Tuesday, July 26, 2011


What can I write, other than, "It's hot."  It's so hot we can't even think about going outside, and we finally succumbed and turned on the AC.  It's that hot. (We made it to July 22 this year)

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise.  It's Purgatory Ranch.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Where Winter goes water flows... indeed. In our case 150 gallons a minute.

All pictures courtesy of Zana (5 years old).

Because of the honey-do list, this summer I am a contractor (amateurly and occasionally).

Charlie Winter dug our well.

He described it as an ordeal. The first hole, meant for a 12" pipe, collapsed at 45', so he re-drilled the hole for an 8" pipe. The 8" pipe goes all the way down to 115' with a reservoir to 135'.

Charlie started out at 16 on an oil rig. He said he got his education in the school of hard knocks. Despite this schooling and his hard hearing due to being around all that loud equipment, his soul is soft and easy to understand.

(Don't worry, I helped him with that piping. )

The well was jetted. We also had him use bentonite.

Although I suggested that she take a few pictures of the truck, I have no idea why Zana took pictures of this part of the truck, but it does look cool. She braved the tall grass, asking to make there was no poison ivy where she wanted to stand to get this picture. She is very careful if easy freaked out.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

tater count

Last night, after a communal meal, we headed to Purgatory Ranch to begin the Great Dig, 2011. Both families are traveling in the next two weeks, so this was our best chance to dig together (and who doesn't want to know how many pounds of potatoes we grew?).

The well man's equipment is in place to dig our well (please let it not collapse again...).

Behold, the Sacred Heart, Kennebec potato style.

Second wonder of the ranch, the Purgamato... As I was digging potatoes, trying to ignore Bear Cub Q's insistence that he was DONE, I said, "Hey, this looks like a tomato, not a potato. And it smells like a tomato." And, apparently, it is a tomato plant! (edit: James) Dan votes that my dad has something to do with it. (James: He denies it all!) It's a Brandywine/slicer type tomato, from the looks of it, rather than a Roma/sauce type.

Kennebec, our heavyweight champion, weighing in at 135 pounds...
Planted in the original bed, heavy with compost, possibly planted further apart

Blue/Purple Viking, a midweight victor at a surprising 76 pounds.
Looked peakish throughout the end of the season, as purples are not known for hardiness, but delivered in the end.

Yukon Gold, with a Viking thrown in to separate it from the Kennebecs.
Our lightweight weighed in at 54 pounds.

That's right, folks. 265 pounds of delicious, organic, chemical free, hand-weeded potatoes. That means this season we had a nearly 4:1 yield. Last year, our yield was about 3.5:1, so we are making progress. If you have any good potato recipes to share, we are all ears! (oh, wait, with potatoes I guess we should be all eyes, but.... whatev')
Children of the... Potatoes?

And last, but not least, grubs for the chickens back at Second Hand Ranch. Can I hear a resounding, YUM!? Big grubs, little grubs, colonies of grubs, single grubs...

And, as I closing note, apples and potatoes are NOT related... I had a train of thought that makes sense to me, and apples figured into it... but they're still not related.

Until next time, remember, this is not paradise. It's Purgatory Ranch.