Tag Archives: planting

Family Worn Out

An early start sent Jim off on the BBH to a ride, a funeral for a Hog member, and a class in preparation for the big 5 state rally that his chapter is hosting.

A bit of laundry washed and hung out, a trip into town with daughter’s family to get cat food and lunch together and then we returned home to plant trees.  They gave us an Arbor Day membership for Christmas and that comes with 10 trees.  They came a couple of weeks ago and were all deciduous trees that had to be nurseried for a couple of years before planting in their permanent places.  They are the ones that I built an extra garden box for them to live in for the two years.  That I managed on my own, then this week, the ones they ordered for us came.  A dozen various fir trees, Norway Spruce, Canadian Hemlock, and Eastern Red Cedars, a 4 foot red maple, and two Forsythia slips.  The firs needed to be planted where they will grow as they don’t transplant well.  There is a windbreak row of pines that eldest son and I planted about 9 or 10 years ago that were Earth Day twigs and are now 8 to 15 foot trees, but there are some holes in the windbreak and some holes up where we have planted live rooted Christmas trees and lost one.  There are some areas of the property that we consider yard and don’t save for hay that we have worked to reforest.  A contribution to reducing our carbon footprint.

The 5 of us (grands wanted to help dig), set out with the tractor, a couple shovels, a garden fork, a maddock, the bucket of tiny trees in water, and another bucket with water.  The maple was planted in the row of deciduous trees and then we extended the windbreak, filled in holes where trees didn’t take, moved up to the Christmas tree area and spaced out 4 others.  A total of 15 holes were dug, 15 areas cleared of sod, 15 trees and shrubs planted and watered in.  Each young tree is marked with a 4 foot pole and bright green marker flag so they don’t get mowed down when the grass grows up around them.  That took us a good bit of time.

Near one of the trees was an area that was impossible to mow, a low, partially covered rock pile.  For the past several early springs, I have loaded bucket loads of rock from that pile thinking that I was getting it low enough to mow.  We decided to finish moving the pile and man oh man it was a job bigger than we anticipated.  The pile was more extensive and deeper than appeared possible.  We moved 15 or 20 tractor buckets full of rock, used the tractor bucket to dig up at least a dozen rocks that were so large that they could only be rolled into the bucket to remove them.  Though the area is now torn up, it is rock free and smoothed as well as the tractor and our hands could manage.  I think it is going to be an area that can be mowed with the brush hog this summer.

The only remaining big job is the chick pen fence and we still have about 4 weeks to do it.  Tomorrow is going to be rainy and windy and this senior body is likely to be too sore to do much physical anyway.

I am grateful to daughter and her family for all of their hard work and help today and for getting us the trees to help with our project. Hopefully the little trees will thrive and grow quickly.

Yesterday, I spent the afternoon at the Smithfield House at volunteer training.  Hopefully within a few weeks, I will be doing interpretative tours at the house as well as spinning on the dates that have been scheduled for it.  I think I learned more history yesterday than I ever learned in school.

Getting It Done

One tiny step at a time, the prep and early planting is getting done.  It warmed to above 60 after lunch with sunshine until about 3 p.m. Jim hopped on the BBH and took off on a ride, and it seemed a good day to get some more gardening done.  Yesterday never warmed and the sun disappeared early never to show again, so the garden sat idle.  The baby trees had to get in the ground.  They had to soak in a bucket of warm water for 2 to 5 hours before planting, so they were set in the bucket late this morning.

The little garden cart full of necessary tools was wheeled out, the nursery bed raked smooth and any rocks and weed clumps that were scooped up by the tractor bucket were removed and the 10 little twigs were put in good composted soil, marked with dowels with the tree type on them, watered in, and mulched down with spoiled hay. It is supposed to rain tonight and tomorrow morning, so they will get a good soaking.

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The box at the top of the garden near the asparagus bed was planted with 130 yellow onion sets and the row cover dome placed over it and clipped in place with granddaughter’s help, then the lower 4 X 4′ box was planted with 5 rows of peas and also covered with row cover.

First plantings

 

More mulching between beds was done, but the weeds really haven’t started due to all the soil movement and box building and other jobs needed to be done today.  Four boxes are now planted, one with asparagus, garlic, onions, and peas.  Soon radishes and turnips can go in the ground too.

The white grape was moved against the garden fence where it will be trellised.  Some leveling of the area above the garden was done in preparation of planting one of the two plum trees, but more needs to be done.

