Monday, May 9, 2011

Diggin' in the Dirt

We got started on the garden this weekend. I am sorry to say that last fall I did not leave the garden in very good shape. At all. It was filled with weeds. I know I should have covered it with newspaper and manure and mulch for the winter. However I did not and now I have to pay the price. First we mowed all the weekds short. Then we rotatilled. We made the mistake of renting the front tiller because it was cheaper than the back tiller and we figured since we tilled it last year it wouldn't be too hard. We figured wrong. The tiller was very hard to operate even for Josh, so we just tilled it twice and called it good enough. I have to be honest. It's NOT really good enough. I wish I had started a compost pile last year. I could really use some good soil. I am thinking I might try to get some and then just put it on top like a raised bed without sides, especially before I plant the seeds.

I did get some plants in the ground--strawberries, tomatoes, and a pepper plant. I also got 2 more blueberry bushes!

I am planning on starting my compost pile soon. A neighbor has promised to bring me some wooden pallets (skids) from work. Hopefully that will be soon. I can use those to build my compost bin. I have 2 buckets of grass/soil I pulled from a flower bed last week and a can of kitchen scraps ready and waiting. I am also hoping to get some manure-partially decomposed from the neighbor on Friday.

The deer ate my peach tree down to nothing this winter, so I need to replace that when I find a good sale. The apple trees are damaged, but I think they will make it.

I have been hunting for morrels in the woods off and on lately. I haven't found anything yet. The neighbor with the pallets took me last week and stopped by yesterday to show me the huge bag he got from another location. I'm just searching in my back acres.

Last week I also learned more about raising chickens. Sweet Pea's friend's family raises chickens and goats. His father happily showed me the chicken coop and told me all about raising chickens--he said they are almost as easy as goldfish once you have the coop all set up. I am still very interested, but I know it's not time yet. Give me another year to get the gardening and composting worked out. For now I am going to buy my eggs from them.

That family also has fruit trees and was planting their raised bed vegetable garden. The "kids" also raise goats and they have goat's milk for the first time this spring. They said they get about a gallon a day from 1 goat. That's a lot of milk! Josh's dad once rasied goats when he was young and they drank goat's milk. Josh did not like it at all, so I know he's really not likely to go for that idea!