Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Cooler temps....great for gardening.

So, today was absolutely beautiful weather. Upper 70's, a light breeze...ahhhh, just perfect. Hubby and I decided to get to the garden and " tame the weeds" Since it has been super hot and rainy, the weeds have tried to take over the beets and carrots. We started pulling....and pulling...then I realized that there were very few seedlings coming up. Way too much work pulling weeds for the very few seedlings. So, I decided we would be better off just tilling it all under, and starting over. And, that is exactly what we did. While hubby tilled the dirt, I got the lawn tractor and wagon and started loading up the compost from the barn. After he tilled it, I started laying cardboard and newspaper down for a weed barrier....then we topped it with the compost. We only finished about 1/3 of the area but I feel much better about how this will work. Tomorrow I will try to finish up the rest...then plant all new seed. The rest of the garden is doing just fine. Green beans are up to the third row of string....tomato's and peppers are full of blossoms...the onions are about the size of a large egg...and the potato's are just about finished blooming. It will feel good to start putting fresh food in the pantry again. I always get a little worried when the pantry starts getting low...won't be long...I will be able to stuff it again...I hope. So, with all of the barn cats having one time we had I believe 20+ kittens here. I was able to find several of them good homes...and unfortunately we lost a few to illnesses. One of the tiny ones had been pushed from the pile and was so very weak. I brought it inside to nurse it back to health. It had a scratch in it's left eye, and was winking constantly so I decided to name it Wee Willy Winkie. After about 2 weeks of nursing it back to health, I realized Willy was a girl. HA! Oh well..Willy it is.
This is her with her momma and a sibling. I was able to get momma to nurse her a bit. This picture was taken a few weeks ago. She is much bigger now..and a happy healthy, playful kitten.
. About a week or so ago, I was walking past the tall grass when I heard a faint "mew" I looked around, and another wee little kitten came crawling from the weeds. It was dirty and covered in blue bottle flies. I called the momma cats over and every one of the swatted at the kitten, and wanted nothing to do with it. So, I brought her inside as well, gave her a bath and filled her tummy. She and her sister are getting along so well. We named her Itty Bitty Kitty....aka, Little bit. Here they are eating together....
Little Bit likes to sleep in the most peculiar place...
So, now we need to make a date with the vet, get them wormed and checked over then when they are old enough...spayed. The "plan" is to find them homes...however, " even the best laid plans can fail " I see us having kitties in the house for a long time to come.

Friday, June 24, 2016

WOW is it H O T !

I can handle the heat. You know, "regular" temps. NOT mid to upper 90's with humidity in the 70+. 20 minutes outside and I think I know what a lobster in a pot feels like. WOWSA! Lucky for me, I have been working the last few weeks so I have not spent too much time outside. UNlucky for me, I have been working the last few I have not been spending much time outside, in the garden..and the weeds LOVE this heat and humidity. *sigh* Yesterday was my first full day off but I just couldn't stay out there long. I tried to pull some weeds from around the beet seedlings....I got about 5 ft. I was totally soaked in no time. The flies love this heat and humidity as well. I have been trying to keep the barn as clean as possible, mucking out the wet and dirty areas every time I feed, however it has not been good enough. So, yesterday morning after feeding chores were finished, I mucked out a good size area then spread AG Lime and put fresh bedding on top. It seems to be helping some. Today I am going to try to finish up the side the cow is on...that is where the wet is the worst. I have also decided to start feeding Daisy outside. When she eats, she tends to spill/blow feed all over the ground under her feeder and the flies love this too. I am feeling pretty confident that a few days of hard work I will be able to get things under control again. Well, that is IF the rain stops...and the temps cool down just a little. For now...I will enjoy my coffee...and kitten cuddles until it is daylight.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

"Busier than a one armed paper hanger"

That was one of my grandpa's little sayings....this is how he described Spring on the farm. Oh boy...was he right. Spring started really wet...I thought we would never get the gardens planted however, between rains I was finally able to get them in. The potato's were planted along with the onions, and they are thriving. This picture was taken the end of May..
I am thrilled with their progress...hoping that under all of that dirt and mulch,many tiny little potatoes are growing.. This is the 3rd year for our thorn less Blackberries. It is the first time I have ever seen this many blossoms on them, and I am hoping we get enough to make jelly. I am very hopeful!
The Strawberry patch has proven to be very productive. Over the last few weeks, we have been picking between 12 and 18 quarts every other day. This makes me so happy...knowing I have a small plot that just might make is a few extra dollars and provide ourselves with enough strawberries for cobbler, jam, and fresh eating. We do love our Strawberries!
Around the 21st of May I was finally able to get the green beans planted. Only 2 rows, however they are about 30 ft long and should produce more than enough for us for the year. After only 10 days, they are already about 3 inches tall...and looking great! I also was able to get the tomato's and green peppers planted and mulched. I had laid down several layers of news paper before the mulch was added. This should help keep the weeds to a minimum. ( I hope )
Yesterday after work I came home and saw that hubby has worked the large raised bed. All of the weeds dug out, and tilled the ground. We had a few storms moving in, but I was able to get some of the beets and carrots planted. I was not able to get pics, but I am very pleased with how quickly the garden is coming together. While mowing a few days ago, hubby noticed that the Mulberries were beginning to ripen. Looks like I need to get started picking them too. I really hope I can get enough to make some jelly this year. The pantry is looking mighty slim this time of year. I can't wait to start filling it back up with my home canned fruits and vegetables. The list of jellies and jams should be this..... Strawberry jam, Mulberry jelly, Blackberry jelly, Elderberry jelly, and grape jelly. If the apple trees do well, I plan to add Apple jelly or Apple butter to that list. For now...I need to get this morning going...daylight will be breaking soon and I need to get the morning chores finished before I head out to work.