Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Destruction Zone

Because before construction can begin, destruction must precede. One of the big projects that we have been putting off for far too long is building a shop. We either don't have enough time or enough money. This year money was put up from taxes and was not allowed to be touched in expectation for the summer when Brad and Keegan are out of school. Other big projects we plan to achieve this summer are replacing the floors where we have had water damage in the past, sealing the roof, and fixing the vehicles (both my poor old car and the SUV Brad's parents are being nice enough to let us use once it is running).

We are putting the shop/shed/building in the back just inside the treeline. We have gardens and fruit trees/bushes covering every other spot remotely close to the electric box and apparently the wire to run electricity to the building is very expensive, so close is good. Brad borrowed a chainsaw and spent the day earlier this week cutting down trees in a place where only scraggly weedy trees stood. Only one big healthy tree was downed, and it was a pine that was a danger to the roof anyway. He also took down huge rotten oak that was falling apart and shading the pecan tree we discovered on the property a few weeks ago. While brad cut branches off Keegan stacked the brush to be burned in place.

The big logs were cut in 6 foot lengths so I can use them to replace rotten logs in my small above ground garden this fall. The smaller ones are going to border my herb garden and flower beds. Yesterday while I was stealing some time between rain storms (which have been nearly constant lately) I was cutting and placing some of the smaller logs in the flower beds yesterday. In my infinite wisdom, I was doing it in flop flops. One day I will learn. I managed to drag a log in such a way that I popped the nail completely off of my big toe. After screaming at air for a few minutes I quietly came inside and tended to it since Liam was napping. Now that I don't tear up just thinking about it I find it quite amusing to gross Keegan out with it.

It is supposed to rain for the next week. Thankfully it isn't as bad as it has been other places. I am praying for all those poor people in Texas that are dealing with severe floods right now. Hopefully we will get some work done outside soon. Now off to find some old shirts or something to rip up so that I can tie tomatoes whenever I get a rain-free few minutes to slip off to the garden. So glad I have above ground beds that shed excess water.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Happy Tuesday

Yesterday evening it was supposed to rain. A definite change from the hot, sunny, beautiful (and very dry) weather we have been having. No better time to plant tomatoes! The little tomato plants were starting to get really tall and leggy. Just the way I like them. Any taller and they would start falling over and then get sickly.

Brad took Liam with him to pick Keegan up from school, since he was desperate for a nap and just wouldn't throw in the towel. A car ride is the perfect remedy. As soon as they left I headed outside to plant. Over thee hours later about 100 tomato plants had found their new home. As usual, I pinched the leaves off the sides and buried them in a trench up to their top set of leaves. They look tiny now just barely poking above the hay mulch. Because any part of the stem buried underground will root, the tomatoes do so much better during the super hot summers when planted that way. I finished as the wind was beginning to blow and the sky looked ominously dark. I worried that the storm might actually be too rough and damage the little plants, but I watered them anyway because I know how my luck typically works. By that time Liam needed his mommy so Brad handed him to me and we picked our first mess of green beans just in time for the rain to start falling. It rained... sprinkled, for maybe 5 minutes. And the 100% chance of rain today? Not a cloud in the sky. Oh well.

Since I emptied all of those containers out of the greenhouse, what better to do than fill it back up? I replanted all of the containers with acorn squash, butternut squash, jarrahdale pumpkins, Connecticut field pumpkins, Australian Butter Squash (also a pumpkin), and watermelons. The section that they will go in the pigs need to till and I am having a really difficult time nailing down a time to go get them. I know that I am saving money on feed, and I can't complain when I am being gifted 3 pigs, but I really want my pigs! I need to train them to the electric and let them till the garden before it is too late to plant corn, squash, and melons. It is already, arguably,  too late. Brad says that I should just stop stressing and it will all happen in good time. He is probably right. In the meantime, Keegan and I set up the hog ring on Mother's Day so everything is ready when we finally get the green light to pick up the piglets.

While on the subject of new farm babies, I set turkey eggs in the incubator a little over a week ago. They should be hatching (if all goes well) on the 31st. There are a baker's dozen. I only want perhaps 4 to go in the freezer. Toddlers and free ranging turkeys don't go well together, so I am getting out of turkeys for a while. I will keep yellow and tabby, but all others are destined for the freezer. I may gift any "extras" to the lady I am getting the pigs from if she would like them.

In other baby news, Liam is getting huge! He is army crawling at the speed of light and in to EVERYTHING! I can't believe how big he is getting. He is getting to the stage where nothing is safe. He crawls, climbs (yes he climbs right up the back of the couch!), cruises around on the furniture. He has to touch everything he sets his little yes on and each thing he see he makes the sweetest little "hmmm?" like he is so curious about it. I love this age!
MmMmMmMm Green Beans right off the vine!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

May Already?!

 I can't believe it! This year is going by so quickly. Busy days tend to fly by. Brad is finishing up his finals and all of Keegan's end of the school year stuff has begun. We really enjoyed is spring concert last week and tonight is the band banquet. It should be fun. Hopefully Liam agrees. I don't want to leave him with anyone so he goes everywhere with us. He is usually very well mannered when out and about, but band functions can be quite long. Many things are happening around the homestead as well. One of our peach trees is covered in peaches! Despite the other tree blooming first, it has no peaches. Not sure why?
 The green beans have reached the top of the arch! I saw a couple of ladybugs hanging out on the leaves. Sadly, I also saw some aphids. I guess where you have one...
 We will have beans soon!
 Keegan turned my herb garden plot and amended it with as much compost as we had left after the big garden got most of it. I need to find some more because this soil is terrible. I will be planting herbs soon!
 The tomatoes are doing wonderfully! I want to keep them in the greenhouse for a bit longer. They are much easier to keep up with and water properly when they are all in one little area. A few of the last seeding of peppers in those large center pots are starting to come up. Hopefully the rest will soon follow.
 The zucchini is looking marvelous.
 Elliot looks pretty good herself.
 The above ground portion of the big garden is done and ready to be planted! Two rows of tomato trellises are already up, everything is amended with compost, and the mulch is down. Keegan was nice enough to stand in the row to show size. He is about 6ft tall and standing in the center of the row. Once the tomatoes fill in we will barely be able to walk down this row (if all goes well). The other half of the garden will house the pigs in a few weeks. They will till the soil and fertilize it, then corn, pumpkins, and melons will be planted. I may start some of them int he greenhouse soon.
 My sweet little monster man is checking out the garden too.
The blueberries are insane!
And the flower beds are still intact. Apparently the pine cones are doing their job. Who knew? I will be using this concept for many things now.

The piglets are weaned and ready to be picked up. The people we are getting them from have been working off of the farm but will hopefully be back to let us pick them up in the next couple days. Lots to do. Life is good.