It has been crazy busy around here which is why I have all ready yawned 6 times and it's only 7:40 AM. The puppies are doing great. we are working them hard and they are learning fast. We have watched every clip of Victoria Stilwell and Ceasar Millan available on the internet. We love them both.
There are a few new animals on this property besides Stella and Donovan as well. The wonderful people who own this beautiful farm we'll call them M&A and their son E for now, are in the process of moving back on to the property. They have brought their three cats, their, pretty and sweet collie and their miniature donkey Chloe and pony Dorri.
It has been pretty wonderful having all of them here. The children love the animals and we are looking forward to seeing more around here. Our idea is to work towards a cooperative living arrangement with M&A and our families. So we can share this amazing farm and all it has to offer.
The garden has proven to provide me with all kinds of challenges and learning experiences. We have rototilled the empty areas again. (thanks S&A) The grass had gotten so out of hand i joked we were growing hay. The onions and strawberries look amazing, they are mulched heavily with straw and not too bad with weeds. The peas are growing like crazy and Forrest is building and awesome trellis out of sticks and vines for them to climb. The mixed greens, (what didn't wash away as seed) look so yummy, Harland keeps snacking when ever we are out there. The radishes (also far less than i planted originally) are also looking splendid and taste sweet and peppery. I think we will have a big yummy salad once the rain stops. The spinach didn't do so great, only a few plants survived. The lettuce plants are tiny and a few died, they, along with the kale, cabbage, brussell sprouts, and broccoli, don't seem to be growing. I think we need to add fertilizer or compost. I will check them again after the 5 days of rain we are having.
Watering without rain is proving to be a total night mare. We have to lug the water across the street and down the dirt road in buckets and it takes many trips to bring enough for everything. We are working on getting a spigot over there. I also planted swiss chard, more spinach, beets, sweet potatoes and a hand full of potatoes just before the rain started. i can't wait to see if they germinate over the next few days.
Our farmer friends will be so proud of me, i planted them in actual coherent rows this time. This is a new thing for me. I always did patches. The problem is the weeds. They are so crazy and in a patch form, it's harder to tell exactly what is a weed and what is a sprouting plant. I think rows will help. I will plant our next carrot planting this way too.
Speaking of carrots....ARRRGGGGG! If you know me, you know these are my life line. I quite literally snack on raw carrots all day. But, they have now become the challenge of a life time. They are teeny tiny little fellas when they sprout. The grass and weeds grow much faster. then when you try to pull out a weed,.....out pops 20 carrot plants! Hopefully rows will change this drastically. I NEED CARROTS!
Now lets talk tomatoes. Not a single seedling made it. I had three trays and probably 12 or so varieties thanks to those wonderful friends S&A. I killed them all. To be honest, some are still alive, kind of. They are tiny bare stems with one or two minuscule leaves on them. It is sooo sad. I think i over watered them. In my defense, this is the first time i have ever done tomatoes from seed. I have always purchased plants. But, Sarah and Andy to the rescue again! I quite honestly have no idea what we would do with out them. Andy had a few tomato plants he never put into the ground and he was generous enough to throw them my way. hopefully I won't kill these.
Sarah came for lunch last week and went over a giant list of questions I had. There is really a ton to learn and she was very helpful. We are talking about the possibility of having organic strawberries as our niche crop, apparently they are very hard to come by and i think they would do great, if we don't eat them all. I borrowed a new farming/garden book from M. So far I really like this guys ideas. The vegetable gardeners bible its called. Between planting, weeding, planning, dreaming and learning, this farming thing is taking up a ton of time. I guess that is why no one has clean underwear. I am very excited about the possibilities for the future. I have never been so happy to be so over extended and exhausted.
Things I have learned so far.
There is a weed that looks soooo much like a radish i have pulled out more than a few weeds only to find a perfect pink radish at the end.
Slugs are the enemy
Carrots don't love me as much as I love them
Rows do matter(I really fought this one)
Straw is wonderful but way too expensive
I enjoy spending time alone, even if its weeding
starting pumpkin, cucumber, squash, and melon seedling are far more rewarding than other plants because they are so darn quick to germinate and grow at an alarming rate.
Farmer friends are invaluable both for their friendship, and help
Clean laundry and coherent meals are over rated
Farming can be extremely dangerous!!!! if you don't believe me just check out what happened to ANDY!