A Short Pencil

Alloway Creek Herb Farm

Alloway Creek Herb Farm

Honey always says, “A short pencil is better than a long memory!” He’s right. But what happens when your pencil marks fade???

The rain has finally stopped for a little while and I made it out to the garden very early this morning (6:00-cows & chicks, 6:30-garden) before the heat of the day settles in. Although it seems as if it may be a rather pleasant sunny day with less humidity….none the less, I got all my outside work done by 10:30 AM and now I’m faced with a mountain of cleaning to do inside. Yuck! I’d much rather be outside playing in the dirt.

I have some important memory notes to jot to myself about the garden. I wish I could actually make a graph on here….but that’s a bit too challenging for me even if I could. So, I have my trusty paper and pencil at hand. But, come next year, I’ll have lost it and just throw it all to the wind and start from scratch!

1. I’m not pleased with the seeds that I purchased from Territorial Seed Co. They did not germinate well.

2. I’m mostly pleased with the veggie seeds that I bought from Cook’s Garden last year. They germinate well and the seeds that I saved germinated this year very very well.

3. Mama Lima’s did not germinate….only 3 came up. I replanted that bed with 3/4 row of Henderson Lima (saved seed), 1/8 Emerite Pole Beans (saved seed) and 1/8 Provider Bush Beans. I still need to run some twine. The rest of that bed is Golden Bantam Sweet Corn (I think 3 rows).

4. Henderson & Emerite seeds I saved germinated very very well. I put in posts and ran twine for them.

5. My tags faded in the sun. I’m not sure anymore which tomatoes are which. I think that the two in the center of the rear narrow bed are the Heirloom that Jennifer gave me last yr. Other than that I’ll have to wait until they produce and then I’ll know. They are either Heirloom Brandywine, Compost Cherry, or Compost Plum. (seeds that came from plants out of the compost!) BUT all of the tomatoes are doing amazing! I tied again. They are at least 18″ tall.

6. The Fordhook Lima and Jackson Wonder Lima from Organica came up very well. Their packets have a nice little chart on them.

7. The lace bugs (?) are eating my eggplants leaves up! Have sprayed with Hot Pepper Spray and Neem Mix. Hopefully they will stop and not kill my plants.

8. The raspberry plants are doing great!

9. Need to pull the Purple Mustard….it’s very hot and tangy…not sweet like last yrs…even though it’s the same seed and variety. ???

10. Spinach has gone to seed.

11. Emerite Pole Beans from Cook’s Garden do very well. Saved seeds germinated very very well.

12. Reseeded some Okra….half germinated.

13. Use Oil Pencil for tags next yr…not sharpie.

14. Put in 3 hills of Summer Squash among the corn as well as Cuc’s maybe 4-5 hills..???

15. Cut Garlic Scapes and will eat for lunch!

16. Seeds of Change herb seeds all germinated well-indoors and outdoors!

17. Grape plants are growing like crazy. Blueberries finally got chicken wire cages….but rabbits ate most of the leaves off of two…one is full of leaves and one looks like it might die.

18. Finally finished planting all the Petunias.

Friday’s Fling

Today is my Friday Fling for my shop: Butterflies and Bumble Bees.

All of my Aprons are on Sale for $20.00!

Cow Girl Apron

Cow Girl Apron accented with Heather Bailey!

Remember that all the proceeds from my sales go to purchase sewing machines for Dalit women in India!!!

Sorry my pics in my shop are distorted….I NEED A MAC!!!!!

Cow Girl Apron Accented with Sis Boom!

Cow Girl Apron Accented with Sis Boom!

Cow Girl Apron accented with Ava Rose!

Cow Girl Apron accented with Ava Rose!

Cow Girl Apron accented with Ava Rose!

Cow Girl Apron accented with Ava Rose!

Visit me today at My Shop!

I’ll be stocking hand dyed Sarongs and Wraps soon!

DSCN0376

DSCN0366

My Cows Love Me!

That’s all I could say yesterday; “my cows love me!!!!” They do! Really. If you could see their happy cow faces, you’d know I’m telling the truth. When I go out to check on them, they actually come running to meet me. Makes my heart happy.

DSCN3506

It’s so amazing how gentle these giants are. I haven’t let down my guard. I’m still cautious of Josie (that’s my new nicname for Josephine….Miss Josie or Mama Josie). She’s a mighty big animal and since she’s only lived with other heifers, she’s still a bit playful. I make sure she knows I have my horse stick thingy tucked under my arm and she seems to respect that.

