Friday, April 30, 2010

Rain, hail and a mystery flower

Oh, it's FLOODY!!! We had a line of storms move through this afternoon. The first cell was brief but violent with hail and strong winds. We lost power for about an hour and a half. Fortunately, the hail was brief and not too big. It was probably pea sized with a few marbles thrown in for good measure. Nearby, only 2 miles away, they reported quarter sized hail.
About 3:30 (just in time for the children to be out of school and on the buses) the skies opened again and we had 1.35 inches of rain in about 30 minutes. Yowza!!
Flooded wetlands.
After the rain slowed down, V and I went out for a walk to look at the water. It was amazing. The water throughout all of the bottom land was probably 4 to 5 inches deep, even in the grass. I'm glad I had on my boots.
Look at all that water!
We walked all the way back to the South fence line. Look at what we found coming down the hill out of the woods:
A beautiful waterfall.
Unfortunately, it is causing erosion (grrr)
And now, I have a question for all of you flower/shrub/tree identifiers out there.
Any ideas?
It is about 3 feet tall at the moment and looks like either a woody shrub or a small tree. It has loose clusters of white tubular flowers on the undersides of the branches (not really fragrant). Alternate, oval leaves, lighter colored on the underside, not serrated edges.
We found two more of whatever it is, both slightly smaller. I can't find anything like it in my wildflower or tree identification guides or online. My first thought was honeysuckle but it's all wrong. Any help will be appreciated. Sorry I don't have better pictures of the flowers- my camera is refusing to focus well at close range now. sigh.
I have my permaculture class starting tomorrow morning. Fun. I'll keep you posted.

Monday, April 26, 2010

April showers- IDC update

It's been rainy here all weekend and today. Of course, today the rain held off almost all day- it waited until I was home and had started my pizza dough rising for calzones and went out to check the garden. It was sprinkling as I went out and then started raining in earnest. sigh. We've had our rain and now I want it to hold off for a bit so I can get working again.
It's Monday and that means that it's time for my usual Independence Days update. Here goes:
1. Plant something- 50 little strawberry plants that V and I managed to get planted before the rain really started. I also started some stevia seeds inside and some Red Ruffled Eggplant that were free seeds from the food co-op. They are from Seed Savers Exchange but are a last year's seed packet. They are evidently used more for ornamentals but are, I guess, used in some asian cuisine. I'll have to see what I can find out. It's a bit late to be starting them but, who knows. I want to be able to get out into the garden to plant some more peas but now it just needs to dry out a bit. I also transplanted a few more flowers and herbs into bigger pots. I'm becoming resigned to the fact that I'm going to have to find a temporary location for my herb garden this Spring since the septic seems to be taking forever to get going.
2. Harvest something- a bit of chard and some chives is about it.
3. Preserve something. Nope
4. Waste not- Hmm, the usual. Taking left overs for lunch on most days, using cloth bags at the store (even at Target when we stopped there this weekend). V completed the raised bed using repurposed concrete blocks. It isn't gorgeous but it works! I've got a few more blocks left and hope to make another (NOT on such a slope)
5. Want not- um, not much storage or prep work going on lately.
6. Community food systems- Not much here either.
7. Eat the food- Trying to eat down the stores in the freezer to make room for more to come. I'm hoping to have enough peas to freeze this year but I need to have room to put them.

Yeesh- looking at this list, it doesn't seem like I got much accomplished this week. But I feel that I was busy all week. At least I'm tired enough to have been busy all week. I guess working 6 days straight had something to do with it.

Gotta go and read some of my 3 chapters of Gaia's Garden I'm supposed to read by Saturday.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Nothing much to say

It has been a busy weekend. I worked all day Saturday and then, V and I worked between rainstorms to get our new strawberries planted in the raised bed. We had about half an inch of rain Friday and while it threatened rain all day Saturday, it didn't really start until after dinner. So, we got all 50 little plants out. 25 Junebearers and 25 everbearing plants. We had about another .7 inches of rain overnight with lots of wind. The wind was not so good for my little seedlings on the porch but the rain was great for the garden, apple trees and newly planted strawberries.
I got an email from the people who will be teaching my permaculture class next weekend. I've already got homework! They sent a list of supplies I will need, reading material and information I need to get back to them before next weekend. Yowza! homework already. Too bad I'll miss the second class and have to make it up next year. sigh...
J15 and I went shopping this afternoon to pick up some things she needs for the film festival at school on Friday and a few things I need for my class (I need a dedicated permaculture notebook, graph paper, etc). It was a lovely time with my daughter- we had fun shopping at the mall and food co-op and had sushi for lunch. Mmmmm....
I did manage to get some laundry done and got a few more little seedlings repotted this afternoon. Now, it's time to get children organized for the week and get off to bed.
It's a new week- full of possibilities....

