Thursday, January 6, 2022

Happy New Year! The Farm Report 01-05-2022

 Happy New Year!
The Farm Report

How's this for the World's Laziest Guy's Cheap Way Out?!

A 'hand made' card/note and not even enough effort to actually make a graphic image of it, done properly. Ah well, as they say, 'You pays your nickels and you takes your chances.' I have actually mailed a few of these in the USPS service. But then I thought for all the rest of you, I should really use this means to say a Happy New Year to you, too. So here it is.

From all of us out here on the hill at Oakdale Farm, we really do wish you a Happy New Year - and we really do want to say a giant Thanks! for staying in touch with us.

The flower pic is one I lifted from a poster on the Harry Dodson Facebook page I belong to. It is antique, and I liked it. Plus, it is a rose - and that flower is so very special to me in a number of ways.

Here is the obligatory newsletter that goes with these sorts of notes. It is hard to read in the pic, so here is the text - for those who need added fodder to encourage sleep during these cold winter nights:

"Well, I’m late again as usual. I’ve been told I was the type who could be expected to be late to my own funeral. I’m still alive but still behind. ‘Nuf said.

However, just because I’m a lap behind the calendar doesn’t mean I don’t care. For all of those of you who bothered to send me a card or a note, ‘Thank You!’ I do appreciate your staying in touch and thinking of me. I really do.

I’ve not really much to add this year. It has just been one more of many. Hopefully one more of many more to come! I’m still kicking out here at Oakdale Farm. I miss my sweetie all the more of course, but I am fine – with too many projects and too little time.

Of the projects I enjoy, gardening is near the top of the pile. The pic in my missive is an antique one I lifted from a post on the Harry Dodson Facebook Group page I belong to. Harry Dodson was the primary presenter on the Victorian Kitchen Garden series the BBC produced back in the 1980’s. You can still watch the shows via Youtube. I highly recommend them. Harry was among the last of the great Estate Head Gardeners in England and a deep well of historical gardening knowledge. I enjoy participating in the Iowa State Univ. Extension Master Gardener program. I’ve agreed to do a fruit tree grafting presentation this coming March for the Master Gardener Spring Conference. I am also studying up on Victorian Walled Gardens. That’s where Harry comes in. I am preparing for a possible presentation about Victorian Walled Gardens at the 2023 conference.

My doings this year? I laid low due to Covid and became even more of a hermit. I did travel off to Wisconsin to visit my kids and grands. I’ve avoided political discussions like the plague (although I do vote). I wear a mask when I go shopping. I get my jabs regularly – now 3 and counting – and take my vitamins. I write my Farm Report blog ( on a mostly monthly basis, and I have all the fun I can. I hope you do, too. Cheers!"

And that's it for this time. All is well at Oakdale Farm - but COLD!


  1. I love the last paragraph of your New Year's letter; it states a lot in a few words. You managed more holiday communication than I did; I just couldn't see my way around the elephant in the room here.

    1. Seems like this past year we have been among herds of elephants - not withstanding one in our own room! Having to constantly watch where one steps gets old. I've been through the parenting days...tough, but survivable. Now I'm waiting for the tables to turn. The kids can soon begin worrying about my behavior - and there's nothing they will be able to do about it, either. Ahhhh sweet revenge. Cheers!

  2. I wish you all the joy, contentment, great new experiences and a continuation of all your many interests in this developing new year. Your posts are always full of information and interesting newsy bits of the optimistic life you lead. You're a good example for all of us to follow. Cheers back atcha, Tim!

  3. Wishing you a happy (belated) new year. That is a beautiful rose on your card. Your interest in walled gardens is impressive. Have you visited the Winston Churchill estate and seen his wonderful red-brick wall enclosing the garden? The wall is massive and even has a very unique wood roof line at the top of the bricks. Your earlier post is fascinating too. Making compost to distribute over planting areas ensures good growing. I also like the use of a tarp and am nurturing a large garden of low growing dense shrubs of various shades of green. I'm inspired by the tranquility of Japanese gardens. Stay well and keep warm. Winter cold and winds can be challenging. We all look forward to Spring...and the growing season.

    1. I have not been to Churchill's estate. I'm envious! My interest in walled gardens is not too new. I actually have seed for musk melons that were originally bred to be grown in the greenhouses at Blenheim. They are called Blenheim Orange. They are small, and will grow in pots.

      Churchill layed bricks, as I understand it, as a stress reliever. I have also read that the 'real' masons didn't think much of his skill. There's always a critic. Here's to a great spring and new gardening season!


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