Summer on the Farm

I don’t live in the West.

I love to write westerns (and other stories, too!) but I live in Western New York. I am in the “Eastern Woodlands” according to the Kratt Brothers (we love Wild Kratts!) but if it’s the western part of the state, that should count for something. 🙂

We grow pumpkins.

We grow other stuff too, but we’re a small farm (using about 22 acres of our fifty acres of land) and we sell everything from our front yard…. Which means come September and October, my yard is filled with all kinds of wonderful people!!!!

Hundreds of people. Big people. Little people. People who come to see all the cool stuff we grow and display.

 

 

Polar Bear pumpkins and my friend Becky…. Gotta have friends!

Display ideas for stacking pumpkins…. look at those colors! We grow pink, blue, gray, silver, tan, orange, white, yellow, green, red and orange pumpkins and squashes, many are old heirloom varieties that we teach folks about all the time! The pallets you see are for the 1500 chrysanthemums I grow to go along with the pumpkins….

Our September/October front porch photo op… folks can sit on the old steps or their kids can and take photos…. or we take a photo for them! We have several photo ops for people, where they can commemorate their visit with no fee attached. Folks love being able to have a farm-friendly visit at reasonable prices. And we love it!

 

Chrsyanthemums.… this is my venue. This and baking for the customers, cakes and cookies and breads to make everyone smile…. but the mums are a huge undertaking and I have some young friends who help me with daily watering and feeding….

Mums in so many colors…. 1500 of them and it’s an amazing thing to see how excited customers are when they see the gorgeous colors and display ideas of mums with stacked pumpkins and a bale of straw or hay.

 

So while I still write in the pre-dawn hours, the rest of my day is filled with farm work… the house is NOT clean…. and I don’t cook all that much, we eat a lot of sandwiches!!!… but in the end, the folks are so excited to come and see the new things, shop, have fun, visit the miniature donkeys (must love donkeys!) and spend some time on the farm, tucked in the country…

So while I don’t live in the west, I’m not afraid to help run a real-live farming effort with my husband and help from family and friends….

 

Just in case you’ve been wondering what I’ve been doing….. and then THIS HAPPENED!

Bestselling book from Waterfall Press, the 2nd book in my “Wishing Bridge” series from Amazon/Brilliance has been named a finalist in the “Maggie Award for Excellence” sponsored by Georgia Romance Writers! I was so excited to get this phone call

So that’s how my summer’s been going…. no complaints! How about yours? Do you garden? Farm? Work in an office? Tell me what’s going on this summer in your neck of the woods!

Ruthy

Ruth Logan Herne
Multi-published, bestselling, award-winning author Ruth Logan Herne lives on a small farm in Western New York surrounded by grown kids, cute grandkids, cats, dogs, chickens, frogs, toads and snakes. That's why writing Westerns doesn't scare her. Not one smidge. Because she's surrounded by critters of all sorts, and has been known to teach lessons on snakes as available... She started writing Westerns by accident/invitation, and L-O-V-E-D it... matched with her love for both historicals and contemporaries, Ruthy's working on a new Western series for Love Inspired, New England mysteries for Guideposts and her historical Westerns for the indie market in 2018. She loves God, her family, her country and absolutely, positively loves what she does!

44 Comments

  1. WoW Mrs Ruth with all those Pumpkins and you are still able to get up early and write you most definitely are blessed by God Himself personally. Your story is amazing enjoyed very much. Hope you have a excellent fall abundance

    1. Glenda, hi! I was building displays yesterday and didn’t have computer time, but I’m so happy you stopped by! Those were shots from 2018, this year’s pumpkins are still growing so we’re on Powdery Mildew watch and killing bugs that carry mosaic viruses and watching the “blight map” for our tomatoes…. We learn a little bit more every year!!!!

  2. I live in downtown Lincoln Nebraska, nothing much happens here in the summer till the college kids come back to school. We are home to University Of Nebraska Huskers football team. First game is August 31st why am I telling you this because my apartment is 6 blocks from the stadium so Craziness will happen on that day. I wait till after the start of the game to venture out. Oh and Lincoln is also home to the state capitol which is under renovation right now.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing you post and your beautiful pictures! Fall is my very favorite time of the year and I love everything that goes with it.

