Showing posts from August, 2014

In which I don't go to the ride and there's a new Skookum story now

It's good to have a plan, so you have something to crumple up and throw away.
That's what I told myself two days ago...when, instead of hauling myself, Santa Jim, two horses, two dogs, and all our camping gear out to new Mount Spokane Endurance Ride, I was standing not-very-calmly in a veterinarian's waiting room with Luna.
Luna is a simple dog.  Her joys are simple, too:  eating, barking, and following us around the farm.

Thursday morning, she didn't do any of those things.

Panic button.

A quick early-morning phone call to Patty (my regular small-animal vet) with a catalog of symptoms confirmed my inclination to drop everything and get Luna in for an exam and some blood work.  At the clinic, she got a shot and a prescription for two wide-spectrum antibiotics.

The rest of the day, I spent at home on the couch with my dog, alternately reading and worrying.

By late evening, she was improving a bit--slightly more interested in food, slightly more interested in following…

In which Santa Jim makes garden cucumbers into pretty foodstuff

With an abundant garden comes responsibility:
Ya gotta do something with all that food!
Sharing out is an honored tradition, as is zucchini bombing.  
The local food bank happily accepts fresh produce as well.
But for us at Haiku Farm, part of the joy of our vegetable garden comes in eating the food we've created long after the leaves have disappeared from the trees.
"Food preservation" is a task that Santa Jim has chosen for himself.  

With this (relatively) small batch of cucumbers, he decided to make a sweet pickle relish.  
In a few weeks we will have a very heavy harvest of cucumbers from the garden.  THAT is garlic pickle season!

 Jim is better than me at paying attention to details, which is an essential part of canning.  Otherwise, you know, poison.

 So my task is to take pictures.  Probably safer that way!

In which we divulge the secrets of lazy gardening with poultry

When we started gardening at Haiku Farm, the results were unremarkable.
In fact, the first garden was downright embarrassing.
The sunflowers were knee-high, the squash plants lolled around on the ground indifferently, and the beanstalks were (tactfully) puny.
Oh, how that has changed.
I need to state here for the record that I am not an "avid" gardener.  I do not visit my garden daily, coaxing seedlings into vigorous growth.  I like to stick a bunch of seeds in the ground and then hitch up the rig and go riding...for, like, the entire growing season.
Fortunately, I have a staff of soil amendment experts to tend my garden in the off-season, and they prepare it for summer:

During the winter months, I cover the garden soil with a deep layer of landscape trimmings and downfall, stall cleanings, kitchen scraps, and chicken food.  The winter gardening staff

carefully uproots and tears apart all the plant life inside the garden walls.

They dig deeply into the soil, seeking out (a…

In which Duana is searching for wheels and everyone loves apples

Duana has come a long way in the past three years.  
She returned to riding in 2011, after nearly 8 years horse-free, and started trail riding and taking lessons.  She bought a certain redheaded radish of a horse two years later.
She did some Limited Distance endurance events last year, and has finished two fifties with Hana so far this year.  
And today, she officially started shopping for a horse trailer of her very own.

 She's not ready to decide yet, which is good.  Most of the trailers on the dealer's lot are already sold!  But we aren't done shopping yet.  Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, back at the farm

We don't usually get fabulous apples from our trees.  The trees are old, and the varieties aren't very well-selected for our region.  Usually we get some Yellow Transparants--good for applesauce and chicken food.

But this year, the Pink Lady tree decided to kick into high gear!

 The chickens aren't the only ones who like these apples!