Friday, May 23, 2014

Garden Journal: May 23, 2014

Cold Frame Border of timbers around a bed of cabbage, lettuce, and broccoli.
Catching up is so hard to do....

It's been 29 days since our last update. This is entirely due to our hectic crafter's life. We do want we can, up to the end of April, then spend a few weeks working frantically for our Mask Making business with Spring Shows. This year was a bit more challenging due to vehicle troubles. However, gardens and homesteads know no calendars other than turning of the Wheel of the Seasons, so, we soldier on.

Just before we left for our first show of May, the Spoutwood Farm May Day Fairie Festival, which happens to be on an amazing and lovely organic farm in Glen Rock, PA, we finished our second coop area.The garden has been going on it, like crazy, and work, work, work. So, this will be a picture post, mostly up to May 20th, and more to come.

Some of the stone balances in our rock field are the ones I did the week we moved in, eight years ago.

A rare sight of our adult girls ranging on a bed. Home in the mtns. lots of predators, and no fences, and nasty rooster, so they spend a lot of time in the run. We had a chance, with the rooster in the coop.

Adding a half lap joint to make a strong door.

The funniest news of April. Getting our egg license. State of MD regulates egg production for health issues, so you need to be licensed. We can now sell eggs at events.

Spring rains, and heavy mud and long work days. I am the Green Man, and am sprouting.

Our finished coop addition. We call it the nursery.

Littles in the Nursery Coop addition. Wire fence between them and the Bigs for integration.

Another view of the addition.

Pallet half wall for draft protection. Roost behind it, but the don't use it. Roost on the top of the pallet. The long term goal is a small coop in that corner, like a half size of our main one.

Leah working our cold frame bed.

Hand feeding the Littles. Very different flock than our others.

A robin egg, found under a tree with a Blue Jay nest in it. Confused us for a bit, until we learned that Jays will steal and eat eggs from other nest. Yet more proof that Jays can be kinda jerks, but that is their nature. They are part of the crow family.

White violets from Spoutwood and silly girl.

White Violets tucked around a stone and dancing fairy.

The most awesome news for us. Our asparagus bed made it. Shoots coming up. Photobomb by Ellawyn.

Another Spoutwood gift. Compost. Biodiversity shows that individual compost bins have not only different micro flora and fauna, but perhaps entirely unique ones. That is, the bio-digesters in the Spoutwood bins may be genetically unique to that valley, that farm, and maybe even that bin. So, mixing it up, bringing in compost from other bins, as long as you know it's safe, can increase the diversity and strengthen your bio-herd. Now, that said, there is also a spiritual and psychological thing about bringing compost from Spoutwood. Fellow composters will get that. Fellow lovers of the marvel of Spoutwood Farm will get it even more.

I like dandelions. Certainly, broadleaf weeds crowd out grass, and become an issue. However, we know they are sign of healthy system. Whenever we drive past a home, with a perfect lawn, mowed in lines, with no dandelions, we know that is a home that uses herbicides.

Meager, but one of the first harvests of the season and the first EVER of asparagus. 

Rainbows over our home. We get them a lot.

Spring rains mean glass season. We joke we will start our own pick your own broken glass and rocks farm. That bucket has pickings from about a hour of weeding. The shard in front of it, sticking out of the ground a good two inches, is directly in a spot we've weeded many times. Erosion, frost heave, etc, brings it up. If we put our shovel into the ground in a new place, we tend to turn up glass. That is a fact of life in the Appalachian Mtns.

Life is lovely, and it's better if there is a Scarlet Tanager in your trees. Pretty nice. The Rainbow, the Tanager, and the Swallowtail below all happened on the same day.

Just gorgeous. Better because the pic was taken by our daughter. Feel free to use it as a desktop.

Planting a free tree from Arbor Day.

So glad the Hummingbirds are back. Our home was famous for them before we moved in.

Creating lilac water for bathtime.

Life in hand. Every Amphibian is a precious gift. They are the first great casualties in these dying times we are living in. I hope we can turn back as species, instead of joining them in that. 

Yes, it's true. Once you get chickens, then items featuring them become more appealing. We are picky and careful with out money, etc. However, this chicken shaped basket was at the thrift shop and had to come home. There were two. We have them on the counter for sorting eggs.

Spring is wet season. Our first one with the coop in place and we are learning our drainage problems.

A moat around the back of the coop ready to be filled with gravel.

Mulching the upper bed, with pumpkins in it, with paper and straw.

All tucked in. The far end is pumpkins. Then a couple of rows of onions. Finally the asparagus trenches. We haven't needed to fence this one...yet.

So nice is the weather, that our Tree Dwelling Faeries have awoken and rehabbed their door. Chinked in with moss over a clay and compost cob mixture, with embedded crystals and a jaunty fern growing from the top. A spring wreath adds that home touch.

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