Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Entry for April 23, 2008
Yesterday was another productive day. I got home before noon, and started on the new strawberry bed. I used an old floor scraper that I sharpened, and used it to scallop the edges of the new bed along the timbers I had layed out, then started pulling up the sod. Again, the sod came in handy to fill in low spots, and the deep tracks where I almost buried the van in the front yard 2 months ago. What I didnt use, I piled behind the garage. By the end of summer, all the grass in the middle will be dead, and it will be usefull topsoil for elsewhere.
When all the sod was pulled, I took the tractor out front and mowed a section of the yard, raked up the new grass clippings and last years leaves, raked it on top of the soil, and tilled it all in. I planted the strawberrys,(we ordered 50 and recieved 54,woohoo), and watered them well. The forecast called for a chance of rain last night, but it doesnt look like that happened, so I'm glad I watered well. Hopefully by sunday, the first batch of compost will be nearly ready, and I'll spread that around the plants then cover them with more leaves and grass clippings. I still have to stake down the timbers, but thats a simple project I can do anytime.
When I was done with that, I weeded out the blueberries and the small strawberry bed. I may end up making the new bed a bit bigger and transplanting some from the old bed. Some of the runners found their way outside of the bed and started, plus it needs thinned out a bit, so they'll need a new home. I still have to make some kind of frame to hold netting over both beds to keep the birds out. I had one on the small bed last year, but the neighbor accidently ran it over with his 4 wheeler when he drove up to plow my drive the weekend we got the 2 feet of snow. I should have had it put away, but I didnt, lesson learned.
When I was done and putting away tools, I noticed the neighbor across the old orchard out tilling a new garden. I've wanted to talk to him about the fallen trees for firewood, so I walked over. He was fighting an OLD wards tiller on ground still covered with grass. I suggested pulling the sod to make it easier and help avoid weeds, but I'm not sure he will. Since he was getting ready to quit anyway, I told him to come over tomorrow after work and take my troy-bilt since it wont beat him up so bad.
We talked for quite a bit before his wife called him in for supper. They're a nice young couple with 3 kids under age 5, and the 2 older boys are hilarious, one had just learned to ride his bike without training wheels and just HAD to show me lol. I found out that he miscalculated the birth date on the goats, so they arent born yet. Maybe by the time they're weened, I'll be busy at work again and we can seriously think about one for ourselves. We also talked a bit about hunting. It turns out that he has been helping a local farmer with coyotes and fox. A fox had dug a big den in the pasture, and one of his cows fell in it and broke a leg, luckily its calf was old enough to survive without its momma. We ended up back talking about goats, and it turns out that goat meat is somewhat on the rise, and locally selling for $6 a pound. I would have never guessed that you could SELL goat meat. I've heard of people eating it, but not buying it. I guess the price of GOOD beef, and the growing awareness of everything in meat products has people looking at alternatives to beef. I looked up the price of rabbit meat since this made me curious, and its going for between $6 and $7 a pound. (Ardeng rabbit farm has fryers at 3lb x $5.70lb = $17.10 per rabbit) If I could find a market for it here, I would raise rabbits to sell, but I think it would be just too difficult. Hey....I copy and pasted that price and my font changed lol oh well. Anyway....I need to find some ideas and draw up plans for hutches since I may have enough lumber now, but that can wait till a rainy day when I cant work outside.
And speaking of work, I better get off here and head to Akron. Looks like I'll get full days the rest of the week! YAY! We get to work Friday night at a waste treatment plant where they dump the trucks. Its open and exposed, so the black steel pipe is of course rotting out and bent from trucks and tow motors. OOOOOOOOOO this should smell reeeeeeeealllllly good! 40+ year old sprinkler water and garbage, yumm

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