Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Monday, April 29, 2013

starts with W

 I am sitting here waiting for baby goats to be born, thought Brownie would have them before now, but I am passing away the hours thinking.........
generally my thinking gets me in hot Water,
 but I got to thinking about all the FARM/GARDENING words
or combination of words
that begin  with the letter W
so dust off your old Dictionary that's sitting on the shelf and find
a perfect Word or words that describes your concept of gardening,
 and living
close to the earth
Here's my list, please add to it in the comment section
I'll pick which one I find most beautifully unexpected and Wonderful,  and
send along an original painting
Remember these are the rules.
1. Usually I ask that you are a follower, but anyone can leave a comment
for this painting of your choice, just send me a photo of what you would like me to paint.
Gardening, flowers, or farming related (sorry no portraits)
.  Available to U.S.A. delivery only.
2.  Leave your answer in the comment section (you can only answer once)
3.  Promise you won't throw darts at it!
FOOTNOTE   HOOFNOTE:  Brownie had 2 beautiful bucklings.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Dead Mouse in the Little Red House

I've hunted high and low
Looked under the couch and chair
dug through all the cupboards
but I can't find it anywhere.
It's  hidden out of sight
it might be in the wall
when you walk in the door
the smell almost makes you fall
I  run out to the close line
and grab a wooden pin
and clamp it on my nose
so the smell can't get in
I look kind-a funny
a walkin' around the house
with a clothspin on my nose
but  at least I don't smell
 Blasted Dead Mouse!

disclaimer:  I never have professed to be a good writer and my stab at poetry isn't any better, in fact it's down-right awful.  I have added an "awful poetry" label to my posts.  More awful poetry coming soon!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Marigolds/ Calendula

the humble marigold
should be a staple in everyones' garden
it attracts harmful nematodes to it's own roots and away from your plants
some say it works and some say it doesn't, but either way it is
a bright happy flower standing sentry around the
garden perimeter
it can be fed to chickens to deepen the color of the egg yolks
it can be used for dye
the species
or pot-marigold
 is a tasty addition to fresh salads,
add the petals to rice dishes
sprinkle them over scrambled eggs
and it makes a calming tea
 Calendula can be made into a soothing salve used for healing and minor burns
it is good for chapped lips
diaper rash 
to make the healing salve:
steep on low,
 1 cup  fresh Calendula petals tyed in cheesecloth
 in 1 cup oil for 4 hours do not burn!
try using a small crock-pot on the warm setting
add 4-6 tbs. beeswax
20 drops of lavender oil
(note:  for some the lavender oil may cause skin irritation,
 but it is a good anti-viral and anti-bacterial)
pour into small jelly jars
do not place the lids on until it has throughly cooled
 so excess moisture can escape
for a lip balm
use 1/8 cup of the above recipe
 add 1-2 tbs. more beeswax
 2 capsules of vitamin E
 and pour into a small jar or empty lip balm cases
(try coloring this lip balm with kool-aid, just add a small amount of the packet  into the hot liquid and stir until dissolved, keep adding until you get the desired color wanted)
 hand/facial cream
 I leave out the lavender oil and add a little more beeswax  to make it a thicker consistency. 
 add 5 capsules of vitamin E , 2 Tbs. solid coconut oil,  and a little honey
 This is especially good for sensitive skin.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What's a CSA

My Great-Grandfather's on both sides of my mother's family peddled vegetables.  Back then you would save money to buy seed thus the expression of "seed money" and then plant, hoping the crops would grow to harvest without pestilence, floods, frost, or other natural disasters.  After tending the plants for months and months the wagons would be loaded and hauled to town with the hopes that someone would buy your produce enabling you have the means to survive the rest of the year.  Every year the process was the same, invest time and money and hope to be able to sell. When I was young my family planted and harvested corn, potatoes, and winter squash to sell.

The concept of a CSA or Community Supported Agriculture supports the farmer up front.  You invest in the farmer and his/her harvest even before the planting process begins.  This  allows the farmer to gage the amount of crops to plant and guarantees that all the time, effort, and produce will not go to waste, because the harvest is divided among the members.  As a member in a CSA you share the risks and rewards of the farm.  If there is a bumber crop of radishes or spinach, that is passed along to the members, and if the chipmunks dig out all the blue pumpkin seed just after they germinate, there won't be any blue pumpkins in your share. in the fall.

