Weed Tea

No, no, no, not *that* weed…
Nah, ’round here we’re not exactly 4:20 friendly…not that we care if someone else uses, but I have violent reactions to it in all forms. The scent of the smoke causes me to vomit and I really dislike vomiting.
😂😂😂

Nope, when I say “weed tea” I mean pulling your weeds out, chopping them up, covering with water, and fermenting them.
Whyever would someone do that?
Because, m’dears, that is fertilizer for you plants!
Free fertilizer.
From plants you want to get rid of…
See?
This really is a good thing.

Here’s a basic run down of how to do it:
Turn Your Weeds into Nutrient-Rich Fertilizer
Go ahead and click the linky to read…I’m too tired and lazy to write it all out…
But where she says use a tight fitting lid, I don’t bother.
I have a few extra recycling buns lying about, so I just use one of those:

I will say, it stinks.
Bad.
But it works.
I’ve done compost tea many, many times, and had excellent results.
In fact, back in the city, with regular applications of compost tea during fruit set, I noticed an increase of almost 1/2 a bushel on our dwarf apple tree.
That’s pretty damn awesome.
And this year, I’ve been using the nettle fertilizer on the medicinal plants (mullein, hyssops, calendula, etc…) and had fantastic growth from them.
This weekend, I’ll be hitting the tomatoes with it…

The only downside (aside from smell) is that I have to apply it with a watering can.
That’s a bit of a pain, but it is what it is. I don’t really mind wandering through the garden with a watering can. It’s kinda relaxing. And really, it only need doing every couple of weeks, so it’s not like it’s a huge time sucking chore.

And the real bonus?
Used as a spray on the foliage, it help deter and destroy aphids.
Oh damn!!
If only I had known, and had some made, back in the spring when the aphid infestation hit my pepper seedlings and the result of my treatments killed them (my peppers, not the damned aphids) all off…🙄🤦‍♀️
So I’m going to make sure I have a jar of the stinky juice to keep over winter, with having indoor plants that’ll need feed boosts and (hopefully not) treatments for aphids.
Plus it uses weeds.
We all have weeds that need to be pulled.
Why not use them to our benefit?
Seems like a no brainer to me…

Inkspot Microdwarf Tomatoes

Way back in the fall, I joined a seed swap on Instagram.
It was a fun way to share seeds from our areas and seeds from plants we love.
The host, Ash from Grower’s Blend, gifted participants with seeds from her own shop.
She sent me both Gun Metal Grey tomatoes and Inkspot microdwarf tomatoes.
I am a huge tomato nerd and was over joyed with these seed packets.

So a few weeks ago, after a discussion with Hubby about growing food indoors, I decided to start some of the Inkspots. They’re little, can be kept as a houseplant easily, and they make food.
Gotta like that.
So into some potting soil went 5 seeds.
All 5 sprouted.
And look how damn cute these wee tomatoes are!

For scale, I started them in those individual yogurt serving cups.
(please remember, I don’t buy those yogurt cups, we get them in our Loop food waste for farm animals pickups)
Doesn’t help?
Okay, here’s one with my coffee cup for scale…

It’s a big cup, about 5 inches tall, holds several traditional cups of coffee at a time.
Because coffee is life, ya know?

Anyways, the tomatoes…
Almost ready for their next pots.
I’ve a handful of 3/4 gallon pots that will be their permanent homes and we’ll see how they do.
If nothing else, the happiness factor of having houseplants (with cats who don’t really care about them) is worth something.

🙂

Around the Farm

It’s that busy time of year where just about everything has to be done all at the same time…
Garden needs weeding and mulching.
Hay needs cutting, raking, baling.
Animals need yards, moving, shifting, getting outdoors.
And the regular day-to-day stuff still has to happen too…laundry, dishes, cleaning the house…
Give it a couple of months and we’ll be adding canning, and butchering to the list of things that need doing.
I, uh, mighta started this Farming thing a bit late in life…I’m tired.
But it’s a good tired, so not much complaining is happening.
😉

So how’s things going?

Duck and goose babies now have regular outdoor time.
That makes keeping their coop cleaner much easier.
All the food and water is out in their yard, and most of the pooping happens out there too.
😂😂😂
They’re growing like mad, eating weeds from the garden, produce from Loop, and fermented grains.
The ducks are starting to quack like normal ducks, which confuses the hell out of the muscovies.
Genetically, muscovies are similar to geese, so they don’t speak the same “duck” as mallard derived ducks.
Instead of quacking (noisily, I might add!!) muscovies trill (girls) and hiss (boys). They are much, much, much quieter than pekins!