Deconstruction was accomplished on the chick pen that had shredded plastic stapled to the sides of the coop and a 2′ high wobbly row of garden fencing not even on real fence posts with a layer of plastic bird net to keep the chicks inside.  Not secure, not high enough, and a major hassle to mow around.  The fencing was all removed and rolled to use as tree rings when the nursery trees get replanted in a year or two, the bird net and shredded plastic put in a big garbage bag to be recycled.  Mowing the thick weedy mess that had grown up between the fence and net could not be done as there was no gasoline for the mower.

Deconstruct

 

The fence line needs to be mowed short.  One fence post was set, but three more need to be relocated and set.  Once that is accomplished, the rabbit fence with tiny holes at the bottom and larger ones near the top will keep the little ones safe inside the enclosure.  The new fence is taller than the garden row that was there and some sort of protective cover will be erected to keep them safe from flying predators.  The coop is about a foot off the ground, so they can run underneath when threatened too.  A few feet outside of the old enclosure is one of our peach trees.  It would be nice if the enclosure was larger, but the big chickens killed a good sized peach tree in their run in only two years with their scratching and pecking. Perhaps the tree can be heavily mulched to keep down the weeds and a ring of the fencing around it to keep them from the roots and trunk. That would put a little shade in their pen and give them a larger enclosure to grow in until they are large enough to not get through the fence holes and their pen opened up to the cull pen.

While the work was being done, granddaughter donned her bike helmet and walked her bike up the hill near the garden and rode down and around the back of the house over and over.

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If the rain stops in the morning, perhaps the leveling of the area above the garden will continue, the plum trees planted, and if the gasoline is purchased, then the weeds can be mowed in the fence line in preparation for setting the new fence for the baby birds when they are ready to go outside in another 4 or 5 weeks.  The sides of the coop still need to be enclosed and the nesting boxes mounted inside.

The bluebird box also still needs to be mounted on it’s post, maybe in a different part of the garden from the existing one.

 

 

Olio-Week’s end-March 17, 2017

Olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

This bitter week is winding down.  Last night was hopefully the last night in the teens that we will experience this winter.  Spring on the calendar is but three days away.  The garden planner alert today was to plant the peas and onions under cover outside and start the peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos inside.  The cover fabric from prior years is gone so a trip to Harmony Organics in town is necessary to procure more for the two boxes.  The garlic looks like it suffered some damage from the cold, but hopefully it will perk back up with the milder weather.  The daffodils in town are all laying face down on the ground,  the forsythia, ornamental fruit trees in town are all browned, our peach tree lost it’s blooms.  Our forsythia had not bloomed yet, so we may see some of the sunny yellow soon. The weekend is to be milder and Tuesday actually making it into the low 60’s, so some garden time is in order this weekend and early next week.

For Christmas, daughter’s family gave us an Arbor Day membership which provides 10 young trees, plus an additional purchase for our windbreak and flowering shrubs for the driveway bank.  Yesterday, the first of those young trees arrived and they must be put in the ground within a couple of days of arrival.  The suggestion is to put them in a garden area for a year or two to let them begin to establish fibrous roots and gain some size before planting them in the location of choice.  I guess that is going to make part of the lower garden a tree nursery for now, a good use for that otherwise not in use area.  The tree planting helps reduce our carbon footprint and is helping to re establish some areas of woodlot on the farm, where we need a buffer or where it is too rocky to mow.

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The cold weather brought many birds to the feeder and to the deck to clean up the spilled seed.  Feeding the neighborhood birds and trying to foil the squirrels was an enjoyable pastime when we lived in the suburbs on the coast.  With bear in this area, a feeder has been absent for the past decade, but a small cage feeder was hung outside of the kitchen window this winter, high off the ground and it has been enjoyable to see the fearless little birds feasting.  Granddaughter observed this morning while watching them during breakfast, that the chicks in the brooder are the same size as the little finches, juncos, and titmice.

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The daylight saving time change last weekend has school bus delivery back in the early morning with the sun just peeking over the ridge while we wait.  Once home and on to do the chicken chores, it can be seen over the ridge, but not yet over the trees and with no leaf cover yet, it creates an interesting morning view.

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Shooting directly into the sunrise it looks like the sun is shining through the ridge.

The brooder chicks are thriving, growing little wing feathers and boldly hopping up on the heat table to check out the world.

