Thursday, February 21, 2008

Dreary Days

It is so time for Spring. Last weekend I was sick and this weekend will be dreary again. It is time for Winter to move on out and let some good gardening weather in! I don't have much to write about today, I'm still recovering from a bout with the flu or something similar and it has sapped my creative energy for now. The picture of the beebalm is from last year's garden. I moved it to my new garden, but not sure if it will come back or not. I hope so, but if not, I have seeds on standby. Beebalm is a great hummingbird, butterfly, and medicine plant. I use it in my cold/flu tea and tinctures, but last year I didn't harvest any tea supplies at all. This is the first time in many years that I've gotten the flu, and wouldn't you know it would happen when I am least prepared?? This year, I will be harvesting the necessary ingredients all year long as they become available. Send me an email if you'd like to be notified when the tea is ready, if you'd like a sample. I'll put you on my mailing list. The tea usually includes things like beebalm flowers/leaves, echinacea flowers, yarrow flowers, elderberry flowers and berries, lemon balm leaves, heal-all flowers and leaves. And maybe other things I run across that would add useful qualities to the mix, like spicebush berries and twigs and peppermint and other wild mints. Last year I found a really nice little wild peppermint and I forgot that I intended to transplant some to my garden. I'll have to remember to go look for it when the weather clears up.
Hey, it won't be long before it is time for the first spring herb walk! Be sure to send me an email if you want to be put on the mailing list - the first walk is scheduled for Mar 22 or 23 (can't remember which day and I can't see the sidebar while making this post, LOL). But that's about when the bloodroot starts to bloom and a few of the other woodland plants begin to pop out and show leaves.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Last weekend Gary and I raked pine needles and refreshed the chickens nest boxes with it. The horses kept poking their heads in and eating all the hay before, so we thought maybe pine needles would last longer. Well, the hens must be happy! Five eggs yesterday and the first white egg from our spangled hamburg hen, to boot. We have been planning to make lots of chicken jambalya if they didn't start laying soon, so maybe they have redeemed themselves now ;)

In other news, Gab's brown recluse spider bite has almost completely healed and it doesn't even look like it will leave a scar. This is excellent news because this bite was on her forehead! She did get the standard medical treatment for it, plus I had her keep a clay pack on it most of the time during the early stages. The clay contained herbal tincture of myrrh, goldenseal, comfrey and cloves as well. I think a person may also gain some resistance to the venom, because this one reacted less than the bite last year.

Zack has started the driving part of his CDL classes and he is thrilled - he feels like this is what he was destined to do with his life, loves it as much as he loves hunting. Now that is saying a lot for him! He did say it is very hard to learn how to make turns, but he will get more practice on that today.

The horses have been in my new garden. I must finish the fence this weekend, even if I have to go out in the ice to do it because they'll tear up all the work we did last weekend if I don't. There's nothing growing in it for them to eat, they just like to check out all the new rows...and three horses walking around in soft ground spells disaster.
I've started a seed swapping blog. If you would like to offer heirloom or organic seeds to trade, please join me. Send me an email and I'll add you as an author to the blog. If you don't want to join, then keep an eye on the posts and chip in whenever you feel like it.

Monday, February 04, 2008

This weekend was a good and productive one. First, I made up our household budget. This was a sorely needed chore that I've been putting off for a long time. Now that it's all organized I am happy. On Sunday I worked in the garden all afternoon. Now there are 4 tilled rows and 2 of them are planted. On the first row we have Bull's Blood beets. There is 100' of beets and they should be ready to pull right as it is time to put in the artichoke transplants in that same row. On the second row we have 25' of red onions, 25' of yellow onions, 25' sweet peas (Lincoln), 20' Lady Finger Carrots, and 5' Red Globe radishes. The peas will give way to the snap beans and the radishes to lettuce. Row 3 and 4 are unplanted right now because I just ran out of time. It will be raining too much this week and likely next weekend to do much more in the garden for now, but I will be working on the fences if the weather allows.
What did you do this weekend?

Yesterday my daughter and I groomed our horses. Mine has a wavy mane and tail that gets little wringlet knots in it and they're very difficult to unwind. But I managed to get them all undone this time. He also has very long hair on his jaw and legs, LOL, he looks like a wooly mammoth. This spring I will begin working with him and riding some, but he'll only be 2 in May and I'd like to give him another full year of growth before I ride him often. We'll get a lot of the ground lessons started, though.

Bobbie Sue and Pooter (the dogs) were busy trying to dig up a mole. Just when Bobbie Sue closed in for the kill, I ran and snatched it up by the scruff of it's neck so I could get a look at him. I've only seen pictures, never seen a real mole before. Boy! They are fiesty little critters! He kept trying to turn around and bite me, and I know he must have been terrified, but I wanted to hold him long enough for the kids to get a look at him, too. Some people think they're ugly and I'm sure most would think I should have killed him, but to me he was cute with his huge front paws and long little nose. And as long as they stay out of my garden, I don't care if they till everywhere else. They can even till in the garden out of season and I'll be happy with it.

Speaking of the garden, I was out there on Saturday. I took down the bean trellis and moved it out of the future perennial garden. The pieces are lying in the future annual garden waiting for their new life. While I was there I noticed all the mole trails and saw that they completely avoided the garlic rows. So I am thinking that I will plant a garlic boundary around the entire garden. That might help with both deer and moles. I hung the bluebird box while I was out there too. I've been seeing them on the roadsides, maybe they are scoping out spring nesting areas. I want a family to move in by my garden this year.

While thinking about a book I am writing, the POV it needs came to me all of a sudden. Going over it in my mind, it is definitely the right one! All the ideas are flowing better now, so I'd better get busy with it.