Garden is all planted.
Except for the few stragglers I keep seeming to bring home from the local greenhouse.
Yesterday another 14 tomato plants arrived.
😂😂😂
1 is specifically for in the house, and at least 1 other will come in too…but most will be fit into spare small spots in the garden.
As has been explained to me, there is no such thing as “no more room to plant”, much like there is no such thing as “no more room for books”.
It is true.

Hubby and The Kid got the fencing up around my Ruth Stout garden yesterday.
While I pulled thistles out of the haying area.
I don’t mind feeding the mares weeds…in fact, many weeds are good for them (some aren’t of course, but those are removed), like thistles are (they’re excellent for liver health), but too many in a bale of hay won’t get eaten…and a certain Palomino Princess has been known to eat dried thistles and get stickers stuck inside her mouth/lips.
That’s not a good time to deal with, especially since her 1 fault is having humans doing anything near/in her mouth.
I no longer give her worming pastes…not after having been lifted 3 feet in the air by her halter as she reared to get away from the tube of funky goo.
It’s just not a good time and it ain’t worth fighting with her.
When she gets her teeth floated, she’s drugged before the vet sticks his hand in…
Trust me, it’s the best for everyone.
No one wins when fighting 1500lbs.
Anyways…
I pulled a massive load of thistles out and fed them to all the birds.
Ducks and geese just plain love any food we give them, so they got the bulk of them.

The Kid fashioned a yard for the first brooder of turkey babies and they got a chance to get outside for the first time ever yesterday.

It was a bit scary at first, but then they came out and discovered their pile of thistles.
Then the singing and cooing started.
And then the dust bathing…
They were doing great until Daphne ran by and well, apparently, dogs are terrifying to little turkeys who’ve never seen such a thing before!
😂😂😂

There’s also the foraging harvests to do…
Stinging nettles, pineapple weed, lamb’s quarters, yarrow (which I discovered we’ve had for a while, but didn’t realize, so I’ve planted it for next year…this year I can harvest the wild…), thistles for teas (because liver health 😉 ), some prairie sage, and soon, chokecherries and hawthorn berries, and saskatoons…
Some will be dried for teas, much will be made into tinctures, some will become salves/balms.

Then, I planted some poblano seeds for indoor peppers.
Some Inkspot micro dwarf tomatoes for indoor tomatoes.
And I took a small tendril off the grape vine so I can try propagating it.
And so on, and so forth…

Have a great week folks.
🙂

Peppers

Back before I started my tomato plants, I had an aphid infestation in my peppers.
There was some treatments done, and then there was the last treatment that fried them all.
There were many tears, because the poblanos were the strongest, nicest, pepper seedlings I had ever grown. But, shit happens (as they say) and they were all lost.

Today we wandered into the nearest small town to look for some parts for our bbq, and discovered the local greenhouse was clearing out their plants.
So I did a thing…

A 6 pack of red peppers, a single cayenne pepper (I’m the only one here who likes spicy), and a mystery tomato…they had half a table of them…bit of an accident led to a whole bunch of tags going missing, so they were selling ’em off as “mysteries”. 😂😂😂
Worth a buck, if you ask me.
And then, the pots.
The lovely woman running the greenhouse tells me I can take whatever I want because they’ll likely get tossed anyways…so I grabbed all the pink pots/trays.
I like pink.
I like growing plants.
I like pink plant pots.
I like *free* pink plant pots.
🤷‍♀️

So today I’m planting peppers.
And working on weeding the garden.
And waiting for the next round of the rains.
It’s a good day.
🙂

All Effing In

Last of the tomatoes went in the garden today.
Hear that??
That was a huge sigh of relief coming from me…and the joyous meowing of a tabby who can now lie across his favorite bookcases watching the birds out the window without getting yelled at by Mom…
I’ve got a few little things to tuck into corner spaces, but the bulk of the big planting is done.
Done enough for the “All In” dance.
Or a few cold beers on the deck listening to the bug zapper destroy mosquitoes.
Or a good long nap.
Or…all 3.

It’s now all in Mother Nature’s hands.
Well, and mine for the weeding and mulching, and maybe a bit of watering…but we’ve had decent rainfall so I’m not so worried about that.
Frankly, at this point, I need a few weeks *without* rain because it’s haying time and I got hay to get cut and put up for the winter.
And, if my hay spots are any indication, as long as folks can get in, get it cut, then baled, it could be a damn fine year for hay. Damn fine, indeed.
All we need is for Mother Nature to get a little d and be nice to us.
😂😂😂
Fingers crossed.

