Friday, August 22, 2008

Chassed In By Rain

Good morning friends!

We are getting a nice hard rain this morning. I kept hearing the thunder in the distance and was enjoying the warm humid morning until the rain chased the hens and I under cover. But that's OK, we need the rain and it will hopefully be enough to make working in the dirt easier this weekend. Clay...hard as a rock clay.....

I got up nice and early this morning ready to get out and get hopping on the garden today. There really isn't a whole lot to do but a bit of puttering around like trimming the mint before it goes to seed, doing a bit of light weeding so I can re-mulch one bed this weekend and chopping up some things for the compost pile--mainly some corn stalks which would take forever and a day to decompose if you don't chop em up into small pieces. You would think that a grass on steroids would seriously heat up the compost like a bag of grass clippings does. It doesn't so I need to throw in some chicken turds this weekend to get it cooking. Part of me cringed at wasting such pretty corn stalks, after all the local shops sell bundles of them for fall decorations near Halloween. But it's not near Halloween yet and I don't want to store them as my space is very limited and even if I were to use them as decoration like last year, i don't expect them to last thanks to the deer who destroyed my fall display last year.

I keep starring at the small pumpkins scattered all throughout the corn patch hoping that with every blink of the eye that they get orangier. I really want to get those ugly vines out of there before all those squash bugs hatch. Some already are hatching. Did you know those suckers bite? I found that out this morning. And speaking of getting ripe, I realized today as I checked out my watermelon that I have no idea how to tell if one is ripe yet!

My finicky and somewhat spoiled rotten hens turned their noses up at cantaloupe slices this morning. But the rabbits didn't. They chowed right down. The buck is a pig. He'll eat anything without hesitation and if I don't measure his feed out everyday he would be too fat. He goes through a lot of feed. I've noticed that rexs are like that. The doe is much more hesitant about eating new things, even though I've fed her new things since she was a baby! She doesn't eat a lot and one dish of food lasts her days if I were to give her the same amount the other eats in a couple of hours time. My co-workers were going to throw out this perfectly good fruit from the office fridge last night....I thought of a much better use for it! I took it home and they shook their heads at me, the office weirdo. At least the hens don't turn up their beaks to elderberries. I have a couple of year old plants that bore some fruit, not enough for me to do anything with so I gave them to the chickens who sure love them. Word of warning though, don't stand too close--those suckers squirt!

This weekend I think i will do a plant sale, and offer up my kittens for free as well. They will be 7 weeks old and they are going through so much litter and chow. I need to find them homes this weekend! I found a home for one this week Monday, with some co-workers of my husband in the city. The big fuzzy fluffy laid back kitten. I also need to find homes for all the peppermint seedlings, rugosa rose seedlings, and red lily bulbs that are threatening to take over everything so that I won't have to trench them in for the winter. This particular dark red Asiatic lily increases itself like mad and it really needs to be divided and re-homed and since the almanac is predicting a cold hard winter, I doubt things in pots have a chance at survival if I don't bury them deep in the ground.

Other things I will need to do before winter arrives will be to fix up a place in the shed for the rabbits and chickens. last year I had one rabbit and she stayed inside the house until spring. That isn't going to work now that we have Brandi, who likes to kill rabbits--plus, they are very messy! And there is no way the chickens could stay inside either. I'll have to clean and organize the shed to fit them in, and add lights and maybe heat lamps for the really cold days. I could put the lights on a timer in case it snows so bad I can't get out to the shed in a timely manner but if its very cold we usually have very little snow so that shouldn't be so much of a problem. Snow likes to drift 4 feet high or more sometimes in front of the shed door! I also need to get some kind of protective tree wrap for my young trees or chicken wire to put around them, whatever is cheaper. The chicken wire helps my hawthorn and other small seedlings keep from getting chowed down, so it should work for tree trunks and blueberry bushes. I need to get a supply of hay or straw for animal bedding during the winter and for mulching more tender things like the cranberry, and some burlap for my not-as-hardy-as-it-was-advertised rose bush which luckily came back from the ground after last winter. Thats enough typing for now.

Hope all is well,


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