Heavy snow falling

After days of hard rain and lot’s of flooding, the forecast of cold and snow has finally hit us.  I’m officially announcing it’s cold and it’s snowing, and snowing HARD!  It’s really pretty, see for yourself

Snow, January 17 2013

Snow, January 17 2013

Recent Wind takes it’s toll at SF

The recent wind storms which came through the East Tennessee area really took it’s toll on our small hard-sided greenhouse.

18 wheeler blown over by high winds

18 wheeler blown over by high winds

Several days worth of winds in North East TN, some of these winds reported to exceed 60 mph, caused large scale damage. With over 60 local roads closed or at least partially blocked, and this 18 wheeler blown onto it’s side (Camp Creek area), we feared the worst of our farm and greenhouses.  Luckily and happily our large commercial size greenhouse that is still to be finished came through unscathed as far as we can tell.  In fact we worked a bit more on it yesterday and are nearly ready for the electric and gas to be connected.  I will post updates with pictures on the recent progress soon.

 

 

 

 

wind_damage

Little greenhouse wind damage

Our little greenhouse however, failed the test. The wind blew strong another two days after this picture was taken.  You’ll notice the two sliding doors on the front (left).  Those are now laying on the ground and the farthest side roof is no longer attached.  It’s a complete wreck even worse than this picture shows.  We plan to repair (rebuild) our little greenhouse soon. Our primary objective is the commercial greenhouse for right now, we hope to have it operational in another month!!

 

Thank you for reading,
Dale

 

 

 

Favorite stove nearing 100 years old

Glendale 400 wood cook stove side view

Glendale 400 wood cook stove side view

I don’t do very much cooking here, but I sure do a lot of eating.  I can’t thank Heather enough for all she does, but as the saying goes ‘a womans work is never done’.  She’s my treasure as are the kids.  But…. This has got to be one of my favorite of all time material items, an early 1900’s Glendale 400 wood and gas combination cook stove.  The patent listed on the temperature gauges are dated 1916, and to beat it all, all the gauges still work.   That puts this baby at 100 years old in 2 1/2 more years, sweet! We use it mostly for supplemental heating this old farmhouse along with another firebox toward the front of the house, I tell ya, it gets cold in here.

 

My parents have had a similar wood cook stove for as long as I can remember.  I’ve seen my mother cook many meals with it.  She also makes some homemade bread that’s simply amazing, I’ll try and get the recipe for that soon and post it here to Summerfield Farm.  Growing up I can brag about eating many, many meals off that wood stove, but I just can’t say too much about actually cooking on it.  Well, on it yes, but in it no.  I can’t remember ever using the oven for anything other than maybe to warm something up…. So, now that we actually have one of our own I’m kinda learning how to use it.

 

The gauges actually still work!!

The gauges actually still work!!

Now, back to our Glendale….  As I mentioned before all the gauges work. In fact, as far as I  can tell everything on it either works or is still in really good condition.  Most stoves this old would have areas that are completely falling apart, especially in the firebox area.  But on our Glendale 400 it’s all good.  Granted some of this may be from some restoration work prior to us owning it but I’m good with that.  Also, we don’t have the gas burning side of this stove connected to any gas lines, and aren’t likely anytime soon (unless I can talk sweetie into it that is :)).

 

So far I’ve managed to cook on it many times, and in it a few times.  Our first couple of attempts at bread didn’t turn out so well.  The pizza turned out fantastic, and our last bread attempt turned out an absolutely perfectly cooked loaf of banana bread (recipe coming shortly). I’m familiar and quite good at cooking on the top of the stove and love doing an old fashion breakfast in an iron skillet and butter or bacon grease.

Pizza

Pizza

banana bread

banana bread

breakfast

breakfast

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So to follow up, if you get a chance to get your hands on a wood stove, doesn’t really matter it’s age or date, grab it.  You’ll love it 🙂

-Dale

 

A couple more pics to share:

 

fire

fire

front

front

 

Pulling Plastic

greenhouse with roof in place

greenhouse with roof in place

Well, we had a pretty good showing at Summerfield Farm this morning.  Jerry from the local master gardeners arrived as well as Heather’s father, John “Poppy” and my father, Raymond “Skip”.   With those 3 plus Heather, JT, Tyler and myself, that gave us 7 folks.  There was a minor rain scare very early on with a few sprinkles but the rain held off and we now have both layers of plastic roof on the greenhouse. This just leaves the ends to be sheeted with plastic and the skirt along the bottom sides and the structure will be completed.  Still a long way to go with electrical, heating, etc. to be done but up to this point we’re now happy campers.  Just as the last wiggle wire was being put into place it began to rain so we called it a day.  Nature was smiling upon us this day :).

Two days ago we started to install a front screen door on to our house.  As of yesterday it is very nearly done with only some trim to put into place.

A few days ago we purchased a bunch of Georgia sweet onions and some garlic seed.  These are now in the ground and ready to winter for a hopeful spring harvest.

A thank you shout out is deserving for Poppy, Skip, Jerry, JT, and Tyler for a good days work.  All those hands certainly made things easier.  And another thank you shout out for Pam “Little Bird” for cooking chicken and dumplings for the crew for lunch today.  Mmmm mmmm good.

-Dale

 

Sunset 10-3-2012

Well, I finally get to sit down for a few minutes.  Been a busy day at work and then again at home on the farm.  Today I did some fresh tilling in a grassy area where we will be making garden area.  That Cub Cadet tiller sure isn’t a Troy Built like my dad has (one from about 20 yrs ago) but it is doing an ok job of cutting through the virgin land.  JT had been cutting grass to get ready for our greenhouse workday coming up this Saturday.  His attention then turned to the new front screen door that has yet to be put up.  Well, I thought I was done, so I started helping on that little project….

sunset 10-3-2012 at Summerfield Farm

sunset 10-3-2012 at Summerfield Farm

Now, about half way through measuring twice and cutting once on some wood, my eyes gathered some color from the sky.  I liked it enough that I snapped this picture.  This is a panorama taken with my phone.  I love panoramas for landscape photography.  The phone takes a few pictures as you move slowly one way or the other and the phone combines the images into one wide “panorama”.

Yesterday we bought some garlic and onion seeds.  I’ve been told these will ‘winter over’ and be ready for harvesting in the spring.  I love fresh raw onion in tuna and egg salads and love the smell of fresh onion and garlic sizzling in a cast iron frying pan on a wood stove…. mmm mmm good.

That’s all for this day of updates. ~Dale

More dirt maneuvers

Getting a front loader/back hoe again for this weekend.  We have some straightening up to do from the previous front loader/back hoe, as well as some out of control weeds to contain.  I’m looking forward to being on a dirt mover again, even though this one will be smaller than the previous one.  I’ll update with pictures this weekend with the machine, and whats happening, and probably a picture or two of me running it.  On the agenda for this weekend:

  • Pushing some weeds and overgrowth out of the way
  • Smoothing out in front of the greenhouse to allow mowing and/or tilling as needed
  • Knocking down of the dirt bank behind the greenhouse for grass control
  • Digging a trench around the greenhouse for water irrigation
  • Possibly making a basket-ball goal flat area (possibly)

There will probably be more added to this list but there you have it for now.  Until the next update, take care and happy farming.