Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Fun on the farm~ planting sugar cane and camping out

God has truly blessed me with a wonderful family.  Although we may not run all over town to attend orchestra, riding lessons, soccer, basketball, etc, we really have more fun than many other families who do so.  We are privileged to live in the country on a lovely little farm, with great neighbors, a lake, and of course each other.

     Yesterday, I finally found time to pursue a little project which has needed my attention for quite some time- namely, my sugarcane patch.

As you can see, sugarcane loves our garden's soil.  To put this into perspective, the post to the right is 7'6" tall.

Farrah has kindly allowed me to plant it in the garden, but this was with the intention of cutting it, and planting a larger patch somewhere else.  I don't know if we will ever mill the canes and make juice, syrup or sugar out of them, but they are good animal feed, so it's worthwhile for us to have some growing.  I decided to plant it on the west side of our pasture, in what used to be part of our fernery.  (It's tree fern, not leatherleaf which is what most of our neighbors grow.  Tree fern grows under oaks, not black "saran" like the L.L.)

     First, I made the furrows.  I only made three- about eight feet long by 5" wide and deep.

Me hoeing out the furrows.
Then I cut the canes, and Bo and LilyAnn helped me strip them.  This means that we pulled off the leaves to uncover the buds on the stem so that they will grow.  I think that they would grow without being stripped, but that doing so speeds up the process.
Bo and LilyAnn stripping canes.  (Actually, in this picture, they were distracted by trying to figure out how to suck cane juice.)

We then carried them up to the furrows, laid them in, and covered them over with dirt.  Well, really, Bo and LilyAnn did...

Covering the canes in the furrows.
Now we'll just have to keep it watered (it's a long way from the hose, pray for rain!) and hope that the frost doesn't kill it before it's got a good root system.

Later that day...
Daddy spontaneously decided to allow us to camp out down by the lake.  It was actually Savana's idea- we were going to burn an enormous brush pile down there, and she suggested a camp out.  We were all delighted of course when he consented to the plan, and spent the last half hour of daylight, (and the first half hour of darkness) setting up before returning to the house for a while to clean up, eat popcorn, and have a "fizzy drink" (i.e.  carbonated water, fruit juice concentrate of your choice.)

Here are a few photos of the bonfire and camp...

I put Evan in front of the fire to show perspective.  In this picture he was asking me to please hurry up, it was too hot for comfort.
The pile had been formed of brush we'd cut earlier this year while clearing by the lake's edge, and so was mostly leafy stuff- branches, young trees, lots of palmettos, etc.  The tall flame only lasted a few minutes, but looked really neat while it did.

Bo as a fireman, which he thinks is the most fun job in the world.  (Though I don't know how effective half a bucket of water would be on a twenty or thirty foot flame...)  For those of you who didn't read the survey Mama took of our little guys, check it out here.

When we returned to the house to clean things up, Daddy had a voice message on his phone from our neighbor across the lake, who was calling to tell us that a big black bear was in her yard, and warning us to be careful.  We knew that there were bears in the area, in fact the dogs ran one off our property a couple months ago.  I wasn't too concerned, knowing that black bears are usually peaceable, and don't attack without provocation of some sort, but Mama looked up "black bear attacks" on Google, and came up with a Wikipedia article listing all the fatal black bear attacks for the last 30 years in the USA.  For some time there was doubt whether we would be allowed to sleep outside or not, but Daddy got our eyes back on the Lord, and finally Mama consented to our proceeding with the plan. 
Savana putting the finishing touches on Evan's tent.  The object hanging in the background is Bo's enclosed jungle hammock, which he slept in for the first time last night.
Savana and I contrived this tent for Evan, since the mosquitoes are too bad for him to sleep in the open air (his preferred way of camping out) and we only had one working tent big enough for him- the other tent being barely big enough for William and Justice.

A photo LilyAnn took of the lake this morning.
Farrah and Russell at the campfire this morning.  Photo credit:  LilyAnn

We didn't see hide nor hair of the bear all night long, though the dogs barked a good deal.  I'll leave off with the verses which make up a Scripture song we sing at our church, and which I had on my heart this morning when I woke up:
Psalm 27:1, 4a, 5, & 7
The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the strength of my life of whom shall I be afraid?
One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in house of the Lord all the days of my life...
For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion:  in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me;  he shall set me up upon a rock.
Hear O Lord, when I cry with my voice:  have mercy also upon me, and answer me.

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderful time that you must have spent with your seet family... it is truly the simple things that bring us most joy! May your sugar cane grow well, as you faithfully tend it!
    Your camp-out sounds so wonderful, and the fire was the largest that I have ever seen! I am so thankful to hear that you did not have any bear trouble, as I know from our past camping trips that bears can be quite frightening! But what joy we have in knowing that we have a Shephard who loves and protects us!

    Many Blessings,