CSA's come in different forms, each as individual as the grower or farmer.  The basis of a CSA is to support  local growers who deliver to a pre-determined location and disperse what is ready to harvest that week.  Most  CSA's grow all their own fruits and vegetables, some CSA's procure the fruit and vegetables from smaller growers, acting as a vegetable broker or co-op.  However the initial concept was for people to support a local farm and farmer.  My sister and I work together in our CSA.  Shelly lives in Leeds and has a warmer climate.  She plants, and has vegetables ready early in the spring.  Her fruit share spans the whole season.  I farm in a colder climate and provide the bulk of the vegetables during the peak summer months and through the fall.

A CSA connects you with the farmer or grower, you know how your produce was grown and the methods used.  Most CSA use organic methods, but many choose not to be "certified organic".
On our farm we only farm using organic methods, but we are not certified.

If you are interested in our CSA please contact me 

in St. George and Mesquite

Cedar city and farm pick-up

A payment program can be fit to your individual needs

Monday, April 22, 2013

Keep the shoes we'll take the box

"Keep the shoes, we'll take the box"
is what my dad would tell the shoe sales-man whenever I needed a new pair of shoes.  You see, my feet are as wide as they are long......I am serious.  Finding shoes to fit me was impossible when I was young.   So in order to have something to wear other than shoe boxes, or Kleenex boxes ( they already have a hole cut in the top and come in prettier colors) I always buy my, somebody else broke them in, worn and stretched, two or three sizes to big, boots from the thrift store. 
 Yes, I even wear men's boots to church.
The pair above was a recent score at the local thrift store
I actually have quite the collection of men's boots, but these are my favorite. 
retro boots from the seventies, had a pair like this when I was in High School
This pair is waiting for me at the farm.  I'll wear them while I am trudging behind the hand-tiller,
and they will protect my feet while I am shearing sheep. They will deflect  the sharp spiky thorns from a kazillion tumble weeds as I walk down the lane to the farm.
They smash rodents with a single stomp and don't mind getting covered in mud.  They would gladly tromp on stink bugs if I would let them, and they are always ready for an adventure.
Don't know what I'm going to do when they wear out.......
I think
 I'll just have to retire.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Balin' wire was the greatest invention of the 20th century.  Well in my opinion anyway.  If you have a piece of balin' wire you can fix anything.  It even rates above Duct Tape  on my list of have to have on the farm.  Sadly, however it is slowly being phased out and replaced by the balin' twine. Personally I don't care for the twine.  One good thing about twine is it comes in lots of bright colors, and makes a handy belt to hold up Handsome Man's britches when ever I have to borrow them.  The twine makes nice ropes when braided together but it looks (even a little too red-neck) tied all over the fences, holding the panels to the posts. 

By adding "barbs" and twisting 2 large wires together barbed wire fences changed face of the west.
Here I've used barbed wire on an antique mirror,wrapping it around the mirror and adding roses to make it "girly"
it hangs in my remodeled bedroom

Balin Wire holds the basketball backboard on so our family can play ball
That's Darlin Dodie shooting......she coaches basket ball at a large 4A high school
Her younger brother, trying to block the shot is a Senior, a star starter on a 3A team
recently tripped out to the city for him to get an
 Academic All-State Award!
(good job feller--see, pulling weeds DOES make you smart)
when we are not pulling weeds or working on other projects,
 the kids' are playing ball, even when it's winter and cold,
just scoop the snow off the cement pad and " PLAY BALL"


Balin' wire holds all my old implements on the wood fence

It ties the mail box nice and tight to a post after the snow plow knocks it off
it wires the chicken wire to the panels I have around the garden
 to keep the pesky rabbits out
The best use I have had  for balin' wire is when I had to  start my old green,
International Pick-up.  I would pop the hood, turn on the key, climb on the front right tire so I could reach down and  place one end of the balin' wire on the side of the starter and one end on the battery post .  Worked like a charm.   If I was able to park on a slant I could just clutch start it.  Sheesh, I miss that old truck.  Another thing I used balin wire for was to wire on the Fenders to my old green International truck.  You see, it was a step side and the fenders were gone, so an old boyfriend had modified it by using cut and shaped 50 gallon drum barrels welded onto the side as fenders.  Well, the welding wouldn't hold, so they fell off (I'm sure it wasn't because of my wild mountainous adventures or driving)
and I  figured that balin wire would do the trick. So I wired them up nice and tight and they held on for as long as I had the truck. I was quite the site a driven down the road in my old green truck (early 60's model) with the modified 50 gallon drums, balin' wired on fenders, in my bib- overalls, a BIG black dog in the back named "HOSS", a straw cowboy hat---of course, and  the windows rolled down a singin a Willy Nelson song.  Good times---No, GREAT TIMES.
I'll paint ya a picture sometime.
Yep, balin' wire was the best invention as far as my opinion goes.  I am sad to see it being replaced by twine, but a least twine comes in all those purty colors. 
Which do you prefer?

