Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Plastic, compost and over-flowing fruit

Pears! We have pears! At least 2 varieties - maybe more...

Raspberries - of some type. Supposedly heirloom, but we don't know if they will be red or black.

Grapes! We have TONS of these - all over the planned areas and overtaking a fence on the side of our property as well. No idea if these will be edible or not - maybe jam is in our future??

Last night we made a run to Lowes - we needed a longer hose, some more compost, and some more black plastic to kill weeds. After we tilled the garden, we covered what we could with a sheet of black plastic to kill the weeds (the part we didn't plant). We just bought one more sheet to cover the rest of it until we are ready to plant it. My goal is to plant the corn in stages so that we can harvest in stages as well.

We also sprayed a castor oil/water mix on everything we just planted to hopefully discourage the moles. There are mole burrows all over the yard! I've never seen such activity. Hopefully, we can discourage them from feasting on our stuff - there are plenty of other areas they can get food, they don't need to eat ours! I also made a point of watering our little tomato plants. I'm trying to keep them alive until our vermiculite arrives. Keep your fingers crossed for us that it's soon!!

We need to get the compost pile started. We've decided to copy an idea from the square foot gardening book that suggests using wooden pallets to build it. We are going to build two bins, side by side (sharing a middle wall) out of discarded wooden pallets. We will hinge the front of each side (opening out) so that we can easily turn the compost from one bin to the other. Some of the black plastic sheeting we bought will line the bottom so that any plants in the area won't feel the need to suck the nutrients out of our compost while its doing it's thing. Now all we have to do is find a source for the pallets! We keep forgetting to ask when we are at the big box stores...hmmm...maybe I should ask at work? Maybe we have some here from when we get equipment delivered?? Can't hurt to check, right?

I don't think we'll be heading over to the house this evening. I'm working until 6:30 or so and by the time we eat and clean up, it'll be too late to get much done. I think tonight I'll focus on watching some canning and drop spindle videos I've bookmarked. I'm also going to research making grape and berry jams since it looks like we are headed for a bumper crop. In fact, we are trying to come up with creative ways to use all the fruit. It's going to be WAY more than the two of us will ever eat. I think maybe I'll spend some time collecting recipes for using apples, pears, plums, cherries, grapes & berries.... Lastly, we are taking a break because we are SORE. My hamstrings and hands are killing me from weeding and raking. H's back and forearms are sore from trying to contol that tiller. He likened it to trying to hold onto a bull's tail! I guess our 'suburban past' is showing a bit...isn't it? Not for long!!

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