Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pumpkins, peppers and cukes

Even though we are very dry here, the garden is surviving, except I’ve given up on my lettuce and broccoli. For one, the broccoli gave me one good crop and didn’t produce much else afterwards – and Ronny thought it tasted funny. :) With the lettuce, I ate enough salads to make me sick of it, so I abandoned the last few weeks.

But my vertical pumpkins are doing just that. Going vertical.
Garden July 17

And then horizontal again. These long vines are really stretching out – but as long as they stay on the rock, I’m ok with them. And do you see that in there?
Garden July 17-2

We have our first pumpkin growing!
Garden July 17-3

As far as the cucumbers – they are officially taking over the garden.
Garden July 17-4

I’m loving my cucumber harvest, however, and have been taking them for snacks to work and am glad to have more growing.
Garden July 17-5

Lastly, my peppers (that I started from seed) are growing pretty big! Hopefully they’ll produce some peppers before the first freeze.
Garden July 17-7

Anyone else having good luck with their garden?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Michigan Part 4 | Somerset, the family farm & wineries

On Saturday, Billy first gave us a tour of the Michigan State farms and the dairy where he conducted research. We first visited the horse unit – beautiful barns and adorable babies!

One of Billy’s role with his research and work at the dairy was to help create the ration for the cows. I was happy to hear that around 30% of the ration was corn co-products. :)

Gotta love the Sparty-Cow!

We also checked out the beef cow-calf unit and feedlot. DSC02631DSC02635

Next we headed to Somerset – south of Lansing about an hour. Somerset is where the farm that Grandpa Pope grew up on for most of his childhood. We first visited Joyce Foster, Grandpa’s neighbor that knew him very well. When Ronny visited Michigan as a child, he slept on Joyce’s screened-in porch on this swing. He wouldn’t fit on it too well today!

Here is the farm house that Grandpa lived in. There was a big windstorm a few days prior that knocked down some trees.

We drove past the house down this lane that Great Grandpa Pope would take with his horses and plow to work the ground on the back of the property.DSC02642

This is the view to the south of the farm.

This area is very wooded and the “tunnel” that we drove through was pretty narrow! In the wooded area is a small grave of one of Grandpa Pope’s dogs.DSC02649DSC02647

The field beyond Billy and Ronny is where the Pope’s would farm or keep livestock on.DSC02653

We stopped in Somerset to look at the beautiful church that Grandpa went to. We also saw where Great Grandpa and Grandpa Pope were buried.


We left the farm and found a great restaurant in Manitou Beach near Devil’s Lake. I loved the ceiling of doors!

On the way back to Lansing, we checked out two wineries. One was in an old schoolhouse and the other was owned by a small plane enthusiast. DSC02674DSC02672DSC02682DSC02681

That evening, we got back and hung out by the pool and ate pizza. It was really a great trip and we thank Billy for taking the time to host us! We drove the 12 hours back on Sunday and made it back with a new friend!DSC02692

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Michigan Part 3 | Visiting Billy & MSU

We finally got to Lansing, Michigan around lunch time on Friday and met up with Billy, Ronny’s cousin, who is a grad student at Michigan State.

He took us to this great little restaurant that was also a tuba museum. :)DSC02541DSC02539

After lunch, Billy took us to the community garden where he has a plot.

Then we ventured over to the Michigan State campus. I suppose I got used to all of the purple at K-State, but there seems to be so much Spartan green everywhere on campus!DSC02546

We first went to the Dairy Store….priorities. They have so many varieties of ice cream – many of them other land grant university flavors. These were probably my favorites although I had to eat the mint chip ice cream…my favorite.DSC02557

In the same building as the Dairy Store is Billy’s grad school office.

Here Ronny is standing by Grandpa Pope’s livestock judging coach whom his dad, Ronald, was named after, thus Ronny being named after.

These pillars are a memorial of where the livestock judging pavilion once stood where both Grandpa Pope and his brother, Art, judged livestock.

A drive through campus, Billy showed us the stadium and “Sparty”.DSC02577DSC02573DSC02571

Billy was a very good tour guide. :)

Of course we also had to find the AGR and KAT houses.DSC02568DSC02566

We took some time to tour the state capitol building. It had a beautiful rotunda and glass floors.

In the newer animal science pavilion, there was a nice display of those who had contributed to Michigan State agriculture and their accomplishments. This picture shows Grandpa Pope’s livestock judging team (he is in the center).

The second man from the right is Uncle Art.

On the Wall of Fame, the Pope family are the only family who were recognized together and not as individuals. Clockwise from left to right is Grandpa Pope, Uncle Art and Great Grandpa Pope. These boys are very proud of their family.

We spent the rest of the evening relaxing and trying to stay cool – it was a record-setting 103 degrees. We spent some time at the Lansing Lake and listening to a somewhat red-dirt country band!

Then we ventured over to DeWitt (where Olympic gymnast Jordan Wieber is from – watch for her in the upcoming Olympics!) to see the famous Sweetie-licious pie shop. This shop has been recognized on the Food Network several times and Linda’s pies have received numerous first places in the National Pie Championships.We got the Rhubarb Custard pie and it was divine! 

However, probably the highlight of the evening was gong to Karaoke at Crunchy’s and seeing the legend, Dennis, perform. :)