    2. Oh, Mary Connealy tells me all about Lincoln and game days, LOL! You know it’s like that in State College, PA, too and it always amazes me that these stadiums hold 60K, 70K, 80K PEOPLE…. for college football! What a hoot, Kim!

  3. Good morning Miss Ruth, I live in Southwest Kansas. I’m 36 miles from Oklahoma & 40 miles from Colorado. This summer I’ve just been working. I’m an livestock inspector for The State Of Kansas, so I stay busy traveling to feedyards, Dairies, and Swine facilities. I have 26 counties I cover, so that keeps me busy. I did go to New Mexico mountains a month ago and this weekend I’m visiting Colorado. We will be going on the backside of Pikes Peak to an old mining town Cripple Creek, CO. So I’m excited. I love your pumpkins, you must stay very busy, wow and then find time to write. You’re a busy Lady.
    May August be a wonderful and Blessed month for you and everyone here at P & P!!!

    1. Oh my stars, Cripple Creek???? I was looking at setting a fun series in Cripple Creek! How funny is that???? How they brought the town to life with gambling and tourism! Have fun there!

      And I love your job….. I can totally see a livestock inspector falling in love with a farmer who’s facing a crisis, can’t you????? What kind of crisis could we dream up???????

      Tonya, that is so out of the box!

      1. Ruth- I’ll have to gather you up some Cripple Creek info and send to you.
        I love your idea of a Livestock Inspector & Farmer.
        I can see a water source becoming contaminated due to pesticides and and fertilizers.
        The Inspector having to try and find whether it was from the crops or a local feedyards that causes the contamination that could potentially cause the Come ties drinking water to become contaminated as well.
        So everyone has to work together to save the community. The female Inspector and the farmer work close together, sparks fly and they don’t get along at 1st, but after solving the problem and being in each other’s presence they form a bond and friendship which becomes deeper and finally fall in love.

  4. Avatar

    Love, love, love your farm, I wish it wasn’t so far away! I bet families do love to come there especially with it not being an expensive family outing and it being so beautiful and fun!

    I live in hot and humid East Texas but we’ve actually had a mild summer for here. We haven’t done a lot this summer really and I can’t believe it’s already August! How did that happen? We’ve been to my hometown and visited my family in June and July for a week and my sister and her husband came here for two weeks. Family time is usually all the vacation we get. I’m a single mother on disability income so destination vacations aren’t a part of our life. We do enjoy swimming at the closest Y in the summer.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful farm! I love it and want to live there! Not to mention, NY temps instead of Texas temps!

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful farm

    1. Stephanie, we understand fixed incomes… and with six kids we took one vacation… ONE… to Lake George, in the Adirondacks, and I was pregnant for baby #5 and it was the third hottest summer on record and he was born in September…. and did I mention it was the third hottest summer on record? 🙂 I am not good in the heat but I can handle winter rigors with the best of them. And I can shovel snow, LOL! Have you gone to Magnolia? My son is in Dallas and we drove to Waco when we visited him in May and it was beautiful….. bluebonnet and Indian paintbrush (right?) and the clouds were SO LOW…. now that was weird, it was as if they were much lower than clouds here. I don’t know if that was an optical illusion or something about the sea level or what, but it was like that for two days… then that storm system cleared and normal clouds again. Isn’t it funny what you notice????

      We’ve never had a pool, either. Couldn’t afford one, and now I’m afraid that if we put one in ever, we’re all so busy we wouldn’t be paying proper attention. So that worry is real.

      And hey, other than taxes and silly government stuff, Western NY is such a gorgeous place to live. Not the wide open vistas of the west and southwest, but it’s like living in forestland…. so many trees. If you don’t mow it, a forest will grow. Not even kidding! 🙂

  5. I would love to visit your farm if I were ever in your area. Here in Texas, it’s just hot. I don’t go outside much. I just like to stay inside in the air conditioning and have been doing lots of reading. My summer has been going slow. I don’t do anything different than I do the rest of the year. I have never been good at gardening, so I don’t even try.

    1. Janine, my grandma Myrtle Herne was an avid gardener. Neither of my parents touched a trowel, so I must have gotten my love for it from her, and I just love making things pretty. Making them pop. Putting old stuff with new growth and watching them blend. But it’s too hot down there to follow the things the way we do…. Your summer is like our winter, we tend to stay in more (of course it’s dark for 15.5 hours a day, so I love these longer days of summer!!!!) and we put on weight in the winter. Dagnabbit! But in the summer, no one gains weight, LOL!