Friday, April 23, 2010

Rain and Work

We had rain today. So far only about a half an inch. But we needed it. If we don't get a little more, I'll still have to haul some water to my little apple trees. Our orchardist neighbor said that if we got less than an inch of rain in a week that we should water. There is still a chance of more rain this weekend so maybe we're good.
I have to work at my 'real' job tomorrow. But it shouldn't be too bad. My student is coming in as well so she can help with documentation so maybe we'll be able to get out of there a bit earlier than usual. Hurrah. I really don't mind working weekends. This means that I'll have next Friday off- which is good since I will be at my next permaculture class all next weekend. That way, I'll at least have one day to get things done around the house.
We had some unsettling news from the guy at the county public health office. He is the one who has to approve the plan for the new septic. He came out to the house yesterday to check it out. He is going to check the regulations to see if he will be able to approve our system plan. There may be a problem with the engineered wetland idea- since, if there is heavy rain and overflow- it will drain into our natural wetland. He has to see if there are regs against discharge of a tertiary wastewater discharge into wetlands. sigh... why can't it be easy. This is just one more hold up. There is a chance that we may have to pay for a special permit and monitoring at the tune of $35/year- with the possibility that they can yank our permission for the system at some time in the future. We may have to have a change of plans since we don't really want to mess with that. He did tell us that he would approve traditional underground leach lines after the sand filter since it wouldn't be affected by run off. I just want a decision made so things can get started. I've got plants that need to get into the ground and I can't do that until this is finished. AARGH. I may have to find temporary homes for all my herbs.
My strawberry plants arrived today but it's too rainy for me to be out planting them.- hopefully tomorrow after work.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Goth Garden Begins!

And other kids in the garden projects!

J15 and I started on the Goth Garden this evening- well, actually, we started weeks ago purchasing seeds and starting little plants.
An old photo of some of the seeds.
Sorry about the glare.
So, there are a few more seeds to be started and some to direct sow but we got started on the physical space for the garden tonight. We're using the panels from an old storage shed that was left on the property as "mulch" to try to kill off the grass underneath. I don't have high hopes that this will work and I forsee ripping up lots of sod in the future.
Laying out panels to try to kill the grass
J15 poses with a panel.
We covered approximately a 12 by 12 foot area- even though she wants a bit bigger space. But I thought that would be good to start. I think this garden will be several years in the making. Much of it will be in perennials that will take a bit to get big. This is her garden space. I've finally found a way to get her interested in gardening by letting her plant black flowers. We had loads of fun together picking out seeds and I anticipate having fun working on this together.
A few of her little seedlings: Black columbine, scabiosa, and sweet william.
K10 isn't into flowers- he's into building things.
Here he is in front of his hut- built from scavenged blocks, bricks and wood.
Here are the he planted peas coming up
for his pea hut!
I tried to get out of him what he wanted in the garden. We will be building a bean tee-pee but mostly he was wanting to make sure we had planted carrots (yup- I12 planted them when we planted the early stuff). I12 really isn't my outside/gardening child- but he does like his veggies. He is my aspiring chef and it was fun last summer to take him out to the garden, harvest some veggies and then let him create. He made Ratatouille last year- it was fabulous! He is very meticulous and I think he planted the carrots a single seed at a time.
The Goth Garden, the pea hut and bean Tee-pee are our projects for the Kinder Garden Challenge. The pea hut and tee-pee are pretty easy projects. The Goth Garden is definitely a challenging project- and, like I said, probably a multi-year project. But, it should be fun. We're really trying to involve the children in all the projects here, inside and out. They are learning lots of new skills.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Sunny IDC

It was a busy weekend. I was busy all weekend but I don't really feel like I accomplished anything. My talk at church was fine. I was one of three people who shared "what we do to care for the earth". I talked (with V chiming in) about how we are trying to rehab the house and land. About insulating and planting. I only had about 10 minutes so it went quickly. The other people who spoke were also interesting. One is a well known architect who designs LEED certified buildings and the other is into prairie restoration and brought packets of seeds that he has saved from his prairie. So now- I have another project! LOL! Like I don't have enough already. But he wants to come out and help me identify things we have growing out here (and he wants a start of the horsetails if I have enough)
I moved most of my seedlings out onto the porch.
We've selected a spot for the prairie patch but it is on a slope so I don't really want to till it up before I plant. I'm wondering how it would be if I started my little plants and grasses inside and then transplanted them. We can burn the area next spring to reduce the competition. Anybody have experience with this?

