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Archive for April, 2012

Sod Wins!

My last post was all about turning the sod on my new garden and all my plans for planting this year.  Well sod was the word alright…the garden has been plowed, rototilled by good old John Deere,  hand rototilled by brother Dan, and fenced.  It would appear to be all ready to plant. But then there’s the sod…

After Dan finished tilling the garden he had some words of wisdom for me…the new garden was a hay-field only last year.  Yes it has been plowed, tilled and fenced but it still believes it’s a hay-field…just with the sod broken up and dug in.

If I plant a garden there this year I will forever be waging a war with the hay-field.  And I know the hay-field would win.  This garden spot needs to lie fallow for a year with a few more rototillings over the summer.  Then next year I will have a garden and not a hay-field.

I think I already suspected the truth, but my aching  green thumb was trying to convince me otherwise.  So on to Plan B.  This year my garden will be small, selective, and probably in containers.  Hopefully some big ones like an old wagon or manure spreader.

The good news is that the fencing is about 98% complete.  Only 2 or 3 gates to be installed tomorrow and I am fenced in.

The outside perimeter is page wire with one string of barbed wire on the top to discourage cows and horses from sticking their heads over and resting them on the page wire.

There is a walking gate right in front of the deck which takes us directly into the field.

There is a larger gate leading to the driveway…eventually there will be a cattle guard there too, and a smaller walking gate right beside it.

Inside the perimeter the garden is completely fenced, which you saw above.  There is also a small area fenced off for a pasture.  Lambs? Calves? Donkeys?  Time will tell, but the pasture is ready for them.

Looks kind of messy…the pile of lumber will be removed as well as the garbage can!

It’s been a busy couple of weeks.  It looks very different here with the fence up.

I like it!

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Turning the Soil!

 

On our walk the other day I spotted the first wild flowers…

Yesterday I visited my neighbour, Julia, and we spotted the same flowers in her fields.  She identified them for me…they are Sage Buttercups.

There is no denying it…it is spring. My green thumb is twitching and I am noticing all sorts of signs that it is time to start working in the dirt.

It wasn’t long after my thumb starting twitching that I spotted John Deere and his faithful companions heading across the field.

Before I knew it the plow was in the ground and the sod was broken on my new garden.

Odin followed behind the tractor like a plowing inspector, making sure that it was done right. It didn’t take long and there were many more rows done.

Even Emma started checking out the deep furrows.  The smell of the freshly turned soil was unbelievable.  I almost felt like getting down close like the dogs and sticking my nose right in.

The turned earth has lay silent now for a few days.  Today I am going to get composted manure from my friend, Margret.  I will spend the day spreading it over the plowed earth.  And then if all goes well, John Deere will be back tomorrow to rototill the whole area. And then the fun begins!

My visit with Julia yesterday didn’t just include walking and identifying wild flowers.  I also came home with a truckload of plants.  Raspberries, rhubarb, chives, oregano, irises, garlic bulbs, and a huge flowering geranium.  It rode in the cab with us and  Emma had to move over and make room.  She spent the whole drive smelling the leaves and flowers.

The geranium is going to stay in the house for a while until it’s warmer outside.  It looks like a spring Christmas Tree in my small living room.

Let the gardening begin!

 

 

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Fencing 101

My cabin sits overlooking a field that has and will be home to livestock.  Last year it was cows and calves, this year it will be horses and hopefully some cows and calves again.  I spent a good part of the dark winter days imagining my yard and planning where the fence would go.  Yesterday my imaginings became reality.  The building of the fence began.

The first step was to stake out the corners and where any gates would go.  Emma supervised to make sure there was room to throw sticks and balls.

Then came a good supply of fence posts.

Once that was ready the fencing expert showed up with all the necessary equipment.  A quick walk around to check the corners, cut the post pile open and in goes the first post.

It didn’t take long and there was a row of posts in and I could see what the fence line  was actually going to look like.

Any time there is a big job like this you have to plan on lunch.  On a beautiful spring day there is nothing like  hot dogs cooked and served in the outside dining room.

Working in the trees was a little more challenging.  The chain saw had to go in first and do a little tidying up.  Then the tractor cleared a path and away we went stringing the line to keep the posts straight.

It took a lot of tricky tractor driving to negotiate all the trees to pound the posts in where they were supposed to go, straight and in line.  I guess that’s what makes him a fencing expert.

By the end of the day we had over half the posts in.  Today will see more posts go in and hopefully some cross braces.  And then it will be on to fencing 102…stringing the wire.

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Is It A Joke?

I woke up this morning and I wasn’t sure if it was April Fool’s Day or Christmas!

Yesterday I was walking around the yard planning where the vegetable garden would go.  I found a good spot to plant some fruit trees and I envisioned my deck stairs lined with pots of flowers and herbs.

Can you see the rows of carrots, peas, beans and lettuce?  Neither can I today…guess it’s back to sitting in front of the fire with the seed catalogues and garden books.

The good news is that this won’t last long.  It can’t…its April!

 

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