Cricket Song Farm

Cricket Song Farm

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Native Sunflowers

The Native Sunflower can be found along road-ways, in vacant lots, growing wild where ever the birds drop it's seed, it especially likes clay soil, and can be found growing in my garden.


 The sunflower
smiles down upon my cabbages. 
 It spreads it's roots among the cucumbers and stretching out it's leaves,
 it shades the tender vines. 
 It shares it's seeds
 with the many birds that eat
 the bugs munching on the crops at the farm.
The sunflower seeds we enjoy eating today came from the lowly wild, native sunflower.
  Through selective saving of seed over many, many years
 the size of the sunflower and seeds were greatly increased to what we now recognize as the Mammoth or Giant Sunflower..

Helianthus annuus

Helios is the Greek word for Sun.
Sunflowers prefer full sun and will grow in any soil,
 except one that is light and well drained.  They are very tolerant of heat and can get by
with very little water.

Let this flower have a spot in your garden.  It will reward you with bouquets for your table.  Provide shade for heat intolerant plants.  Attract bees that will pollinate your crops.  It will easily self sow for
future years.  And my favorite reason for letting the sunflower grow in my garden is simple,  "It makes me smile".

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Unique, RHUBARB LEAF Bird Bath or Feeder

This is a picture of one of the many Rhubarb leaf bird baths/feeders we have here on the farm.
I came up with this idea after pricing  fancy, very expensive, bird baths in the stores.

I wanted something different and unique.....and reflected the way we live.
So this is what I came up with.

It can be filled with water or bird seed.

Simply gather Rhubarb (or any other large, veined leaves)
 ...... use an odd number.......I usually use 5

make a mound of dirt or gravel for the center
 (the cement will stick to some of the dirt so you may
 want to cover the mound with plastic wrap)

now pick your leaves and place right side down over the mound
overlapping the leaves

you want the veins sticking up on the back so they will form a pattern in the cement

mix cement to a fairly thick consistency

I use a small garden shovel to place the cement over the leaves, it should be at least an inch thick
try not to get the cement on the ground surrounding the edge of the leaf.  

add extra cement over the center and pat it flat,
 this will rest on your stand and you want it to be level

let it cure for several days
spray often with water as it cures to prevent cracking
carefully turn over and allow the sun to dry out the leaves
scrape off dead leaves
don't worry if some of the veins get stuck in the cement, they will eventually dry and fall out

I  find my bases at thrift stores

or just use something you already have at your farm or home

Use a large, single leaf to make leaves to line walkways,
 or to be place around a raised bed etc.
I use extra large leaves (like the one in the earlier Rhubarb post)
 and place them strategically behind tender perennials to catch and retain the heat from the south winter sun.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Farmer's Market Photo

In the recent issue of St. George Health and Wellness Magazine (thank you for the permission to use the photo) my booth from a prior year was featured in the article about the Farmer's Market (but no mention of my farm).   Every vegetable was grown on my farm (not gathered from other gardeners) using natural, sustainable methods.  Pictured are heirloom squash and tomatoes, new potatoes, fennel, sugar baby watermelons, onions, cucumbers, Armenian cucumbers, lettuce, collared greens, cabbage, beets, and in the baskets you cannot see are garlic bulbs, radishes, turnips, Jerusalem artichokes, broccoli and other miscellaneous veges.  I am not going to the St. George market this year.  However, you can find me at the Cedar City Market on Saturday mornings in the IFA parking lot as my schedule permits.

This Saturday, Aug. 17th ,I will be at the Cedar City Market. 
                                        I will have:

Summer Squash
( green bennings tint, yellow pattypan, golden zucchini, green zucchini, black zucchini, an italian heirloom zucchini, crookneck and yellow straightneck)
Armenian Cucumbers
                 Chard (ruby and green)
Collard Greens
Wild Greens

While making a CSA delivery to St. George, I happened to drive down the Boulevard
 and spied this lamp post

Yes, this is the picture of my booth at market.
It's also on their face book page,
 but my farm, or myself,  isn't credited as the GROWER of
this wonderful, beautiful table of farm fresh veges.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Gypsy Rose gets a face lift

In 2006, when I purchased my little 12 foot vintage camp trailer, I was asked by one of my sons' why I bought a little, old, needing repairs camp trailer.  I replied, "It was manufactured the same year I was born, so of course I had to buy it."  He replied, "Oh, no wonder it looks so old" , but he didn't mean it rudely, in fact he quickly realized what he had insinuated and apologized.  I laughed and said "All she needs is a little paint and a nip and tuck here and there and she will be as good as new".