The wild plums are blooming and smell heavenly!
And our big apple is blooming.
But now, it's time for my usual Monday Independence Days update. Here goes:
1. Plant something- hmm, not as busy a week planting-wise. My seedlings are growing nicely but it's still too early to put them out. And all my herbs need to wait until after the septic (we're waiting for bids). But, my peas and radishes are coming up.
2. Harvest something- chives, some chard and some lambsquarters. We had a few chard plants that overwintered and the new growth is OH, so tasty!
3. Preserve something- not directly, no, but somehow I think I can count our beef purchase.
4. Waste not- We are repurposing old fence rails for bins for wood chips and probably compost as well (although I'm worried about toxins leaching out into my compost- but then, I figure that those posts are probably 30+ years old and hopefully everything has leached out already). I've been trying to take leftovers for lunch- I was so disorganized the week before that I actually ended up buying lunch at work!
5. Want not- Put a side of beef into the freezer! Stocked up on frozen peas (to use until ours start producing)
6. Community food systems- did my little talk at church yesterday- we did talk some gardening and people were amazed that my garden is 25x80 feet. I also promoted our plant sale and encouraged a few people to plant tomatoes.
7. Eat the food- Yesterday we had been burning some brush so since we had coals, we decided to use the dutch oven to cook outside. We had a small but wonderful beef roast with loads of potatoes, carrots and onions. I also double wrapped some bread and heated it up on the coals to sop up the broth from the bottom of the pan- yum!

It should be an interesting week at work. One of my co-workers (who only works 3 days a week) evidently injured herself putting up a deer fence at her son's organic garden over the weekend and is now non-weightbearing on her right leg. So, she most likely won't be in to work this week. Unfortunate since there is at least one of the remaining three of us scheduled off every remaining day this week. sigh..... Wish me luck.

Oh, and an addition- I almost forgot to mention that Mama Robin has two more eggs in her nest. Yup, three beautiful blue eggs right by the pump handle. We've been trying to avoid bothering her too much but I'm going to need water. The only other outside faucet is on the South side of the house- not too bad for carrying water to the apple trees but a bit far for the garden.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Nature walk and unexpected visitors

We had unexpected visitors today. Roger and his wife Sharon stopped in this afternoon. I shared a garden space with Roger for almost 15 years and I've known him since I was 18 (well more than half my life!) They haven't been out here since last fall and haven't seen much of what we have done. We took a long walk to show us the land and made some discoveries.
The Mayapples are up, but not blooming yet.
We have Dogtooth Violets!
I don't remember seeing these last spring. Maybe it had been too overgrazed and they have finally recovered enough to bloom. We also made another discovery that I hadn't noticed last year:
These are also known as Scouring Rushes and have been called a living fossil. They are a wetlands plant that has been around since the age of the dinosaurs! Officially cool! I remember a stand of these across the road from the entrance to my parent's timberland that I loved to play in when I was a child.
The lilacs are ready to burst!
Woodpeckers have been at this dead branch that finally fell.
And way up high in a tree, what we think is an owl nest (based on the feathers that are on the ground nearby and the other owl evidence.
It's hard to see, but it's right at the top of the broken off tree.
And speaking of nests, a poor misguided Robin has built a nest:
Between the hydrant and the barn!
Shh, it's sleeping!
Even though we've been out and about and using the hydrant, she still has an egg in the nest that wasn't there on Thursday evening. I just hope that she won't abandon it now that we were busy outside all afternoon.
It was great to see Roger and Sharon but their visit threw a wrench in my plans. We didn't get around to chipping or shredding this afternoon. But, there is always tomorrow!

Help! What do I talk about???

