Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You Know You're A Farmer When You Wash Your Hands BEFORE Going To The Bathroom!

(A little farm humor to start the day off right!)

Thanks to a large part on Grammy (who is an amazing weeding machine - that woman can still work circles around me even at 83 years!), we finished cleaning up the strawberry patch yesterday. Now all I have to do is have Ryan finish thinning the plants out for me this weekend (I can't do it myself - I need Ryan's unbiased hand to rule which plants get to stay and which have grown too friendly with their neighbors). I'm going to have him rototill the portion of the 2nd Garden that he worked on last weekend before thinning the strawberry patch though. That way, I have somewhere to put the misplaced plants. I have decided to start a new strawberry patch on the edge of the 2nd Garden, where they can get lots of sunlight and nutrients. They will form a small border to the veggie garden.

Speaking of the 2nd Garden, I have been working on the lay-out for my veggies. It takes a lot of work and forethought to lay out a proper & productive garden! You need to take into consideration: companion planting, what plants repel one another, the sun's path during the day (aka light), & watering requirements and capabilities (i.e. don't plant your corn in front of the sprinkler and your smaller, thirsty plants behind it!). What I DO know is that I will be planting pole peas along the fence line closest to the house, thereby taking advantage of the 6' fencing to support the pea vines. I will be planting fennel (which should always be planted away from your other veggies at the edge of the garden), dill, and perennial herbs (mints, oregano, thyme, chives, etc.) along the boundary of the veggie garden (in between the pole peas along the fence line). We normally use a great deal of herbs throughout the year, but I also thought that that would be a smart way to be able to provide herbs to customers on a more regular basis. Eventually, I want to be producing such a plethora of produce out of my garden that I will have enough excess to sell on a regular basis and therefore help sustain a farm-related income. That's my goal, anyway.

Anywho, after the strawberry bed was complete, I spent some time (re)filling raised beds in the back of the property. Between this year and last, the soil had compacted down quite a bit, so it was time for an influx of fresh poo. I went over to the compost pile and started poking around with my shovel to see what I could find. Besides Wormy Palooza, I found some absolutely BEAUTIFUL spots of aged compost! I got a little choked up when I saw it. Part of that may have been due to the intense ammonia fumes coming off of the compost pile, but I know a small part was the sheer joy of seeing such wonderful, homemade compost (and so much of it!). I climbed to the top of the pile (a good 6-7 feet tall) and played "Queen of the Poo" for a bit. I say that if you can't have fun on the compost pile, then you're not enjoying life to the fullest extent.

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