No politics here. Just life. Just farming. Just me.

This is a politics free zone. Isn’t that a relief. The frenzy driven, spurious, destructive, puerile, gossipy politics that keeps bleeding into our lives makes me want to run and hide. I need to stand witness, but not here. Not on our farm blog. Even saying this is a politics free zone is a statement but I will only say it once.

I live in rural America which means I live in a very politically divided house. I am the cuckoo. I am not sure how other people deal with being in a political minority but I have learned the hard way to deal with it by saying nothing. There is no middle ground apparently.

(Also I am an immigrant with a green card – so I cannot vote here in the USA).

This means that I put all my energies into the farm and this blog and my writing and my new website for The Sustainable Home Consults and Workshops. Hard work is the only way to keep my metaphorical head above political waters. And the relief of travel. Just farming, writing, reading, travel.

That is what we will talk about here. Oh and the TKG PODCASTS – those are a delicious Work In Progress and nothing like any podcasts you have ever heard before. Unedited!

Robins Nest

Robins nest with four chicks.

Speaking of travel what is going on in the robins nest? Does it look like one of these fledgelings tried to spread her wings to travel a bit early then realised her mistake and has not quite learned how to fold those wings of hers.

The Old Barn

Dog sat in front of big old bar with the orange lights of the sunset shining through the windows.

The two big rescue pigs Jude and FreeBee are totally relaxed in their new bedroom in the old barn. When I go in to put the calves to bed they are already tucked in and sleeping like logs! (Did you see what I did there?). Pigs always top and tail like that. Which is cute in little pigs and very sensible in big hogs so they can fit more hog into less space.

Pigs and hogs will always be in bed before the cows and calves because they do not not see well in the dark.

When I enter the barn I coo and grunt like a sleeping hog so they know I am there but I do not have food so no need to get up. I have observed that hogs in the field grunt softly frequently. This is so they all know where the others are. So I do the same when I am just passing through. In the evening in the barn after they have put themselves to bed, they raise their ears and grunt back but unless I make a sudden sound they stay all sleepy and tucked in. Positioning themselves and laying those huge bodies down takes some manoeuvring so they don’t want to be disturbed now that they are comfortable. All I am doing is bringing in the calves and shutting their outside door – no need for the pigs to get up.

I will keep adding straw into this space as they flatten it down so we build up a nice mattress for their old bones.

Two mature hogs sleeping in straw in old barn
Interior of old barn at sunset, big door open to the yards.
Two beef cows standing by pig house under trees with sunset behind.

No more mink attacks so far.

Last night Boo was out running through the yards and then ran out barking twice in the night . Something was out there. Thank fully not a skunk. We have had no more mink attacks since the night of the Storm Attacks. Boo and I have found evidence of old kills though, so I will continue my vigilance.

Today we are going to sow the sweetcorn. Everybody here loves sweetcorn so we need a big crop. Not so long ago the farmers in the midwest would plant long rows of sweetcorn in the field closest to the farm houses to put up for the winter. I prefer to put our sweetcorn where I can let the cows and pigs do the clean up so as not to waste the stalks, and missed cobs, so we plant the sweetcorn into Johns field garden. We will sell some but mostly the families will eat the corn fresh from the field. It is always sown in successive plantings a couple of weeks apart so we get a good months worth of freshly picked sweetcorn for all the kitchens.

Time for me to start the waters.

Have a lovely day.


PS Substack. The Kitchen’s Garden Podcasts

The Kitchens Garden Podcast Episode Three.

The Kitchens Garden Podcasts have been very well received. Thank you so much – I am so grateful. These short ones were a bit experimental so I am excited that you are coming back with me to dig up some of these old posts and have a chat about them.

On reflection and after consultation with a number of you I am going to re-scale the timing. They will still be read freestyle and produced unedited but instead of TWO short ones a week I am going to produce ONE 40 minute TKG podcast a week.

You can listen as you work, or walk or cook, or clean or garden.

