Monday, June 24, 2013

Free Wood

Remember how the county was working on our road and cut down some trees adjacent to the road, which they let us keep? Well those trees were sitting in the pull out for several weeks, during which time I kept worrying someone would come along, cut them up, and take them away, but no one did. Then Baby E arrived, and I didn't worry about much other than her for about a week. So imagine my surprise when one afternoon my husband had to run up and tell a guy with a dump truck waiting on his backhoe to arrive and load up the logs to get lost, he had no business around our logs!

Needless to say, that got my husband working to get the logs off of our easily accessible pull out off the county road, and down into our fields. So far he has only dragged the largest logs down with the Jeep, the smaller ones are awaiting him to have time to cut them to firewood length, load them in the trailer, and dump in the carport/woodshed to be split over the summer. Hopefully he gets to these soon, as otherwise they will have to wait until next winter to be used or sold, since they were cut wet. Most of our firewood is cut on national forest land, where trees have to be standing dead to be cut for firewood, which means they are already at least a bit drier than live wood.
Currently we are working hard on finishing all the posts for the pig electric fencing, which longer term will be the posts for the expanded side garden fence. We've put in most of them, although a couple still need to be leveled and filled back in. Once we've finished, I'll share more of that adventure, hopefully later this week before my husband heads back to work when his paternity leave is up.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

The June Side Garden - the before & after baby edition

So following up on my post about the weed growth in the lower garden earlier this week, here is how the side garden was and is looking! Overall, this garden isn't showing the time in weed growth as much as the lower garden. Mostly with the paths being mulched, but also with the soil being disturbed so recently. I think having the drip irrigation also really helps, unlike the overhead sprinklers in the lower garden that really allow weeds to take off everywhere! Here come the pictures:

The new herb area before, and filled in more later. I can tell I'll have to adjust some plants next year as the heights are a bit off, and some of the plants are going to be too big for the space I have allocated for them.

 Here is an after of the sunflower area that Little M and I transplanted from the lower garden. The large one near the right side is one of the ones Little M grew from seed, it looks like it will bloom soon. They have a bit of drip irrigation on them but don't get all that much water, which I'm thinking is why that one is so short to be getting ready to bloom!

This before shows more than just the peas, which you can see in the background, but apparently I did a poor job taking pictures of specific plants for before shots, and did mostly overall shots. The peas are doing really well though, and have been blooming a lot, giving us the start of a decent crop of peas! We've eaten a few here and there since we've been back from the baby's birth, and soon will be getting enough to make more of a serving of them.  I'm hopeful that this totally new and distant spot from the lower garden will avoid the issue of the pea weevils we were infested with last year in the garden! The strawberries have been ripening but a little mouse is eating the berries before we get there up in the side garden unfortunately, so I've got a trap set to catch it (or them!) The raspberries are also doing well, and are blooming and hopefully we will see some berries from them in weeks to come too! So exciting to have this much more garden space than last year!

On the left in the before shot you can see the hastily put in side bed for the dry beans. The irrigation leftovers that we had remaining at that point in the garden irrigation set up were pretty meager, so this area needs extra attention to keep it happy and moist. I'm hopeful that once the beans come in fully the soil will be shaded enough that this lone strand of drip irrigation tubing will be enough to water the plants but we shall see! On the right at the bottom you can make out one of the mounds of squash and pumpkin, of which there are three. One is the most important, pumpkins for the kids' halloween carving needs, and the other two were just planted with leftover sprouted seeds from planting the lower garden with butternut and hubbard squash, cucumbers, and zucchini. Hopefully we get a bit extra food from these for the pigs!

 And of course no post of the side garden would be complete without sharing how the pigs are growing, they are getting larger and friendlier, and Little M still loves to be in with them. The dominance has changed as the browny-orange one (Copper) has grown a bit faster than the white stripey one (Stripey), and now it is Copper who bosses Stripey around, unlike when they first arrived.
In the next week or so of having both of us parents at home before my husband goes back to working nights, we're hoping to get the electric fence set up that we just didn't have time to get to before the pigs came initially, and I'll be sure to take lots of pictures of that set up and of the large area the pigs will then have to roam in. Hope your gardens are growing well!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The June Lower Garden -- the before & after baby edition

 So right before Little M and I left to head to Grammy's to await the baby's arrival, we took some pictures of the gardens in their current 'good as I could get them' state. A couple days ago I went down to the garden again and was shocked at the growth down there in the weeks since we left... Mostly shocked at the weed growth, although the garden plants are actually growing quite well down there too.