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Fortunately, the screen on top should prevent any fly outs that are inevitable in another week or so.  The outside brooder coop needs a new layer of straw, the brooder nest boxes mounted inside, the sides covered for protection and the pen surrounding to have the new rabbit fencing installed to keep the littles in and the bigger critters out.  It will be time to move them outside in just a few short weeks.  Hopefully these littles will be grown enough for the big girl coop about the time brooder season starts and the great chicken shuffle begins.  The littles will become the layer flock with the Americauna and the half breed, the broodys will go to the brooder coop  and any remaining older hens and Mr. Croak will go to the cull coop where they will live for the summer and as this year’s chicks get large enough, they will be moved to the cull coop as well to provide our families with chicken for the winter.  One young cockerel will move in with the young pullets to be next year’s rooster.  This year’s brooder chicks will be out layers for the next couple of years before they are replaced with new young.

We love our little farm and the chores help keep us young.

Busy Day

After a couple of days of winter, staying inside and knitting a hat for the shop, today is almost spring and it is sunny.

After breakfast, the pile of compost in the garden that was pushed aside for the boxes was attacked with a shovel.  Hard work for an already sore back, but it needed doing.  A lunch break and trip to town to get some more seeds for our garden and for son’s garden and back to work, this time with the tractor.  After moving some of the loose spoiled hay, flipping the bale, moving one of the half barrels, the tractor barely fit between the box and fence.  Using the bucket on the tractor, the three boxes were filled, some hand leveling with the rake and shovel and they are all ready to plant.  The tractor was then used to remove wood and rocks from the lower part that was ignored last  year, then the bucket was used to smooth and level that part.

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Son let me know yesterday that his family was going to have a large garden this year too, so fewer tomatoes and hot peppers need to be planted here, making room for some produce that otherwise wasn’t going in this year’s garden.  By clearing the lower garden that still needs a light tilling, a larger corn patch can be planted.  Two more 4 X 8′ boxes still need to be purchased and put in place, but soil for one of them was piled up where it should go.

Tomorrow the onion sets will be planted and covered,  one of the larger boxes and a starter flat purchased.  Some fence adjustment is going to be made to allow for a gate, maybe one large enough to allow the tractor in the lower part of the garden.  Next Monday, we go pick up the dozen chicks.  Spring is coming, grass is greening, buds swelling.  Soon we will have broody hens and more chicks.

A garden day with the chickens

Another beautiful day here in the Virginia mountains.  This morning, granddaughter and I took a bit of a walk and picked up some litter along part of our road.  After lunch, while she was napping, instead of taking a walk, I dedicated a few hours to the garden.

I finally gave up on the tiny peppers that either didn’t thrive or never sprouted and bought 14 pepper plants of a variety of heat, jalapeno, habenero, Anaheim, Thai, Tabasco and one purple bell.  Unfortunately, all 14 peppers and all 14 tomatoes that I was successful with, had to be brought inside tonight, as it is going to get close to freezing.  We still have at least 2 more weeks before last frost.  I am still trying to get some more of the Anaheim and Hungarian Black hot peppers seeding that I started to get large enough to transplant.  Both of those packets of seed were bought from a seed saver at the Agricultural Fair last August, and they have had a very poor germination rate. Flats of French Marigolds and Hopi dye flowers were started for transplant soon.  The Gazania and Calendula seeds haven’t been started yet.

Then on to some fence rearranging to prep the area that will house the tomatoes and peppers in another couple weeks.  A bit of weeding around the asparagus bed and I found these.

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About a half dozen little second year asparagus peeking out of the soil and straw.  I may have to cut just a couple to enjoy and leave the rest to continue to mature the bed for another year.
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Another bed weeded out behind the cabbage and chard plants.  There aren’t but three surviving chard, so a few more may be purchased at the Farmers’ Market tomorrow. Weeding was done on the beds that have the garlic, onions, radishes, turnips, and kale.  Tiny plantlets of the radishes, turnips and kale have emerged and are thinner than I sowed, but looking good.

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My nine year old helper arrived after school and he delighted in digging the tap rooted weeds and the volunteer raspberries.  The bed he worked looks much better, but still needs a good hoeing before it can be used. It appears that all of the blueberries survived the winter, though one is just a root sprout and the main bush is dead.  I may replace that one in a few more weeks.  The raspberries that I transplanted have about a 2/3 survival rate.  There are volunteer sprouts appearing, so there should be some that can be moved to fill in that bed.