Ok, I got more clarification about tomorrow morning. The session is on "caring for the earth" and I'm supposed to talk about what we do. I spoke to the organizer. And he said he wanted us to talk because "you are (pause...) more connected to the environmental movement than others". WTF??? Okay, I interpret that as "you guys are a bit farther out there than anyone else I know". But, really, do I mind? Not really.
But now for the hard part- what do I talk about??? There is so much! We are supposed to have a 15 minute presentation ready and then there will be time for question and answer. Now, I definitely DON'T to come across as 'holier than thou' so how do I approach this?
I thought about talking about some of the energy efficiency steps we have taken (insulation, planning on new windows) line drying clothes, reusing/repurposing/recycling. People seem to be impressed by the fact that for a family of 5, we only set out one garbage can per week and it's not even full (maybe half usually). Michael (the guy organizing) also wanted me to talk about raising our own food- but this is Iowa! Many people here have gardens. Maybe not on our scale, but still... I did think about including something on eating seasonally and locally.

What do you think? How can I come across with enough information to be challenging but not overwhelming and not give the impression that we're so much "better" at this than anyone else?
Any and all suggestions will be appreciated!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ack! I'm living up to my title!

Here's what a half of a grass fed beef looks like:
4 large, heavy boxes
Many, many packages of hamburger.
See, my freezer really is full!
I have the final few packages of last year's beef on top. And amazingly enough, I found T-bone and rib eye steaks in the bottom of the freezer... and I thought we were out. Amazing what gets lost down there. What we have left from last year- the steaks- 4 packages of short ribs (we were going to smoke them last fall but never got around to it- now we have some more- Hmmm- maybe we'll have to have a smokin' party!) one pack of soup bones, three roasts and one lonely package of hamburger. Not too bad. At the rate we eat beef we should be able to have enough to last us until the fall of 2011.
While we were at the processors, we also picked up some of their brats to have for dinner- YUM!!! We'll definitely be going back for more of those. Or, maybe we need to find a farmer who raises pigs (NOT confinement- I know some of those already). But then, we'd need to get a second freezer. Which isn't out of the question. I've thought of having separate freezers for meat and veggies. Maybe I'll have to check out Craig's list. It would be nice to find a farmer and have them take the animal to this place. It's Bud's Custom Meats in Riverside, IA. I highly recommend them. They do great work. And they have lots of interesting things in their freezers- elk, lamb, bison, goat, rabbit, frogs legs- you name it.
Tomorrow, it's shoe shopping with boys and then we shred! Thanks Erin for the pointers about wood chips. I've only ever bought them and never thought about letting them "age" before I use them. Maybe we'll construct a bin from the old fence timbers to hold wood chips. I hope to build a three bin compost area but I'm sure we could find room for a wood chip bin as well.
I was a little irked that the rain that moved through the area last night missed us. It has been dry here and I'd like a little water on the garden. I'll have to haul water to my little trees tomorrow morning and probably water my little plants in the garden as well.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Photos of the evening

I must have been pathetic enough at building my raised bed that V decided to help this afternoon after I got home from work.
Digging the last bit of trench.
It's coming along!
Since it is built into a slope we are having to put in two courses of concrete blocks along the front to level it out. From the Northeast corner to the Southwest corner there is a 16 inch drop in elevation. It's hard to see here but it is quite the drop. We now have two and a half walls built. Hurrah!! In case you don't remember, we're repurposing the concrete blocks that were from the deck foundation that we demolished late last summer. There are still some that need dug out of the ground by the house so I'm hoping to have enough for another bed. The second one won't be on as much of a slope and should be easier to construct.
While V worked and I made dinner, the boys were outside. K10 was up to his favorite pastime- climbing trees!
On the way up...
He can get quite high in this one. I just won't look!
We are approaching the one year mark of owning this property. In some ways it seems like forever and in others it seems like just yesterday. We've come a long way but still have so far to go. I know this is the marathon race but I so want it to be the sprint!
I'm amazed at how early things are blooming this year. The tulips, of course, we planted last fall since there weren't any here- but they are already blooming this spring.
So bright it almost glows!
The bleeding hearts are already blooming!
A full 3 weeks earlier than last year.
And my red currants are blooming like mad!
We picked up our new chipper/shredder this evening. We are becoming quite the small engine poster children. But it is our last major tool purchase. So, this weekend, if the weather holds, I'll finally have mulch for around my trees and berries. We've got LOTS to shred.
I want to play with it tomorrow evening but I'm going to be reorganizing the freezer! We got the call that our grass fed beef is ready to be picked up from the locker so I'll be playing in the deep freeze tomorrow after work! V will pick me up so we can go pick it up and come straight home. What fun I have!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