Since getting back, we have been eating plenty of greens from the garden, and the occasional strawberry, and just last night we tasted the first of the sugar snap peas from the side garden too! I noticed a couple of garlic scapes have come up too, so pesto will be just around the corner! Exciting to be eating fresh food from the garden again!

Here are the before and afters:

The garden looking in from the gate. Herbs, strawberries, garlic, greens, raspberries on the right, tomatoes, carrots, onions, potatoes, rhubarb, raspberries on the left.

 The herb area, with different flowers blooming before and after. Funny how most are a purplish color (Little M's favorite!).

 The carrots on the left, onions on the right.

The potatoes, freshly mounded before, with the paths between dug down deeper than the rest of the garden so as to mound as much as possible on the plants.

 The zucchini area with seeds just planted before, with some greens around to be used before the zucchini take over. strawberries, garlic, and seed onions around them.

 The far end of the garden, this year planted in corn on the right in the before picture, squash in the near left, and green beans in the far left. This area was most recently hoed since it was planted last, so it isn't too bad in the after shots.

Now the trick is to be patient enough for my body to heal before heading back down to start weeding things back out to a bearable level... might be another week or so, we shall see! Luckily the weeds haven't yet overtaken the onions, which is likely the worst area right now for weed competition, both in terms of onions doing poorly with weed competition, and those weeds being the largest in comparison to the nearby plants...

I'll share pictures of the side garden later this week or next. It is looking much better since we have mulched the paths with old hay, and since it is a much smaller space anyway.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

She's here!

Baby E has arrived and all are happy, home, and doing quite well :) We couldn't be more thrilled with her!

Sunday, June 9, 2013

2013 Garden in my absence

Near the end of last week, Little M and I made the trek home and back to Grammy's in one day, to pick up my husband (and the 2 dogs not already with me at Grammy's), so that we wouldn't end up with 2 cars with us after the baby makes her appearance. It was a bit of a long day, but so nice to see the garden and relax at home for a couple hours before making the trek back to stay at Grammy's for the long haul, however long that may be! He of course only stayed briefly, according to his days off work, but it was nice to spend a bit of time with him before he headed back home to work and keep a handle on the property, gardens, and animals.

When we were briefly at home, the garden had been without me for only 3-4 days, but it was amazing how much had changed - the green beans had come up, the newly transplanted tomatoes, peppers, greens, and marigolds had settled in nicely, and most of the squash, cucumbers, and zucchini sprouted seeds that we planted just before we left had emerged from the soil with their seed leaves.

In the time since then, my husband reports that the corn is all coming up, the green beans are filling in, and all the animals are doing well. Apparently there were even frogs of some sort calling from the pool of water in the pig's pen! I'm hoping they are still calling when I get back so we can ID them - he isn't much of a frog ID guy. What would be even more exciting (although quite unlikely with the disturbance the pigs make in that pool!) would be to end up with tadpoles in the pool. Likely won't happen, but makes me hopeful that in future years, once we have a little garden pond that isn't disturbed by pigs daily, we might have all that sort of wetland-y goodness for Little M to explore right by the house!

Ok, back to waiting on this baby to arrive and knitting a baby blanket for one of Little M's little friends whose mother recently had a baby boy...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Daily life while waiting on Baby #2...

Not much to report on lately, just hanging out at my mother in law's place on the lake while waiting for baby to decide she is ready to emerge. We've been here 4 nights, and if I consider 2 weeks late as being the last possible night, we may be here 3 more weeks. gulp. That is a heck of a lot of time for weeds to take over my gardens! A heck of a lot of chicken eggs to build up in the fridge! And a heck of a lot of time to be away from home!

My husband is staying at home, working, until I go into labor, so its lonely for him there missing the little miss and I, and lonely for us here missing him and the gardens and all. We've been keeping busy though, as we've got 2 of the dogs with us, and the lack of a real yard, fenced or not, means multiple walks a day. Whew. At least walking is healthy for the baby!

I'm not sure I'll be posting regularly until we get home after the baby is born, since really I don't have much to share from over here, since mostly all I'm doing on a daily basis is lots of dog walking, food making, and playing outside with the little miss. But I'm sure once we get home I'll have lots of weed photos to share of my overtaken garden spaces! (sigh!) Oh, and surely some baby photos too :)
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