I don't particularly care for venison, and I'm not a hunter, but I do like my carrots. Grrrrrrrrr. All is well here at Oakdale Farm. Be safe, breathe out, change gently as the seasons pass. All is well; we'll all be OK.


  1. So peacefull to read your blog. What a relief to have something fun to read after the last few months. I dont miss Iowa winters but I really miss fall. First fall that I have not been home to Iowa for the last many years. Hope your mom is doing well! Really miss mine. Thank you Tim! Cheryle

    1. Most of all, I enjoy the seasons changing. Mom's doing OK, I know you must miss yours - we all do. She had such a dry wit. Cheers!

  2. Hey, Tim! Just read about the mix up of what you sprayed on the bread. It reminded me of Mrs. Brown’s glue/air fresher story. Great laughs! Great memory of watching Joyce’s response.... laughing so hard. Wonderful picture of Annie and O.J.

    Hopefully a vaccine .....perhaps looking at the light at the end of the tunnel.
    All for now. N.S.

    1. Oh my gosh! I had forgotten all about Mrs. Brown's Boys and Agnes' glue/air freshener mix up. Joyce laughed so hard she almost.... Well, let's just say she laughed awfully hard. It was SOOOO uncharacteristic of her to enjoy that awful bawdy show - but she had a huge sense of humor.

      (For the innocent among you, Mrs. Brown's Boys is an awful, but creative and poignant, BBC show featuring Brandon O'Carroll who is a guy playing Mrs. Brown. It is funny - but not for the prudish!) It pokes fun at the best and worst in all of us.

  3. Too funny about the furniture polish

  4. Oh dear; I'm so frugal that I probably would have cut off the top of that loaf and made the rest into croutons or bread pudding or something! After being thoroughly disgusted with myself for ruining it first. Mmm; bread pudding....

    1. I'm pretty fast with a knife, so I did exactly what you suggest. Waste not, want not!

  5. I recall my mom doing something similar with cans of hairspray and underarm deodorant :-D There is something very timeless about this post - the change of seasons, the land. Thank you :-)


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