Most visited this week:
Fighting tomato blight with pennies
DIY low budget geothermal cooling
How many batteries do I need for my solar panels?
Electric club car trouble
Automatic chicken door
A year ago this week:
Can you make ricotta out of mozzarella whey?
When to stop milking goats
ATV oil observations
Walden Effect Facebook page
Last year, we installed landscape
fabric beneath most
of our oldest row of high-density apples. The idea was to cut weeding
work...but I'm afraid the plastic mulch also appears to be cutting
It's hard to be sure
whether the fabric is at fault because I have several different apple
varieties growing in this area and there's some fireblight in the mix.
But the apples that were mulched with straw are thriving while those
amid the landscape fabric have lost most of their leaves.
I was a bit dubious of our
vet's diagnosis that Aurora was merely suffering from internal
parasites. After all, would she be fine one day and then nearly
comatose the next in that case? But now I'm thinking he was right.
Because ever since being flushed out with a vast array of
pharmaceuticals, our doeling has been growing faster and plumper every
Her mama, on the other
hand, is starting to drop below the perfect 3.0 body-condition
score. That's perfectly normal with heavy milkers, but I'm still
going to try to plump her up with some extracurricular grazing in hopes
we can keep her fat enough to milk through the winter.
Of course our new gate would not be complete without a Lucy access door.
Despite the current
bone-dry conditions, mushrooms are popping up all over the woods.
There's a certain zen
wonder in not being able to identify most of them but still enjoying
their beautiful shapes and colors.
Meanwhile, the goats are
much more interested in the first golden tulip-tree leaves filtering to
the ground. To each her own!
I usually wait to
harvest our onions until the leaves have dried down. But the summer
abruptly turned wet and I began noticing a few signs of rot. Time to
get our precious bulbs out of the ground before they go bad!
is still a major time saver for us.
Kayla and I took in the
antique tractor show at Fairview in Abingdon Friday. It was
another perfect girl's day out, with an extremely well-behaved baby,
fascinating old implements (like this thresher --- look at all those
belts!), and quite a bit of historical education as a bonus.
The interpretive signs were
top-notch, full of information I'd never considered. For example, did
you know that the crescent moon traditionally shown on an outhouse was
meant to designate the lady's room? Way back when the average American
couldn't read, stars were for guys and moons for girls...but men's
outhouses tended to get run down and didn't last. Thus the
crescent-moon-marked outhouses dominating the colonial landscape.
the air-conditioned comfort of the interpretive log house, we took in
several beautiful displays pertaining to history and crafts. On the
history front, I was intrigued to learn that I-81 (the big highway that
runs through our region) began as a buffalo trail but soon became a
major thoroughfare between Philadelphia and the Frontier.
upshot? Best girl's day out yet! Think we can top this in August, Kayla?
Our Chicago Hardy Fig is
finally bouncing back from 2 Winters ago.
I'm excited to announce that
the final book in my Ultimate Guide to Soil series is now available for
What early reviewers had
"Thanks to her Ultimate Guide to Soil series, I am enjoying robust plant growth and harvesting gorgeous vegetables and herbs from my garden." --- M
"I know more about composting and soil amendments now than I did before reading this - and I've been composting for 30 years, so I thought I knew it all!" --- Colin B. McGee
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