A Day in the Life
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The weeks are rolling by and our summer is nearly over. This week Livie came home from school each
day excited but tired. Autie waited
eagerly each day for her big sister and best friend to come play with her. Autie finally asked if she could start school
soon. Tom and I both want to send her to
preschool, but at the moment it’s not in our budget. We are working with her on the things she
needs to learn, but she misses having friends to play with. We are trying to figure this part out as we
speak. Autie’s personality is changing
so much right now. She is a crazy
kid. Last Sunday while I was at market
Daddy took the girls to Orshleans (our favorite store in the whole wide
world!!!!!!). The girls came home with
some new rain/work boots. Autie’s had
horses on them and she wears them EVERYWHERE we will allow her to wear them…
including the bathtub and bed. Livie
likes hers, but not with same intensity.
If you were to come visit our farm this weekend, you would see my girls in
their cutoff shorts, tank tops that do not match, a headband with a big bow
for a little style, and their boots. They
will be working a 'project" that will require at least three visits to daddy’s
junk pile and will have two chairs and a
small wrought iron patio table they have cabbaged onto on the stoop of our
front steps. I have finally found all of
the plant markers that disappeared this spring… they are tools, credit cards,
and othe essential items for their “project.”
If they happen to have a pair of their daddy’s gloves on … not to worry
they have switched “projets” and will be trying to catch our only remaining
kitten and he is WILD. The gloves are
for a little protection from the scratches.
The kitten is so WILD I think they actually need hazmat suits so the
entire body is protected. You may also
find them on their trampoline where they may be jumping, but they may also be
playing school with our red heeler Reba.
Reba is a very good student. My
girls are wild, crazy and scream with pure excitement whenever there is a
visitor!!!! If you are looking for
yellow green beans, Romano-style flat green beans or a good deal on canning
tomatoes you will find not only great produce but also quality entertainment
offered by my girls.
This week we made another delivery to Wilderness Lodge and while at our
market last week met an independent chef who does quite a bit of catering. I hope to be working on with him on an
up-coming event. We also have been very
busy selling apples, a last batch of sweet corn and lots of jalapeno
Next week we will rip out all but one row of tomatoes in the high tunnel so
we can begin planting pole beans, more zucchini, broccoli, three types of
cabbage and a whole LOT more!!!! In the
weeks to come we will have pumpkins, yellow moon & star watermelons, patty
pan squash, spinach, salad greens, more cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and a huge
assortment of fall greens, cabbages, beets.
Summer may be coming to an end, but in many ways the garden is just getting
primed for the second half of the growing season. We are also making some changes for next
year. This fall we are adding a bed of
fennel and we are re-sowing our beds of parsley and cilantro. I am also looking for a good place to add a
bed of fern dill and a bed of sage. We
are making some big changes for next year.
Just you wait and see!!!!
Tomorrow, you need to stop by. We
will have a huge supply of yellow green beans, a few Romano-style beans,
edamame soybeans, summer apples, Jonathon apples, a few pears, patty pan
squash, butternut squash, some gorgeous red slicing tomatoes, a few cucumbers,
eggplant, peppers, and okra. We will
also have beet greens, collard greens and baby Swiss chard. We will be at the Old Cheney Road Farmers
Market in Lincoln, NE from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The produce will be very fresh, the
conversation friendly, and my thankfulness overflowing!
My thoughts of gratitude for the week is focused on the gift of a happy marriage. This summer has been rough for most of
us. The lack of rain and intense heat is
wearing on everyone. It is summers like
these that bring out the worst in everyone and I have not been at my
best. My hubby faces it all with an easy smile, a reassuring “I love you,”
and a drive to keep going in the hopes of a better day. There are a LOT of single women in my county
most of whom never gave my husband a second look and yet wonder why they are
still single. To them I smile and say
THANK YOU. Depending on the weather, Tom
hopes to start fall harvest this next week as well. Fall harvest has a tendency to drag on a bit
but due to the drought this year will be fairly short, but lacking the light-hearted banter that tends to come with it. This year is a hard one and harvest will not
end on a positive note. I hope Tom will
lean on me the way I have leaned on him all summer. Hopefully my reassuring “I love you and gentle
kiss will encourage a smile that I know he will struggle to find. This is farming and years like these are to
be expected, but expecting them and living them are two different
This next week is also a BIG week for us in other ways. I cannot go into details, but to say the
least it has the potential to be life-changing for my family... in a good way. If you are a person of faith, please pray that
the changes offered are real, and will bring my family the type of blessing we
are able to pay forward 10 times over.
