Monday, April 28, 2008

Trees, Corn and Hugelkultur

The boys are becoming rather daring with their tree climbing. That's Isaac at the top and Fintan lower down. All Fintan wants to do is play outside.

We have corn planted on the right. The bed on the left is us attemping a hugelkultur bed to plant the boy's pumpkins in. I assume the vines will spread into the corn and help mulch the ground. I do plan on adding a straw mulch to the corn though. The hugelkultur was kind of spur of the moment but we'll see how it goes! It needs a little more work but I am not real particular about it. It is layers of old and new branches, pinecones, dirt, weeds and grass that had been in the compost pile and aged manure.

Friday, April 25, 2008

New potato bed

A new potato bed in which we hope to grow new potatoes! We found a wonderful source of aged horse manure. We get another load tomorrow morning. I am so excited. I am sick of buying bags of what is not really composted horse manure but something full of wood chips and manure.

She is just a little doll!

We laid builder's paper here.Then we covered it with aged horse manure and planted the seed potatoes in it.

All done! Planted and mulched!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

You Passed Gas

Fintan: "Daddy, you passed gas!"

Daddy: "Yes, yes, I did."

And we continued to drive past the gas station......

Friday, April 11, 2008

Your wart thing....

Here is David who wanted me take a picture of him to put on my wart thing.

First fruits of the year

It tastes much better than it looks. The girls fought me over it. Each taking a bite and then trying to get one more before the other did. It really was delicious. I wish I had gotten to eat more of it. They were some of the yummiest greens I've ever had before. I picked fresh dandelion greens, sorrel and some Egyptian topping onion from the garden and then sauted them in bacon grease.

Peep peep or cheep cheep!

They arrived Thursday! We got them from Ideal Poultry. We have 4 Blue Mille Fleur d Uccle Bantam, 4 Porcelain d Uccle Bantam, 4 Milli Fleur d Uccle Bantam, 4 Golden Neck d Uccle Bantam, 4 Silver Laced Cochin Bantam, 4 Black Silkie Bantam, 4 Buff Silkie Bantam, 4 Partridge Silkie Bantam, 4 White Silkie Bantam and 4 Buff Orpingtons. They are all straight run except the Buff Orpington which means we will probably have about 75% roosters and will have a lot of stewed chicken.

Like their set up? They are in the kitchen right now.

Here is a little gift Emmeline brought them.

Isaac and Matilda

"My chicken is both very delicate and very active which makes it hard to hold!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Tea Party!

We had a tea party today. It was inspired yesterday when Isaac learned that the roots of dandelions are used for tea and are good for you. He informed me that we were going to have a tea party for me and have *the sick people* come. You know, because dandelions are healthy. The kids spent a lot of time digging up dandelions out of our yard and we collected and washed them. They have been learning to recognize a number of plants in the yard and I am really thrilled they finally seem interested. Fintan pulled a book on herbs of our shelf and was asking about them and a picture of plantain in particular so we had an impromptu lesson on plantain this week. Now all the boys can recognize plantain and dandelion for sure and that is without the dandelion blooming. LOL

Isaac surprised me today when he looked at the bee balm in a bed I was weeding and said, "I know what this is! It's mint!" We don't have any mint in our yard so I am not really sure where he recognized it from. Now bee balm isn't mint but it IS in the mint family. The boys all are interested in and enjoy gardening but Isaac in particular. I think this spring and summer are really going to be fun for learning.

So we had a tea party today in the yard on the log stools cut from the pine tree that fell on our house and my poor rosemary. It was a real hit. We all enjoyed the tea that we made from some dandelion root, bee balm, lemon balm and anise hyssop and topped with violets. Well, Eudora said "yucky" when she tasted it but she thoroughly enjoyed her cup of tea with floating violets and stirring it with her little silver spoon her grandmother gave her when she was a baby. I expect to have more tea parties in the garden.

I am tired. I have spent many hours a day in the garden the past few days. We are almost all of us sunburned. And I my finger nails are quite dirty! The peas are starting to come up in the second pea bed we planted. We transplanted all 4 of our squash varieties and our two cucumbers varieties yesterday. Today I transplanted some of the tomatoes and interplanted them with some nasturtiums. I hope to get some borage in there soon as well. Twice today I had a bumble bee collide with me. I really thought they paid more attention than that! I would have been hit just below the eye once if I hadn't just put my hand up to brush my hair back from my face.

Our chickens were shipped today! They should arrive tomorrow or the day after. We are all really excited about them.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Things are growing!

The peas have doubled in size.

Can you see the small green plants popping up across the bed?

No? Well I don't mean the big obvious ones. I mean these:

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

A boy called Fintan

Here he is waiting to go to his Yaya and Papa's for dinner! And we got an area about 5 by 12 ft planted with peas before he went.

Finished big bed

Here is the big bed fully mulched just waiting to be planted.