Bloom Where You're Planted Farm

  (Avoca, Nebraska)
A family-owned educational farm & pumpkin patch near Avoca, Nebraska
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Fair time & the first harvest

Yesterday was an exciting day, as we harvested the first fruits of this year's labors.  Our county fair is this week so we gathered up our contenders.  We ended up with nine entries between the two of us:  mini pumpkins, small gourds, one large pumpkin, an apple gourd, and the "monsters"--two Green Cushaw squash and two enormous and somewhat freaky-looking snake gourds.  It's fun and exciting to make the first harvest, but man are the pumpkin vines and leaves prickly this time of year!  My legs and arms are a scratchy mess!

Over the weekend Terry built permanent wooden benches on the hayrack.  This should be a safer, more comfortable ride for our guests, not to mention much less messy than the previous straw bale seats.  It's been extremely hot and humid lately, so we've been trying to do projects we can work on in the shade or indoors, including shopping for (almost) all of the rest of the materials we'll need to build the goat pens, chicken enclosures, and a new fence in the barnyard.  Most of the gift shop merchandise is in, including some cute and funny Girl Power/Witchy Woman decor pieces. 

It's crazy how fast it all starts rollin' this time of year!  Watch for our ads (thanks to a grant from Nebraska Tourism) in Lincoln Kids! newspaper, Nebraska Life magazine, and the Omaha-area's "Let's Go" magazine soon.  Those of you who attend the Cass County fair can pick up our new brochures at the Scenic Weeping Water Valley Association's booth.  We'll also be in the parade Saturday evening.

Teachers are starting to think ahead toward fall field trips and our calendar is beginning to fill up.  If you're interested in a field trip, birthday party, or campfire party this fall, call or email us and we'll get you on the schedule.  We hope to see you soon at the farm!




County Fair, Part II

Another Cass County Fair has come to a close.  As a kid, this was a sad event because it meant that the start of the school year was near.  As an adult with a seasonal fall business, it means its time to kick it into high (higher?) gear!  Our opening day, September 19, is now less than six weeks away.  Wasn't it just yesterday that I was blogging (and panicking) about it being TEN weeks away??

Before I get to work on all the painting, cleaning, ordering and advertising I need to be doing, here are some final images from the fair...


This is our niece Grace greeting a Jersey calf.


One of the most popular events at the fair is the Mutton Bustin' competition, where kids see how long they can hang onto a running sheep.  The folks from McClain's Mutton Busters do a great job!  (Is it me, or does the next kid in line look a little nervous?)


Our friends from the Conestoga FFA (Future Farmers of America) had a float in Saturday night's parade.  This is the group that helped with our Ag Day in 2008 -- we're planning another one this year!  Driving the tractor is FFA Advisor Jon Anderson.



And finally, here is my dad, Mick Jacobson, competing in the antique tractor pull with his 1938 John Deere G.  He got second place -- my brother, pulling with the same tractor, beat him by two inches!


County Fair, Part I

The Cass County Fair , our local county fair, began on Tuesday and continues through Saturday.  We have a booth for our farm and pumpkin patch, so have been spending a lot of time there this week. 

Before we head out again, I wanted to share some photos.  The weather has been beautiful, and the skies clear.  The sun was just setting behind the midway when I shot this one...




I've never seen so many flowers entered into Open Class!  This is just a testament to the wonderful rains we've had in our area this summer!




The 4-H beef show was yesterday morning.  These beginning 4-Hers had just finished showing their bucket calves.



We also spent some time at the 4-H horse show yesterday morning.  I couldn't resist taking a shot of the "sandbox social club".



So many great photo opportunities at the fair!  I'll bring you more soon!




Progress at the Patch

Our latest project, the renovation of the former entry room of the schoolhouse into a concession kitchen, is zipping along.  The walls, ceiling, lighting, outlets and ceiling fan are all in.  The walls are painted the same pale yellow as the rest of the building's interior, and my much-anticipated dark red and pale yellow checkered linoleum floor is in.  I just love it, and hope to have photos up soon.  As I write this Terry is in the shop building the cabinets.  They'll be painted a vintage-inspired green color called "Guacamole".  I wouldn't be brave enough to do these bright colors in my house, but feel like I can have my fun with this kitchen and not have to live with it all day, every day!

The pumpkins are "setting fruit" and the vines are really spreading.  We have had the usual issues with bugs -- we fight a bug called the Cucumber Beetle and they can wreak havoc in the patch.  They nibble on the leaves and blossoms, but the amount they eat isn't the issue.  The problems come because some of them carry a harmful bacteria that gets into the plant's system and makes the vines wilt and eventually die.  Part of the reason we plant SO many plants is to compensate for the loss that is bound to happen.  Still, we value every plant and it is very frustrating to watch!  We try to look past the losses and focus on the healthy plants and all the exciting growth that is happening to keep our spirits up!

Our county fair is about 10 days away (Already??? WHERE has the summer gone??) and I've been printing brochures and handouts and getting everything ready for our booth.  We really enjoy getting to see our customers and friends again, and many stop by the booth just to say "hi!"  Here's a link to the schedule.

Tomorrow we'll be taking the day off to celebrate our 12th wedding anniversary.  We've been having pleasant (not so hot and humid) temps so it should be a nice day to play hooky!  :-)  Have a great weekend!



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