A couple weeks back I planted some seeds in pots. Well, then these ruffians
They might look good here, but they can cause trouble in the garden!
knocked over the pot with the sage seeds! It’s actually the rightmost pot in front of Molly in the picture, not knocked over yet. When the pot was knocked over, the dirt and seeds spilled all over, and sage seeds are little black things, so it was impossible to see where in the dirt the seeds were. So I just scooped up everything, and plopped it back in the pot. I hoped that the seeds might still sprout.
I was rewarded for my hopefulness as some of the sage seedlings sprouted! You can see the little green sprouts in the pot.
I look forward to the sage’s continued growth, hopefully without any more dogs causing trouble.
Since it’s summertime, I’m off! It’s a great part of being a teacher. I enjoy doing some morning chores around the homestead a few days a week.
I usually begin with filling a bucket from the rainbarrel, and using that water to water the plants around the yard. I will also take a bucket of water up to the deck and use it to water the plants there.
The bucket on the left is being filled for the washing machine, and the bucket on the right is for the garden.
If the washing machine is empty, then I fill 5 gallon buckets with water from the rain barrel, and pour them into the washing machine. I only fill the buckets with about 4-4.5 gallons of water so that the buckets don’t splash when I carry them inside. I usually make about 5 trips with the buckets. I’m saving water and working my muscles at the same time, so it’s a win-win.
I’ll weed around the yard, or plant if needed. Today the pole beans that I planted last week needed trellises. So I put the ones in pots by the deck supports so they could grow up those.
Pole beans next to a deck support
The others are planted by the fence, but they weren’t quite close enough to start growing up it yet. I had some spare wood from breaking down an old trellis, so I put some of those wood pieces next to the plants and leaned the wood against the fence, that way the plants will grow up onto the fence.
Today I also worked on our raised beds, which I wrote about here.
Spending the morning in the garden is such a luxury! I’m thankful we have a nice yard to be in, and that I’m physically capable of doing the work.
Patchy Grass Before Our Growing Efforts
Our backyard was in pretty poor shape when we first moved into our new homestead about a year ago. The lawn had a lot of bare patches due to being washed out. Underneath our deck also got muddy when it rained because grass couldn’t grow there. Fixing these problems became a priority for us this spring.
The first thing we did was fix the mud issue under the deck by putting in a patio. We did this ourselves, but that story can be saved for another time! The next thing we did to improve the situation was install our rain barrels on the downspouts. This captured most of the water and the remaining water that occasionally spills over we redirected to a channel with lots of rocks to break up the flow. Continue reading
True 100 Years Ago, True Today? - Source: http://bit.ly/HyXs5U
According to a post on backyardchickens.com this ad was circulated in poultry magazines back in the early 20th century. After doing some research about the benefits of raising your own chickens and research done leading up to our family’s decision to not eat commercially raised meat I really found the message of this ad appealing. At the same time I found it very ironic with all the government subsidies going to mega food producers, burdensome regulations that make traditional family farms all but impossible, and local municipal and community association codes that further restrict such activity in our “modern” society.
But it really makes you think, what if we all had a couple chickens in our back yard? We wouldn’t have to use all the energy involved in processing, transporting, and refrigerating poultry based products, we’d have readily accessible manure perfect for enriching our garden soil, feathers for pillows, and much more! Not to mention the need for medication in small scale chicken operations is significantly reduced compared to mass factory farms, resulting in healthier chickens as well as mitigating super bacteria that have become resistant to conventional antibiotics. Continue reading
Rain Barrel - Source: http://1.usa.gov/1Jh0ye
Early on we decided that rain barrels would be a great addition to our homestead. Our yard is on a slope, and when it rained the water flow over part of the yard would be too much. Grass wouldn’t grow well in that area, and the ground would get really muddy. Part of the water flow comes from the gutters, and we realized that getting a rain barrel or two would lessen the water flow. We realized other benefits to having rain barrels would be lower water bills since we would use if for the garden, living an more environmentally friendly lifestyle, and have a water supply in case of emergency.
Local government has a strong rain water collection initiative, which made it easy to get rain barrels. We found all this out through a simple internet search, and then we were off on our rain barrel adventure! Continue reading