Tomorrow, I will work around the blueberries and get them heavily mulched as I still haven’t done that and will finish the tomato and pepper bed, doing some leveling and setting up the posts and cages and will weave the twine for the new pea rows to climb.  It is getting so close to full on garden season.  There is a great week ahead, so more work will get done to prepare the area for the three sisters bed of popcorn, Anasazi beans, and sugar pumpkins.

The bush beans and summer squash will go in the bed with the cabbages.  I have to find space for the sweet potatoes and cucumbers, maybe where the radishes and turnips are now.  Marigolds and sunflowers will be tucked throughout and bulb fennel will be placed between the asparagus and horseradish.  There is actually a plan and progress being made on that plan.  Once it is planted and is in maintenance mode, I want to get a flower bed outside the vegetable garden fence and get more perennials and annuals planted there.  My hope is that it will help keep some of the weeds from encroaching on the veggie garden.

The chickens are confused about the loss of their favorite dust bathing spot (the future tomato bed) and have lost most of the areas in the garden that they have enjoyed all winter.  They have discovered that in panic mode, they can get over the 2 foot high plastic mesh barrier fences, so I guess they will be locked out of the garden and given some supervised free range time instead.  The plastic mesh will be left in hopes of deterring the bunnies from feasting on my garden this year.  I want some of the bush beans instead of feeding them all to the wildlife.

Tonight we feasted on the last of last Saturday’s purchases of meat and veggies from the Farmers’ Market.  Tomorrow, we start the day at the market and resupply until we are harvesting from our own garden.

Round 1, playing in the dirt

The first phase of the co-habitable garden experiment is done. There was a roll of 4 foot garden fence in the garage that was cut lengthwise to make a long 2 foot roll of fence.  They can go over a 2′ fence with no problem, but hopefully they won’t figure that out until it is covered with plastic chicken wire.  The garlic was planted last fall on the chicken run end of a long row, so it seemed like that was the best place to start.

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The area beside the garlic which is about 6″ tall now, I planted 76 yellow onions, the long keeper kind.  There is a 2-3′ space that has nothing in it yet, it needs some onion friendly herbs, like dill, but it is too early to plant them.  The box has Easter Egg radishes, purple top turnips and Lacinato kale, with room for a second planting of radishes in a couple of weeks.  In front of the box are two short fences with Sugar Snap peas down both sides of one and shelly peas down both sides of the other.  More peas will be planted mid week after I can get more posts and plastic chicken wire to fence off another bed.

I found all 6 of my little blueberry bushes and weeded all of the dead canes from the various unwanted plants that surrounded them by fall.  That end of the garden never got a fall clean up.  The dead canes were pulled and tossed in the chicken run for them to pick over.  I still have raspberry volunteers from where I moved them.  They need to be dug out.  Midweek, I am going to put down a thick layer of newpaper around each of the blueberries, pile on some spoiled hay, plop a tomato cage around the bush and wrap the cage in plastic chicken wire to keep them from scratching all the hay off.  Between the bed I used today and the blueberries will be this year’s popcorn, pole beans and pumpkins.  The upper part of the garden will have the tomatoes, peppers, other beans and cucumbers, along with the permanent asparagus, horseradish, and raspberry beds. That entire end of the garden may be off limits to the chickens and just heavily mulched.

I am hopeful that the chickens will help keep the weeds down in the aisles and reduce the insect load in the garden.  If it proves to be too damaging, they will just be closed off from the garden and given supervised free range time in the yard.

Once I was done, the fence between the run and the garden was re-opened and it didn’t take them long to find they had access again.

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Dust bathing where I was pulling up last year’s corn stalks, and B’rooster, checking out what I was up to.

Six eggs today to end a good day on the farm.

Tonight we have grandparent duty and we are going to take the kiddos out for pizza and  home to an early bedtime as they were both up late last night and neither took a nap today.

All of this effort was initiated by a trip to the Farmers’ Market this morning, seeing all of the lettuce and cole starts for sale and a beautiful day in the mountains.  I didn’t buy any starts, but it did give me the incentive to get to work on the garden.

Oh what a Beautiful Morning, Oh what a . . .

This was a stellar fall day.  It started with a glorious sunrise as I sat at the bus stop with A.

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We had overnight frost again, but it was already above freezing when we left for the bus.  N was dressed, fed and delivered to preschool and I returned home to knit and read until after we picked her up from school.  By then, the day was a mild 70f and the sky was azure.

