Thursday, April 6, 2017

The Garden and the Sky

The vet called to let me know that Peaches doesn't have Johnes disease, and we discussed what to do if her symptoms don't improve on a diet of only hay.  I was tempted to ask him if he knew how to treat a sick chicken, since I have one of my oldest hens in crate in the house right now since she's not eating and acting poorly. After being abducted from the coop, having her back side washed, and then force fed drops of nutrient supplement, which made her choke and gurgle, I'm not sure the poor thing realizes I'm only trying to help.  I don't want to give the impression that it's all work and worry here on our little wanna-be farm.  The world is greening and the skies have been putting on fantastic displays with the recent spring storms.  

Now that the plants are awakening, I can't keep myself inside!  There are blooms on the fruit trees, and tiny wildflowers in the lawn.  We mowed the grass for the first time, and it's like a spongy green carpet that begs for picnics.  Just when the garden begins to beg for attention, the Adirondack chairs beg for me to enjoy a tasty beverage and soak up the suns rays.  I like to watch the guineas waddle through the grass and see Wendigo impersonating the clouds.  

The greenhouse and I are still getting acquainted.  I planted peas in the ground, but the door is tricky, and twice now I've come home to find it open and the chickens have eaten the seeds and scratched up the beds.  On days when the doors stays shut, and I don't open the sides for ventilation, it get so hot and humid inside that opening the door causes a blast of warm moist air that instantly fogs my glasses.  I accidentally baked a tray of cilantro seedlings to death through lack of water and too shallow soil.  But tomato seeds are sprouting in my experimental salad box trays.  

The asparagus bed that I planted during our renovation years is old enough now that it's safe to harvest some stalks.  I ate these raw, straight from the garden.

The garlic and onions are struggling to grow though a piece of chicken wire I laid over the bed to keep the chickens from scratching them up.  Soon I will close the garden gate, and everything can grow without threat of chicken damage.  

The thornless blackberries that I transplanted from my parents garden last fall are beginning to grow too.  

A handful of lettuce plants have survived the chicken foraging in the greenhouse soil.

And a few surprise cole-type plants have sprouted in the greenhouse too.  I bet they are kale.

My experiments with starting herb seeds are ongoing, but so far, the basil is winning the race to maturity.  A couple of sage, rosemary, and thyme plants are still alive too.  Maybe I can do this!

It's past time to re-pot my tomato seedling that were started in egg cartons.  I've been doing some research on seed starting, and have to agree that egg cartons are not the best thing to start seeds in.  They are too shallow, and the roots quickly outgrow their soil.  They also dry out really fast.  Now I'm trying to start seeds directly in the plastic salad box with at least three inches of moist medium.  My brother-in-law has requested that I grow about twenty Rutgers type tomatoes, for his canning.  We ordered the seeds, and I would like to grow bushels of tomatoes from a tiny seed packet, if I can.  I like a challenge!  

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