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
It has been a very busy week and as I prepare for tomorrow
at the Old Cheney Road Farmers Market from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. in Lincoln,
Nebraska to say I am a motivated seller is an understatement. The colors and textures are changing a little
this week. I have A LOT of tomatoes and cucumbers.
New offerings will include two
items I am especially proud of: The
first is my edamame soy beans and the second is my little finger eggplant… I have had a few each week but this week I am
finally starting to get some volume. I will also have 1 honey dew melon and sadly I
think it will be the only one I have this season. I will also have an entire rainbow
of tomatoes. You really owe it to
yourself to try our Great White Beefsteak or maybe a Nebraska Wedding Tomato. There
is also my Black Krim, my orange Moon Glow, and my pink Raspberry Lyeanna and
a few Japanese Black Trieffle. The
cherry tomatoes are still going strong, but I see the end of the road ahead… at
the most I will have three more weeks.
Other items will include large and small black beauty eggplant, green
bell peppers, dulche peppers, jalapeno peppers, chili peppers, okra, Tabouli kits,
mint, parsley, sweet corn and a few cantaloupes. I will also have red and yellow onions and I
am down to about 10 pounds of potatoes.
I almost forgot the cucumbers, and a few assorted summer squash and eggs. I had
someone stop by last Sunday looking for cucumbers to pickle. If you are still looking, please visit me
I am trying something new this
week. I will bring with me a recipe card
for a one-skillet dish my family enjoys that goes from fresh to Yum in about 30
minutes. It is called Cowboy Stir-fry. It is one that is great as a vegetarian
dish. It also jumps to life with about
any meat option. It will feature many of
the items I will have for sale. If I
have time I will put together a second dish we like a lot that has more of an
Italian flair. I have lots of 30 minute
meal options so when you visit me me ask and I will offer how this busy mom finds time to cook fresh and please the hungry natives at my house!
The water ban was put into effect
and since God has given us 4 inches of rain.
If you ever wonder who you should put your faith in … government or God…
I have unmistakable evidence to support the later. We are a long way from the drought being over
but we will take what has been given and say THANK YOU.
I still have some big decisions
to make regarding my fall and winter gardens and we are also setting up our
game plan for 2013. We need to make some
big changes for next yearand we hope we will learn what you would like to have
available. In order for my business to ever get to a point that it provides
income for my family it has to have MORE customers so we are pretty
willing to consider your needs as we make our decisions.
have some huge news...
The week of August 14, my produce will be featured on the menu of one of
the most upscale restaurants in all of Lincoln.
I will share more about this in the near future. The Lincoln Journal Star has also talked
about my produce in one of their feature stories covering the Lincoln farmers
markets. Both have made that decision based
upon my quality, my selection and my price… despite what has been an extremely
difficult growing year. The North
Central Kansas Regional Planning Commission featured me in their newsletter
this summer and I have heard from several of my customers that I provided them
with their BEST tomato plants AND that I sell the BEST tomatoes at OCFM. I have
had visitors to my farm from Salina, Colby and Missouri because they have been
told I am a MUST visit farm. I am
thrilled, honored, PROUD, and GREATEFUL but in order for my business to survive
I need YOU!
Livie is now riding her bike
without training wheels. She actually
removed them herself. My Autie has decided
she wants to learn how to tie her shoes.
She is not yet 4, but she does not want to be outdone by her
sister. We also spent the week getting
Livie’s immunization records up to date for kindergarten and getting some of the necessary doctor visits out of the way.
Next week we have a few fun days
planned. We have back to school shopping
and a trip to the Lincoln Zoo and the Lincoln Children’s Museum scheduled. Because we are making the back to school
scramble we WILL NOT DELIVER THIS week and the following week Livie starts
Kindergarten. I have decided that week will
be devoted to my girls and getting our house ready for back to school. We will be available for on-farm sales by
appointment. You will also find us
covering our Sunday market at Old Cheney.
I hope everyone can understand the
Mom in me needs to invest in my girls as this summer draws to a close.
My thoughts of gratitude for the
week are focused on the sweet rain and the cooler temperatures. We will be headed to church in a few hours
and I will generously offer my prayers of gratitude. I am grateful for my farmer hubby who to date
is my best handy man, and best customer.
