Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Bums of Summer

Hope you are all enjoying your summer.

Make sure to get out into a nice meadow and experience the smells and sounds of summer.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Bags, Weeds and Roses

From my garden diary in June:

The sun and rain has made the rose bushes all bloom like crazy.

It has also made a zillion weeds start growing in my garden. I have a weed control plan and need to put it into action today.

Meanwhile, the hens enjoy napping ON the porch, in the sun.

Mavis actually let me take a few photos in front of the weeds and roses.
She has always been a bit camera phobic, so her sitting and looking at me while I snapped the photo, was a real treat.

My farm friends gave me 50 empty grain bags so I could cover my garden with them and some straw so I could keep the weeds down.

My goal is to keep weeding to a bare minimum this year as I am busy with the Community Garden,  the 250th celebrations and organizing a Tour D' Coop. 


Mavis again laid down for a quick photo.
Must be a special day.

The hens came and pecked at the few grains left in the bags after I cut them in half.

 I have another 50 grain bags in the garage to add to the pile.

I need a lot to cover the garden.

I spent an hour opening the bags up and splitting them in half so they will lay flat on the garden.

The 6 bales of straw arrived a few hours later and of course the flock came by to check them out.

As they inspected each bale I went to collect some eggs.

I was pleasantly surprised to find 5 today.

There is nothing better than eating fresh eggs!

I laid down the grain bags along my paths in the garden as well as some newspapers around some of the veggie plants.

 Looks a little like the Fidelity path from the commercial....

Then I dragged a bale of straw out to the garden and proceeded to cover the grain bags with it.

It didn't take long before I had most of the "bag paths" covered with straw.

I am still working on it.  The rain came that afternoon and mashed the straw down perfectly.

What kind of weed control are you using this year in your gardens?

Friday, July 19, 2013

The Friday View

The heat has affected everything: man, beast and vegetables.

My garden was happy for the heat.

The stunted sunflowers opened, the tomatoes are finally growing and the bee balm is expressing happiness.

My squash really started to grow.

I already harvested 4 yellow squash.

They were delicious.

The cows are grazing early in the morning and late in the afternoon.

Glennie, the clown of the herd, has really turned into a very nice looking yearling.

Hope you are all staying cool today.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Community Garden Update 2

Here is the update from mid June to now.

Trials & Tribulations

The local vocational school came to the garden to plant 3 plots of vegetables for the food shelf.

The seedlings didn't arrive in good shape and none were labeled.

Nobody thought they would survive.

They students got down in the dirt and planted 3 plots for the food shelf.

Later, one of the plot owners planted an entire plot full of herbs.

Garden club members picked up more seeds for their gardens. These garden angels have donated plants and weeding for the community garden.

The Community Garden is growing.

As the vegetables grew, we knew that the local deer would probably be coming by for some meals.

We went to the Montpelier Agway and picked up some secure deer fencing and a solar charger.

Linda and I unrolled the poly wire 4 times around the entire garden and set the insulators low for woodchucks and higher for the deer of all sizes.

Cedar posts were on the corners and needed special insulators so the polywire would go around them.

Brad read the solar charger's owners manual as we set up the electric fencing all around the garden.

This little solar charger was going to put enough volts thru the polywire to deter anything that would want to feast on our garden.

Brad attached the wires....

..and put the charger on a post and turned it on.

It worked.  It was hot.

Garden is now protected.

Just need a gate...

Back at the library, gardeners were still pouring over the seed packets.

Everybody loves free seeds....

 ...And good fencing.

 I put up a warning on the fence.

The deer can't read.

Lettuce is coming up along with other greens.

Our "message board."

By July 1st the asparagus row was all played out.  Many many people benefited from the asparagus and the rhubarb.
Both crops were shared with the elderly and shut ins as well as others who wanted some fresh greens to add to their diet.

Vermont received 22 inches of rain in June and the weeds went crazy.  The veggies did well too.

Especially all those seedlings the students planted.

But the weeds became higher than the veggies.

Dozens of tomato plants needed to be weeded and mulched to keep the weeds down.

We ran out of tomato cages and are looking for donations of cages to use on all the other tomatoes.

A gate was built.

With a hand carved handle.

The lettuce loved the rain and humidity.

Personalized name signs were added to the plots.

The plants that the school kids planted were not labeled, so we didn't realize HOW MUCH Kale there was until last week.

 The gate was put on hinges and hung with care.

The deer don't have thumbs so they can not open it.  The garden is safe.

And the kale grows on....

We are now harvesting it.

For the food shelf and anyone else who wants it.

There is so much we could feed the entire village with it.

Guess what this is.

Looks like we have a plantation of.... ?

Gardening isn't for everyone.

94 degrees today. And will be hotter tomorrow.

All the rain the past 4 weeks have made the mosquitos horrific and the humidity has made it difficult to weed, except in the very very early morning.

And then the ticks showed up.
I got a tick bite that left a bulls eye.  No fun.

There are risks, hard labor and lots of challenges to raising our own food, but we know its fresh, chemical free and will fill some freezers and keep these gardners fed this winter.

 I really enjoy coming down to the garden Sundays after church, and looking at all the veggies coming up.

This big project has been an incredible learning project for us all.

And it ain't over yet.

Stay tuned for Update 3 in August.