I go out in the pasture and brush Josie at least once a day. She hangs her head down and almost goes comatose! Oh, she loves all that lovin. I think I bumped the baby yesterday…..oh, I know that sounds really horrid. But relax, it’s not. It’s simply a way of getting the baby calf to kick back at you and usually can’t be done until the 7th month. Did you know that a baby calf is cross way in her Mama until it’s time to be born and then she gets into position? Trouble is Josie’s not too fond of me doing it, so I will leave her alone. But, I think I successfully BUMPED!

Yesterday and this morning I put them out on pasture at 6:30 AM, and when I brought them in at 8:30 PM last evening, they were so absolutely content and went straight away to bed! Josie didn’t do any of her rodeo bronco routines. Which I am grateful for. I think her reason for bucking and being so lively was that she really didn’t want to stop eating grass and didn’t want to be in the corral.

So, happy cows eat grass! It’s a fact now.

And happy cows love me!!!

And that’s a fact!!!

😀

The Good Life

Psalm 104:13 14, 24, 34

“He waters the mountains from His upper rooms; the earth is satisfied and abounds with the fruit of His works. (13)

He causes vegetation to grow for the cattle, and all that the earth produces for man to cultivate, that he may bring forth food out of the earth-. (14)

O Lord, how many and varied are Your works! In wisdom have You made them all; the earth is full of Your riches and Your creatures. (24)

May my meditation be sweet to Him; as for me, I will rejoice in the Lord.” (34)

DSCN3449

In my opinion, this is the best view of a cow…the rear!!! Now, don’t you dare get a camera near my rear, but as for my girls, this is their best side!!!

Seems to some of us, that Josephine might have a blind quarter. (did I get that right Tammy?) There seems be an issue with one of her quarters not filling out like the opposite quarter. In fact it’s sunken and shriveled. So, we shall wait and see. It’s not really a big deal. It means less milk and then of course if I wanted to sell her she’s worth a lot less. But, we’ll see how much she can produce out of 3 quarters if that is indeed the case.

DSCN3445

See it in the top right corner of the picture? It is either a blind quarter or she’s been sucked on. And, I don’t think Joy is sucking. Perhaps she was sucked on before we got her, but I really haven’t seen any indication that Joy is sucking. The other quarters are swelling and look fine. I’ll have to watch and see what happens.

No matter. She looks fine from the rear! Don’t ya think!

“Lord, bless Josephine and Joy. Bless the wee babe growing inside of Josephine and give them both good health. “

One Week with My Cowgirls!

DSCN3442

It’s hard to believe that it’s only been one week since my girls arrived. I guess since we’ve been working sooooo very hard, it seems like forever. There’s something to be said about hard work….you sure sleep good!

Baby Joy (as I call her) has warmed up to me. She now approaches me with her chin raised so I will scratch her. It’s really too funny and only a cow face a mama could love. Her eyes usually rolling to the back of her head…kinda gross. Her cow lips pointed straight for me. Yesterday, as I was brushing Josephine….Joy was behind me licking the seat of my pants.

Joy

Joy

Joy is really good with a lead rope now. But not being pulled by the harness. I can understand that…in my good cow books, it’s following her head kinda thing. She firmly plants her feet if I try to pull her by the side with the harness.

Josephine however will lead by me pulling her harness or a rope. She’s very cooperative. They both allow me to put the rope harness on them without putting up much of a fuss.

Josephine at 7 months

Josephine at 7 months gestation

They’ve been on pasture for several days now and just love it. Mmmm lots and lots of grass. I like them on pasture also…it makes for less cow poo to clean up. But, the one problem with grass is looser poo. It’s a bit challenging to pick up. Honey gave me his concrete tool. I can’t think of the name, but I scoop the poo onto the manure shovel with the blade of that thing and it works really well. Our pristine, barnyard is now, not so pristine. It’s a true barnyard.

I’ve been watching Josephine’s udder trying to determine if she will calve earlier or later. Here are some really nice pics of her udder. I’m very impressed and I think that when and if I hand milk she will do just fine.

Josephine's Udder at 7 months

Josephine's Udder at 7 months gestation as a heifer.

DSCN3443

Josephine's Udder 7 months

Josephine's Udder 7 months gestation as a heifer.

Grass, Grass and More Grass

If I thought I had happy cows the other day, boy did I have happy cows last evening. Honey and I decided it was time to free our girls in the pasture or do I want to call it a meadow….mmmm…I like the sound of meadow.

