Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Soil Samplin'

Even though this is the Winter that just won't go away, it's time to start getting ready for Spring planting! Before we start planting, we apply different types of commercial fertilizers, chicken litter, lime, etc. to our fields. How do we know how much of what to put where? That's where soil samples come into play!
Every three years, we drive around every field we farm and take samples. We take a few samples from each field. It depends on how big the field is as to how many we take.

Each sample is dumped into a bucked and stirred around with a spoon. We do this for each field. You do not mix fields together.
It's a lot easier if you have awesome help.
After the dirt is mixed up in the bucket, it is scooped into one of these handy dandy bags. Sometimes it's a box. Label it with your info, farm #, and name of field. We have awesome field names like "home place," "2 acres in the woods," "Shorty's," and "cannon ball field." Repeat this process a bazillion more times, stick them all in boxes, and mail them to your local soil lab.  They send you back all the information you ever wanted about the soil. What it needs, what is has too much of, and what type of soil it is. These services aren't just for large farmers either. If you can't grow anything in your garden or your roses keep dying, consider taking a soil sample!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Voices of Alabama

Does anyone remember this blog I wrote a little less than a year ago?
If you didn't read it, I will sum it up. We were chosen last year to represent "current farm families in Alabama" in a new exhibit at the Alabama Department of Archives opening in Spring 2014. A couple of weeks ago, we attended the Grand Opening!
 Governor Robert Bentley and other dignitaries spoke and had a ribbon cutting ceremony, then we got to tour the new exhibit!
 There is so much to look at here! It would take hours and hours to read every piece of information. Tons of artifacts from Alabama's history.
 A major part of Alabama's history was cotton!
 There were so many facts, information, and artifacts dealing with the cotton industry.
 Indians, slavery, and the Civil War were also major parts of the museum.
 We found this cannon ball display quite interesting. See that solid, small cannon ball in the middle? Lance found one just like it in one of our fields a few years ago. It is called a 12 pound solid shot.
 There was also a huge replica of a town in the 1800s. This town was so tiny, but it had every little detail down to corn growing in someone's garden to laundry hanging on a clothesline.
 Here's some of the military display.
A model of a rocket from the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center and Hank William's suit and guitar. 
 And of course, displays on Alabama and Auburn football and racing at Talladega Superspeedway.
 Throughout the museum, there were quotes on the walls. I've added pictures of some of my favorites.
 This one turned out a little blurry, so I hope you can read it!
 A very famous quote.
This one is definitely the best.
The last section of the museum was called "Inheriting Alabama."

It features current Alabamians doing things we do in Alabama!

 Recognize anyone in these pictures?
Tada! There we are! We are so excited we were picked to be a part of "Alabama History!"
If you would like more information on the Museum of Alabama at the Alabama Department of Archives and History. Please visit their website!

Monday, February 17, 2014

Snowpocalyse 2014

So, by now, I'm sure most of you have heard about the snow/ice storm that completely shutdown the south a few weeks ago. Here in the metropolis of Snead, we got enough ice to make driving conditions horrible. We felt a little slighted by the amount of snow we received though, especially compared to those to our south. This winter has had some crazy weather, especially the amount of times snow and freezing temps have been forecasted for us. It's almost unheard of. Low and behold, more snow was forecasted for us a week ago. Not wanting to have a repeat of the last storm, everything closed early and everyone stayed home. Good thing too because it more than made up for that last snow amount. We had almost 8" of snow! That's the most snow I've seen since the Blizzard of '93 when I got 17" at my house!  Here are some pictures...


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Corn Chowder

One afternoon, a while back, I had no idea what to cook for supper. Imagine that. So, I got on Pinterest. Imagine that. I knew the stuff I had in my pantry, and I found a recipe that would work with it. I ended up modifying a recipe to suit my pantry's needs, and it turned out awesome.

Corn Chowder. If you have ever been to the Old Mill in Pigeon Forge, TN, it tasted just like that. I amazed myself. I made a mental note to take pictures and blog the recipe before I forgot what I did. And I forgot. Then I remembered. Then I lost the original recipe. Then I found it. Now here's my version!

Corn Chowder

1 (12oz) can whole kernel corn
1 cup frozen whole kernel corn
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
Few pieces onion, diced
1/4 cup butter
2 cups milk
2 beef bullion cubes
2 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Sprinkle of parsley

Combine all ingredients in pot. Cook until potatoes are tender.

*I know some of this sounds weird, like why canned and frozen corn? Beef cubes? But, it's exactly what I used that night, and it tasted exactly like the Old Mill Restaurant's Corn Chowder. I'm afraid to change anything!

 It's really yummy with some homemade sourdough bread!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

The Purge.

No, not the movie, you know, the one where it's legal to kill people one day a year. I'm talking purging stuff in your house! Since it's January, it's an awesome time to go through the rooms in your house and get rid of anything you either don't like or don't use. It will make it easier for you to organize the rest of the year. You are going to do that right? So, this New Year's, I challenged myself to purge my house of 100 items. Can you?
Here's my list:
1-3: Outfits of Reed's
4-27: Pieces of my clothing
28: Bread Machine
29: Salad Shooter
30: Waffle Maker
31: Christmas Dish Set
32-35: 4 Drinking Goblets
36: Set of Measuring Cups
37-40: 4 Mini Muffin Pans
41: Silverware Tray
42-44: 3 Purses
45: Reed's Shoes
46: Flip Flops
47: Puzzle
48: Blanket
49: Stuffed Chicken
50: Roller Blades
51-53: Pieces of Barbie Furniture
54: Bag of Wooden Blocks
55-67: Random Toys
68-73: Towels
74: Recipe Box
75-79: Random Christmas Items
80-85: Undies/Socks
86-91: Pairs of Jeans
92-100: Bag of Happy Meal Toys

Monday, January 6, 2014

Henry and the Snowstorm

If you haven't met Henry, click here.
Henry woke up this morning to white out conditions.

Henry put a warm hat on, and at first, only wanted to look at the snow from the porch. After all, Henry is originally from the tropical jungles of Africa and is not used to this kind of weather.

Then Henry thought, "Well, I'll shovel a little snow off the steps."

"Well, maybe I'll make a snow monkey."
Henry had the hat and carrot to make a snowman, but there just wasn't enough snow. Disappointing.
 Henry spotted Reed's slide and had to climb on.

Henry predicts this will be an awesome slide. 

Whoops. Henry slipped. 

And face planted in the ice.

And kept going. Into the wall. Not so awesome.
Henry doesn't want anyone else to have an accident. 

Henry thinks riding the 3-wheeler might be fun. 

He forgot he was one wheel short of 4-wheel-drive and wrecked immediately. 

Safety first.

Henry thinks he'll sit out the rest of this snowstorm.