I am also grateful for my two giggly girls who stole what few strawberries
I had to pick and put them in their PLAY refrigerator. I am also grateful that I was able to find
the amusement offered by the discovery of the mess created. Finally I am grateful for my loyal customers
who visit or order from me each week. I
have two gentlemen whose tomatoes will be waiting for them tomorrow morning because
I know they will be there first thing! GRATITUDE. J
Posted by Twilya
@ 03:18 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
I spent most of the day in the Masonic Temple Parking Lot in
Marysville, KS and it was an okay day despite the heat. Tom and the girls surprised me with a visit
and yes I had both girls out waiving to cars for a short period of time. Again I am running low on quarters, but that
is a good problem to have.
This week has had many great moments. My nephew Lane came to visit for a few
days. He will be a senior in high school
this year and he is becoming a fine young man.
He was an awesome kid and I loved watching him play with my girls. He has been gone for a day and a half and my
girls REALLY MISS him. I do too. My
brother’s kids are pretty awesome too and would love it if they could come
visit for a few days too!!!!! I LOVE AND
MISS YOU GUYS ALL THE TIME.
I also learned I have a fan. Tish introduced herself as someone who has
been following me this season and today we met.
I never thought of my blog as something interesting enough to be worth
following. I only hope she enjoys the cantaloupe. I am flattered.
I still have several very nice cantaloupe ready to sell and
there will be many more by the weekend.
I am also running long on cucumbers, squash and canning tomatoes. My slicing tomatoes looked really good today. The heat has been rough on everything so I am
grateful to be able to still offer some nice big juicy slicing tomatoes. My sweet corn is dwindling and the preorders
I have in place may very well end my season.
We do have one batch that was planted quite a bit later, but we need the
heat to ease up for it to have a chance.
For Thursday, along with the cantaloupe, I will also have
yellow slicing tomatoes and several really nice beefsteak, eggplant, okra and
lots and lots of peppers. If you are
looking for something truly wonderful, you need to ask me about my strawberry
crabapples. They are golden with a
slight blush. Unlike most crabapples,
these are tart but sweet apples are wonderful fresh. They would make an outstanding cobbler or pie
and just the thought of it sounds so good I may make one for Tom and the girls
this weekend. My peaches are starting to
ripen and so I should have some with me at Old Cheney this weekend. Before too much longer I will have Colorado
peaches and apples.
Don’t tell Livie and Autie but my friend Sandy from Filley,
NE is making them princess costumes.
They will serve as the first installment to their dress up box and this
year’s Halloween costumes. Livie has
never been able to wear the princess dress in the toy isle…they are just too
small. This dress will be made to fit
her. She loves to dress up and I hope
this will be an extra special surprise for her.
I am now in search of long satin gloves, crowns and princess
slippers. I am also in search of a trunk
to warehouse everything. Livie’s will be
pink and purple and will look a lot like Cinderella. Autie’s is yellow and orange and will look a
lot like Bell’s. Sandi is also working
on a custom handbag for me. I have
enjoyed the first bag so much that as I move into fall I want another. She is working on a design that will also
double as computer case for a laptop or tablet.
When finished I will have a one-of-a-kind bag that will be made to meet
my specific needs. In the end it will
likely not cost much more than a better case from Staples. The difference is that mine will make its
own unique statement and will be mistakenly MINE.
The weather remains difficult for us all and your prayers
for rain are needed more than ever. In
addition to a prayer for rain, I also ask you petition for cooler
temperatures. We all need it. As a farmer the weather is your friend and it
is also your enemy, but there are an awful lot of people who are severely
impacted by our current weather patterns.
The store is open until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow. To order, please go to http://lecuyergardens.locallygrown.net/weblog
and make your selections. I hope you will
give me a try. The quality is very
high. The prices a reasonable and it
will be delivered right to your door for you to enjoy.
My thoughts of gratitude today are focused on people who find something worth following in the ramblings of a Kansas produce
farmer. Thank you Tish!!!!! Have a fresh and fabulous rest of the
week. ave Ha
Posted by Twilya
@ 08:55 PM CDT
Posted by Twilya
@ 10:37 AM CDT
It is already 1:00 a.m. and I have to get up extra early in
the morning so this will be short and sweet.
Tonight was our last t-ball game of the year. We did not win, but we worked pretty well as
a team throughout the game. My Livie
will miss her favorite part which is the line where everyone shakes everyone’s
hand. I love that kid. My Autie will miss her new friends (the
younger siblings of other teammates) too.
Tom and I are exhausted, relieved and already talking about next
year. We work all of the time and t-ball
while at times difficult to juggle in terms of scheduling, gave us an escape. We need to find a new one. As a family we spend a lot of time together already, but with t-ball we spent a portion of that time socializing with other families and making new friends... something we do not do enough of.