Monday, April 15, 2013


Here is the third volume of my farm magazine.  If you have been following me the past couple of years you will know I always wanted my yard to be in a magazine, but because I live out in the middle of now-where in the high dessert, and my yard is nothing fancy, my yard will never grace the pages of a reputable publication.

  So I decided to write my own , featuring the things I find beautiful and interesting in my yard at the Little Red House.  As always I will have a picture of me on the front cover, but I am a bit camera shy so the cover would look something like this.

my cherry red 1963 ford step-side pick-up
"Red Freddy Ford" we affectionately
call him

In this issue
                                                        I would take you for a stroll down
                           a secret path that leads you  around a corner and on to the herb garden

We'd walk through the herbs gathering bits of this and that to make
 a lovely herbal and flower tea
nasturtiumns would be gathered to add a dash of
color in our freshly harvested lettuce salad
 that we'd have
 along with tiny cucumber sandwiches
and dilly beans
sitting at a lace covered table
in a cove of trees
The beauty of this red Geranium in a window flower box
would inspire us to set up an easel, and our paints

and paint a quick sketch to remind you of a beautiful day
spent in the garden among the flowers, bees, the scent of herbs,
and the company of good friends


Saturday, April 13, 2013



                                you will notice a transformation within days, maybe even minutes

my own children were used in this research,
 no innocent neighborhood children were
forced to eat Brussels sprouts

                                            you may no longer need your Clark Kent glasses

you will become efficient at Math, Algebra, Physics, Spelinng, Calculus,

my straight A,  4.0 Senior
but because he eats his fruits and veges,
 the girls think he's a 10.0

