Archive | June 2014

What in the….?

Last year, after the garden had been harvested, we used one particular spot as a place for compost.  In that area we threw in our daily fruit and vegetable trimmings plus some of the dead plants from the garden.  We moved that composted matter to a new location before we started our garden this year.   After we planted our garden, we noticed a spot where the compost had been that seemed to be growing way out in advance of the other vegetables we planted.  The leaves looked like zucchini or yellow squash, but bigger.  So – we started calling that area the volunteer plants and anxiously awaited the vegetables that would emerge.

And, so – now…we have the line up:

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On the left you see a yellow squash and a zucchini.  On the right you see the volunteer ….well, what are they?  We’ve learned that the two can cross pollinate and create a kind of hybrid creation….so what are they?

The real thing - genuine, true yellow squash and zucchini

The real thing – genuine, true yellow squash and zucchini


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The Hybrid Gang

And, inside they look like this…

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So  – do we have…



This entry was posted on June 28, 2014, in Gardening.

The Scout Report

The garden and the chicks keep us busy!

This week we harvested the first of the zucchini and squash and, of course, our daily eggs.

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We like to give the chicks a treat once in a while – one of their favorites is watermelon rind.  It looks good to me, but I never seem to get a taste of it.

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We also fertilized in the garden using something called fish emulsion.

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It’s a concentrated liquid that is kind of thick and brown.  So – since it looked so good, I sure was interested in it.  It has to be mixed with water – two tablespoons per gallon.  As it was being mixed, I noticed the heavenly aroma.  Let me tell you – this stuff smells fantastic.  I think Mr. and Mrs. Fifty Shades like it, too, because they were saying things like, “Oh, the smell!”  I was able to roll in the grass and get it on my fur so that I could keep that scent around for a long time.  I also licked some of the fertilizer off the container so that my breath would smell great, too.

Our garden is starting to look really good.  Some of the tomato plants are bearing fruit…

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….we have blooms on our cucumbers, watermelons, and cantaloupes, as well as our potatoes…

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We are going to have a busy summer.  The next fish emulsion treatment is in a month and I can’t wait!!!

Until next time…

Scentcerely yours,


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So Long, Farewell Trailer – Part Deux

We begin where we left off…the trailer merrily, yet slowly moving down the road.  For some reason, Mr. Fifty Shades and I felt compelled to follow it down our country lane, despite the fact that it had left our driveway.  Good-by, Trailer!  The crew had arrived at 9:15 a.m. and now it was about 12:15 p.m. and all was well.  Tra-la-la.

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But, as the road narrowed (almost beyond our property line) the driver tried to avoid a rock wall on the south side of the road.  We watched in horror as the long, long trailer’s wheels dropped over an embankment and the trailer settled on its axles and frame, teetering over the creek on the north side of the road.

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At this point, the road is completely blocked.  No vehicles can come past or leave.   The crew assessed the situation and knew they had to leave to obtain materials and support.  They immediately left and soon returned with the necessary reinforcements and a plan of action.

While one man got into the ditch and started erecting a support system to carry the weight of the trailer, another man began putting jacks and blocks under the trailer in order to lift the trailer so as to build the next layer of supports under the jacks and lift the trailer higher to get the right wheels level with the road.  Of course, it rained – a real gullywasher for about 20 minutes.   Progress was slow, but steady.

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Father and Son working on the problem – using pulleys around a cedar tree to lift the trailer up from the ditch.


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Upright now, but over a foot above the ditch – they need to move the trailer sideways to firmer ground.

The consultants, brought in from summer vacation,  work out the details of the plan.

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It was nerve wracking to watch but also amazing to witness the calm and patience of the man leading the effort.  Even though this was one of the longest days of the year, darkness arrived too soon. When it was not safe to work anymore, the crew called it quits for the evening and left about 9:30 p.m.  They had been at it over 12 hours and they had worked so hard.

This morning, the crew arrived back ready to tackle the challenge once again.  Methodically they worked to lift the trailer, inch by slow inch.   Of course, it rained – again!  You won’t be surprised to learn that Mr. Fifty Shades worked right along with the crew.  I have to say I was a bit tense as I watched him crawl under the trailer (he is there in the background in the picture below).   You can also see the concrete blocks, logs and lumber put in place to construct the supports (we learned a new word the supports are called cribbing) to carry bridging back to the road.  Once the support system and bridging was built, they raised both all six wheels of the trailer off the ground and used chain, cable, pulleys and a diesel truck to slide and vault the trailer over one to two inches at a time until the airborne tires safely reached terra firma.

