Collecting Flower seeds

It’s that time of year in north Missouri to start collecting and storing seeds. If i see a flower or plant along the road banks i like, i stop and collect as many seeds as possible. Lay them out to dry, then store in a dry place and start them early in the spring. I direct sow where i want the plants – transplanting just doesn’t seem to work for me.

Illinois Bundleflower

harvested Stella D’Oro lily seeds
These lilies are not native to Missouri, but are often used for landscaping and are quite pretty.

Renewing Relationships

This isn’t going to be a profound blog – i’m not a profound kind of person. This is simply a blog with some photos i took recently with my Pentax K-5 and, honestly, i had to renew my relationship with my camera by getting out the book! Taking snapshots with my phone is just so handy, that lugging my heavier camera fell out of vogue.

Time to enjoy it some more. And read my book and practice, practice, practice.

Giant Swallotail on my phlox plants
Thankfully, we live in an area with not much light pollution. These past few moonless nights were great opportunity to practice night shots. i don’t have all the gadgets and equipment for best shots, but that’s okay – i’m pleased enough.
Little thieves caught in the act! What a challenge to be a sunflower farmer!
Okay, not so great – didn’t read the book before taking this shot.
Not all the animals on our farm are wild. One of my Welsummer hens coming of the shade.

Chicks Arrived!

Do i get some more layers or not? Like dairy cows, chickens require daily attention and in some seasons of life, we simply don’t want or need to be tied to daily chores, especially considering that farm chores often will not be covered by someone else. When i finally decided to go ahead and order for late summer/early fall shipping, COVID 19 hit and apparently everyone in the country thought homesteading was the only thing to save them! In other words, all the hatcheries were suddenly sold out with no idea when they would have more inventory. So, i waited and waited and checked Cackle Hatchery website over and over. Did research on alternative heritage breeds and at long last they had Salmon Faverolles. I had no experience with them, but what the heck. So i put the number of chicks in my cart and waited and considered another week – just to make sure i really wanted to raise more layers to take the place of my nearly 15 month old Welsummers hens come next spring.

That extra week was all it took! Voila! The Welsummers were once again available, so i switched out and took them. Now i see the Faverolles are sold out. Maybe another year for them.

Cackle Hatchery sent me a ship date and on that date, they sent a time of shipment, i called our postal service in Laclede early afternoon so she could message the Linneus post office that chicks would likely arrive early in the morning and would they call me so i could go pick them. They did arrive overnight and the call came through and i high tailed it up to get them. (Our two small town post offices share hours for the day, ie Linneus is open in the morning, Laclede is open in the afternoon)

Of course, i had already set up their housing and was ready for them with chlorine free water and feed. For housing, i just pull two cardboard boxes together and cut a hole in the sides. I plugged in the heat lamp before i headed to town, having already checked out that the area where the chicks would congregate would warm to 99F. I use cardboard boxes so i can simply burn them once i move the chicks to their larger outdoor living quarters when they are older.

Light and Simple Meal

Here’s my throw together recipe – adjust yours to taste and preference.

  • 3 cups spiralized or sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan
  • Sea salt
  • butter or olive oil

On low to medium heat saute onions and zucchini in butter or olive oil until desired softness, sprinkle in flour and stir to thicken, then add eggs and stir to mix. Add salt and mozzarella and cheddar. Stir until blended, then top with Parmesan – turn off heat and cover. Once the Parmesan is slightly melted, serve it up.

Now, to jazz this up by adding protein and calories, i would cook up some sliced beef sausage or home made beef sausage, then in the same pan, continue with this recipe.

Simple, easy, delicious!

Easy stovetop preparation. Add beef or lamb sausage for a hardier meal.

Making SAUSAGE

Sausage can be expensive to buy, but it’s easy to make at home with a bit of effort and time. However, you may find that if you have lean sausage, it will be more difficult to break into small pieces. I usually cook it, then chop it in a food mill if i want small pieces like i use as pizza toppings.

  • 1 lb ground beef or lamb
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground or leaf sage
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

Thaw out the ground beef or lamb, then thoroughly mix in the spices. It is best to allow this to meld at least 24 hours. Typically, i make a couple pounds at a time, then freeze it back up in 1/2 lb packages. Then just thaw out as much as needed.