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Once she went down for her nap, the garden beckoned.  How could I possibly stay indoors on such a gift of a day?  The two pounds of seed garlic were separated into cloves, gloves, hoe and garden fork collected. Head hatted and off I went to do some post frost clean up and prepare the bed for the garlic, plant it, mulch it and cover it with row cover to discourage my two legged garden helpers.

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One of the young roosters, doing his part to clean up the garden and oh so curious about what I was digging up.

All of the pepper plants, tomato plants, pumpkin vines, pigweed and smart weed were pulled in the upper 2/3’s of the garden and thrown over the fence into the hen’s run, though most of them were scratching around in the garden.  The pepper bed was turned and the cloves of garlic planted.

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As soon as I left the garden to grab an arm load of spoiled hay, the hens converged on the newly planted bed to try to undo what I had just done.  The garlic was mulched and covered and then the gate from the hen’s pen to the garden was reworked to improve the angle of the fence and to remove about 5 feet of wire that was overlapped too far and in the way.  Now the run can be closed off from the garden or opened to give them free run of the 65 X 25 foot space, by pulling the white plastic stake and resetting it against the fixed fence.  This is the same arrangement I use on other side of the garden to gain entrance.

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The girls that were too leery of my efforts to be in the garden with me, scratched around in the plants that were tossed over the fence.

Another day or two of effort should allow me to remove the rest of the pigweed, the cucumber and squash vines, locate the blueberry bushes and get mulch down around them and around the raspberry bushes.  I’m not sure how I will keep the chooks from scattering the spoiled hay.

End of Summer Week on the Farm

Summer is winding down.  Grandson that lives with us has returned to school.  Grandson #1 who gets to spend part of each summer on the farm and has been here since the end of July, has only a few more days before I drive him back home for him to also begin school for the year.

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A selfie after he whupped me biking on a local path, made on an old rail grade that traverses two towns.

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Pool time a few times.

 

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Hikes. The first a backpacking hike with his parents and me below this overview for part of the hike and today, a day hike to the overlook, just the two of us. I love the cloud shadows on the ridge across the valley.

Between these outings, an attempt to thwart the invasive plants that threaten to take over our hayfields each fall.  The spring hay is always nice, but the fall mowing is just to take control again.  The Queen Anne’s Lace and daisies are fewer and fewer each year in the hayfields, but the stick weed, an Asian invasive import tries to take over.  As we don’t spray weed killer on our fields, keeping it mowed down is our only defense.

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Though this is only a foot or so tall, some of it in areas that don’t get mowed for hay in the spring, the stickweed is 5 to 6 feet tall and quite intimidating to mow through on our tractor.  From the house, the back of our property doesn’t look very far away, but when we are mowing and look back to the house from the southern most point of the lower hayfield, you realize how large the field really is.

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This has not been a good year for our tomatoes.  Usually, by now, the shelves are filling with jars of pasta sauce and salsa, but not this year.  Most of one variety of tomatoes seem to spoil as soon as they turn red.  The heirloom paste tomatoes are just beginning to turn.  One of the packages of pepper seed must have been mispacked as the seedling developed into a different pepper than was planned.  The cukes and squash are spent.  The pole beans are producing, but Mountaingdad and I seem to be the only ones who like them.  Winter squash are spreading and producing lots of small pumpkins and Burgess Buttercups, twined about the stems of the popcorn plants and the pole beans that will be used as dry beans climbing well above the tops of the corn.  I never did get the lowest beds of the garden re-weeded and mulched and the blueberry bushes are engulfed.  With the cooler days and the end of the summer visitors, perhaps I can get it cleaned up before the garden is totally put to bed for the winter.  I still need to purchase another pound or so of seed garlic to plant in another month or so.  It isn’t too late to buy starts of broccoli and kale and get them in the garden under row cover to keep out the persistent cabbage worms.

The meat chicks are now a week and a half old and they can almost escape from the cattle trough that serves as the brooder.  I have had to put a screen over them already. They foul the straw so quickly that it is having to be changed out every couple of days.  The fencing around the cull coop still needs to be erected within the next 4 weeks, but the arthritis and trigger finger in both ring fingers is making me reluctant to do the weeding and the fencing as both fingers lock up on me and are getting harder and harder to release.  I guess this winter, I will have one hand then the other dealt with. The mature hens are beginning their fall molt and this year’s Americaunas and the Buff Orpington youngs are not laying yet, so egg production is nearly non existent.