It will take a bit more work to produce a longer piece but I think it is important work. Looking back and thinking about how I did stuff is a great reminder of my roots. The early days. The mistakes and successes. Plus there are a pile of really cool recipes from back then. Episode Three talks about how to make cream cheese.

They say you should work in the media that you love to engage in and I always listen to podcasts when I am cleaning. So it stands to reason. Now I am listening to my own so I can improve. We can always improve.

Have a great day and watch out for tomorrows podcast; ready for your weekend. Join here.

20 Comments on “No politics here. Just life. Just farming. Just me.

  1. Oh I hear you well on politics. I avoid the topic on my blog, in comments to others, and out loud in the very rural village of our zipcode as we are outliers here. A couple of folks in the same boat, but we are definitely the minority.
    I am so sorry about your mink situation and it’s destruction. I foolishly left the chicken coop pop door open one night when thunderstorms raged through before they were in the coop and a raccoon got in, killed one, scared another out and somehow she managed to get free of the run but became the victim of some predator before she found her way back to the house or coop. I found the pile of feathers while mowing yesterday. Like you, I feel terrible, because it was totally my fault. Life on the farm is not always roses and butterflies.

    • Oh no. I totally understand that guilt. We know we should get over it but it still weighs on a person. Now you have reminded me- I better get out and do some mowing!

  2. Like you, I stay a long way away from politics! LLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOONG! My Dad always said the quickest way to lose family and friends is to talk about Religion and Politics!

  3. Politics can certainly be a deadly subject. I hate that it divides us and can sometimes be the only thing we see about another person. Avoiding it allows us to see where we are similar. Right now politics defies understanding. I am glad the devil mink hasn’t been back, I am still grieving over Nelson.

    • Losing that wee rabbit was a tough blow. He has a lovely grave (though how can a grave be lovely) under the tree with a big beautiful rock on top to mark the spot. I am still sad too.

  4. Loved hearing about those hogs at night, what a brilliant relationship you have with them. Those Robins will soon be up and away. Nelson 😢.

  5. Such a lovely sunset shot! Gosh, Freebee and Jude certainly have it made! We have tried planting sweetcorn a few times, last year being the absolute last. Our rocky soil and insect infestations make it pretty much impossible. 😦

      • Thank goodness we have so many veggies that thrive! Of course we must add compost yearly to our raised beds to keep them fertile. We just finished harvesting our spring crop of broccoli today. Very delicious! We’ll plant again in the fall. Like you, our asparagus is coming on strong and we have begun harvesting our strawberry beds. Our blackberries and raspberries should be ready in about a month. We are picking carrots that grew covered over the winter, and are eating lots of radishes. We have been succession planting the radishes to make them last. Everything is planted now and popping up! All tomatoes (lots of them!) and sweet and hot peppers, cucumbers, squash, kohlrabi, all grown from seed, are in and flourishing. It’s very exciting!!! 🙂

  6. The old barn has two glowing eyes! Love seeing Boo on guard, or simply reflecting on his day- the mind of a working dog 🙂

  7. I love the pic of Boo near the barn… good dog. Hard feelings to lose an creature in our care be it rabbit, chook or… Our two person household thankfully have similar views that we keep to ourselves except selectively, hereabouts anyway but things are changing, incrementally.

  8. I can vote here in Australia, despite being an immigrant of 20 years, but I find it almost impossible to find a person/cause/party I’m content to pin my flag to. Plato said ‘Only those who do not seek power are qualified to hold it’. Still true nearly 2,500 years later. And now, you have made me crave sweetcorn, so isn’t it a good thing I have some in the fridge!

  9. It’s funny, my late brother had six kids, all married with families and some were poles apart with regard to a lot of subjects. My brother and his wife were total opposites but they were married 55 years. They set up rules for family gatherings, they are a close family so there are a lot of them. Politics is one of the subjects that are verboten, it works very well for them and they can all enjoy each other’s company.

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