Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Mass weeding.

One of the fun things about a sudden change from normal cool spring to super hot is the explosion of life. That also means an explosion of weeds. In this photo you can see a profusion of god knows what in with our garlic. The quantity of weeding that we had to do was a little intimidating, fortunately it wasn't just the Lady of the House and I working on it. It also led to us doing some calculations and making some new decisions about our gardens.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Greening, and resorting to Roundup.

Well, being sick or exhausted for a couple weeks we've missed the easy time to really do ground clearing, now we have a thoroughly greened area. We went from just go yank it up to, I suggest power tools. Given that this slope is a if we have time area, not a focus area I have a sneaking suspicion it isn't going to be gotten to this summer. Ahh well. That said, none of what's over there is something that has to die right now, the only weed we have around that needed to die right now was in our front garden bed, so we did something about it.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Quick Hit: House plants and recovery time.

Again, the whole household has been sick basically all weekend. It's a really inconvenient time to be sick, but there it is. On the up side we're going to have a 3 day weekend to work on the homestead with next weekend, so hopefully we'll be well for that. Mostly what we did when one of us wasn't experiencing the joys of gastrointestinal distress was try to get outside and do things that weren't too physically strenuous. Fortunately the Critter's all about going outside and enjoying things even when he is just getting over being sick. It turns out he's also really good at spotting wildlife, and seeing any sort of shift in his environment that would indicate something is there. For an 18 month old he's also super patient waiting for things to come out of hiding. Of course, that means about 2 minutes, but that's a long time for a toddler!
What we did get done this weekend, and by we I mean the Lady of the House, is getting some house plants set up. As we move the seedlings outside, the Lady of the House really wants to have some living plants inside for a number of reasons. One is the relatively inexpensive decor, and another is the benefits to the interior atmosphere. Here's the wiki that includes the chart from the findings from the NASA experiment. One of the plants we set up is Aloe Vera which in addition to being pleasant to look at has medicinal benefits. We're thinking about what other house plants we could have that would be pretty, have medicinal benefits, and only be minimally toxic to both toddlers and cats, since our cat REALLY likes eating plants.

Sorry for the short post, we have other things going on to talk about, so I'll have a more substantial post Thursday!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Weeds and Boris.

The good news is Boris is doing very well, he's about fully healed at this point and only occasionally stumbles. The bad news is, he's the only chicken we have left. Between sickness, fatigue, etc, etc, we didn't get the electric fence up yet, and what was probably a fox again came and took all of our laying hens leaving Boris uninjured, but panicked. The Lady of the House found him panting and hiding in the shadow of the house, he's not well enough to fight a fox again, though the fact that the fox left him indicates that most likely it's the same fox that didn't want to tangle again, and left him alone. I feel really crappy about myself because I let the fact that I've been very tired lately get in the way of setting up the electronetting, and lost 4 hens because of it. The first one, happens. The other four are entirely because I didn't do my job. We're fortunate to be in a situation where we will be able to get more laying hens that are being de-acquisitioned from a friend's flock. Before we do so though, I'm getting that fence installed and running because I don't want to do this again. On the up side though, the world is turning green.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Seedlings, and seasonal confusion.

Despite the very strange weather that continues to be very unpredictable, and perhaps because of it, seedlings are our focus right now. This weekend was the seedling swap, so you may notice that a lot of our seedlings are gone because we gave them away at the seedling swap this weekend. I'm always happy to be able to share the wealth with seedlings, especially given that it isn't like we came home empty handed. You can see some of the more sensitive seedlings still inside in this photo, but we also came home with a basically full herb garden.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Growing and recovering.

One of the particularly unfair parts of parenting is something called sleep regression. It's when your kid (who never really slept well) stops wanting to sleep at all. The result of this is that I've been living in a fog for a few days. That has impeded us doing much of anything because between trying to get the kid to sleep, and day to day work nothing is getting done. That said! There are things happening. For one, the asparagus is doing very well. Most of the asparagus has come up and is doing well. To fill out the asparagus patch we've been advised to take the red berries they will sprout later and plant them to thicken the bed, which I look forward to doing. There is a lot that's going on though, especially with the weather as warm as it is, though we're still getting frosts at night not infrequently.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Posting tomorrow

This weekend we were busy enough that I don't have a post for today, I'll try to have one tomorrow.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Experiments with water, and dances with porcupines.

Well, I had a plan for the post I was going to do for today so I may as well go with it for at least part of the post. I was going to talk about the brilliant idea I had for the seedlings. For the Lady of the House's birthday/Christmas present I got her a 55 gallon fish tank. One of the things that fish tanks need is water changes, even with a vibrant live plant community in the tank. The reason that fish tanks need water changes of course is that waste builds up in the water. Nitrates and other similar wastes that kill fish happen to be really good for plants. Right now using fish water to nourish plants is actually something of a fad that may end up being a good long term plan called Aquaponics. Given that we don't have the money, or space to do a big set up, using a couple glasses of water per day out of the fish tank to water the plants can't hurt. Well, it could, but I suspect it will be nothing but good for the plants so we'll see. We are doing this in the least scientific way possible, that is, without a control group. Either way, I expect it to work well.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Continuing rapid changes.

This weekend we had a really nice time with a fire pit and a lot of good friends visiting, and in the interests of that, we got the cleaning of the yard that was so desperately needed done! It also reminded me of just how much I like cooking over wood, despite how inefficient it is over an open fire. I shifted things around in the fire pit to make a shielded cooking area with a radiating fire box, but it's still much cooler as a cooking surface than if I had a purpose built cooking area. Probably not a project for this summer, though it very well may be given some of the other changes around the house.

The biggest change is we now have a housemate. I offered to use an alias for him, but he's fine with just being himself. Lucas is now going to be living with us, and he's going to be working at one of the local stone quarries. He's the gentleman that provided the tools and expertise on building the stone floor in the kitchen, and in addition to being handy, he's indicated he'd like to help out around the property. With that, we'll see what becomes possible with more help around the property on a regular basis!