Power Tilling

A John Deere tractor with a tiller mounted on the back makes a first swipe through the weeds to work up the garden space.Mike made good use of the tiller that is attached to the John Deere tractor to work up the main part of the garden.

To the left is lawn, to the right is the garden space with cover crop and weeds (mostly weeds) growing after the unimaginably wet winter and the hard crust of compacted earth. By using the tractor to work the ground, the task to finish with my small rototiller takes many hours out of my hands.

There is still a danger of frost in our area for a while yet, so planting this space is still a ways off. But it makes me very happy to see the weeds turned over and the ground getting ready to be planted again.

Native Wild Currant

The blooms are the wild red current are very showy in the front yard near the county road. Soon the leaves will open and fill the plant with vibrant green along with the blooms. In the fall, the plant produces small fruit that is smaller than the currants that are grown commercially, they are also a blue color instead of red. They are edible, but not tasty for humans. Birds enjoy the berries right off the plant. A snack on a stick, so to speak.

Wild currants are native to this area and this plant was transferred from the woods a couple of years ago so that we could enjoy the beauty closer to the house. The blooms appear early in the spring, some color was noticed about the time the daffodils bloomed and will continue for a few more weeks.

Fortuitous Procrastination

One never runs out of tasks needed to be done on a farm.

It seems like life is a revolving list of things that needs to be done. Top of the list is always what is the current, most important item-usually critical. Things having to do with animal welfare, weather concerns, or my comfort are the highest priority.

Over the last couple of years, I have tended and neglected a DIY project just outside the kitchen, at the edge of the patio. It originally was a mini greens garden made from an old pallet. The slats on the one side made good barriers to retain moisture and control weed populations while allowing spinach, lettuces, mustard, kale, and cilantro to grow. Continue reading

Yes They Were That Close

Looking out my front room window, just beyond my garden, a herd of 22 elk grazed and played in one of the fields Mike had just coated with lime.

A herd of elk just beyond the garden space.In the foreground you can see my young fruit trees and some of the elk were eyeing the green grass around my trees.

I had to have a stern talk with my farm dogs, they had not made a single noise all morning with this herd encroaching so close to the house. The dogs have the job to alert us of intruders and this herd could cause major damage to the trees, strawberries, cane berries and all the other plants that have new spring growth. If the herd bounced through the garden area, the footy prints would not only leave big impressions, but would chew up the turf I have growing as a cover crop to maintain healthy soil.

Mike came to the rescue and scared the herd off for now. I’m sure the neighbors are a little miffed about that.

Just Can’t Wait For Nature

Colorful primroses in planters.I grabbed by primrose planters before the heavy freeze, the blankets of snow and ice, and the eventual thaw. I put them in the garage (mud room) and forgot about them.

Several weeks went by and one day when I saw the sun pop out and the air temperature warm, I set the now blooming posies out for a bit of fresh air. They still look a little puny from their dark seclusion inside, but before long they will regain their bright green leaves and vibrant flowers.

I’m just too impatient for mother nature to supply me with a few blooms on her own.

This break in the winter gave me a chance to re-evaluate my spring plans and what needs to be done in the garden so that I will be ready when mother natures calendar and mine are on the same page. Fruit trees are now number one on the list, pruning has begun.


Fall Cabbage

The last red cabbage in the garden is looking a little weathered. The copious amounts of rain that has pelting the area both in October and November has turned the remainder of the garden into a soggy bog.

A weather worn red cabbage in the garden.Today the last red cabbage will be harvested. The outside 1/3rd of the leaves will be pulled away as they are no longer vibrant, but the inside is still bright red and crisp.

I think cabbage slaw or sliced and slightly steamed will be the outcome for this last leafy hold out. I still have some green onions, chives and garlic that I can put with it.

Garden Oddities

The garden has been up to funny business again. My carrot crop has been turning out some humdingers.

Two odd shaped carrots.Some say it is an abundance of nitrogen in the soil that makes the carrots grow so strange. With the amount of well-rotted manure that we till into the ground, that thought would not surprise me very much.

The other root vegetables such as potatoes and beets do not have the same unusual shapes, so I’m am not necessarily convinced that nitrogen is the whole answer.

A couple of the tomatoes did grow ‘noses’ but I forgot to get a pic of those before they where sliced up for the dinner salad, but I An unusual double nutted filbert.did manage to snap an unfocused double nutted filbert.