  6. I don’t do any farming anymore but was raised on a small farm. I do put out a few tomato plants out every year and a cucumber plant because I love fresh tomatoes. The past few years I have put them in big flower pots because of all the wet weather we have had. This year the spider mites got on them and have about killed them, so much for being a gardener.

    1. Oh, spider mites! And aphids and cucumber beetles and so many CREATURES eating our food when God so nicely provides plenty for them. The brats! 🙂

      Lori, it’s an ongoing struggle…. and August makes us or breaks us. September, too, but by then the plants are either producing, done producing, or hoping for a final few weeks of nice weather and occasional rain. Too much dew and rain brings mold…. and other things. But we take it daily and you know how it is…. we are blessed by what comes and we take a lesson in what doesn’t!

      Sorry about your tomatoes and cukes, my friend!

  7. Ruthy … we could be girlfriends! I love everything about growing fall fun! I love to cook, bake, try new recipes. We traveled through upstate western New York five years ago on our way to Maine. We even stopped at a pumpkin patch such as yours. Love your post and appreciate that you are willing to write in the predawn hours while working so hard the rest of the day. God bless you and yours. I’d help you out if I lived closer. Today I’m expecting my daughter to arrive with our two grands Max and Tenley. We will enjoy them for a few days. Blessings on your day Ruthy.

    1. Kathy, thank you so much for the sweet card you sent me! I love it!!!!

      And if you lived closer, I’d put you to work! 🙂

      We have folks that volunteer on the weekends in September and October because if we had to pay everyone that helps us then, we’d have to raise prices… so friends and family come by and help customers, eat cookies or homemade stew or soup or chili or burgers…. and I don’t know what we’d do without them! Tying cornstalks is my friend Paul’s job…. and he won’t give it up, LOL!

      Helping customers learn how to stack pumpkins, choose good stackers, or how to arrange their displays based on the size of their porch, yard, steps, etc…. it’s so much fun!!!!

  8. What an awesome undertaking. I was raised on a small farm and know how much work it is.
    I noticed the flyer for for the mums says Blodgett Family Farm. My grandmother was married to a James Blodgett.

    1. Estella, we’re related!

      All the Blodgetts in America are descended from the original brother(s) who came over in 1635…. and we’ve spread all over the country! Isn’t that kind of cool to know?

      Hi, Cousin!

  9. Very interesting. I wish I lived closer to check it out. I didn’t realize there were so many different colored pumpkins.

    1. Marina, I didn’t either until about three years ago when a customer asked me about growing blue pumpkins because they were so expensive at the big farm markets… so I studied up on them, and thought if we can grow gorgeous orange pumpkins, why not? The blue ones were such a success that we ventured into SO MANY COLORS and people love them. We’re experimenting with new varieties, seeing what works where, and the mums were a perfect complement to the pumpkins…. and corn stalks, broom corn, ornamental (Indian) corn, straw bales (that’s the only thing we don’t grow here, our cousin Gerry Eichas sells us the straw and hay from his farm on the next road) I used the Eichas family name in my historical Westerns, they’re such a nice family!!!!

  10. I loved getting this look into your life, Ruthy. All this time I pictured you in the midwest somewhere. Ha! I lovey your pumpkins and mums. Gorgeous! I can only imagine the amount of work and love that goes into that endeavor.

    1. Karen, it’s hysterical… and all you want to do is “imagine” it, because it’s like months of somewhat insanity and farmers get a tad grumpy if the weather doesn’t cooperate. 🙂

      The fun part of this is that the entire yard and side yard and now we’ve expanded another 200 feet of frontage this year (to help with display space and parking) so it’s pretty amazing to us, too.

      And people are SO HAPPY to come and spend money.

      When do you see people happy about spending money??? 🙂

      It’s a funny thing.

  11. Thank you for the beautiful pictures. I enjoyed learning more about your farm and would love to come see it one day. I worked this summer and am finishing my 3 day vacation before going back to work tomorroe. I do live in the West and we have had 109 degree heat, so I am begging Fall to come soon but not just for cooler temperatures I love pumpkins and Fall colors!