Oh and just for funsies?
I’m going to start a few poblano peppers to grow in the house over winter…peppers are a perennial, so they make an awesome house plant…that also makes food. 😉
And I have seeds for a micro dwarf tomato that I want to try too…
The house just seems dark and boring without the grow lights on.
So I need to start some indoor food plants.
🙂

So Frickin’ Close

I only have tomato plants left to get into the garden.
Well, aside from a few random winter sown plants that just need to establish before the Fall so they can come back next year…

But, for the big, need to harvest this year stuff…
Tomatoes.

Yesterday I got the Ruth Stout potato patch planted.
That’s the garden expansion in front of the house that will continue to expand as we go…
I also mixed up a wheelbarrow load of well rotted equine poo with some topsoil and a bit of potting soil I had left over from starting seeds in the house, then laid it down in a line at the edge of the straw mulch garden, and planted rattlesnake pole beans there.
After the rains stop today, I’ll get out there with the scythe and cut the grass down around it, so that this weekend we can put up the fencing to a. protect growing plants from chickens, and b. for the pole beans to climb up on.

Then I got a line of raspberry canes planted.
A friend had mentioned she needed to thin her patch and asked if I wanted the canes she dug out…
Um, yes please!
So those are in, and getting rained on today.
So now, just the tomatoes.
And cutting hay…then the raking and the baling.
To go with the weeding, mulching and random watering.
So there you have it…
Summer is underway, and we’re busy, as usual.
Soon enough, harvests will start to come in, and then I’ll be working on putting those foods up…

As ever the wheel continues to turn and we must go along with it.
Happy Summer Solstice all!
Hope you enjoy the day…and the days of summer ahead!
🙂

Quiet Days

These are the quiet days before the spring work begins.
I have that whole list of things to get going as soon as the snow starts to melt…and with a call for -2*c next week, it looks like the melt may start soon.
Of course, it’s only March and well, there’s always chances of snow storms right into May around here.
(aaaand, as I’m writing this we’ve come under a blowing snow advisory and are in a white out…because of course we are)
😂😂😂
Remember last year…I had a hard frost on June 21st.
Thankfully some of the peppers and tomatoes survived, though I sure didn’t think they were going to.
It was good that I felt too defeated to pull them and replant, because some bounced back and gave us a decent crop.

Yesterday our internet was out, so it gave me a chance to catch up on a few things.
Not sure why it was down, but I had left a message at the office to let them know.
I don’t get cranky with our provider because the guys who run the place are decent humans.
(we know how few there are of those in the world!)
I just leave a message and let ’em know.
If it’s something on their end (usually) they have a message on their voice mail letting folks know.
If it’s not them, they get back to me pretty quick.

So I cleaned my kitchen, bottled a little wine, pulled out the water distillation machine, did some distilled water for Hubby’s snore machine, mighta ran some mixed citrus wine though for some mixed citrus shine, might not have either because we wouldn’t want to do anything that ain’t legal, now would we?
😉
Today I have some odd bagged mix of raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries to get into a pail to ferment.
I follow one of those cheap groceries/food waste reduction apps, where you can buy boxes of fruit for $5. I buy a box or two a week, just to make bags in the freezer of mixes for wine.
That’s where I got the random citrus and mango (I forgot there was a half dozen mangoes in the pail too) to make up the stuff I bottled yesterday. I find the cheap boxes are a great way to do small batches (with a lot of notes on how and what so I can recreate anything I really liked) before putting a whole bunch of $ into a big batch.
Then I edited a whole bunch of pictures I took last week.
With the cold that has been, it’s been darn near impossible to get out with the camera. By the time chores are done, I just don’t want to go back out, y’know?
But last week I managed to go capture some shots of the nags, and a few of the outdoor felines.

Once the blowing snow shit is done, Hubby is stopping at the local hardware store to grab a dozen t-posts and another couple rolls of stucco wire.
These are the cheapest, and easiest, things to make fences here.
Especially when we’re holding in (or out) poultry.
The current duck yard may get converted to the lamb yard (if the fucking snow ever melts) because of the wood posts…but we may choose another area too. We have an abundance of wood posts on the yard, so building another space for sheepies, while leaving ducks where they are is fine too…we’ll figure it out.
First we just need spring.
12 more days.

Aaaannnd…
I ended up losing internet yet again while writing this.
So now it’s Wednesday morning and the sun is shining and the birds are singing and the truck is stuck in the driveway so we have to get her dug out so Hubby can get into to work tomorrow…
BUT
My peppers are popping!
I planted 36 cups of poblano peppers and more than 75% are popping up out of the dirt.
Yes, that’s a lot of peppers.
Yes, I will have many, many poblanos if they are get to producing.
That’s the plan.
Smoke ’em, dehydrate ’em, grind ’em.
Bam!
My own seasoning as a part of our winter spices.
So yeah.
I’m excited af.
My peppers are popping.
😍
🖤🖤🖤