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How to help chicks during hatching

Moth pupa in the soil

Fighting tomato blight with pennies

Square foot gardening rebuttal

Automatic chicken door

May 2015

A year ago this week:

Comfrey for goats

Warre Langtroth adapter top

Monorail update

Our most dependable fruit plants

May 2014

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grape arbor wire details

We threaded the heavy wire through a series of holes.

I added a middle support to prevent sagging.

Posted Fri May 6 14:01:21 2016 Tags:
Light through cabbage leaves

The morning glow was so beautiful Thursday that I had to pause in my chores to rush and get the camera. I was glad I did since the light was fleeting and rain had returned an hour later.

Broccoli row

I'm thrilled with my spring cabbage and broccoli this year. Starting the seedlings inside with heating pads and lights got them out in the soil extra early (under row covers). The result is big beautiful plants before the cabbageworms have even been spotted. These broccoli will likely start heading up any week now.

(In case you're curious, the bucket brigade in the background is providing frost protection for our tender tomatoes.)

Posted Fri May 6 07:23:41 2016 Tags:
grape trellis 2x4

We built a 2x4 grape arbor today to help elevate our vines to avoid any blight.

Posted Thu May 5 14:55:03 2016 Tags:
Frost protection for a grape vine

Mark has a very gentle touch that makes him the right choice for protecting tender spring growth from late freezes. He wrapped both young grapevines in front of our trailer in preparation for the cold spell, covering up all of the stems that have flower buds attached. Fingers crossed the plants inside those bundles will make it through Blackberry Winter unscathed.

Posted Thu May 5 06:52:51 2016 Tags:
anna with new kids on goat deck

Aurora has bounced back from her disbudding thanks to some TLC from Artemesia.

Posted Wed May 4 13:58:43 2016 Tags:
New sprouts

Look who's awake! Corn, beans, and cucumbers are up and running a little early this year.

...Just in time for blackberry winter to come calling. Will a 43-degree forecast turn into a light freeze that nips all and sundry? I'd like to say no, but we'll still spend the day covering everything up anyway.

Posted Wed May 4 07:04:28 2016 Tags:
May Day garden

This is the time of year when the weeds sometimes begin to feel overwhelming. It suddenly began to rain at the same time I started turning my energy to summer planting...and the result was an explosion of green in all the wrong places.

Young onions

The photo above shows normal weeding pressure around here. I set out these onions five weeks ago, and they could definitely use a weed and mulch. But they'll be okay for another week or two until I get around to them. (Fertility source: chicken bedding.)

Weeding disaster

This carrot bed, on the other hand, is what I think of as a weeding disaster. My homegrown compost was a little weedier than I would have liked this year, but it didn't cause much trouble elsewhere. Amid the slow-growing carrots, though, the weeds are terrible.

Some people would just give up on the crop, but I'll relentlessly handweed for a few hours until it's back into shape. After all, there's no way to go back in time and replant the spring carrots if I throw in the towel now. Still, next year I'll try to be smarter and plant my carrots in completely weed-free ground. Maybe Fortier's occultation would be a good trick to try for these very slow-growers.

Posted Tue May 3 06:33:31 2016 Tags:
mark Disbudding
collage of day we went for disbudding

Today was the day Aurora was old enough for disbudding.

Dr Fuller in Gate City was so gentle our little goat barely let out a whimper.

We were very impressed with Dr Fuller's style and operation.

Posted Mon May 2 16:21:02 2016 Tags:
White strawberry

Sometimes, I think I get more of a kick out of anticipating coming attractions than I do out of eating the actual fruits. Then I remember the glories of strawberry season, sitting in the grassy aisles and gorging on drip-down-your-chin juices. Nope --- consuming the real fruit is even better than eating the developing berries with my eyes.

Blueberries and gooseberries

But this is eye-candy season only, so I thought I'd share the joy. In addition to the baby apples I posted about last week, there are scads of berries beginning to bulk up on the Tomato flowersvine. Our dependable gooseberries and northern highbush blueberries chug along with no help from me, and the equally dependable raspberries are getting ready to bloom.

And, even though it's not really a fruit (unless you want to put cucumbers and butternut squash in that category), our first tomato is blooming too. So many joys ahead in this gardening season!

Posted Mon May 2 07:00:05 2016 Tags:
monorail modern

We've hit a dead end on our quest to buy a monorail.

The nice guy at the Japanese factory stopped returning our emails.

We might need to plan a trip to Japan to make it happen?

Posted Sun May 1 14:51:59 2016 Tags:

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