    1. Vicki, we do, too! When my daughter suggested this to her dad a bunch of years ago, I realized she was right… that focusing on fall in an area of the country that is just gorgeous in the fall made sense. Everything around the farm, the hedgerows of trees and bushes, the fields, the whole thing just turns color starting in September, so the farm fits into the landscape. It’s just plain pretty!!!!

      109.

      OH MYLANTA, GIRLFRIEND!

      See, I can do the -5 in January and February…. Because it’s rare, usually it’s more in the teens…. But heat like that saps me.

      We can love fall colors together!!!!

  12. Hi Ruth. Wow this is so awesome what you do. I love to go to places like this. Cant be beat. Thank you for what you do for everyone else. God is using you and your talents. I grew up many years on a farm and I know all about the work and the realization of a day well done. I was in 4-H and I did: Horses, Cattle, Pigs and Sewing. Today I live in the suburbs but I still garden both vegetables and flowers. I have a wonderful butterfly garden that keeps butterflies, bees and hummingbirds and birds in the area.

    1. Oh, that butterfly garden sounds wonderful! And 4H is such a wonderful organization, my friend Audra Harders in Colorado is part of the extension service there and oversees 4H and the Fair and all kinds of things… oh my stars, those are some busy months!!!!! And we love attracting hummingbirds and bees, where would my pumpkins be without those bees????? In the morning, when the blossoms open (I’ll do pics of that so you guys can see it) they BUZZ with bees!

  13. I don’t get out much anymore so I spend most days reading or listening to books.
    I love the Wishing Bridge series and I am anxiously waiting for Jazz’s story.
    Your mums and pumpkins are beautiful! If I lived close to you, I would be getting some of your baked goods too.
    Thanks for sharing your busy life, Ruthy!

    1. Andrea! I’m so glad you love the Wishing Bridge series!!!! I’ve got Jazz’s story over half done, but I have to pause and finish a mystery for Guideposts (which is so much fun!!!!) and a Love Inspired (the final Golden Grove story, set in central Washington) and then I can get back to Jazz’s story. I’d hoped for a fall release, but I think it’s more likely to be early winter now. But that’s okay… it’s an absolutely beautiful story and I want to tell it properly.

      I have loved creating Wishing Bridge. The town… the people… the story threads.

      It has been an absolute delight from beginning to end. I am so blessed.

  14. Congratulations!

    Not much going on here. Never got my garden planted.

    1. Oh, no worries! I couldn’t do it for years while I was working two jobs and writing and life was just so crazy….. The years I couldn’t plant a garden, I happily supported other local growers. It’s no biggie…. and when folks have customers as nice as you, it’s a total bonus, Denise!

  15. Wow! Congratulations!! I’d love to be able to visit your farm! It looks like it would be a great place to visit and get decorating ideas for fall!!

    1. Trudy, it is. My daughter-in-law Lacey has a great eye for displays… and I’ve learned a lot from her. I’ve learned to COPY what she’s done, LOL!

      And we let folks buy whole displays and then we create another one during quiet times, and my teen helpers love, love, love that. They get to go all creative/happy and do their thing…. so we try to create nostalgic fall looks, Farmhouse looks (think Joanna and Fixer Upper and Magnolia, using the ivory, pink, gray and beige pumpkins with a shot of color) and then we add in rustic touches from things we find at garage sales or along the roadside.

      It’s amazing how trash turns to treasure!

      And then customers post pics to our Blodgett Family Farm facebook page and share their ideas!

  16. Wow! You have a pretty place, Ruthie. And you’re quite productive. When do you find time to write?

    1. Linda, in the middle of the night… I’ve always been that way, up really early so I can write before the day begins for the normals among us…. so if I can get 2 or 3 hours of writing in by 7:00 AM, I’m good… but this time of year is tough for marketing and blogging because I can’t be near a computer and my phone is fine but who can type all this and get work done? So the proximity to laptop is a problem until late October when things wind down….

      I have my Diet Mt. Dew at my side as we speak. Caffeine is my friend, sweet Linda!!!!

  17. Ruthie, those pumpkins are amazing!

    1. Farmer Dave is amazing…. he’s the workhorse behind all of this. We all help, but he’s the driving force on tilling and planting and production…. but then the front end of the business comes back on us folks closer to the road, so to speak! 🙂 And we take over on the marketing end….

