Saturday, January 27, 2018

Busy Around The Farm

You'd think that winter would be a time to rest, but that's not the case around this place. This person has been really busy being a farmer lately. Mowing grass for mulch. Chopping up brush for compost. The never ending manure clean up. Sowing seeds. No complaints.....I love working the farm. 

These past two weeks have been dreary and wet, but that hasn't stopped me from starting plenty of seeds in the greenhouses, and planting cuttings. And although I get wet, I've been clearing brush and weeds, shredding it up for mulch and compost. I'm gathering 6 to 8 trashcanfuls of debris a day and running it over with the mower to chop it. After a week and a half, I've had to take a break. My right hand is getting sore from over work. Guess I need to practice more using the left hand, eh? 

I just finished putting together 4 more pallet grow boxes......this is after harvesting the last of the yacon that was in 3 boxes that were rotting apart. I dismantled those 3 old pallet boxes and discovered they were too far gone to even be used as firewood. So into the bio trash pit (hugelpit) they went. Judging by the amount of yacon starts I have, I'll need to make 3-4 more additional grow boxes to accommodate all the yacon for next season. Luckily I have 12 full boxes of "half-baked" compost I can use to fill the new grow boxes.  Hope to have them done, filled, and planted within the next 2 weeks. Then it's back to making more fresh compost! 

In my quest to gather brush and weeds for composting, I've opened up some areas that I will put starter gardens in. I'll plant my extra turmeric and sweet potato starts, giving that soil its first garden task. Yes, the soil won't be very fertile and it will have plenty of rocks, but just the fact that something is planted and growing will help kickstart soil improvement. To help the young plants, I'll use a mulch that incorporates livestock manures. I won't be eating these starter crops, so I won't have to worry about any possible pathogens due to the manure. Any turmeric harvested will be used as seed stock for replanting. And sweet potatoes harvested (if there are any) will go into the chicken slop & glop. 

I've spent some evenings browsing the seed catalogs, creating fantasy gardens in my mind. Now this has been fun! Hubby likes to create fantasy sports teams and fantasy house floor plans......I'm into veggies. My fantasy gardens are full of all sorts of exotic things, but when I comes time to fill out the order form, practicality will rule and my real garden won't be so dreamy. But the daydreams are great! 

This past week I turned up enough rocks to finish the rock wall that's been being worked on for months now. Ah-ha, another project completed. It feels soooooooo good! But I've ended up with a pile of left over rocks, so I'm already eyeing up where the next rock wall will be. Most likely the other side of the driveway. 

Just the past few days I ripped out a small (4' by 8') taro bed, divided the plants, and replanted them elsewhere. Why? Hubby wants the spot to put a temporary solar panel rack. Yes, I have to admit it is the ideal location for them, but that taro wasn't ready to be harvested. By alas, out it came and got moved to another location. No edible crop, but at least it doesn't die, and in fact, it had plenty of young keikis to plant. So I've increased the population for that variety but I'll have to wait another year to sample it for the dinner table. 

This week I also worked on getting ready for lambing.......any day now the first ewes should be having their lambs. Built a nursery pen for a tiny feral piglet, about three weeks old. And drew up plans for building another chicken pen. Yup, I never seem to run out of projects. Isn't that great?

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