Busy, Busy, Busy

I told Honey last night as we laid in bed….”I can’t wait till I get to take a rest.”  He guffawed!!!!  I said, “yea, it’s not happenin, is it?”  He guffawed some more!
Adding more raised beds has bed a ton of work.  And I mean a ton!!! OR two tons to be exact.  I’ve moved 2 tons of dirt to fill 4 boxes that are 4×12.  That’s a lot of dirt!

The topsoil that we have gotten in the last few yrs turned out to be full of weed seeds.  Looking at my two full beds looked as if I’d planted them.  But instead they were full of weeds.  It made me sick.  Our plan was to scoop off the top of the two full beds and fill the bottoms of the two empty beds.  Then to buy bagged topsoil from WalMart for $1 a bag!  That was a deal…not only was it manageable, but it is weed free.  Then I added Peat and Leaf Gro and hoed only the top layer.  I amend it so that I will have lots of these little buys!

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We’re hoping that this works.  The best part of raised beds has been minimal weeds. So you can see how this really defeated the purpose.

I worked the back two beds first so that I could get the corn and green beans planted.  I put one row or Mama Lima in the next bed as a center row.  Once my corn is up in the back box, I’ll plant three more rows in the Mama Lima box for the Mama Lima’s to climb on the corn.

My India Eggplant arrived from Cook’s Garden along with Godfather Peppers.  I can’t remember if the Godfather are hot or not.  I didn’t have much success growing peppers from seed last year and that was my reason for order a few.  But, I had huge success this year and I think I have about 9 pepper plants from seed.

I put my tomatoes in on Monday, along with some Marigolds.

My peas are doing great and the branches seem to be working great for them to climb.

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I had to thin the beets and carrots which is extremely painful for me.  I just hate pulling a perfectly good plant out of the ground.  I actually apologize to the little guys as I’m pulling….I know weird….I get that from my mom’s side of the family!

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I saved the beet green and will either cook them with other greens or we’ll eat them in a salad.

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I thinned the Mangels.

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Berries are growing!

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I use our old mailbox atop of several cinder blocks to hold things that I always wish I had when I’m in the garden….my favorite hand tools (since that’s all that’s needed for raised beds), a couple pair of gloves, twine, a good sharp paring knife, a marker and whatever else I can fit.  Then I use the blocks as you can see to hold my phone and camera….just so you know….I don’t always take my phone to the garden.  I go there for peace and take breaks in my favorite pink chair!

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I’ve been dampening off my tiny herb plants and will transfer them to a save location in the garden and then transplant them later when they are hardier.

I direct sowed Mother Wort, Calendula, St John’s Wort….????…..I bought a couple scented Geraniums, Lemon Verbena, and this lovely little perennial called a Wallflower.

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I love how delicate the flowers are.

Yesterday, I attached all the insulators on the posts for the electric fence….yea, the bovines didn’t make it last weekend.  I requested a special test that took a good couple weeks, BUT they are scheduled to arrive on Sunday because all the tests came back negative except for the important one; the pregnancy is of course positive……and as the saying goes, “Good Lord willin and if the creek don’t rise!”

Last night Honey ran the IntelliTwine.

AND if that’s not enough…..

Sweet Girl arrived home on Mother’s Day.

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A big hug from Ben.

So today is another mental health day.  I’m off to do a little pottery and give my aching back and feet a break!

Counting Down

23 DAYS

That’s the number of days before spring arrives on March 20th! I count down every year, since March 20th is also my wedding anniversary!  OH, and don’t forget March 17th!!!!  That’s the date I plant potatoes.  Only 20 days till then!!!

What a gorgeous day we had in Maryland today. The wind finally stopped blowing frigid air and I think it got up to 50*F. I put on my light weight barn jacket that I got in the thrift store some 15 years ago (man was that a steal-Eddie Bauer $1.00 all because of one little hole) and headed for the shed. With shovel and rack in hand I picked up the wheel barrow and moved several loads of wonderful black gold—compost to the garden! I noticed my blueberry bush was bursting with buds.

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The picture doesn’t do it justice. It really is a lovely black.