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Finally, all six wheels are solidly on the road.

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But, the rock wall that caused the whole ordeal is lurking just beyond.

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They continued to work at a breakneck slow pace – but this is how they had to do it.  At about high noon, the trailer eased its way down the road onto the next part of its journey.

It is kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but these next three show where the support system was built to carry the weight of the trailer.

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Scout in the foreground inspecting the support system.

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Once again, the Trailer leaves.  We wish it well.  More importantly, we hope the hauling crew has a much easier time getting it to and putting it in place in its new home.

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Until next time.

Dramatically yours,

The Fifty Shades of Green Acres Crew






So Long, Farewell Trailer


So – we started with this ad in our local paper…

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We received over 30 calls and lots of people came out to look.  We ended up with five folks/families who were serious.  All were instructed to call us back with info regarding their arrangements.  By the time things all shook out there were really two families.  Family One came through – although, I will have to say – it is not easy to give away a trailer.  In fact, until yesterday evening, we weren’t sure the trailer was moving today.  Especially me.  Mr. Fifty Shades was on our porch and had just gotten off the phone with Family One.  I  heard him open the door and say, “Here’s an egg.”  Except – what I heard was, “They reneged.”  I even said, “They reneged?”  And, he said, “Yes, here’s an egg.”  When I walked out to hear the whole explanation, he was just puttering around the garage like nothing unusual was happening – I could not believe the rest of the story was not spilling out of him.  But, I can be patient.  He then said, “Well, I’ll be going down to work on the trailer so it’s ready for tomorrow.”  Confusion ensued.  We get into crazy conversations here sometimes.  : )

Now, the pictures you’ve all been waiting for – the trailer is gone, gone, gone…?  or, is it?  Stay tuned for Part Two.

Oh My!

Two days ago in the early evening, we were on our property but down the hill from our house, and remarked that it looked like it was going to rain. We were starting to walk up to the house when we felt the wind and saw a few loose items start skittering across the field.  Then, pouring rain and a violent wind pelted and swirled around us.  I felt like I might have been on the set of the re-make of The Wizard of Oz.  Any second a sweet, kind old lady would stick her head out of a door and say, “Dorothy, Dorothy…?” (I did portray Glenda, the Good HR Manager once, but that is a story for another day).  Fortunately, Mr. Fifty Shades, Scout, and I were able to run for cover and wait out the storm, which lasted only about 15 minutes.  After, we walked out and looked at what happened while the wind was a blowin’…

Our corn stalks flattened…June 2014 - 12 007


Tomato plants bent and down on the ground…June 2014 - 12 010


Boo Hoo!  : (

And, this tree snapped right between two of our apple trees…June 2014 - 12 019


By the next morning, most of the vegetable garden was on the mend.  We decided to prop them up a bit for a little more support…June 2014 - 12 013 June 2014 - 12 012



We actually think we were in a mini tornado after looking around at all the twigs, leaves and branches down.  Whew!

Of course, no matter the weather or circumstances life brings…there’s no place like home. : )

Until next time,

The Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team





50 Shades of Green Acres Update

Things you may be wondering…

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What happens when your buddy tries to catch a wasp?  

A swollen snout appears.   Trust Scout on this.

What’s going on with the bee house?

The center support for the roof is on…

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This could be Mr. Fifty Shades or Tim the Tool Man’s Neighbor…

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Why did the chickens cross the road?

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…to follow Scout and Mr. Fifty Shades, of course…

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What is in the background that will be in an upcoming future post with big news?  

You’ll have to stay tuned!

Until next time…

Fifty Shades of Green Acres Team









This entry was posted on June 10, 2014, in bees, chickens.

Difficult to Watch, Easy on the Eyes

When you have a few acres to tend, the chores are endless and can be physically demanding.  Some are even difficult to watch – like this….



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…I was assured, however, that it was much easier to watch, and I will believe that without having to check it out myself.

Other events are more fun to observe.  This floor was once at the back of the house, originally planned to be a storage closet,

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but it has been moved, expanded, and re-purposed here…

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…beside the beehives.

Next, walls and a roof will go up to create a shed for beekeeping equipment.  First, though, the floor needed to be checked out to be sure it was solid…

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Yep…it’s all good.

Until next time,

Fifty Shades of Green Acres