Rainy Day Activity

Bertha has been providing us with rain all day long. Another front has stalled over our area and we are looking at 3 or 4 more days of rain on our saturated soil and full creeks. Another flash flood warning is in place. We are high above the creeks and sloped, but flat enough hopefully to not have mud slide activity, though there has been a lot of that including destroying a property and making a home uninhabitable in our tiny village.

With my spindle spinning, I am participating in a spin along using only the Jenkins spindles. Since I had filled them all a couple of days ago, I elected to report my results for the month and wait until June 1 to work with them again. I have a new to me spindle due in the mail tomorrow or Friday and received a gorgeous braid of wool a few days ago that I am anxious to begin spinning. To occupy my time, I have been using my wheel to try to make a bigger dent in the pound of gray Shetland that I have been spinning on spindles for two months. And knitting on the shawl that has been on the needles about that long. The first Shetland bobbin is nearly full and I will fill another before plying. The shawl was finished tonight, soaked and is pinned out to dry. I played a bit of yarn chicken with it and finished with only about a yard left, not enough for another row.

I have enough yarn spun to begin my sweater, but knitting a sweater when the weather is hot is not something I want to begin. With the current pandemic cancelling events daily, knitting more items for my shop seems futile, there won’t be craft shows and holiday markets this year. Most people don’t want to buy knitted or woven garments online without being able to handle them, try them on. I have a knitting request from a family member, but it will need to be superwash wool, which I haven’t purchased yet, and it is another sweater. Maybe I will just work on the Shetland, perhaps even one spindle that I can clear before the first of the month. We are going to be indoors for a couple more days, but I did get a bit of weeding done in the walled garden between rain showers today.

When the rain ends, I plan to make a compost bin to put in one corner of the garden. If I can make it sufficiently large, I will gather the composting material from where I moved the chicken run and use it as a base to finish composting along with kitchen scraps to have it ready to supplement beds as they get harvested and replanted. I really hope to fill the freezer and the canning shelves with homegrown produce for the winter season.

It’s done . . .

. . . now it is just maintenance, harvest, and putting by for another year. After taking down the inner fence and mulching that area, I realize how much space there is that could have more beds. I already planned on putting a 4 by 8 foot box where the three sisters bed it this year, a 4 by 4 foot box where the mint was and where the asparagus is now. Looking at this photo, I could easily put a 2 or 3 by 8 foot box along the near left beside where the peas are this year.

Once upon a time, the raspberries were there but threatened to take over the garden. They are contained in 3 half barrels that are rotting away and no longer have bottoms so the raspberries are starting to escape. Maybe a couple of shallow feed troughs with drain holes buried half way would allow the raspberries to be moved back to that area safely and another 4 by 4 foot box added where the barrels are now. I would love to have 4 galvanized panel long raised beds that run the width of the garden with the southern edge the fruits. The blueberry bed is the southern most bed with the raspberry barrels off the end of it.

The chicken coop was cleaned, some of their fouled bedding put around the comfrey plant. Soon the comfrey will be cut and the leaves put in water to produce excellent fertilizer for the garden. Once cut, they send up a second growth of leaves. The leaves can also be used as mulch around plantings. The large green patch that looks like it has a birdhouse in it is a large patch of comfrey and there is another patch in the breezeway garden. I used pelletized horse bedding in the coop this time, they probably won’t like it for a few days, but it takes a whole bale of pine chips which quickly begin to smell of ammonia. For some reason straw has been hard to come by, but a straw bale will usually last for a couple of cleanings and usually doesn’t smell until it is very dirty.

Mulch did get put around the flowers planted a couple of days ago, but I only needed one bag. The second one will be spread around the Iris once they are thinned.

There is still more cardboard from daughter’s donation and she says there are a few more boxes soon. That will all go in the walled garden that will become the herb and dye garden eventually.

For now we await the next round of rain. It is thick and gloomy outside now, but warm and close. Rain is expected off and on for the next three days. At least I’m not having to water.

The Garden Thrives

Between morning showers and afternoon thunderstorms, some garden work has been done. Daughter provided a windfall of cardboard boxes. The upper edge of the west side and the north side were done one day. Then she appeared with more boxes and today I got about 2/3 of the east side done and dug the Creeping Charlie from the last third. The potatoes have sprouted nicely so I shoveled a new layer of soil over them. Planted and tied up 4 Tomatillos, and weeded the planted beds.

As soon as I came in to shower and start dinner prep, daughter showed up to return our trailer she had used to move her furniture back into her house now that all the repairs are completed, and she brought me more cardboard. There is enough to finish the job and have a good path around the perimeter of the garden covered and mulched to help keep down weeds. While I was out there today, I also strung the electric wire to make the top of the fence hot. The new battery has been in place charging for about a week. The bush beans have sprouted with some damage where the hens scratched when they last got in the garden. Some of the cucumbers have sprouted and so have some sunflowers, but I still don’t see corn. The peas have blooms, so soon there will be pods and fresh peas.

Yesterday we got some flowers from the nursery and I planted half barrels and also Zinneas, which my Dad loved, in the bed along the back of the garage. I need to get a couple bags of mulch to spread around them. We have a curbside pickup scheduled at Tractor Supply for dog food and coop bedding so I will add a couple bags of mulch to the order.

I started digging out the area to be terraced where the mint bed was. Every time I go out with a digging fork or shovel, I dig up so much mint root still in that area. I hope that if I keep at it, I will win that battle.