So off to the hardware store I went to buy cans of spray paint so I could paint her to reflect the name I had chosen for her.  Rummaging through my second-hand fabric stash, I found the perfect material to recover the cushions in a beautiful rose floral print.  Tightening up the door way and adding a new front window, " Gypsy Rose" was ready to go.
Over the years her paint  has faded and the cushions lost their vibrant color, so this summer Gypsy Rose had a face lift.

A new wooden floor replaced the old green carpet from the 60's

 old, painted, rusted, and chipped tin tiles are added behind the stove

The old paint had faded

so it was off to the hardware store for new paint


wall paper and a vintage milk-glass light (all second-hand of course)
were installed in the "master suite"


In my bins of thrift store linens I found the perfect 60's plush velvet bedspread with Tassels
 (I had one just like it when I was young)
added a few second-hand pillows and a throw, all with Tassels,
dug around through several more bins and found just the right curtains
(that still had the price tag on them $1.00) 
Two-toned green with pink and red stripes and TASSELS!

Added a beautiful satin and rose patterned throw (with tassels)

I found a large piece of tucked material in a gorgeous olive green
If I cut it in half will it cover both bench seats?


rummaged yet again in my curtain bin and found the perfect curtains
they were way too long so I simply folded them in half and used curtain clips to attach them to the rod.
They fit perfectly.
And they also had ............TASSELS

Here are the end results:
Personally I give it 5 stars *****

 Now, a final polish and shine and getting the last of the remodel dust out I will be
loading up my oil paints, canvases, and the old Coleman stove and heading for the hills.
I'll hike to the perfect spot to set up my easel, I'll spend a few days painting,
wandering, and day-dreaming.   Only wish I could, my vehicle that pulls Gypsy Rose is broke
 down right now.  Guess I will just have to go " GLAMPING" out in the back-yard.

This past summer I lived in "Gypsy Rose" all summer.  I rented out the little red house and moved "Gypsy Rose" to the farm.  One fact about living in an old vintage trailer, they do not have a bathroom, so I rummaged up some lumber and the old claw foot tub and made an outdoor bath.
photos of my unique bath house made from raised garden boxes 
in the great outdoors

Had a great time a glamping at the farm.  However, when my husband drove down when he had a few days off, there just wasn't enough room for the 2 of us in tiny "Gypsy Rose".  I am going to make a
 and make him sleep in the doghouse........or a tent.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Elephant Garlic

Harvested the last of the Elephant Garlic from the greenhouse

the smaller bulbs will be for us to eat

the larger cloves will be kept for seed

Harvest garlic when the leaves have begun to turn yellow
use a shovel and dig out the garlic
spray off the dirt with a strong stream of water
bundle  the long stems and hang to dry.
Let cure for a couple of weeks and then trim off tops
 store in a dark , dry pantry or closet
replant large cloves of garlic in the fall

plant with the root side down

Elephant garlic will not survive in my cold winters so I plant it in the greenhouse
If you plant outdoors place 4 inches of compost or straw over top
garlic likes a loose, loam soil

new spring growth in the greenhouse

Saturday, August 10, 2013

I am PEASed to announce

It's time for another painting give-away.
This little painting is on a gallery wrapped canvas
measures about 6"x5"
It is one of my favorites
(the glare is from taking the photo---it is not on the painting)

In a receint post my shoe was used to help show the size of a rhubarb leaf.
I have used my shoe in several posts to help show the progress of vegetables
here at the farm.  
Here is the question................

How long is the shoe?
You have to be within 1/4 of an inch to be correct.
I will send along this little painting if you can guess the correct measurement.
Once again here are the rules..

