Back on the Farm

Back on the prairies.

I find myself with NOT a lot to say today.

I am back from my working holiday in California which was grand. Though the ever present smell of burning trees was unsettling. Lucky we wear masks when we are out of the house because the air is thick with pollutants.

My son told me how they spray a fire retardant onto the trees ahead of the fire to try and mitigate the destruction and sometimes even wrap the larger trees in fire proof materials. The helicopters that go out are not all dumping water. All these chemicals and materials are going through extreme heat and releasing even more pollutants into the air. But the trees are such an important part of clean air – it is a conundrum- I am now even more resolved to plant more trees. Everywhere I pause. And I must increase my efforts to cut down on paper. Using paper towels while our trees burn around us is an uncomfortable juxtaposition.

Trees and green prairies. So important. Here is a shot of our lovely cover crop coming up!

Cow peas, daikon radishes and oats! I love cover crops and this one has to be my favorite.

The farm did not mind my absence.

More chicks hatched while I was away!

I am head down bum up working as many hours as possible to achieve my objectives at the mill. Everyone was happy to see more fresh bread on the lunch table!

And yes. Autumn is nudging in. My jaw aches at the thought of another cold Illinois winter.

And now to the weekend work. I love my work at the mill but when yesterday arrived I was glad to see it was a Friday. Arriving back late on a Sunday night meant I spent the whole week chasing my tail. My mental health ( and yes we all have mental health to protect and cherish) always performs best when in a state of preparedness. I much prefer to be ahead of the game.

And that is what weekends are for!!


Have a great weekend.


24 Comments on “Back on the Farm

  1. What kind of bread this time? I so often look at your breads and think that I don’t keep enough seeds in my house for my own loaves. I used to, but I don’t currently have a good local source for them and I miss the variety!

    • I believe that Amazon has quite the selection of seeds, pumpkin, sunflower, hemp, etc….

  2. I saw on the news that they were doing their very best to protect the giant redwoods. It’s great to see plants growing in the recently flooded fields. Daikon tastes quite good. It’s very popular in Japan. I had some fabulous mini flute bread in a posh restaurant this week – I sat contentedly outside, under a canopy, while it poured with rain for 2 hours and watched a steady queue of 20+ people waiting for a table inside.

  3. Welcome home Celi! I’m wondering about your cover crop, cow peas, daikon radishes and oats. The peas, being a legume and adding nitrogen to the soil I get, but the radishes, will they be aerating the soil as their roots grow? And will the oats later be eaten by the cows? We have lots of root crops planted in the fall garden and lettuces too. But we don’t get quite as cold down here, and certainly not as early as you do. Have a fabulous weekend! xoxo

  4. The farm might not have missed you but the animals will have.

  5. What darling little chicks!

    The weather has become very autumnal here — rain and dull grey clouds most days this week. It’s already getting harder to get up in the morning (at least it is for me — I know you’re an early riser!) as it’s getting light later and later. Sometimes I’d like to be able to hibernate!

  6. Hello Celi ~ glad you had a good time with your son!! I’m sure you rather breath the fresh air here at home!!! love seeing a few of the animals! cute chicks!! Bread looks delicious ~ now I need some butter as soon as it comes out of the oven!!! Have a good one ~ hugs to my Boo and TonTon!!

  7. Those chicks are so strong and lively! And that gorgeous sturdy little steer… You have wonderful stock, Celi, a tribute to your care and feeding.

  8. We have an early fall here in Portland and grateful as can be. So much early rain will keep more fires at bay and fill our rivers again. The entire planet is in pain and no one wants to do anything differently. We definitely need more trees and more concern for our home planet.
    I’m glad you had time with family and are back on the farm with all those sweet animals. What fun to watch the chicks following mom. Not something I would ever see.
    Interesting the idea of cover crops and how and why you plant them. I LOVE diakon radishes. Mom would slice them onto good chewy, buttered rye and salt the radish a bit for the best sandwich. It was a treat we didn’t get often while living in Germany and rarely in the states. I thought it better than ice cream. Have a gentle weekend.

    • My Dad made radish sandwiches as far back as I can remember. I loved them and I still make them today!

  9. Your bread always looks so fabulous. You’ve inspired me. I stopped using paper towels years ago. A few good flour sack towels work just as well–for wiping up a mess quickly and for patting stew chunks, chicken, or scallops dry before prepping. The only thing I can’t make myself do is drain something fried on them, but I may get there eventually by using the same towel for that–just don’t fry very often.

  10. Happy you’re home again, Cecilia! Yes it would have been nice to have at least a few days back before starting at the mill again. The mind needs to adjust to such great changes of atmosphere. I’d read that the redwoods especially the oldest were being wrapped. I didn’t realize the helicopters were dropping chemicals that in turn pollute the air. A conundrum as you said for sure. Love those darling chicks and your handsome bull.

    • I did not ( though I should have) realize that of course they will use chemical retardants to stop a fire. They have to. But it is something we need to add to the equation.

  11. So often all we can do is mitigate the effects of one thing by doing another which all too often has its own effects… but is the better of the options. We’ve reduced our papertowel (made from recycled materials) usage to occasionally, and when we do use it, we compost it. I’m trying to knit cotton kitchen cloths but I’m a glacially slow knitter, and cotton has its own drawbacks, so I (not being a sewer) buy bamboo (also drawbacks) fabric waste offcuts made into kitchen cloths and wash and reuse… getting years of wear until they go to the shed to be used there. It’s not perfect but better, I think… who knows… when I take into account the water (which we collect ourselves in rainwater tanks, and reuse the greywater on the garden) and electricity (which we generate from solar panels) and washing detergent (environmentally friendly, supposedly)… by a degree than thoughtlessly consuming a primary resource. And then like you we plant trees and grow green things… I love your cover crop.

  12. I love the sound of content hens. Especially in a group. It’s so soothing that guttural cluck. I believe I could set up a chair and umbrella in a chicken coop and just bliss out.

  13. Welcome home.
    It was almost a relief to see the pink spray from the Marie Bashir (the large air tanker) when we were facing the unstoppable fire monster……plus the heroic firefighters who managed to save the prehistoric Wollemi pines in their deep valley.

  14. So good to see your post Celi. Interesting to hear that they spray the trees, I didn’t know that. Wonderful photos … I too love cover crops, so good and they protect the soil! That bread btw, looks super

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