Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Busy Times

I have been busy planting.  Much of this main garden is planted, or at least seeded.
It's been a few days since I posted. That is partly because the office computer, which is where I can download photos, appears to be on it's last leg and that is where I need to download the photos from the camera.

Also, we have just been crazy busy trying to take advantage of the good weather and accomplish some of the  tasks around here.    Poor Steve, I think he is glad to go back to work on Monday morning after working so hard all weekend here.

 In the garden right now are onions, leeks, garlic, cabbages, broccoli, cauliflower, celery, lettuces, spinach, kale, chard, peppers, tomatoes, carrots, and beets. Basil, carrots,  and dill are seeded around the tomatoes and peppers. I can talk about companion planting, or "stacking" in another post, but suffice it to say that some things do better planted along side other plants.  Still to come are sweet potatoes (where that plastic is laying down, heating up the soil) a few more peppers, eggplant, the summer squashes, cucmbers, sweet corn and pole beans.   I am also laying down wood chips along all the garden paths.  This helps hold mositure, and will add valuable organic matter to the soil as it breaks down.  Plus, it helps keep down weeds.

The cucumbers, zucchini, and some of the winter squash, in their flats in the cold frames. I should be able to plant these in the ground later this week. That's a stray lettuce there. I cut it back, and that's part of our salad tonight.

With the aid of a crane and a bucket lift, the radio tower that has "graced" our back yard finally got taken down.  The previous owner was the emergency responder for the town, and operated a ham radio relay here. 
Unhooking one of the sections to be lifted off by the crane.
Next, Steve and Carl had to remove the rubber roofing off the old shed prior to demolition.  Most of the shed will just get bulldozed and stacked in a burn pile. We didn't want this rubber in that mix.  I found a home for it. This sutff is incredibly heavy. That big roll weighs a couple hundred pounds.
Steve installed a shelf for the old grain mill.  It is solid cast iron, and needed a hefty shelf!  
Steve cleared and tilled an area on the south facing side of the "white house" ( an extra outbuilding here that we haven't decided how to use).  Here, the hops will be planted. As many of you may know, Steve brews his own beer, so we thought it would be fun to grow some of our own hops.  Hops are a climbing vine and need a tall trellis or support. We will attach hooks and heavy duty twine for them to climb on.
 I cobbled together a hoop covering for the strawberry bed. The chickens (aka "the excavators") have to be fenced out of anything we don't want dug up and scratched to pieces.  That's a hundred strawberry plants in there!
Some flower seed starts in the cold frames. I will plant marigolds and nasturtiums around various garden beds, as they help deter certain garden pests. 
Angus and Gracie.  Notice the wheelbarrow next to them. They have decided the wheelbarrow is their safe place.  When I have to use it, they get anxious and follow me around, wondering when I am going to bring "mom" back.   One day, I just had to quit what I was doing and put the wheelbarrow back to rest, as they were getting too hot and stressed trying to follow me around.  I love these guys. They have figured out how to get in and out of their swimming pool by themselves, so they now take frequent cool dips in the water.  
The grown hens hang together most of the time.

The orchard is in full bloom. Apple trees left untended, as those two old ones have been, often produce every other year.  Looks like this is an "on" year.   Steve had to go down the hill there and cut up all the many apple limbs from last fall's pruning.  He stacked the good firewood for later collection, but we needed to get a mower down there and the limbs were in the way.

The pastures are greening up nicely.

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