St Croix River Road Ramblings

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Sunday, August 30, 2015

August Memories

The doe and her two fawns frequent the orchard and share in the ripening apples

August rains of several inches kept the farm and woods ponds filled

My trail to the pond through the prickly ash and young green ash trees is still dangerous with mosquitoes lurking in the brush

The corn ears are long, the stalks tall, and likely a record yield for October. 

The squash vines are dropping showing buttercup squash here and there.  Now if we don't watch out is the time the deer move in and start eating them

Box elder seeds are soon ready to wing their way around the farm yard, seeding everything in sight.  They are not a pretty tree, nor really a nice tree for the yard, but they do make OK firewood

Soon the black walnuts will attract squirrels to pack them away for the winter.  I plan to pack some myself for winter.  They are hard nuts to crack and any meat you get is earned by hard labor.

A few early apples for sale; a few squash and a few tomatoes parked at the end of the driveway -- self service.
Margo is slowly recovering from her back surgery.  She felt pretty good a few weeks ago, and went out and did a little gardening and disturbed something that put her back in the chair again in pain that is only gradually fading.  A year of recovery is 4 months complete, and her patience is fading, but if she behaves, we expect things will keep improving.  

She wants to get good enough to stand the 6-hour drive to West Bend to visit her 90 year old father -- who after a series of small strokes is in a nursing home for the past few weeks and likely to stay.  His second wife of a few years passed away a few months ago.  He seems to be making the best of things, with Margo's brother there to take on the responsibility of getting him through the problems.  Margo worries a lot, but her brother Larry does a good job with his dad.  Merlin is a social type of person who makes friends with the folks around him, in his condo, then in assisted care and now in the nursing home.  His sense of humor helps. 

The Hanson family 22 rifle competition--reunion is next weekend at sister-in-law Connie's farm.  That is always fun.  Then the St Croix High School Class of '65 50th reunion (Russ) is on the 12th and then on September 26th the 10th annual River Road Ramble where we plan to have a garden, orchard sale as well as a garage sale to clear out some of the outbuildings on the farm.  

Friday, August 21, 2015

Cushing Fun Days

Saturday, August 22nd  8 am - 3 pm
Old Stuff Sale in Cushing upstairs in the Community Center
Sterling Eureka and Laketown Historical Society
Open House at the Museum 
Been sorting out items from the farm for the Old Stuff sale at the Community Center -- upstairs around the back parking. SELHS does this a fund raiser and to attract folks to visit the museum.   Drop in downstairs for the Firemen's pancake breakfast and then come upstairs to look at the museum rooms and see what you need from the specially donated items for the old stuff sale and the vendors.  We have a lot of fun with Cushing Fun Days (Saturday for us) with the morning in the museum and at 5 pm, watching the adult soapbox derby with the interesting creations coasting down the hill on mainstreet.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

August Views

Had a very busy two weeks with the Polk County fair and taking on the 160 year old historic Red School House on the fair grounds at St Croix Falls, WI.  

Scott helped me this year as Margo, although she is improving, is still not very strong and mostly gives advice yet.  With therapy done, she is working on balance and strength improvement so she can stand, walk and do things safely.  

The school house includes cleaning the building, getting in displays, lining up 20 volunteers to sit there for 4-hour shifts over 9-9 four days, the daily upkeep, and then cleaning it all out again.  We had almost 2000 folks drop by on a fair week that was almost perfect weather, so successful!

I plan to put fair photos on in a different post.  Some of the changes that August brings on the farm are interesting.  Still warm weather ahead, but everything is trying to finish up it's cycle of reproducing before the September frosts.  

Field corn is in the early milk stage and looks great

Summer squash

Art by a spider trapping thistle down

Apples are a month away from eating, although the tiny crab apples are pretty good already

Dill heads are seedy.  The dill comes each year in the garden from seeds shed on the ground the year before.  Mom was the "dill lady" who supplied local stores and neighbors with their early dill

We have had a moderate summer with one or two days at 90F so far.  August is starting cool and on calm mornings the fog forms over the old cranberry bog to the east
Trying to change a some old cow pasture grown up to weeds into next year's pumpkin garden.  The little disk is not heavy enough to break the sod, and although this is a very sunny plot, lower and more susceptible to early frosts

Rabbits are thriving on the farm.  In the summer they just eat my gardens, fenced or not, and in the winter, all they do is chew the bark off of my apple trees, especially the young ones I spent $25 each on and have been carefully watering and fertilizing to get started.  I plan to live trap them all and haul them to the woods where they will have a safer winter than at the farm where the farmer has been known to eat rabbits in his younger days.