disclaimer:   you may not have the same results

 no more broccoli for you son
O.K. maybe we can't quite guarantee these results, but I will guarantee.........
  But wait.......I have to start at the beginning.
It all began when I had an appointment to get a broken tooth fixed.  My dentist lives in Price and in order to get to Price you have to go over the notorious Indian Canyon Pass.  (remember the broken down Burbanator).  Well, we had had the most beautiful spring weather for the past two week and then Monday night the blizzard blew in.  My appointment was at 10:00 a.m.  Tuesday morning.  In order to make it on time I would have to leave the house by 8:00 on a good day.  I waited till just a little after 8:00 hoping the weather would warm up so we (me and good ole Wilma, the car) might not have snow and ice covered roads to travel.  Well by the time I hit Duchesne, there was a good 10 inches of snow.  I thought about turning around and heading back home right then and there, I am either really, really brave or really, really, stupid and
I decided to pursue onward.  I stopped to fill up with gas because if I was going to slide off the cliff as I went over the pass I wanted to be able to at least keep warm until someone found me.  Handing the clerk $25.00 for gas I asked her if she knew how the road conditions were going over Indian Canyon.  She asked what gas pump I was on and glanced out the window when I answered #3.
"Are you in that car?' she asked giving me a look of disbelief.  "I wouldn't go over that pass unless I had a good 4 wheel drive, actually I wouldn't go over that pass at all today."
She also said all the roads are iced up and snowy.
Walked back out to where Wilma was waiting, filled her up with gas and asked her if she was up for the challenge.
Her dented door screeched as I opened it, and unhesitatingly, she said "YOU BETCHA-YA!" 
So off we went, Wilma and I,  slip slidin through snow and slush.   I drive in the snow a lot and thought the roads weren't that bad, but when I came upon the flashing lights that said to chain-up I got a little apprehensive.  Do I turn around now, I've been on the road over an hour.  No, I'm half way there we'll keep going.  You see, I had to go to Walmart and pick up some thing for my boys' Prom Dates.  They had tracked down a couple of second-hand, black tail-tuxs' to wear and scored some nice slacks at the thrift store.  They wanted a stripe of glossy ribbon sewn down the outside pant-leg that would match the color of the dress their date was wearing and the purchased vest and bow-tie they had ordered to match the dress.  Blue and Pink.  I also needed to pick up some co2 tanks and paint for the paint ball guns for their day dates before the Prom.  I really needed to forge onto Price because I needed the items by Saturday, and if I didn't go today, I would have to take another day and travel to Vernal in an entirely different direction to pick up the items.  So Wilma and I pressed on.  Not very much traffic on the roads, everyone had sense enough to stay home........
We finally made it to the top and started the descent down.  This is where it gets kinda tricky.  I shifted into low gear and would apply the brakes to try not to go down the steep grade too fast, but with those anti lock brakes, they wouldn't let me slow down much and I would just keep sliding closer and closer to the edge and long drop-off. At this point I know that I'm not brave, just plain don't have a lick of sense in my head.  We crawled down the mountain and finally made it to Price.  Dr. Olsen, giving me a look of disbelief said, "Why did you go over the canyon, you should of called and rescheduled." 
Well, I needed fancy blue and pink ribbon, co2 cartridges, and paint balls, just didn't seemed like a good enough answer to risk my life for so I just smiled, or tried too with one half of my face numb. 
Got the tooth fixed.......
Hit the thrift store and then on to Walmart to get the fancy blue and pink ribbon and the co2 cartridges for the paint ball guns.
Found just the right colors to match their vests, bought 3 yard of each color so I would have enough and not have to run to town to buy more.  Bought supplies needed to feed 2 teenage boys, loaded the sacks in my cart, unloaded the cart into the car and headed home.  The roads were clear and I made it home without a hitch.  Unloaded the car and began to put things away.  After the sacks were empty, there wasn't a pretty blue or pink ribbon and co2cartdgriges to be found anywhere!!!!!  I went back out to the car, nope, NO sack filled with ribbon or cartridges.
Called Walmart and asked if my bag of ribbon was still at the store.  YEP, it sure was.  I said,  " I live 2 hours away (3 if it's snowing) and need the ribbon by Saturday, " can you load a credit on a card for the tanks (they are very costly), stick the glossy blue and pink ribbon and card  in an envelope and send it to me?  It is too far away to travel back to get them".  " NO," they replied,"  we will hold the bag for you and if you will bring your receipt back you can pick it up, BUT NOT without the receipt  even if you just called and we found the bag, you have to have your receipt in order to pick up the items.".......Hum  I think I have it somewhere.  But it got me to thinking about how I want to treat my customers.
If you purchase anything from us and are dissatisfied we will kindly replace it.  If you feel the Arugula is too spicy we can trade it for an item of equal value, but lesser flavor.  If the cucumber is bitter, throw it in the compost heap and let me know, I'll gladly replace it with another one.
If you leave your purchase with us to put in the cooler while you visit other booths and you forget to pick it up when you leave, we will not make you drive all the way out to the farm to pick it up.  Just get a new bag of produce from us the next week and you don't need a receipt,
 but you do need to remember what you bought,
 cause I never will.
Happy customers eating delicious veges is our goal.

Friday, April 12, 2013


Hang a bunch of dill over your door and you will be protected from witches, is an old folk belief.  Dill has been cultivated and used since the time of the Egyptians.  The old Norse word dilla, from which dill is derived means to "lull".  Dill seed oil has been used to make gripe water which calms a colicky child and sooths stomach problems. 

Plant seeds of dill in the early spring, but not to deep, it needs a little sunlight to germinate.  I plant a large block of dill and harvest the dill weed when it is about 6 inches tall.  As the plant matures they can grow up to 5 feet tall so plant them where they will not be damaged by the wind.  I have found that planting in large blocks also helps the plant to support it's self.
To harvest the dill plant, cut off  at the base when the seeds are fully developed and still green.  Tye in bundles and hang to dry.  Use a rubber band around the stems so when they dry, the band will tighten and the dill will not fall out of the bundle. 
 Use the dill as flavoring for pickles, other pickled vegetables, and herbed dill vinegars.
To harvest dill seed I simply wait until the dill seeds have turned brown.  Cut off plants at the base and fill a large paper grocery sacks full of the dill with the heads at the bottom.  Set the sacks in a warm, dry place such as the back of a closet.  When the stalks are completely dry, remove the seeds from the stems, letting them  fall to the bottom of the bag.   On a slightly windy day pour the seed out of the bag into a large bowl.  This will get rid of all the smaller stems.
 Store the seed in an air tight jar. 
TRY THIS:  when you have eaten all the pickles from a jar, don't pour out the vinegar; add fresh, cleaned, vegetables from the garden into the jar. (try a mixture of baby carrots, thin string beans, broccoli florets, etc.) Put on the lid and place in the refrigerator for a week or two.  These fresh vege pickles need to be eaten within a reasonable amount of time and not stored without refrigeration.
The kids like to sip a small amount of home canned pickle juice during the summer.  It is very refreshing and replenishes essentials fluids you loose while working in the sun all day.
make bread in the usual manner, but substitute tomato juice for the liquid
add dill seeds just before you mold into loaves
I like to use the small, shaped, cylinder loaf pans
serve the thick, sliced tomatoe bread with cream cheese,
 topped with diced black olives and fresh dill sprigs
these make wonderful sandwiches for tea 

