Saturday, February 22, 2014

Gearing up for gardening

It snowed a little today, but without conviction. Spring is coming.

We got a load of wood today then turned our attention to the garden. The ground is still frozen so we just looked at it and marched around the beds. And measured it so we can draw up garden plans. I know some folks would have laid it out in perfect measured rows from the beginning, but that's not how we roll. We did it by eye, building terraces where they seemed right, making beds to suit what we were planting. That was fine – until time to sketch this year's layout (we have to be sure to rotate crops to cut back on insect pests).

So we measured and fussed, and now we know our garden is 3,750 square feet (50x75). We have 25 feet to the north and to the south we can expand into. That's all fenced, so it's just a matter of digging and terracing and planting and all of that. Doubling the size of the garden sounds great, but what a lot of work. My back hurts already. Still, there are so many things we want to grow – more greens for the animals, more roots that can be stored in in the basement rather than being canned or frozen, berries. I guess we'll see how much digging we can stand to do when the ground can be worked.

We got four eggs today from our three chickens. Not sure how they accomplished that. Roz the Rhode Island red has just started laying nice big brown eggs.

I busted the big animals' water tub. Luckily we had a spare, and I vow to be more careful. Those suckers are expensive.

Tomorrow we'll be working on the greenhouse. C. wants to replace the straw bales with a stud wall. (I'd be happy to just patch it up forever, but she likes to do things right. It can be irritating.) And we'll be putting up hoops on some of the garden beds to make cold frames.

Upcoming projects include diy drip-irrigation hoses from plans by a brilliant guy in Ontario. If we can scrape up the money, I'd like to have a main line down the middle of the garden, with a valve for each bed connected to a drip line. You could custom water everything with with just a few turns of handles. And while the drip lines are made from mostly salvaged materials, the valves are probably five bucks a piece and we'd need 20 or 30.

Oh, yeah,  got to wriggle around in the miserable crawl space and hook up a second hose bib. Not looking forward to that. And we need to buy fruit trees (we could put that off if we were getting younger, but noooooo).

I promised myself I'd spend time every weekend working on the roof. And I need to blog about our adventures with frozen drain pipes last week. And I need to make brownies so I can eat them. That's how the weekend is shaping up.

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