Saturday, June 25, 2011

View from the porch

 Thought I'd share the view from the small farm's backyard.
  The field was baled a little over a week ago. Wild grapes are going crazy along the fence of my Mom's former garden. It is the ultimate weeding nightmare with grasses that instantly fill back in tilled areas and henbit galore. 

 Can you spot the onions? lolol I will get more pictures so you can laugh, and suddenly feel better about what you have to weed. 

 As the soil is heavily clay, smothering the garden areas without having the compost (mountains of compost) to amend it is not a good idea. In this case the weeds help retain the moisture and keep the surface from drying out into a concrete like swath. I weed around the tomatoes, beans, squash, etc. but let the rest go. It gets hand trimmed back (I need geese!!!) and tossed into the compost pile. The weeds right now are also retaining the soil.

 Tiny garden compared to what I wanted to do.. but a huge project nonetheless, especially when you consider that most of the ground breaking and hacking back of waist high grasses was done by hand. Insane I know.. but we didn't have much choice! So the squash patch is on hold until next year.. by then hopefully the tiller will be fixed and good to go!

 Some of the birds braving the bugs to run out and say hello to us.
  To the far right the red and black hen is Izzy, the barred rock to the left of her is Timmy, Kate the white keet, then Terry the black & white hen. Those 3 chicken up front are incredibly mellow and friendly. They love people, especially people with treats. The one in back flapping is Karen.. coming in for a landing and using her buddies to soften the impact. She's considerate that way.

Terry..  I'm trying not to have favorites.. but she's beyond sweet.

 And another picture of the stinkers.. many won't deal with the bugs and hang out by the fan. The keets sound the alarm when something scary is around.. like those man eating hummingbirds.

 This is what the fly strips look like after an hour. 1 hour.  We have 4 up that we swap out almost every hour. Black Flag fly strips.. 4 for $1.. longer than the other brands we have encountered. The fan is on the opposite side of the run so it blows air quickly across the area where their food and water is.. and the entrance of the coop. This keeps the buffalo gnats out of the coop, lets the birds eat in peace.. and this side we have the shade cloth up. The gnats seem to be attracted to the scent of the birds.. which wafts out from this side.. so the fly strips collect up the cloud of gnats that gather here.

  The birds have discovered stink bugs are nasty.. regardless of who is brave enough to run around with one in their beak. Lightening bugs are also not tasty.. june bugs are scary.. worms and grubs are divine.. flies are delish and ants are also yummy.

 Off to the farm I go. Trying to make tomato cages still and attempt to contain the plants. We have post holes to dig, and as well dig out the area where the coop will be as it is a sloped area. Should we have a moment.. we still want to round up mulberries from the bigger farm and check on the blackberry patches and gooseberries. That takes several hours as it is a pretty good hike to zigzag over 80 acres of overgrown hilly terrain. Hopefully we remember to avoid the poison ivy! lol 


  1. I'm tellin ya...grass clippings lots of grass clippings piled around your plants will keep the clay soil moist and soft while keeping the weeds down and smothered. It will even keep the morning glory under control but there aren't enough grass clippings in the world to cover that much area so it always survives somewhere to come back.

  2. Already on it PP :) Totally agree with you on that, just some had to be ditched in the hot compost as we have a LOT of flea beetles and 4 lined plant bugs. I will have to use a mint trap crop next year.. and oregano. I might get lucky with an eggplant or two, but they took a pummeling.

  3. Well the Small-Hold garden still isn't up to the usual mid to late June snuff thats for sure. I have abandoned the corn and bush beans and eradicated the remaining peas yesterday. The morning glory is so thick this year I am seriously thinking about breaking my anti-weed killer ban and spraying the sections it has taken over. I just don't know what else to do.