Have a fresh and fabulous holiday weekend and I ave hhhhhhhhhhhhhope to see you in the morning!!!!
Posted by Twilya
@ 02:33 PM CDT
The past week has been action packed! I am exhausted but also excited. On Monday we took Livie into Washington and
registered her for Kindergarten. She is
very excited about her teacher, her classroom and especially the promise of
music class. Tom and voted with advanced
ballots for our county primaries, delivered some produce and headed out of town
for a few days…. Nothing too exciting just some back-to-school shopping and a
few nights at a hotel with a swimming pool.
I will not give you the day-by-day, but we had a blast, the Lincoln Children’s
Museum , the Lincoln Zoo, Ice Age III and the ultimate lunch at Chucky Cheese… “Where
a Kid Can Be a Kid.”
We came home Thursday and I spent the afternoon and evening
preparing for my first produce delivery at Wilderness Ridge Lodge in South
Lincoln. I was so nervous delivering mky produce. I hope they liked... I only wish I had more tome left on my tomatoes. I have spent my time since
getting ready for tomorrow. This week is
going to be a difficult week, but I think all of us are in a similar boat. My tomatoes are on the verge konking
out. My yellow slicers are all but finished
and my red slicers will not be too far behind.
Most of my heirlooms will go again, but there will not be very many for
several weeks. My cherry tomatoes are re-blooming
as our most of my heirlooms and I am trying to decide if ripping out and moving
on into fall crops is a better alternative to waiting the plants out. I am in a similar situation with my
cucumbers. My green beans are rejoicing with the cooler temperatures and I hope
this time next week we will find green beans ready to pick. In the morning I WILL have a few slicing
tomatoes, several types of bell, sweet and spicy peppers; eggplant, edamame
soybeans, hard red winter wheat berries, onions, potatoes, cantaloupe and
eggs. I have a lot that will be planted
this week and I hope to be able to tread water for a few weeks until my fall
garden starts producing. I will also
have Tabouli kits and some hedge apples.
Tonight at church my girls clung to me… that doesn’t happen
very often anymore. At dinner they both
told me I was the most beautiful mommy ever.
I know it isn’t true, but I love them for saying such a sweet thing to
me. After church Livie even cleaned her
room without being told! I am not sure what
has gotten into them but whatever it is, it must be made of pure sugar.
My thoughts of gratitude are focused those moments when
people show their natural goodness.
Twice on our trip I managed to leave something in a restaurant. The first was my camera at the McDonald’s on
West O Street and the second was my purse at Ruby Tuesdays… Anybody who knows
me will tell you I do this A LOT. The
gratitude is for the fact both items were found and waiting for me, completely intact. Thank you to the individuals who not only
helped me manage my personal items, but also helped me to remember the basic
decency that is second nature in most of us!!!
I hope to see you tomorrow morning from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00
p.m. at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, NE. Have a Fresh & Fabulous Sunday. Goodnight!
Posted by Twilya
@ 11:49 PM CDT
This past week was a rough one for L’Ecuyer Gardens. On Thursday we received notification we are
to no longer use rural water to water our garden. This request is a result of the current drought
conditions. We do have a private well,
but it will not meet our current needs and so some things will be touch and
go. Saturday night we did receive a
surprise rain which was WONDERFUL, but at this point 1 inch will not change
much. I am tired and worried.
I have lots of tomatoes and cantaloupe, zucchini and yellow
squash. I also have some beautiful
leeks. We have LOTS of canning tomatoes
and we have now opened what is left of our sweet corn up for u-pick. It you want to save big, jump in!!!! while you are here, pick up some canning
tomatoes, cucumbers and whatever else you cannot resist.
I am also busy trying to make plans for our fall
garden. I am concerned about the water
issue so I am trying to think through my options before I make decisions, but
the time is upon us. I am also trying to
make plans for next summer. For my loyal
customer chance, s this is the time to offer you thoughts on what you want to
have available. I will start buying my
seeds in November and so let me know. MY
garden is your garden! It is my hope you
will be able to find everything you need.