1. You must be a "follower" listed in the follower box in the right hand column
you can join now and participate

2.  You only have one guess (leave your guess in the comment section)

3.  Promise you won't throw darts at it.

Shipment to U.S. only

Thursday, August 8, 2013


For the best onion rings, stop by your local farmer's market
 and purchase a fresh, sweet onion 

To make golden breaded onion rings,  simply mix equal parts:
Italian seasoned bread crumbs
a pinch of baking powder
salt to taste
enough water to make a smooth batter

Dip thickly sliced, separated, onions rings into batter.

                                Deep fry until golden brown.

Enjoy eating with a mixture of ketchup and mayo
 with a dash of vinegar or lemon juice
and salt

WHAT is it?

Here's your first hint

Look closely

have ya got it figured out?

Yep, it's an old 54' Chevy.  I know you are a thinkin',  "Ole FarmHer  JILL has bought herself  ANOTHER old truck.  What on earth does she need another one for?"

Well, add a tarp and..........
fill it with water

and you have yourself a gen-u-ine
swimmin' pool

it actually belongs to my neighbor
but I had to take a picture and show y'all
now I'm a lookin' for a pool of my own,
 I've been usin' the horse trough
(add a propane burner underneath and it makes a mighty fine spa)
.........however I'm sure it's not real safe.......
but this has a lot more class!
went to town today to get a battery
for the old 72' ford pick-up
that has been sitting out in the backyard without being used
the last couple of years
if it won't start, guess I've got myself a new pool!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Road Trip (part 1)

Every year my sister and her family invite us to go to Wyoming to run the Snake River.  I have sent the kids and the husband along, but I always stayed behind to tend the farm and haul veges to market.  This year was an exception,  I bagged all my responsibilities and tagged along.

After traveling for 10 hours we reached our destination and set up Gypsy camp
by the beautiful Snake River

The next morning we got up early to travel on in to Yellowstone National Park

because I tagged along this trip,
(if you follow this blog, you know I can't go anywhere without breaking down)
SO....... of course
 we didn't make it far before we broke down.

Good thing I had snagged a whole pile of magazines at the local library
 for 10 cents each
just before the trip.
I pulled out my folding chair from the trunk and the stack of magazines  to read while my wonderful, can fix anything husband worked on the car.  I laughed right out loud when I read the cover of the one sitting at the top of the pile.........

The problem could easily be fixed.

We had blown a transmission hose and left this trail down the highway,
we didn't get far before we couldn't go any further
and pulled off in a pull off spot.
Hiked back to camp and caught the van just before my brother-in-law needed to pick up the river runners.  He towed us back and we borrowed this little red convertible  (brother-in-laws' sisters' car) to run back to the town about 10 miles away.  5 quarts of transmission fluid, a Hershey's with almond candy bar to share and we were good to go.
Flags were flying everywhere in the patriotic little town.  On our way back to camp an old 70's Chevy, short bed, step-side passed us going the opposite direction.  He had a large flag flying in the back of his truck.  I commented, "I wish I had my camera I would turn around and chase him down to get a picture.

Sat under a tree and read for just a few minutes while hubby fixed the car.  He quickly got it fixed and we all went back to camp.  My youngest son and I decided to test out the car and drive into Jackson Hole and snoop around in the many art galleries.  Jackson is a twenty mile drive from camp.  Half -way there I spied an old blue Chevy truck a couple of cars back.  Yep, it was the one with the flag. 
  Today is my lucky day! 
 Now, how do I get a picture of it?   If I pull off the road, it will pass before I can get my camera and take a picture.  If I slow down there isn't any dotted line to have cars pass me so what do I do?  As I was figuring out how I could get a picture, I was stopped in line for road construction.  While slowing to a stop I thought I could just hop out of the car and run and ask if I could take a picture.  Keeping a sharp eye on the old truck I didn't notice the road  that forked off directly to my right.  The truck slowed in line behind me, and then veered to the right as he came to the road.  I grabbed my camera and snapped this shot.


what are the odd's of that happening?