Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Today I snuck outta work a bit early to try to get some things done. Before I went in to let out the hounds, I took a walk around the garden. GRR damn weeds took over with all this rain, I'll be busy this weekend!
Just as I was about to be in a really foul mood, I walked to the small strawberry patch that I started last year. To my surprise, I parted a few plants and there were the first ripe berries of the year! OK I TRIED to not eat one, I wanted to let Lisa have the 1st one, but I just couldnt resist. Yummy!!!! I only got 5 or 6 ripe ones, but the rest are just hanging full of green berries. It won't be long now and I should have quite a few. Hopefully at least enough for a few jars of jam, or at the least, a few great desserts.
The corn is popping up pretty good, the green beans are standing about 3" high, the potatos look great;standing close to a foot tall. The tomatos and peppers look decent, but I lost a few to the birds, and I'll probably replace those this weekend. We've already been picking some greens and onions (my weakness), the beets look great but need thinned. The squash and cucumbers are looking good too. All in all the whole thing is looking good, just a few things to re-plant, thin, or just plain old plant.....not to mention the ^%$#@! weeds. Hopefully I can mow this weekend and rake the grass to mulch around more plants. It's worked great around the ones I was able to get to. Sure beats buying straw! Plus I'm gonna talk to the neighbor and offer to mow the front acre of grass just so I can have the clippings for the garden. I did that a few weeks ago, and it managed to mulch 2 full rows...so a couple cuts of his and mine should do the job. After that, the rest will go to the pathways and then into compost for next year.
I'm still working on the rabbit hutch lumber-gathering. I had a good pile started, but ended up using a good amount of it to make a soil sifter. I had a LOT of sod to pull a few weeks ago, when I extended the garden a foot on 3 sides for walkways, plus when I wrapped the strawberry bed to a long curved edge so its easier to mow. I didnt have any more low spots in the yard to fill, so I decided to make this sifter. I put a large amount of the sod in the trailer, than one at a time, I grabbed a chunk of sod and knocked the soil out and into the wheelbarrow. When the pile was down to just soil, I ran it through the sifter to get out any remaining roots and stones. The sifter was pretty simple to make, it just sets on top of the trailer and is 3 feet wide. The screen is just 1/2 square fencing/netting from the hardware store. It worked GREAT. Nothing left but good topsoil, which went back into the strawberry bed that was extended. It will bet put away soon and saved for next year when I plan on extending the garden another 10 feet to the north.
Oh yea...the hutches, oops kinda got sidetracked. I'm still gathering lumber for that project. We're going to take down that playhouse this weekend, so that will be a decent amount. There are still quite a bit of bards laying around this job I am on, and the GC will finally be there tomorrow, so I'll ask about them. I'm going to ask about the leftover square duct too, it will make nice feeders and mangers.I have a nice plan from a place I found online, but I am going to make it a bit shorter. Not that height is a problem (anyone who knows me knows better lol) but I want to have it on wheels so I can move it into the garage in the winter. Rather than worry about the sides blocking out the cold air, it will be easier to just have the whole thing inside. I plan on building it close to the garage anyway, so it wont be far to move. On top of that whole project, I'm going to build another cold frame just to grow greens for the rabbits in the winter. If they'll work for people greens, they'll work for rabbit greens....and if the materials are free again, what the hell. I'll have to pay for feed pellets and hay, at least greens will be one thing I won't have to pay for. Still up in the air on chickens, I've asked the neighbor twice and he keeps forgetting to ask the landlord.
Well all for now, gonna go read the pages that Lisa printed off for me on tanning hides without chemicals.......just what I need, one more chore/hobby.

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