Despite the heat in the near future I will have Brussels
sprouts and possibly some green beans and cabbage.
Tomorrow will be dedicated to dehydrating corn and freezing
peppers and some other canning.
For now we still have great selection. If you are looking for canning tomatoes, let
me know!!!! I have a lot of tomatoes at
the moment. The online store is now
open. Please go to: http://lecuyergardens.locallygrown.net/weblog
and view our availability and make your selections by 5:00 p.m. Wednesday. Give us
a chance. Our selection is good, our
quality is very high and our prices are reasonable.
Posted by Twilya
@ 07:32 AM CDT
It rained and they say more is coming. Tom is relieved … so am I. It came softly and the clouds moved in and so
most of it is soaking in. We still need
more but this was as close to a perfect rain as it probably gets. For now the stress over our fall crops has
The last few days have been busy. Wednesday and Thursday was spent making
deliveries and on my way home Thursday I bought a whicker desk from a customer having
a moving sale. Livie is starting kindergarten
this fall and I thought it was a perfect gift.
She had a small one and she gave it to Autie. Livie has filled the drawer with crayons and
paper and moved her lamp to the desk.
She has a place to work on her drawings and in time her homework. She is very smart and I want her to WANT to
do well. Her life path is her own, but experience
has taught me very well you never really know when you will need to reinvent
yourself. A solid education and a love
for learning are more than a little helpful in that situation.
I have a young man helping me this summer who came out for
the first time Friday. He is taking Drivers
Ed at school and in a few weeks will have his learners permit. In past years he has walked milo fields for Tom
so I know he will work hard. He spent
the day helping me trim back my tomato plants and fertilize them. I picked blackberries, tomatoes, cucumbers
Last night the girls and I took Tom to see Madagascar III. WE ALL LOVED IT. As an early Father’s Day we also gave him his
new BBQ U guide and some new grill tools then celebrated with Chinese food. Sunday the girls will grill hot dogs and take
Tom fishing while I am at the Old Cheney Farmers Market in Lincoln, NE from
10:0 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
This morning Tom and the girls planted the last of my fall
squash and pumpkins and I cleaned out my lettuce bed and planted strawberries,
leeks, lavender, basil and sorrel. I
also weeded my strawberry beds and picked beets and radishes for tomorrow. After lunch I will sow another cilantro bed
and plant some late tomatoes. I will
also check on my peppers to see if anything is ready. We are at least close. Tonight is church followed by a frenzied last
dash until dark to pick what I can… likely the kale, Swiss chard, onions and possibly
strawberries. With the rain has come WEEDS
and next week promises to keep us all very busy. For the first time in several weeks we will
need to mow. We mowed three times and
April and not once in May. Strange year…
With the rain came what is likely the end of the wild fruit. Most of my best roads will not be passable in
our car for several days and by then will likely over ripened. That is the ecstasy and agony of wild
fruit. The fruit is free to those who
crave it, but it sometimes it can be just out of reach. Don’t worry as soon as the roads are good I
will at least go check. On some of my
roads I found another truly coveted find… elderberries. I love it all, but I do not have ANY picked
and I am compelled to at least try. If
we miss the elderberries we still need to come back for sand plums later this
fall and then there is always the possibility of wild grapes.
The good news is this week will likely be my bumper crop of
blackberries here at the farm. I have
picked a bunch and they will be waiting for you along with cabbage, hopefully
some green beans, potatoes, tabouli kits, tomatoes, kale, collard greens and
still some more things yet to be found. It
will be a late night I am sure, but I am glad there is finally enough to pick. Come by and visit my booth tomorrow and let
me know what you think. For those who cannot make to Old Cheney tomorrow,
you also have the option for a mid-week delivery by using my online store at http://lecuyergardens.locallygrown.net/. The store will be update Monday and in the
weeks to come there will be lots of changes and additions to the store.
My statement of gratitude is for the wonderful rain and for
a husband who in my opinion is the WORLD’S BEST DADDY.