In the morning I hope to see you at the Old Cheney Road
Farmers Market in Lincoln, NE from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The weather should be much cooler and I think
that is worth a celebration in itself. I
will have a ton of stuff available: SWEET
CORN, green beans, snap peas, okra, slicing tomatoes, cherry tomatoes and an entire
rainbow of heirloom slicers. I will also
have some eggplant, peppers, onions, Tabouli kits, potatoes and lots of
cucumbers, zucchini, and yellow squash. I
will also have a few blackberries.
If you have not yet said your prayers, pray for rain. As much as I am counting on selling what I bring, we need the rain MORE.
produce is fresh and ready for you. I
hope to see you there!!! Good
Posted by Twilya
@ 01:16 AM CDT
We ENJOYED our first beefsteak tomato of the season. It was big enough one tomato was all we
needed. It was good, full of flavor and
just the right amount of acidity. I have
several more that are available now and several more that will be ready by the
weekend. If you are one who has lost a
little faith in the flavor of tomatoes – this one will give you hope.
Also available this week … the sweetest snap peas I think I
have ever eaten and I have A LOT of them.
If you have not had a chance to make creamed peas and potatoes, I have
everything you need. My green beans are
also starting to kick in and the beans are tender, stingless and full of flavor. Of course the zucchini and yellow squash are
coming on in full force and my cucumbers while only starting are off to a
prolific start. I have a few heads of
cabbage and am patiently waiting for the next round. This week I have touchstone gold beets and
they are beautiful. I love the
touchstone because they are so sweet and yet don’t taste like dirt. I have a few red baby beets and am hoping to
roast some one night this week. By the weekend I will have the first of the
sweet corn and the peppers are starting to go to town. There are
more things on their way so the colors, flavors and textures will continue to
change. The produce has kicked in. You could shop me for a new and very
different flavor for every night this week.
This is my favorite time of the year, when there are so many tasty
options that making a decision can prove impossible. We work so hard for this brief moment when
the garden becomes our grocery store and we would just love it, if our garden
could become yours. I also have canning
tomatoes available. If you want these,
please call me directly. They will not
be listed in our online store.
There is still time to reserve your order for Thursday
delivery. The store will close tomorrow
at 5:00 p.m. Simply go to http://lecuyergardens.locallygrown.net/
and select your favorites. The online
store is easy to use and helps both of us keep track of availability. I hope you will give us a try.
Autie had her last blast ball game of the season Sunday and
Livie has practice tomorrow and her last regular game Friday. We are hoping Grandma Carol will be able to
come watch it. This week has been a busy
one with the second week of swim lessons and a feeble attempt to get caught up
Yesterday we had some visitors from Salina stop by to tour
the farm and my girls loved it. While I
visited with the adults, the girls gave their son the full tour which included
baby kitties, snake skins and a little hide-n-seek. We love on farm visitors and from now until
the end of the season we are opening our doors by appointment on Mondays and
Tuesday for those who want to save some money.
Farm market leftovers from Sunday will be half price to ALL on-farm
visitors. The produce is just as good as
it was the day before, but we need to make room for the bounty for the week
ahead. We are adult and kid friendly
and so make it a family outing. We
promise are more than a little weedy, but the produce is fresh and
fabulous. The view is breathtaking and
we offer you a chance to enjoy a little simplicity in the midst of a hectic
world. That is what our farm is for us
anyway… a small oasis from the world’s insanity.
morning I am going to go out to see what wild fruit is still available and I
will spend part of the day picking peas and green beans for my Thursday
Posted by Twilya
@ 08:26 PM CDT
I am frustrated this afternoon. I have found a handy and inexpensive way to
create an online ordering system and the system does not like my name. I understand, but it is still my name. I have sent my questions and or comments and
I am waiting. Frustrated! Technology is a blessing and at the moment I
want to throw my computer out the window.
There are more ways than ever to communicate to people and I am trying
to use all of them and I cannot afford a smart phone which have been told will simplify
my life. I was told that about email
too. Frustrated. J
Yesterday was a BIG day and today I am tired. It started with my market at the Old Cheney
Road Farmers Market in Lincoln, NE and my tobouli kits were popular. I sold out and I even sold extra parsley and mint
which are typically not easy to sell. I
came very close to selling out of everything which is a good feeling. Now I just need to bring more.
