Planting the Garden and Distractions

I’ve been working on getting the garden planted. I had a ton of melon and squash starts to get in, finished those today. I planted cucumbers, golden and blue Hubbard squash, watermelon sugar baby, Melons Jenny Lind, Crenshaw, Sweet Granite, Pixie, Charentais, and one that Johann lost the label to. I put in butternut squash and zucchini and yellow summer squash. Then I planted four tomatoes from the greenhouse, because we have way too many already, and I’ll put in a few more later today. We’ve put up electric mesh fence around the garden, and I made a big enough enclosure to keep the chicks in the chookabago inside it to keep the fox away. We had the dickens of a time getting the fence hot last night. Our portable charger was corroded, we couldn’t find a battery for another portable, so we finally set up and wired the big one that plugs in. I learned how to use the weed whacker with brush blade attachment. Exciting! Now that we have the enclosure up and hot, I can move all the poultry into it. I also did some prowling around the farm finding birds to take pictures of, we have so many birds.

I started these inside about 2 weeks ago.

 

The garden is now enclosed with electric fence to deter the groundhog and other pests

 

I melted holes in the 6mil plastic with a little blow torch.

 

The baby Phoebes in the rabbitry are getting big - they'll fly soon.

 

The chicks are loving their new freedom and green stuff to eat.

 

I found a Robin's nest in the plum thicket.

More Dirt

It’s still raining, and I’m still not getting anything done outside, although I have been spring-cleaning and working at the library. Dad’s still up at Toad Hall eating bon-bons. He’s gotten the all clear from the doctors – they got all the cancer and he won’t have to get any follow up treatment. That was the best kind of news. He’ll be home before I know it, ready to work and all I have is this big pile of dirt…

Fill dumped on the driveway - the truck was too heavy to go further.

Michael and I will be moving this dirt from its current heaped state to fill in the hole in the sideyard. That’s 18 yards of sandy loam fill. Oh, my aching back. We can’t start on it quite yet, as ’tis raining and looking to continue until the weekend. But having that hole filled in (where an old outbuilding collapsed a few years back) will mean that I can build my kitchen garden, so I am looking forward to having it done.

Rainy Day Activities

seeds are what gardeners really collect

It’s been raining since Sunday, three days now. Which has put a cramp in my plans, a bit. But it has allowed us to get some things done inside that needed doing. Like going through all the seeds and sorting out what needed to be planted now, and what will be planted later in the ground. Once that ground dries up a bit and I can get a rented rototiller to work it up. On Sunday I planted five flats of seeds. At seventy-two plants each, that’s 360 starts. I’m being a little overambitious, yes. But those starts are veggies, herbs, flowers, and some oddments I really wanted to try. And we do plan to have a big garden and sell some and put a lot up. With 7 people to feed here on the Farm, and more in the shape of friends and family nearby, a big garden can go a long way. We have three shoeboxes full of seeds, and that’s not counting the old seed I tossed. Anything from the 1990s went in the pig bucket. I have come to the conclusion that gardeners collect seeds. All year long, Dad and I pick up packets of seeds, saying either, we need that, or hmmm… that would be interesting to grow. Which would explain the packet of Stevia seed. We don’t usually plant half of what we have stashed, so this year I wanted to get a good chunk in the ground. I planted several different kinds of melon, for instance, including some heirloom varieties we’d picked up. Hopefully they will do well, everyone here loves melon and will eat as much as I feed them. I paid three dollars for a honeydew melon today. It would be lovely to just get one in the garden.

Unrelated to gardening, but related to the rain, I have been spring cleaning the house. Both kid’s rooms are clean now finally. We’ll see how long they stay that way!

Nasturtium seeds are quite large.

Lettuce ready to go - we are planting mesclun mix greens every week, now, for a continual crop.

I did go out to the greenhouse in the rain and planted the next lot of greens. The lettuce Dad started a month ago is ready to harvest and looking good. It was nice to be in the warm greenhouse with the rain plinking on the plastic. The tomato starts and strawberries in hanging baskets are beginning to bloom. We will be selling them for people who want to have some sweet produce but don’t have the space we do to garden. The everbearing strawberries will start to fruit next month, and continue through October with minimal frost protection. Then they will come back next year bigger and better if overwintered in a sheltered place!

Popovers and Chicks

Popovers with Blueberry Jam

My popovers didn’t “pop” but they still tasted awesome, especially with the blueberry jam that we put up last summer on it. I think next time I will use a metal pan, the silicone muffin tins didn’t work well for this!

Chicks!

The little golden ones are Golden-Pencilled Hamburgs, and the black and white ones are Cuckoo Marans. The Cuckoo Marans will lay deep brown shelled eggs. Once they are laying, with the green egged Aracaunas we already have, and the Hamburg’s brown eggs, we will have very colorful boxes of eggs to sell! Right now they are just gosh-darned cute.

Rhubarb Hatching

Ok, it’s not really hatching, but it’s cool to see that leaf crumpled up in the cup that forms the base of the stem. They will grow like mad now, and by May we will be harvesting rhubarb. I plan to make rhubarb jam soon!

Tomatoes in the Greenhouse!

Finally able to take the starts out to the greenhouse. It’s freezing at night outside, but they will stay warm enough in there, and we’ve got a huge head start on the growing season. We are harvesting lettuce out of the cold frames at the far end of this bed already.

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