We met with the engineer this afternoon about the new septic system. We have the plan in hand and can now contact the guys who will install it. Woo Hoo, it is finally underway! It can't happen soon enough for my liking. Not only is the old system slowly failing (I'm hoping we get it replaced prior to catastrophic failure) but I have plans for the yard that I can't start until we are finished with heavy earth moving equipment. I found out that we can plant anything but shrubs on top of the sand filter and when I told her I was thinking native wildflowers and herbs she said that was perfect because it wouldn't be something we would be driving the tractor over to mow. I also found out that the "wetland" won't necessarily be a wetland. I can plant anything I want there (again, except shrubs or things with invasive roots- or edibles!) It will essentially just be a very consistently moist area of the property. She suggested iris, which is great since I desperately need to find a home for the iris that are by the house where we want to relocate the deck. So, good news on that front.
I also got my little shrubs today. Another reason we need to get the septic done. I have 3 bush cherries and 2 manchurian apricots that will be planted near the old fence line to provide a screen between the highway view and the outdoor living area we are planning. I figured that if I wanted a screen of bushes, I may as well make them edible! J15 helped me plant them into big pots that we have- left overs from patio gardening in town. But, they won't be able to live in those pots forever.
J15 and I also had a meeting this evening at church since we are both on the social justice committee. We are planning a plant sale for Mother's day as a fundraiser for our local Crisis Center. Hurrah, an outlet for all my extra plants! Otherwise I'll be planting 50 tomato plants again this year since I can't stand to just get rid of them. I hope that heirloom tomatoes and peppers will sell well as well as a few eggplant (I don't need 10 plants). I may also donate some of my wildflowers and herb plants. I'm not sure how many anise hyssop plants I need but I think I've got about 7 or 8! And as many bee balm and echinacea. And that's not even starting on the flowers for J15's goth garden.
But, I didn't get any work done on the raised bed- but I think I'm about ready to try to set the blocks to see how much more I need to dig to get it level. It is a real pain trying to set it partially into a hillside and still keep it straight. Maybe tomorrow night. But I'm definitely progressing toward some of the goals for the year. Some have even been met!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

I think I have a problem...

Does any one know of a good 12 step program?
Hi, my name is Judy and I'm a gardener...
I confess that my life has become unmanageable.
I have seedlings everywhere!
And it's still a few weeks before I feel safe to plant them outside. Some of the tomatoes are HUGE! They seem to have grown an inch today.
I spent time this evening repotting some of the medicinal herbs and flowers- both for my tea garden and for J15's Goth Garden. Normally, I think I've got a lot of plants with just the usuals- tomatoes, peppers, eggplant and tomatillos. But with herbs and flowers I've got waaaaay more plants than usual. I've run out of flats to put them into and room under the grow lights. I even made the move to put one flat of tomatoes on the porch this evening. I'll have to keep an eye on the weather and bring them in if it gets too cool but with the weather we've been having recently, it's hard to believe that it's only mid-April. We were over 80 this afternoon! But I keep reminding myself that it's still early and we could get a frost. I don't know what that would do to the fruit production, though. The big apple tree is ready to burst into bloom and my currants are blooming like mad. I noticed tiny leaf buds on a couple of my newly planted apples. How exciting.
We meet tomorrow afternoon with the engineer about the new septic system. She has the plans drawn up. Then we can get approval from the county and contact the guys who will install it for us. I hope that can get rolling soon. I've got things I want to plant out there but I can't do it until they're done ripping up the landscape. I really want to get started on my herb and medicinal tea/wildflower garden. These people are putting a crimp in my style.
J15 was at school until about 9 this evening. She is on the panel of judges for their annual film festival (student made films) and tonight was the judging. Oosh. I just hope she doesn't have too much homework on top of that.
I also spent some time this evening working on my raised bed. V has been laughing at me but he hasn't volunteered to help- the swine! But I should be able to finish it soon. My strawberries should arrive sometime next week and it's got to be ready. It may not be pretty but it will work. My biggest problem is that someone, for some unknown reason- put in a layer of landscaping fabric that is now buried under about 8 inches of soil and it's in my way as I try to dig the trench for the blocks. Grrrr..
Ok, now I'm just babbling...... Time for bed.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Mangled tree Monday IDC and a new challenge!

