Saturday, May 30, 2009

This is the BEST time of year!

We have had a bunch of really beautiful sunny days lately, and even a beautiful rainy day with a soft rain that watered and soaked the earth well. Alycia and I were able to spend part of the day out in the garden--finished transplanting the cauliflower and then seeded kohlrabi, rutabagas, chinese cabbage, pac choi, and swiss chard. It was so nice out that I hated to come in, but at some point it just gets too dark to see those little seeds. :-)

After seeing how quickly all those evil little weeds are sprouting up after our rain, I received a timely email tonight from a favorite blogger and farmer tonight--Herrick Kimball, creator of the Whizbang Chicken Plucker. Ok, so the email was a group mailing, but I swore it was meant just for me. I don't know how he did it, but Herrick knew about my dreaming of a wheelhoe... yes, a wheelhoe. If you haven't seen on of these contraptions, check out Herrick's version; it's a beauty!:

Herrick has designed his own model and included the directions on his webpage. One has the option of ordering all the metal parts from him ($99 intro price) and proceed to put the rest together by one's own means, or he even shows how (if a person is familiar with metalworking and has the appropriate tools) to make the entire thing. I have an old high-wheel hoe/cultivator that I have used on occasion, and it definitely could be improved upon. The old metal wheel is bent and rubs on the frame, catching occasionally. But even with those issues, I can imagine the possibilities of using a low-wheel Glaser-style wheelhoe. I've been dreaming about having one of my own for a couple years, but they are gosh darn expensive!!! Now, with Herrick's assistance, I just may be able to have one. Wait til I tell the hubby what I have planned for his spare time! He already succeeded in making one of Herrick's Whizbang Chicken Pluckers, so this should be easy-cheesy! If you want to see it for yourself, check out Herrick's "Anyone Can Build A Planet Whizbang Wheelhoe."

Well, the weather this weekend is forecast to be perfect for more time spent out in the garden! Yay!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Enjoying the sun!

Today was an absolutely gorgeous day. I spent the entire afternoon and most of the evening in the garden. I even had helpers--DH Mike finished up the tomato cages, Alycia watered and then planted broccoli, Greg watered and spread compost, and Mikey played with the skidsteer (well, he did accomplish something while doing that--he moved a bunch of old bales of hay so that they are nearer where I need them for mulching). All is all it was VERY productive.

Now I can say that all the tomatoes and peppers are planted. The majority of the broccoli is planted also, with the cauliflower quietly waiting its turn. The greenhouse is almost empty--it's a great feeling. :-) I'm hoping that tomorrow or Tuesday I can get all the melons planted in soil blocks, then they will go out in about 2-3 weeks.

It has been very dry here. We got a sprinkle of rain yesterday morning, but not even enough to make any puddles. Tomorrow is supposed to be 80 and windy, then rain is predicted for Tuesday. Maybe I can get some more seeds in before the rain...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Getting going... ever so slowly

Like I said, April is the month that everything seems like it needs to be done at once. Well, April is done and gone, and here we are in mid-May. I still don't have all that I want planted in the garden yet. I have plenty of plants to set out, but have been taking a conservative approach because I fear the occasional late frost. The outlook for the next 10 days has our lows in the upper 40's, though, so I should be safe now. I was also set back a few days with a horrible sinus infection (from which I'm still recovering) that had me laid out flat. That was pure torture!

Today Kris and Penny came over for our weekly "garden day"--we planted the onions, leeks, and strawberries. Now that we have the deer fence up, I have grand hopes of a beautiful strawberry patch full of wonderful strawberriness next spring! I also bought some fall-bearing raspberry plants and was given a lot of summer raspberries from a friend. They will be going in either tomorrow or Thursday, depending on the weather. Of course, they will need to be watered regularly... "hey Honey, so how much do you think it will cost to put that line in..."

The next two weeks I have grand plans for planting, but also need to take into account that our oldest is graduating from high school next Friday. Next week is a flurry of senior brunches, banquets, ceremonies, etc. etc. So I better get out there this week!

Have a great May and enjoy those early harvests!