Sweet Corn vs Field Corn

Isn’t all corn the same? Well, no. Sweet corn is the type of corn that you grow in your personal garden or you buy at the store, Farmer’s Market, etc. Field Corn is what you’ll see in fields as you drive through Nebraska (or Missouri, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, etc). You’ll see the Farmer’s out in the field planting with a big planter and harvesting with a combine. The other big difference is when it is peak harvest time.

Similarities and Differences

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Homeschooling 101: Planting Seeds… Coronavirus Day 38

Once upon a time, we were in a science class in grade school. We planted beans and corn from seed and watch the germination process. Jump forward 20+ some odd years (I don’t know how many) and I decided to do that with the little. It was a time of the Coronavirus Pandemic when schools were closed for the rest of the year and we had to homeschool. And when I say homeschool, our school district wasn’t prepared for that. Eventually, they sent out daily work, that wouldn’t harm the kiddos grade, but would help it should they do it. But after we did that work, we did our own education as well. This time… science.

Since this spring we got into gardening, why not do the germinating thing, right? I had seeds waiting to be planted in the ground. Mainly corn and green beans as I attempted to start other plants in the greenhouse.

Corn prefers to be started directly in the ground. Beans on the other hand don’t mind being started indoors, but in my luck, they still do better directly in the ground. (more…)

Adding Soil/Fertilizer… Coronavirus Day 36

I gave up on the seeds in the ground. Grandma swears I should give it a little more time. And truthfully my dad always says I’m a little impatient… but they’ve been planted since March 30 and here we are April 18th (that was Saturday this all went down) and no signs of anything. The seedlings I planted were for cooler weather. Not cold… there’s a difference. But they prefer the cooler weather of April, May, and possibly June versus the summer heat of July and August.

3 weeks and nothing. So I pulled the tiller out and said screw it. Hubby started “feeling sorry” for me because I really wanted more soil from our manure pile, but we don’t have a front end loader. I wasn’t in the mood to try and bucket it as we did back in March. And truthfully he’d been wanting to rent this machine because it comes with multiple attachments including one to work on the brush in timber. (more…)

My New Greenhouse… Coronavirus Day 36

Some days I have great ideas… and other days I have ideas that make you scratch your head wondering where on earth I came up with this. Today’s project might be one of those… WHAT?!?! moments. So between the gardening and landscaping this year… I’ve really gotten into plants. I bought a lot of the flowers that I’ve used for landscaping, but the vegetables for the garden are a different story. I really wanted to grow my own plants. After garden planting #1 went awry, I decided to try the little miniature greenhouses. You know the little starter kits you buy at Home Depot (<– I used that one… not an affiliate link, just a link to what I used) or Lowes and I even found them at Dollar General.

Those starter kits are addicting. So I accidentally took over my kitchen table. Whoops. That was when I went on the hunt to see how much it would cost to make a greenhouse. There are kits you can buy but this was a DIY Greenhouse that we decided upon. This round anyway :).

My New Greenhouse

First things first… you need to decide how big it is going to be. Where you are going to put it. And buy the materials. Since I already had the trailer on from taking scrap to the scrapyard, it was the perfect time to get the materials. We decided on a 12×16. So here’s the material list: (more…)

Starting Vegetables from Seed… Coronavirus Day 35

I got a little excited back at the end of March trying to get plants in the ground. In case you wondered… none of them germinated. None of them came up. I decided to give up… although Grandma told me to give it just a little more time. But I don’t have high hopes. So I decided to go the route of starting them indoors and then transplanting them. What do I have to lose at this point? I still have time to try this method and if it doesn’t work, try planting directly in the garden again. I guess that’s one good thing about starting early.

I still haven’t given up hope on finding potato starts, but I’m not finding them either. Fingers crossed I find some… but…

Back to the day at hand…

Starting Vegetables from Seed.

  • You’ll need a good potting mix. Typically I try to use from our soil pile, but I actually bought seed starting potting mix. 
  • Seed trays that include an outer tray, inner tray, and the clear plastic dome.
  • Seeds (of course)
  • Water.
  • Optional: Seedling markers.
  • Optional: Seed Dibber or pencil. Helps measure how deep to plant the seeds.

First things first, you’ll want to put the soil into the individual trays. (more…)

Expecting a “New One” – Coronavirus Day 32

For the record, It’s NOT me. Now back to regularly scheduled programming. haha.