  18. I’ve always loved mums and pumpkins and fall. Your pictures are beautiful and the displays so inviting. When our kids were little we sold squash and a few pumpkins but just from the patch. Mostly it was a way for the kids to earn a few extra dollars and for me to get rid of excess produce rather than feed it to the pigs. Recently I have taken the extras to one of the local food banks. They are always appreciated there. I planted everything late this year so I hope the squash and pumpkins ripen before the first frost which can arrive here any time between the middle of Sept.and early Nov.

    Thanks for sharing your farm.

    1. Alice, we contribute all of our extras to our local food bank, too! I’m always sad when I see squash or veggies lying in a field waiting to be disced under for winter because there’s such a need out there. The soup kitchens, food pantries and food shelves and shelters need food all year… So we love helping out that way.

      Share the bounty… lighten the load!

  19. My summer has been crazy and I haven’t been at my house for most of it! I live in Oregon but I’ve been in Washington DC, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and now California! I will finally be back in Oregon next week! So, to answer your question, I really have NO IDEA what’s going on in my neck of the woods! I look forward to seeing what IS going on though, next week!!!

    1. Hahahahaha! I have a sister in Oregon, and I’m always surprised by how hot it gets away from the coast. I’d envisioned cooler temps, but no! SURPRISE!!!!! Well, world traveler, welcome home next week!

  20. Wow, you stay busy in your farm, your pumpkins are beautiful and I bet they are a sight to see come fall! I sure would love to see your mums , I love chrysanthemums , especially the fall colors! What a Great feeling for you seeing all the beautiful pumpkins and flowers that you all grow! I love to plant flowers, I plant flowers and my husband plants vegetables. I have been fixing up my flower garden and it is looking nice, it is a lot of work, I cannot imagine how much hard work you do at your farm, but at the end of the day it is very rewarding! I loved seeing all the pictures, Thank you so very much for sharing them. God Bless you and your family. Have a Great weekend.

    1. It’s always a team effort, Alicia… just like at your house. And I love how gardens “frame” a house. And thank you for your blessings, what a wonderful thing they are! 🙂

      You know that’s how Dave and I got started forty years ago… he planted veggies and I planted flowers and bushes and eventually we figured out what we were doing. 🙂

  21. This summer we managed to take a trip we planned for 2 summers ago. Health issues kept getting in the way and I told my husband that if I had to crawl into the RV we were going this summer. We left May4 and got home July 19. We drove from NE TN to Seattle, WA, then up to
    Alaska, through British Columbia, the Yukon, and Alberta, crossed into Montana near Glacier NP, then home through the northern states angling down to TN. It was a great trip, but I had more I wanted to see. Our poor gardens, both flower and vegetable were taken over by weeds that are over 7 feet tall. It took my husband a week to get the yard back into shape. We had lined people up to take care of things, but they obviously didn’t. We are hoping to get a late crop of a few vegetables in, but the garden isn’t dug out yet and may not be in time.
    In a week and a half, we head to Plattsburgh, New York. There is an Air Force reunion the FB111 crew members who were stationed at the now closed base there and in New Hampshire. It is also my hometown, so we will get some family visiting in also. After our trip last year, we came home through the Finger Lakes region. It was the first time in that part of the state. We need to go back and explore a bit more.
    Hope the rest of your summer and Fall go well. Congratulations and best of luck with your Georgia Romance Writers nomination.

    1. Oh, you’re coming way north! We bought our two donkeys from a farm north of Plattsburgh, and it was my first time driving a horse trailer… and through the mountains because there is no easy way to get from WNY to the upper Adirondacks and Lake Champlain! And it was 8/30 two years ago and it was already showing signs of fall there…. turning leaves. Just those few degrees north and the higher elevation…. Oh my stars, so pretty up there.

      And then the Finger Lakes is rolling hills and vineyards and farms and forests and these beautiful long, slim lakes that stretch north/south along the center of our state. It’s amazing how very pretty New York is and folks don’t think of it that way, but with so many mountains/valleys/rivers/lake plains, we’ve got a huge variety of terrain and color. And so much history…. I love that!

      Have a safe trip, Patricia!

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