My friend Sandi from Filley, NE. I asked Sandi to design and make a pick apron
for me. She delivered it to the market
on Sunday and it is so cool. It has a
set of three pockets that will allow for large picks and prevent crushing. It also has a wide and padded neck. I am still fighting my cameras and will post
pictures soon, but to my fellow growers who want something that will simply the
harvest you will be more than interested.
She also designs purses and is a true whiz at the sewing machine. She is now offering sewing classes too!
Tom and his brother Joe have been attempting to cut wheat…a
little each day but my blackberries simply insist it is not time. I have one berry starting to slightly turn purple. My prediction is they will be able to begin
cutting Thursday and I will likely begin picking berries the same day. Tom is amused by my predictions but not
convinced. That’s okay. I will remind him of my prediction on
Autie had her second blast ball game and she was a little
timid and unsure of herself this time.
Usually her big sister is right there bossing her around and she is figuring
things out on her own. She is doing just
fine. Livie had a makeup game and we did
not skip around the base line last night, but we casually jogged. I think some things were said by her team
mates because as she fell asleep last night she said she was sorry and would
run faster next time. My heart hurt a
little for her. I know being the big
sister hard. You have to figure out
everything yourself. Livie is like me in
that she has to mess it up before she figures things out. I need to remember how hard that was for me at
times. I will say she has an awesome
swing and she knows how to keep the shortstop VERY busy. That
ball is fast and JUST barely inside the line.
She is doing just fine.
Today I watered everything and began planting a new round of
onion sets. I have sold a lot of onions
and would have sold a lot more at this point if more were in the ground. I also need to find time to get some basil
plants in the ground.
The tomatoes are still taking their time, but I am now
picking my new red fig which is a cherry-sized heirloom that resembles to yellow
pear. I also see some chocolate cherry cherries
starting to blush a little. My Italian
tree tomatoes are starting to ripen too and those are looking like nice
tomatoes. They are bigger than my Stupica
tomatoes but still not huge. I
personally think smaller tomatoes have more flavor. I also see my beefsteak tomatoes are getting
close to size and will soon start to blush.
I have gobs of yellow beefsteak, but no signs of ripening so whenever
they hit I will have A LOT. My white,
orange, pink and black tomatoes will take a little longer, but will be for sale
before you know it. I also notice my chili peppers are starting to
fruit and with a little luck will be ready for Father’s Day weekend. YEAH!!!!
I will have bell peppers soon after that. My colored bells, and other peppers will take
a little longer.
If I do not have squash and cucumbers for sale by Wednesday
I will definitely have some for sale next Sunday and I am ready. The green beans are about to flower and my
leeks are huge.
Tonight I will plant a few more strawberry plants for fall
fruit and some more leeks, and the last of the eggplant for the season. I have a short row that at this point is
empty and I am looking for some fun new things to try. I am still looking.
Wheat harvest is all but here so I plan to cut a few bundles
of wheat in its stalks to sell as dried flowers for my markets this week. I love wheat.
It is so pretty when it is green but as it ripens it is breathtaking. The colors range from like gold/ almost white
to dark bronze. I fell in love with Tom and
the life he offered me as a farm wife during wheat harvest. Nearly nine years later I still love wheat
harvest… and Tom. We have brothers,
cousins, friends, sometimes strangers… they all want to pitch in. Some take vacation time to come work for
free. We are talking some seriously long hours. There is something truly romantic about this
time of the year. I think it is partly the beauty but also the camaraderie. The banter and yes sometimes the episodes of
Tom and Joe rolling around in the parking lot biting each other’s ear because
neither has slept much in days and are a little crabby. I am not making any of that up. At 42 and 45 they still fight like kid
brothers. Anybody who has ever worked closely
with family instinctively understands how animated these fights can be. They also understand there is only one
rule. Be mad if you like but get over it
because you will sit across from that ugly mug at the next family gathering.
In the morning I will pick peas and mulberries and the girls
and I will likely pick more mulberries tomorrow night. I have several large orders to fill for the
week and it takes A LOT of mulberries to get anywhere. Mulberries remain a very popular item.
My words of gratitude focus on the importance of
family. My brother in law is a maddening
person to be around, but he has also pulled me out of a ditch, repaired
multiple flat tires and is good with my girls …so maybe he is not so bad. I am also grateful for patient customers who
are also waiting for the tomato bumper crop.v
Posted by Twilya
@ 04:45 PM CDT
Great produce at great prices and yes we still have bedding plants and hanging baskets. [Read More
Posted by Twilya
@ 08:41 AM CDT
We are a bit of a drive BUT WORTH IT!!! [Read More
Posted by Twilya
@ 11:16 AM CDT
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