Since we’ve been home on this self-quarantine type whatever you want to call it, we’ve been doing a lot of riding. This has been our form of social distancing. But it has also been our form of not going mad in the house. Before this week, I’m pretty sure we’ve only missed riding a handful of times in the last month. That’s not bad, right? So why have we missed so much this last month? Well, because we started questioning if Aloha (the horse) was pregnant. 

We’ve had a lot of times in the past few years we thought she was bred. Always turned out she wasn’t. We’ve only had her checked by a vet for pregnancy one time. That was the only time we really thought, fingers crossed, she might be. She wasn’t. She was open (not in foal). 

Now one thing about this mare (female horse) is that she is kind of short and chunky anyway. That’s just her build. Big-boned as some might call it. (more…)

Bottle Calves – Coronavirus Day 28 & 29

 We now have bottle calves. How on earth this happened I’m still scratching my head to figure out… but… Let me paint you a picture…

Last night just after normal chore time, I got a text message from both my parents saying my dad needed help and how fast could I get there. Real fast. Abug and I threw our shoes on and out the door we went. Good thing we just live down the road. She was in play clothes so she went into my parent’s house with my mom (too cold for how she was dressed) and I went out to see what was going on. I had been there about an hour before and a cow was laying funny on the hillside. Turns out, momma was pregnant and trying to calve. 

She got the calf out all right, especially for a first-time momma, but then she ran off. The baby needed a little assistance. So dad and I grabbed some towels and off to the field we went to try and dry the baby off. It wasn’t cold out, but it was cool and just coming out of mommy, the calf was cold. Momma cow wouldn’t come near. I think part of it was because we were there but she was a first-time momma and sometimes they don’t have those instincts they’re supposed to. (more…)

Time to Play on the Horse Walker (again)… Coronavirus Day 19

When I was a kid, my parents bought this horse walker. What is a horse walker? It is exactly what it says, a horse walker. There have been times we had horses get hurt and we had to slowly bring them back (think physical therapy for people, but for horses). You can put them on the walker and it helps build back muscles. Say you have multiple horses and you need to warm them up or cool them down, you place them on the walker. Say it is winter and you want them to get outside and stretch their legs, hello horse walker.

It’s a machine that helps the horse walk around in a controlled manner.

When I was a kid, one of the arms had a swing put on it for me to ride on. The horses learned how to stop the machine and as a kid, I loved to ride the thing… it was my job to keep the horses walking. (more…)

Planted the Garden Today… Coronavirus Day 17

So here’s the thing… The thing is… The thing… Okay okay, the thing is… I might have planted my garden too soon. I might have gotten so dang excited I couldn’t stand myself and jumped the gun.

I live in Zone 6B. That is temperatures -5-0˚F on the cold side. A couple of years ago we got colder than that… but typically this is pretty accurate for SW Missouri.

My Grandma and my dad told me that my Great Grandpa said we needed to have our potatoes planted in the ground by St. Patrick’s Day (March 17). That didn’t happen since I didn’t start my garden digging until March 21st. Because of the country lockdown, I haven’t been many places. Lowes and a local farm store. The farm store was the only place that had potato starts. I didn’t get mine in time. I guess because everyone is home with nothing to do… everyone is starting a garden. Sigh!

But I did a little research to see if there is anything I should have planted. Turns out as long as you have daytime temps of 56˚F or more you can plant corn, celery, peppers, tomatoes, watermelons, squash, and beans. That’s what the internet tells us. These plants tend to like cooler weather… except maybe the watermelon and the corn… I’m not sure I agree with the internet on those.

I looked at the back of the package. We’re at March 30th so I figured that’s close enough to April. A lot of the packages said April so I went for it. (more…)

Starting the Garden… Coronavirus Day 8 & 9

A year ago I really wanted to start a garden. It just wasn’t in the cards. We were trying to finish up our house and there was no time for a garden. Gardens are actually a lot of work. I had one a few years ago that was a small raised bed. I tended it every day. They are work. 

But then this year… coronavirus hit and BAM, we all had time on our hands. haha. Back in January, we had a fire that burned up my little tiller. It wasn’t really the size to start a big garden anyway, but it was what I had… but the fire consumed it as well as that original raised bed I had. haha. Ironic… kind of.

I started probing hubby trying to question if we could get a tiller, etc. Why? Because I want to start a garden. Why? Why not? Why? Why not? Okay, you get the picture.

So hubby went on the hunt to find me a tiller. He finally landed on the Powermate 18 in. 196cc Gas 4-Cycle Rear-Tine Tiller. It’s a workhorse (pronounced haus). (more…)