DSCN3418

Anyway, we really didn’t let them go totally free. Honey sunk a couple posts 3 feet in the ground so we could tie them out on 50′ lines until we could gain some peace with this whole cow thing. Since our girls have never been on electric, I just don’t think I’d have a minute of peace freeing them completely yet. In fact we are going to install a much stronger fence this weekend using cattle panels, not only for our own peace of mind, but to protect the little kids living next door. We really didn’t think about what a little boy would do when he saw a cow…..he’d run to get a closer look at the cow!

The tethers worked fairly well. But Joy is so attached to Josephine now and wants to be right beside her. Thus, they would get their lines twisted. I sat in the garden in my pink chair and watched them graze and after an hour or so, I couldn’t take it anymore and it was time to put the girls to bed.

DSCN3419

Josephine became very spunky after I left the corral. She was acting like a rodeo cow! Bronco girl!! She tried pushing me around over the fence, but I smacked her on the nose to show her I was the boss cow. After that she didn’t want much to do with me. I was glad she came to me this morning sweet as ever.

I’ve learned that just like with kids, I can’t for a minute let these cows think they can push me around. I’m trying to maintain that 2′ bubble for my safety. I need to get back on KFC forum (remember it’s not about fried chicken…Keeping a Family Cow) and review that lesson.

DSCN3417

They look so happy and content.

This is the good life.

Happy Cows & Happy Gardens

DSCN3396

I take back what I said yesterday about cows being easy. They sorta are, but scoopin cow poo is not fun in the least and breaking them in is very time consuming. I think I must of spent 2hrs with them this morning. I tied them up for a while and scooped poop and then I brushed them. Then I put a rope harness on Joy and took her for her first walk. She did amazingly great. She showed no interest in going near the electric fence.

Then I took Josephine out. Josephine is a teenager in cow yrs! She was being a stinker at first but I showed her who was boss cow…me…and she straightened up. We walked and ate grass. I walked…she ate grass. She showed more interest in the electric fence than Joy.

Honey put a short piece of electric fence in the corral to train them and they both got zapped at least once. I was working in the garden and I heard some kind of cow noise and realized that they’d been hit. Good. They must learn about that fence before we let them out. And I know they want out of the corral…the grass in greener on the other side of the fence!!

DSCN3400

They have become very used to me now, this being our 4th day together. I can go out the door and they don’t jump right up. They have found the barn to be a good place to escape the from the sun and flies. Flies don’t like dark places. They got a new bale of hay this morning and were munching down on it.

I’m using the deep bedding method in the barn. They have at least 5″ of straw to lay on and to pee and poo on. The pee drains through into the sand and rock foundation that Honey built. I scoop the poo every morning and compost it. And basically the straw stays clean. I won’t have to remove the deep bedding but once a yr. They seem to like it!!! I like it.

~~~~~

I also worked for at least 4 hrs in the garden. I transplanted my herbs that I’d grown from seed and watered everything really well.

DSCN3404

Look what we’re going to have soon. YUM!

DSCN3410

I planted Okra, Eggplants and Peppers together. The Okra is suppose to provide some shade for the Eggplants during the really hot summer months. Last year I shaded them with a window screen. Hopefully this will work.

The store bought potatoes are doing better than the seed potatoes that I spent a lot of $$$ on….live and learn!

DSCN3406

DSCN3408

The peas are starting to form in the pods. I ought to have a ton of peas to shell soon!

DSCN3413

My corn is up. I move the owl over to that bed hoping to ward off the crows. Last yr I had a terrible time with the crows stealing almost all of my corn once it came up…they also stole corn right out of the ground. I’m hoping that by removing the trellis they haven’t had a place to perch and they will leave us alone!!! XXX

DSCN3401

I made some markers in pottery class…they didn’t turn out how I wanted, but I’m finding that it’s a trial and error thing, learning pottery, esp with glazes.

DSCN3347

I bought this Bee Balm (Bergamont) last summer and it has done amazingly! It’s got a purple blossom, I can’t wait for it to bloom.

DSCN3346

The Thyme is blooming.

DSCN3345

And the Sage that I started from seed last year.

DSCN3348

I also started this Echinacea from seed last year. I have both varieties.

DSCN3351

My bare root grapes are doing really great.

DSCN3352

And my bare root blueberries are growing….only one didn’t bud out…but now it has one bud on it. It’s going to make it.

DSCN3354

And the bare root raspberries are doing great!

DSCN3353

My 20 yr old blueberry bush is loaded.