Posted by Twilya
@ 01:54 PM CDT
here is to busy days, late nights and early mornings! See you at the market in the morning!!!! [Read More
Posted by Twilya
@ 12:58 AM CDT
I know you are probably wondering what I am drinking, but
the two have beautiful relationship on our farm. We are usually offering predictions for the
first day of wheat harvest beginning in early June and don’t start cutting
until the end of the month. If we are
lucky we are finished in time to enjoy the Fourth of July. The black berries begin to flower about the
same time we are making our first predictions and usually have ripened and run their
course by the end of harvest. This holds
true not only for the berries we raise commercially but also the berries we
find in the wild. Every year wheat
harvest may be off by a week or more one way or the other and every year the
blackberries seem to know.
This year is no exception and it is one worth pausing for,
you see it is May 13 and we have been offering wheat harvest predictions for
nearly three weeks and my bushes are loaded with flowers and green berries. Today I noticed some of them are slightly
red. I will be picking blackberries in
two weeks. The fields of wheat have been
beautiful seas of green and last night on my way to my pasture picnic, I
noticed it is starting to turn a light golden color. I predict we will start harvest on or before
June 1 (almost an entire month early). Even
this year the wheat and blackberries have synchronized their internal
Blackberry cobbler is heavenly and my reasoning is because
they are so closely connected and to me this relationship is the story of hubby
and me. Other than a short stint in
college, Tom has lived his entire life on this farm. He is a true country boy in every way. Tom farms conventionally. He is the type of farmer too many try to cast
in an ugly light because he has worked hard and figured out how make farming
his career. He raises cattle and corn,
wheat and soy beans. He is an honest man
and if you were ever stranded in a dark alley late at night he is the guy you
hope will come by. He has a gentle smile
and a voice that always manages to calm my inner worries. He knows who he his only want is for a happy
and healthy family. It is very easy to
I am a city gal and as a young child and again later in my
early adult years I moved a lot. My dad
hit the bricks when I was young and I was in my teens before there was an adult
man in my life who treated me as a daughter.
That gap created an insecure person.
I always assume that there is something about me that is repulsive to
the world. I have always had major trust
issues with all people, but men especially.
I know at times I am a difficult person to want to love, but Tom makes
it look easy. For that I am grateful. I used to live in an urban/ suburban area and
enjoyed a career and a life that did not involve dirt, cows, or the late night
four-legged visitor. I enjoyed the
frequent purchase of new clothes and new shoes and my idea of farming was 5
tomato plants and a honeysuckle bush. Since
moving to Kansas I have tried to be a farmer.
I love playing in the dirt but must confess I don’t always know what I
am doing. Tom is the one who helps me
figure things out and at times does the work I am physically unable to do. He makes it look easy.
At first glance you could assume that Tom and I could not
possibly have any common ground and yet the only thing that has made since in
my life since we first met was making sure I am next to him. There has been a connectedness between us
that is hard to put into words, but somehow belongs together. We are wheat and blackberries. For that I am grateful.
Today I cleaned all bedding plants from my tunnel and I hope
within the next few weeks most will find new homes. If not, they will end up in my compost
pile. Today we put down mulch eight new rows
and tomorrow I will begin planting… bell peppers, chili peppers, eggplant,
artichokes, Asian cucumbers, okra, cabbage, and lettuce. Tom also planted a few rows of cannellini
beans. Wednesday is t-ball practice for
Livie, grocery store and drop box deliveries and my farmer’s market night in
Manhattan. Thursday, I will make
deliveries to Beatrice and will help my girl’s preschool plant their summer
garden. Friday the girls and I will go check for
mulberries and hopefully will SCORE.
There is lots of good stuff that will come from L’Ecuyer Gardens. Check back with us to find out what type of
goodness is waiting for you.
Posted by Twilya
@ 10:19 PM CDT
We are super excited that the farm market season isfinally here! We are busy getting things ready for what will prove to be a hectic season to be sure! Tomorrow we are headed to the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. and that is just the beginning.
Posted by Twilya
@ 01:07 PM CDT
board room is my kitchen table and my shareholders go by Honey, Livie &
Autie. Investing in my business is an investment in shoes, T-ball gloves, dance
lessons and gallons of milk. It is also an investment in Rural America and its
future. I work with and support many other small businesses all with similar
hopes of finding their prosperity while preserving Rural America.
rural America re-find its prosperity by shopping small businesses like mine. We
will pay it forward by investing in your prosperity as well.
Posted by Twilya
@ 09:39 AM CDT
Take a drive in the country and take home and entire growing season of keepsakes. [Read More
Posted by Twilya
@ 10:57 AM CDT
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