Working on the garden

I had some paid days off to use up so sandwiched a weekend and got five days off in a row. The weather has been great and I’ve been slowly plugging away at the garden. The strawberry patch has been dug over, manured, re-dug and finally planted. I hope they are productive. I cleaned all the dead canes out of the raspberry patch, working late into a beautiful evening. The sky was amazing and I didn’t want to go inside. Part of the plan in taking these days off was to be available for mid-wife services for my two pregnant goats. The first doe had twins, the second of which came backwards so I helped her by pulling it. There’s always the danger of the umbilical cord breaking before the babies’ nose is outside. They instinctively inhale at that point so getting these breech babies out quickly means a live baby. Do you see the green thing hanging on the wall behind momma goat? That’s a hay net. The best feeder for goats confined to the barn I’ve ever had. In the coldest part of winter the girls stayed in the barn, sometimes for days. Because there were two bullies, three of the four had to be tethered to their own corner. The smallest doe got to be free to eat and sleep where she pleased.

The second little doe had her babies outside. I thought she should have had twins but she only had a single. The twins are Trudy and Gert and the little white single is Lily. All girls. The two does I sold also had twins, three of the four were girls. Last year all but one of the kids were boys. Go figure.

My sister came out last week and supplied some free labour-my early birthday present-and we did some yard tidying, tree pulling and built this fancy trellis for my scarlet runner beans. I spotted these nice metal panels on a local buy and sell site, had another friend pick them up for me and bobs’-your-uncle. Instant trellis. I think it will look great covered in bean vines. The water barrels are filled. The potatoes and corn planted.

I started tomatoes and some bedding plants earlier this spring. Long keeper tomatoes, Four o’clock’s, and lupins. It will be nice to get my kitchen table back. But now it’s three million degrees outside so I’m hiding in the house. I’ll finish what I can tonight and then my part is done. I just have to water and hope everything grows.

My plum trees are blooming like crazy. Last year they actually produced fruit for the first time in 13 years. Hopefully again this year. The bumblebees are loving them!!

I’m ba-a-a-ack

Wow. What a brutal winter!! And spring has just attacked with all the subtlety of a starving bear emerging from winter hibernation. Literally snow fell on Monday and by Friday roads were flooding in the melt. The ice got underneath this massive culvert and just flipped it!!  the water still ran beneath the highway but there was the danger it could erode the banks.  The volume of water was just incredible for the paltry amount of snow we had.  It just melted all in one day!!IMG_9266[1]IMG_9276[1]IMG_9291[1]IMG_9300[1]Now that it’s been decided for me that I probably won’t be travelling this summer, due to a series of unfortunate events surrounding the obtaining of a suitable small camping trailer, I’ve been busying about the yard trying to make it look like humans live here. And prepping the garden as I intend to dominate the weeds which are threatening to take over. After a year of summer fallow, I’ve hauled load after load of black gold from the pile in the back and spread it thickly on the garden. Several years ago I invested in a small garden trailer which is meant to attach to my garden tractor.   I thought I could finesse it into something the ponies could pull.  The problem with that of course, is that it requires two people, one with the pony and one working the trailer. So instead I used it on the tractor and shovelled a load on, drove to the garden and shovelled it off, then back to the pile and loaded the trailer again–repeat ad infinitum. IMG_9353[1]IMG_9349[1]IMG_9350[1]IMG_9358[1]I don’t know how many loads I hauled but it worked so well. I was just tickled at how well it worked. I could spread out the manure as thickly as I liked, filling low spots and the weight of the tractor is so negligible that the soil beneath the tires wasn’t compacted at all. Several years ago I used my big tractor and even though I was careful not to drive over the same tires marks it was several years before the compact ridges worked themselves out of the subsoil.

The reward at the end of the day!IMG_9357[1]IMG_9367[1]My tillerman came and tilled in all that beautiful goodness and the soil is as pillowy soft as pastry flour. Today I will rake it and begin to plant.

How green is my valley!!  There’s just something about the first green of spring–there is no other green like it.  I can literally see the leaves opening.  What kind of a year are we going to have?IMG_9365[1]I can’t promise to continue to make daily posts as I have to get my writing finger back in shape but four years ago I began this blog with a post on the black gold a farm produces and it just seems fitting that after my winter hiatus/hibernation I start back at the beginning. Toodle loo !!