Well today was another busy day. The weather was beautiful, upper 70's and sunny. It was a bit windy, but with temps like that, I could care less.
We started the day off by going to another gem show, like the one Lisa went to a few weeks ago. It wasn't really my cup of tea, but some of the stones were absolutely beautiful. We were going to go to some pagan Earth Day celebration in one of the parks, but we decided to skip it. The parking there is very minimal, and I doubt I could have learned anything from talks about organic gardening and composting. I did want to see/hear the drum circle, ( I love the sound of drums), but that didn't start till 7 tonight, and my friend Bill is coming over at 8. We just skipped the whole thing, spoiled ourselves with a stop for frozen drinks, and headed home.
I finished tilling the garden....FINALLY, and ran more through the chipper. I had a pile around 8L x 3W x 2H, and already used that around some of the flowers, herbs, and the grapes. I'll finish the grapes and a few more flowerbeds, and then mulch will be strictly for the garden. I pulled the lavender from the end of the small strawberry bed, and put it in with the other herbs so the strawberries can just spread all they want in that extra 4x6ft area....no such thing as too many strawberries ya know!
Last year I had a small area in the garden for greens for the rabbits. This year I decided to make it bigger, so I pulled some old rr ties down by the woodpile and made an 8x8 area just for them. Those ties are around 22 years old, I remember buying them for my dads place when I had my first truck, and I was about 22-23, so I'm not worried about anything leaching out of them into the soil. They've been setting in open sun for all that time along dads drive, so I'm sure they are pretty dry. I brought around 3 wheelbarrow loads of soil for it, and figure it will need 12-15 more to fill it. Thats what I was working on when I quit for the day and came inside, I'll just hit it first thing in the morning. I'll run the tiller through it, plant some lettuce seed, and start transplanting dandelions from the yard. I imagine the neighbors are gonna thing I'm nuts, lol, but the greens are for the rabbits, I'll just pop off flower buds as they form. Besides, dandelion greens are pretty tasty. We may just add another section onto it sometime in the next few weeks and use that for our greens. It would be closer to the house, and open more garden space for things that can be canned, frozen, or otherwise stored, which will more than likely be more potato's and corn.
I have to back up a post and scratch what I was saying about the John Deere. I thought it had a dead battery, then yesterday morning I thought it was the starter, nope, it has a valve sticking. I pulled the dipstick and took a sniff of the oil....yep, gas. Looks like I have to have the engine repaired or rebuilt, and that is sure not going to happen anytime soon. I'll just fix the gas leak on the International and get a new battery for it, then mow with that. It's just another reason to use more of the yard for food production. With less to mow, I'll have less equiptment maintenance and more production of food. Sometime this summer when things are a bit more caught up on garden work, I have two 30+ foot pine trees that I plan on taking down. They're half dead anyway, and ugly as all getout. They'll make for more good bonfire wood, and more mulch for the other things. With them gone, it will allow more sunlight into the front yard, so I have to think of things to plant there. I'm thinking more fruits, like more raspberries, a few more dwarf apples, and possible peaches. I still want to transplant wild blackberries from my folks place, but I never seem to remember. I planned on cutting down the mullberry tree this year, but my friend Tammie said she would use them, so I'll go ahead and leave it.
Tomorrow I plan on spending the whole day outside, getting as much done as I possibly can. I'll move the rest of that topsoil, chip the rest of the brush pile, take the snowblade off the Lowboy and work on the gas leak, rake the garden and mark out rows with stakes and string,clean out the strawberry beds, maybe extend the big one, weed out the blackberry beds, and see about borrowing the neighbors lawn mower for a few hours. I imagine there will be plenty of time spent in between on swallowing massive quantities of iced tea and watching the chickens. (I can't help it, the silly things are entertaining!)
For now, I'm going to hit the shower and wait for Bill to get here. We already ate dinner, the first bbq on the outdoor stove of the year, yippee! There's just no comparison to grass fed beef burgers over an open flame of good, smokey apple wood, mmmmmmmmmm.