Most visited this week:
Fighting tomato blight with pennies
Refrigerator root cellar, step 1...dig
Refrigerator root cellar chimney cap
Smallest wood stoves
Automatic chicken door
A year ago this week:
Best battery powered chainsaw
Mixing fava beans with other cover crops
Wright brothers + sister = powered flight
Walden Effect Facebook page
Our staycation coincided
perfectly with a week of seemingly endless rain. Then, when Monday told
us to get back to work...the sun came out! The change in weather gave
everyone on our farm the gumption to jump back into outside tasks joyfully.
Mom asked what we're up
to now that our staycation is over. I've still got a few beds of garlic
and lettuce to plant this week, but mostly we're in renovation mode to
make sure that this year's garden weeds don't get away from us the way
they did last year. In fall 2014, the only straw we had on hand was seedy, so our mulch was worth than useless. This year, our straw is great and we've also got time to plant a rye cover crop
in bare beds. Just gotta get rid of the results of last year's laxness
before the ground becomes too cold for my tender fingers!
We've had the Minox
25 Liter stainless steel drinking container for almost three years now.
that time of year again when I purge my bookshelf of books I'm no
longer reading so I can make room for new interests. Many of this year's
texts come highly recommended --- I've just milked all of the knowledge
I can from them and am ready to pass the carriers of information on.
As you'll be able to tell
from my survey, I'm trying to decide whether to stick with Amazon's KDP
Select program, which requires me to keep my books exclusive with them
if I want readers to be able to borrow the titles for free using Kindle Unlimited.
So consider this post a warning as well as an oportunity. If you were
thinking of borrowing my books but haven't gotten around to it, you
might want to do so now in case I start pulling them out of the program! Happy reading.
Our flock of Fall broilers
are growing like weeds.
So, I've been tearing up the virtual pavement trying to find Artemesia just the right date.
There was that nice Mini-Nubian buck who wanted her to come stay over
for a month...but Abigail and I begged our darling doeling not to go
since we would have missed her too much. A high-class Dwarf Nigerian
offered to meet Artemesia for a quick hookup, but he never told us his
phone number and didn't call back after he saw her online profile. (Poor
Artie felt so jilted.) Then there was the blue-collar guy who I was
trying to set her up with...until I took a closer look and decided maybe
I needed to be thinking about another sort of date entirely.
Two weeks, ago, the pooch test
appeared negative. But now, considering this lineup of goat butts, I'm
suddenly 50% sure Lamb Chop actually managed to do the deed in June
after all. Meanwhile, my post on a goat forum resulted in two expert
opinions, both in favor of Artemesia being knocked up.
So maybe I have a first
freshener on my hands, not a doeling after all? This would be wonderful
news --- winter milk starting up just about the time Abigail dries off,
plus a doeling who will kid while fat and happy on summer browse.
Before I started on my hike, Mark admonished me "You'll stay on the trail, right?"
Okay, yes, I'll admit
that as I got closer to Edith Gap, the trail got slightly trickier.
Orange blazes joined the yellow as a horse trail cohabited with my
walking trail. And, in some spots, only orange blazes existed to mark
both avenues. But after I figured out what was going on, I was okay with
The trouble happened when
my trail crossed the next forest-service road...and seemed to
disappear. While the higher-elevation portions of the Chief Benge trail
could just as well have been located in a National Park, this region
shows the reality of trail-building in the National Forest ---
clearcuts. Through some oversight, a clearcut had been smacked down
right in the middle of the trail, meaning that I was suddenly walking
through a thicket of five-year-old trees with no blazes in sight. Gulp.
Enter my handy, dandy
map. When walking over new ground, I try to bring along a high-quality
topo map at all times. And here's why --- the visual helped me figure
out how to bushwhack in just the right direction so I could meet back up
with the trail less than half a mile downstream. Success!
I think I probably used
more calories during my fifteen minutes being lost than I did during the
whole rest of the hike. And since the blazes were suddenly scanty from
there on out, I tired myself out yet more wondering if I'd actually
found the right trail and was heading in the right direction. Boy was I
glad to see this boardwalk at the upper end of Bark Camp Lake, proving
that I'd not only guessed correctly, but was also on the home stretch.
All told, I figure I might have walked about 13 miles that day. There's the half mile round trip from home to car to tack on, plus another mile or so from accidentally going around the long side of both High Knob Lake and Bark Camp Lake. (Oops.)
I'll admit that I wouldn't have wanted to walk longer, and I did end up with tired muscles and sore feet. But I learned that a hike of that magnitude is definitely not beyond my means, which is an empowering feeling.
I do think I'll wait a while before hiking the other half of the Chief Benge trail, though....
We went to see "The Martian"
on our last day of staycation.
Mark made the excellent point that if I was going to challenge myself to a long hike
that might push my capabilities, it was best to start as early as
possible. To that end, I milked Abigail by flashlight before dawn, and
we hit the top of High Knob a bit after 8. The mists were very heavy, so
I didn't get to enjoy sunrise from the tower. But I was too excited to
Instead I walked with a
big grin on my face...and photographed fungi. We've had a relatively
rainy week down in our valley, but I could tell that High Knob is much
wetter than even our soggy farm. How can I tell? I measure overall
precipitation for an area by fungal proliferation, and High Knob
definitely won out in that department.
I also enjoyed the fact
that high-elevation trees are already starting to sport their fall
foliage, making the hike particularly beautiful. In fact, I was able to
measure my downhill progress by the leaves beneath my feet. Up high,
sugar maple leaves coated the forest floor, but I eventually dropped
down into the land of tulip-trees, and then walked up onto a drier ridge
where blackgums dominated.
This is just a quick post to alert you to two special deals. First the freebie --- we ended up with three more boxes of Egyptian onion top bulbs. The first three people to email their mailing address to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
will be the lucky winners of this delicious and easy perennial
vegetable! (Unfortunately, we can only mail these within the U.S. ---
sorry to our international readers.) The onions are now claimed!
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