Since I didn’t get my garden beds cleaned up in the fall due to an episode of Hemolytic Anemia, today was the day. My energy levels have been excellent and I’m so grateful to the Lord for each and every day.

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Before

After a couple trips to the new compost pile in the chicken yard, I was finished. In 3 hrs I raked and cleaned up the pea gravel, moved 3 wheel barrow loads of rubbish, turned 4 beds, added composted dirt to 2 beds and took down the split rail fence I was using for a trellis.

Not bad.

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After

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I even sat in my pink chair and enjoyed the view.

I’ve got to get out my book, Carrots love Tomatoes so I can figure out where to plant this year. I do know that the corn is going where the potatoes were and visa versa. The tomatoes are going where i grew carrots this winter. I’m not sure about the rest. Oh and I think that I’ll plant some more sweet potato slips in the compost pile! The ones I threw away did great in there last year. Doesn’t that just figure.

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Amazing how these fragile paper shells made it through a harsh winter of snow and ice.

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And I kept hearing a faint cry in the distance, “are ya done yet? huh, huh???”

Eat What is Good

This is what I get to see when I’m up early. Saturday I was out working by 6:30 AM trying to beat the heat of the day, and I looked across the street at the old barn….the moon was still above the horizon. I ran to get my little point and shoot Nikon, Coolpix. It delights me to see the splendor of God in nature. I look for His evidence everywhere. Scripture tells us that if we do not praise Him, the rocks will cry out…I’m amazed that even creation knows it’s Creator! As I’m working in my garden, I give out little shouts of praise for the amazing things I see. How a tiny seed can fall to the ground and sprout up into a beautiful flower that no one intentionally planted. I had one of these surprises on Saturday as I was working, I spotted a lemon balm plant that transplanted itself some 25-35 feet and in JUST the right place along the fence line. I found volunteer Mullein in JUST the right places of my new herb garden! I celebrate this marvel with thanks to the Creator and whispers of joy! Scripture tells us that “he makes it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower, and bread for the eater.” Isaiah 55:10

One verse that lead me to the diet I’m now eating as a “cure” for the Chronic Lyme Disease that exist in my body is the one promoted by the Weston A. Price Foundation and written about by Sally Fallon in “Nourishing Traditions“. It’s found in Isaiah 55:2

“Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.”

This diet is truly the richest of fare…grassfed meats, raw dairy including butter & cream. Fermented foods that are life giving with probiotics. Chicken skin that is loaded with Omega 3 fatty acids that doesn’t burn….and thus my skin doesn’t burn either. You are what you eat…ever hear that??? Of course you have. What you sow, thus shall you reap! What goes into an engine is what gives it power. And it was this scripture that directed me to eat only what is good. As a result my body is healing. I still have bad days when the neurotoxins and biotoxins are overwhelming my body, but that’s a matter of detoxing and flushing them out. Each day I see manifestations of God’s power in my life. I see His desire for me and for my well being. How Great Is Our God!

So Welcome To My Garden!

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I spent 3 hours cutting an edge on my herb garden. I planted a new bee balm which is my all time favorite herb!

I was so tickled to find my first Indian Eggplant! When I was in India, I learned to love eggplant. They have these tiny little eggplants and I found mine from The Cook’s Garden. And I just put in my order for seeds to plant in my hoophouse this winter. And to put in a second crop of beets and greens before our first frost…Oct 16 (my b-day)!

Isn’t the contrast beautiful? God planted these little Zinnias around my cabbage. Pink & Green who would have thought!

I love having flowers in the garden. They attract bees of all kinds for pollination.

I planted the marigolds, but the Zinnias are all volunteer!

I picked about 5 pounds of green beans the other day and a pound on Sunday. They are so sweet and delish! Boomer, our lab LOVES green beans. I don’t know how he knows, but he smells them and begs on the other side of the fence. I throw him a couple and he is soooo happy!

The corn is to die for!!!! Even though the crows picked through the small plants, what I salvaged is just out of this world sweet!!!!!!!

Some of the corn is over 8 Feet tall!!!!!!!!!!

Jalepeno are ready as well as the Tomatillos. I didn’t plant any Cilantro but today while I’m out I’ll pick up some at the health food store. Can you say SALSA!!!