The tree manglers arrived today. The tree trimmers for the power company made their way along the road. Eeek. I almost wish they had taken the entire line of poplars out. They look really pathetic:

But, I guess they did to us a favor. They cut out all of the wild cherry trees that were in there. We wanted them removed because they have a fungus called Black Cherry Knot that can spread to other cherry trees. We do want to eventually plant cherry trees so these needed to go. The majority of the limbs they cut they shredded (we'll get a delivery of wood chips later) but they left the cherry for us so we can burn it to stop the spread of the fungus. They were loathe to shred it along with everything else because whoever gets this load of wood chips would have gotten fungus spores along with it. Not good. So we're going to have quite the series of bonfires when it dries out.
Before I get to my usual Independence Days update, I've got to report on a new challenge that I've joined. I know, I know, like I've got enough time to do something else!! But, this one is right up my alley. Kim at The Inadvertent Farmer is hosting a challenge about gardening with children. I figure that I'm already doing this so I may as well play along. Those of you with children, come play along (you know who you are!) There are even prizes!!

And now on to my usual Monday update.
1. Plant something- Oh, Yeah, Baby!!! Let's see...onions, carrots, beets, chard, peas (shell and sugar snap) lettuce, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants in the garden. K10 thinks the "pea hut" will be fun to hide in. I still need to make a bean teepee- we've got these huge, long poles from the apple tree pruning that I want to use for that. Other than garden, I planted out my apple trees, raspberry plants and the rhubarb. I really need to finish the raised bed. I've got strawberries on the way soon and they will need a home.
2. Harvest something- alas, again only chives.
3. Preserve something- not yet but I have a few sad little apples in the bottom of the fridge that I think will be dried in the near future. I'm the only one who has been eating them and I can't eat them as fast as they are going bad.
4. Waste not- Hmm... the usual: composting, repurposing and trying to reduce food waste. I've been repurposing old fencing to make cages for around little trees and bushes to keep out the bunnies.
5. Want not- stocked up on coffee and tea that was in the discount basket at the store. Also purchased a tiller and a dump cart to use for hauling stuff around the acreage.
6. Build community food systems- Utilized the local orchard to obtain apple trees. Registered for my next permaculture class.
7. Eat the food- I've been trying to use stuff out of the freezer but life has been crazy and I really need to get myself more organized again. I didn't get meals planned this weekend and we ended up stopping at the grocery store on the way home this evening because there wasn't anything thawed. We should have more beef arriving next week so I need to get that freezer cleaned out!!

I'm starting this week already tired and it looks to be another busy one. But, then, it's SPRING!!

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I was a bad girl today.... J15 was scheduled to be an acolyte at church this morning. V and I were both bad and dropped her off before church and picked her up afterward. I spent nearly all day outside. And I'm going to pay for it. Not only are my muscles sore but I ended up with a sunburn. It was such a lovely day that it didn't occur to me how long I had been outside without reapplying sunscreen. Oops.
I have a garden!
The early stuff is in and fenced with chicken wire to keep out the bunnies. Last year we didn't get any peas at all because the bunnies ate them off as soon as they popped their heads above the ground. The children helped, planting onions, carrots, beets, lettuce, chard and peas. We also worked as a team and planted the broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage plants. I dug the holes, I12 buried the little plants and J15 and K10 worked to water them in.
I also managed to mow around the raspberries, currants and blueberries and planted my new raspberries and rhubarb.
Tiny broccoli

Clay pots?
J15 had fun playing with some of the clay she saved from the apple tree holes yesterday. She screened it to get out the rootlets and made two pots that she let dry in the sun. She is going to ask her art teacher about learning to use the pottery wheel at school. The clay here is lovely to work with and I know where there is a deposit of blue clay near my parent's house.
It was also a great day for laundry!
J15 informed me that Pam, who is the associate in ministry at our church asked J15 to ask me if I would prepare a 15 minute presentation on "green living" for the adult forum at church next week. Um... sure... what do you want??? Evidently she wants us to talk about "what we are doing out here". I'm not sure what she thinks we are doing but I can surely talk about sustainable living for a bit.
Now... a cool shower, a movie (the children are watching V for Vendetta), maybe a drink and definitely BED! But, I will sleep well- the sleep of one well satisfied!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A Saturday in pictures

Oh, I am weary.
It was a very busy day here at Troll Bridge Farm. (how do you like the name?) The weather was beautiful- sunny and around 70. A lovely spring day. Here are some of the highlights of the day.

Our first daffodil.
One of 5 little apple trees that I planted today.
Looking up hill from what is now the orchard.
Tilling with my new
The garden is ready
A sleepy dog- master of his domain.
Our other new acquisition.
Already put to use- picking up sticks and downed limbs.
K10 up a tree.
We're all ready for some muscle relaxants and off to bed. Tomorrow I plant garden!!