Thursday, May 14, 2015

A frost after the furnace, weeds, and a final push on the barn Sunday.

After a few days of near 90 temperatures, this morning we had frost on the ground, and the chicken water had some thin floating ice. I can't say I actually object to the lower temperature even though I didn't object to the higher temperature. The kits are much more active in the cooler temperatures, and while we have having a cool break before the heat of the summer drops in hard again we should get the next round of breedings done. Again though, before I can do that I have to get Dawn and her daughter into the larger hutch, which means finishing it. Which reminds me I HAVE to get the wasp nests out of that hutch before I go in and work on it. Things to do tonight. Too much going on! I am not even going to be able to get too much going on this weekend other than the seedling swap and finishing off the barn. I need more time at home, especially with some things that are coming up.

I also wanted to take a moment to thank another new contributor on Patreon, the generosity is greatly appreciated from all who are contributing at any level.

One of the things that I noticed today, and the Lady of the House brought to my attention yesterday is a pair of areas of weed intrusion. One is Left, which is the mint family plants expanding out of their herb bed at the base of the hill up into the upper garden beds that we used for squash last year. The mint isn't a huge problem because we can just feed it to the rabbits. As far as I know, nothing that grows where we are with a square stem is going to be lethal to the rabbits, which is where the mint will go. The lower photo Left though is a problem. Do you know the definition of a weed that I've heard from a number of horticulturists? A plant you don't want in a specific location is a weed. What we have expanding out into half of the hill is the decorative that was living up by the house. We tried eradicating it there, and must have ended up letting some of it spread out of the contained bed it was in. Now it's going nuts. This is the second problematic plant the previous owner of our house has left us, the other is Barberry Bushes. I need to figure out how to eradicate this particular plant, and barberry. Either way, getting something into those beds is going to be a good start. This year to keep it out I may have to get some bark mulch to keep this stuff from growing up around things.
Sticking with gardening for the moment, I got a lot of potting up done last night, but I ran out of dirt, larger pots, and space to put potted up plants! The scary part is that I potted up less than half of the tomato plants, and none of the pepper plants. Kind of crazy. I tried to double seed every potlet, and almost all of them came out with full double germination. Part of why I ended up with so many potted up pots is just how many of the seedling pots ended up with 3, 4, or even 5 sprouted seedlings that were doing Just fine! Nothing wrong with that, but I definitely didn't plan for the number of seedlings that we had come up. Right now 1/3rd of our growing rack area is currently taken up with being a baby clothing rack/changing area. I am going to be trying to spend at least another hour tonight getting more potted up from the tomato tray, the peppers are less of a priority because of the fact that they aren't just exploding up everywhere. I'm also intending to keep most of the peppers for myself where as the tomatoes are all intended to go to other people since we're intending to take a year off tomatoes. Of course, if there are some left we might find a place to plant them . . .
On the livestock side of the farm, one of the real benefits of the chickens is just not caring if I trip over the dog and spill some rabbit food anywhere on the ground. The chickens have a field day following me around, the challenge right now of course is that they get under foot as I'm doing my morning chores. I am going to be starting to keep them latched in until I finish my rabbit chores. Just so I don't worry about stepping on and accidentally crushing a chicken!
I wasn't able to get photos of Splash and Streak's babies today because they were in full protection mode today, and I didn't want to harass them. I don't really want to harass them if they're in this kind of mood so I'll interact with them more tonight instead.

Last but not least, this weekend is going to be busy. As I've mentioned, the seedling swap at the Cummington Community House at 10 AM on Saturday running through much of the day. Sunday from 10 - 6ish I'm going to be going out and finishing pulling down the barn that we're taking the materials from. If there's anyone that's up for helping out, drop me a line, more hands makes faster work, safer too with taking down a barn.

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