Then to my surprise I found pickles…I mean cucs.

A bunch of cucs! Enough to make a small batch of brined fermented picles!

I also have Watermelon & Cantelope that are doing great!!!

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The carrots are amazingly sweet! That’s due to a neutral soil…acid gives tart carrots.

The borage is attracting so many honey bees!!!! Yeah, save the honey bees!

This has to be the kick in the seat! My greatest growing challenge were Sweet Potatoes!!! They died in the bed I carefully made for them…but lookie here…..in my compost I have the best looking Sweet Potatoes!!!! And more on the other side along with tomato plants too! How can you not believe in a Creator God, when little miracles like this happen?

The other side of my compost box…tomatoes and sweet potatoes and some yukon gold too. I’m really going to have to dig around in there for these nuggets of gold!!!


Taste And See

“Taste and see that the Lord is good.”

Psalm 34:8

I was on my mowing marathon again yesterday. I realized while lying in bed that all the time I put on the mower each week, I could be out in Western MD, enjoying the mountains and our favorite spot to R&R!!!! I was also pondering why in America we pride ourselves on grass. Think about it. We strive for perfect lawns, just so we can sit on our….butts….and cut it!!! Something is terribly wrong with that! I had a lawn company call me once and try to sell me their chemical treatment…right….so I would have a lush green lawn. I informed the guy that if I had my druthers, I’d pour concrete and paint it green!!! Why would I want more lush green grass to cut. I’m spending at least $60/month just sitting on my…butt….cutting grass! In India they asked me “what crops do you grow on your 5 acres?” I was a bit embarrassed to reply…none. But being we are zoned for 5 acres, there’s not much we can do about it. It’s also become quite a tax burden. After 22 years we are finally paying almost $6,000.00/yr in property taxes! We can’t subdivide YET, but when the city finally brings water & sewer out we just might profit off this chunk of prime real estate! Maybe.

That’s enough bemoaning about my weekly chore! I found some great finds yesterday.

When I go to the garden now, I’m reminded that God cares for the birds of the air, how much more He cares for me. Ben built this little birdhouse almost 10 yrs ago. I’m not sure what kind of bird nested in it, but there are little birdies singing as I work in my garden. It’s a sweet, sweet sound to my ear!

My borage bloomed. Now I need to harvest some for my herbal medicine cabinet.  Speaking of my herbal medicine chest…this is mine.  It’s pretty full, but I think I have what I need for just about any ailment.  I’ll share more in a future post.

I started the little Nasturtium in front by seed indoors this winter. The one behind it I sowed in the soil!

Look what I found!

The heads are getting very hard and looking good.

My volunteer Zinias are blooming.

Look what else I found! They aren’t ready yet, but it won’t be long. I planted 4 bushes 20 yrs ago and only 1 survived. Last yr I harvested 10 qts of blueberries off my one little bush!

Looks like another good year for berries!

Here’s the funny thing. I have some wonderful plants growing in my compost. As you might of read so far in my posting, I love volunteers! So, I’ve let these guys go. I have two potato plants, and 4-5 tomato plants. And some weeds. Who ever thought I’d be weeding my compost bin!

This is the absolute kicker!!!!!!!! Do you recognize this guy? Yes, it’s a sweet potato plant. All that work I went to to grow them indoors and then have them not survive in my garden, and here they are growing without my care in my compost!!!!!!!! What a hoot! I bet they will be absolutely great!

I picked more beets and they are so sweet this year. I’ve loved them since I was a child.

Now some sad news. I put this little fence up to keep the dogs out of my new herb bed. Well, as you can see little Toto dog, Lady, has found her way over the fence. No, it didn’t surprise me, but what she was after did. She uncovered a rabbit nest. It HAD three little babies in it. The dogs were so proud of themselves, especially Lady. She was convinced since they were her find….finders keepers, loosers weepers! Yes, she did them in. I had to just turn my back and let the food chain go. What was I going to do? Take the bunnies in the house and raise them….no. This is life in the real world.

Lone survivor. I put this little guy in safer place, but I know he will die there.

Just waiting for me to turn my back.

Gottum

Aren’t we such good dogs Mum???