Friday, April 5, 2013

2013 CSA Season

picked and delivered within hours

It's that time of year again!  When the Rhubarb begins to break through the ground I know summer is on it's way.  The green house is planted and Shelly's garden in Leeds is coming along nicely. 

sugar snap peas

  I will be planting various Cole crops over the next few weeks and my 5 acre garden will be in by June.  There have been some changes this year for delivery days and sites.

                              DELIVERIES FOR THE SPRING GREEN SHARE
                                                    BEGIN MAY 15th

ST. GEORGE------  WEDNESDAYS EVENINGS  5:00 - 7:00p.m.

                                 the good folks' at   REAL FOOD
                     on 700 South are letting  us deliver to their parking lot.






let our family grow your families food

Why join  our CSA?   Knowing how your food is grown is one of the best rewards for joining a CSA.  You receive produce picked and delivered within hours thus maximizing the optimum nutritional benefits.  We do not use fertilizers, pesticides or other harmful chemicals.  Our soil has been nurtured for years with compost and beneficial natural ingredients from our beautiful spoiled chickens and goats.  All this creates a superior product that is healthier and tastier than anything mass produced by larger producers.  I am a painter and compare my veges to that of a work of art. We provide you with original, hand-grown, hand-cultivated vegetables and fruits , that are beautiful and delicious compared to the mass produced, chemical ridden, hybrid that is bred to withstand miles of shipping and has lost all it's flavor and nutrition in the process.
We look forward to growing your families' food.  Please let us now if you have some suggestions of produce you would like us to grow.  Thanks, and WELCOME TO THE FARM!


Thursday, April 4, 2013

Chicken Run made from Cattle Panels

I adore chickens

A painting of one of our  past roosters who ended up in the freezer because he was so mean and kept
 attacking my 3 year old daughter.  She requested that we put him in the "stew pot".
He was gorgeous, a game bird/aracauna cross.

they make me smile
and they give us the perfect food

 all wrapped up in colorful packaging
extra high in omega 3

Over the past (well dare I say 30 years) I have had chickens
usually they run free range, but as soon as the gardens go in, at the first of June
I confine them to the hen house hotel with the walk out terrace.
We have had many coops and runs--er hotels and walk out terraces-- over the years
we move often and have rebuilt a place for the girls every time.
This is my favorite run thus far.
It is simply 16 foot galvanized cattle panels, arched and staked,
 and covered with chicken wire

our fancy "RED NECK" door latch

We used the tall 6 foot posts as stakes because we rotate grazing animals and wanted to be able to attach fencing along the sides of the run.

This is another example of using the cattle panels for a run.  The roof panels are supported through the middle using 2x4's.  I do not like this as well.  It is more difficult to maneuver in the run because you cannot stand up.  However square footage is more for the same amount of panels used as compared with the arched run.  This method does not require any additional fencing when we are grazing animals next to it.
If you have a problem with predators line the outside of the run with large flat stones.

More of my thoughts or experiences about raising chickens:

We have also used the panels for mini green houses and have bent the panels in half the long way for low tunnels to extend the season for vegetable crops

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

A self- portrait

well-----what can I say without getting myself in trouble-------
Do you remember those plywood cutouts of the grandpa (in his overalls)
 and grandma (with her polka-dot dress and bloomers)
 bent over in the garden
that everyone used to have in their yards?
I have always felt like one of those ridiculous "granny fanny" cutouts
while toiling away in my gardens. 
 That was one reason I was so happy when we bought the farm
 so I could garden out in the middle of nowhere, where no one could see me. 
Now I can hear someone coming down the road (rarely happens) in enough time
 I can stand up and save myself some embarrassment :-)
 I wanted to paint a self portrait and this is my interpretation of myself.
After completing my self portrait my handsome man's comment was
"You are not that fat" 
"Gee thanks honey, that was certainly the right thing to say"
  I sent along a phone picture to all my kids and they all agree