This time of the year is bittersweet.  The days and nights are cooler, the trees are fading and will soon color.  The garden winds down.  The orchard is full of apples and Asian Pears that must be processed into sauce and chutney to enjoy later.  It is time for a trip to buy half a dozen or so Bent Mountain cabbages to make into kraut and to store for winter slaws and sautes.

Day of Rest? Not . . .

Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, but it wasn’t and neither was this holiday, the next 9 days show 50% or higher chance of rain and I wanted the rest of the seed in the ground.  To do that meant more garden intensive work and since Daughter, SIL, and the grands put in so much time and effort yesterday, it wasn’t fair to involve them.  They went off for a hike on this beautiful, but warmer day, we went to get the corn and bean seed for the Three Sisters Garden and a new water filter for the fridge and I went to work.  The rest of the garden extension was weeded.  The bottom edge was given a retaining wall of old cedar posts and garden stakes, a few big rocks and about an hour and a half of raking smoothed out the bed and reduced the slope considerably.

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The Asparagus crowns were planted, the Horseradish mulched, and 15 mounds developed for the Three Sisters seed.  Today the Popcorn was planted in half of the mounds.  Spoiled hay scattered between the mounds and along some of the paths.  When the corn is up, the beans will be planted in the same mounds and once they are up, the pumpkins and buttercup squash will be planted in the remaining mounds.

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The last summer squash seed were planted and marked.

While out working, Momma Hen took her babies on a Walk About.  They were so cute tagging along, imitating Momma’s scratching and grass nibbling.

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My long hot day was completed with a delicious dinner prepared by Daughter, served on the back deck in the nice evening breeze.  These lovelies are blooming just below the edge of the deck.

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My last task of the evening was to reorganize my soap making and storage until the festival that I will participate in, it was over running my pantry.

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Since we will have rain this week, I will rest, heal, spin, knit and read.  I am going to employ the “Each one teach one” method this week and teach a friend soap making.

Another Sunny Growing Day

before the next rain and drop back to normal temperatures.  After Grandson was dispatched via school bus and breakfast was prepared, eaten and cleaned up for Granddaughter, we set out on errands.

One errand was to locate some inexpensive pots to plant the salvaged raspberry canes in for Son #2.  It was sticker shock to see how much clay pots cost these days, even the cheap plastic ones were much more than I had hoped, but 5 were purchased as they are after all for Son #2.  IMG_0008[1]

Raspberries, neatly pruned and potted and awaiting transport to him in April.

The next errand was to get a new chess set.  Decades ago, I gave Mountaingdad a carved Olivewood chess set.  The pieces have always been close in stain, but the years have faded them to an almost imperceptible shade difference making playing with the set difficult even in good light.  About a decade ago, while in El Paso for a family funeral, we travelled by bus over to the markets in Juarez when it was still safe to do so and came home with a huge set of the Aztecs vs the Conquistadors which safely made it back to Virginia on the plane, but it too is difficult to distinguish the pieces.  We have a leather suitcase set that had backgammon, checkers and chess, but the grands have lost two pieces from that set, making it also unusable.  Mountaingdad enjoys playing with the grandsons, working with them on strategy and confidence, so off to Target we went and came home with a folding wooden box that has the board on the outside and pieces for chess and checkers that are white and dark brown.  The grandson living here will be delighted tonight.

While there, we found a tiny clay flower pot with a grow pellet and a packet of sunflower seeds in it.  Grandson is growing a seed at school, so granddaughter gets to grow one at home.  Little miss with her newly planted dwarf sunflower.  Now to keep her out of it as it grows.  She insisted for a few minutes that she was going to stand there and wait for it to sprout, a reminder that 3 year olds don’t have the concept of time yet.  Each time we leave the house, she comments that her Mom will be home when we get back, though her Mom won’t be back for 8 more days and we have repeated that over and over, even showing her on the calendar.

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The planting efforts outside resulted in some weeding and the chooks got a green treat of their favorite snack, fresh chickweed.
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If I could control where they grazed, I would direct them to the front shrub bed that is quickly being engulfed by chickweed.  In between other tasks, another 2 five gallon buckets of whole grain chicken feed were mixed, so they have a good diet to hold them until we can let them free range again and just supplement their feed.

I need to make a batch of hand scrubbing soap for the household.  With gardening chores and weeding beginning, the dirt stained fingers and nails will soon be in need of good scrubbing each day.