The Gardening Begins…

It’s a little chilly out there today, but we’re in full on working in the garden mode now.
The ducks and TD (TallDuck the sweetgrass turkey who thinks she’s a duck) are going back to their yard today, now that flood waters have receded enough.
Then, I start hauling loads of straw to mulch the areas of the garden where grasses tried to take over.
We garden no-till, so straw is my best friend at this time of year.
🙂
Next week I can start planting out my onion sets, my spring garlic and any cool weather seeds…beets, carrots, fava beans, lettuce, spinach, and the like…
We are absolutely going to get a few more nights of frost, so I’m not even thinking about my tomatoes going outside yet.
Soon I’ll start hardening them off tho…

The medicinal plants are doing much better, now that they have their chance under the grow light:

There’s been a growth explosion since this picture above too, so for that I’m glad.
And the reseeded mullein is starting to grow too…mullein is going to be a big one for harvesting (I hope!) this year, since it’s main usage is for respiratory issues. So between what I seeded this week, and hopefully what grows in the the winter sowing jugs, I hope to have an ample supply!

The stinging nettles are up.
Nettles are a nutritional powerhouse, and an excellent medicinal.
Last year I was sad because I thought we didn’t have any growing…then I realized, we have them literally all over the Farm, but the birds (turkeys mainly) were getting them before I found them…and then when I did find them, they were big and older.
Now I know *exactly* where the best stands grow and the turkeys are still in the garage, so *I* get to them first!

And the rhubarb plants are coming back, as well as my asparagus and the honeyberries survived being buried under 5 feet of snow, and the apples trees…well they took some damage, being buried under drifts of snow, but they’re budding and I think they’ll be okay.
So, all in all, we’re getting onto growing season, albeit a wee bit late, but now the spring/summer work begins.
Days of hauling straw, planting, mulching, weeding and maybe even some watering…
I’m looking forward to longer days outside in the sunshine.

I’m still working on the garden expansion out front too…cardboard down, bedding from the duck house next, some rotted horse manure than another layer of straw and finally topsoil.
I haven’t ordered the topsoil yet, but that area is going to be for the peppers (that survived 🙄🤦‍♀️😭) and some tomatoes, so I’m not in too big of a hurry for the dirt.

And just now, after moving ducks, I checked more of the winter sowing jugs and lo…there is growth in quite a few of them!!
For that I am excited.
Later on, I’ll go out with my list and see whats germinated and perhaps (like the plant nerd I am) share some pictures.

Oh, I am so grateful for spring!!
Winter this time ’round was way too hard and we *need* the growth of Spring to rebalance ourselves.
🖤🖤🖤

Oh Sable…

Remember back in the Fall I said I was harvesting as much of the broadleaf plantain weed/herb on the Farm as I sustainably could?
No?
Okay, here:

Plantain is edible, and the young leaves are delicious in salads.
But the main reason I harvest it is for it’s other, well known, use.
To help cuts/scrapes heal.

I dry it, then when I need it, I powder a leaf or 2 in my mortar and pestle, then mix a small amount of raw honey in until it’s a paste.
Then I clean the booboo and coat it with the (not so tasty) honey concoction.

Today I did my first (and hopefully last) ice cut of the season:

Oh Sable…

Not as bad as some she’s done.
Of course it always looks the worst on the Palomino Princess.
And it’s superficial.
It’s from running through drifts of snow…as I said in the Instagram post above, the skin on horse legs is thin and delicate. And cold is not kind to thin, delicate skin.
It can be cut by the sharp crust of an icy snow drift rather easily.
But with the plantain goo, it heals beautifully.
Which is good because our BellaHazaBooBoo needs that goo far too often.
😉

And, just because this past summer I had 2 plantain plants that I could harvest from, I bought seeds in order to plant some in the medicinal garden.
It’s handy to have on hand for humans as well and equines.

Melting

We’re back into a heat wave, with no rain in sight.
I think this is the driest I’ve ever seen it.
We need rain.
Bad.

The heat makes getting things done a little more difficult.
I feel like I’m melting.
lol
So the birds get let out at the hint of dawn, while it’s still (relatively) cool.
I’ve been working on weeding the garden early too…which doesn’t happen some days because the sprinkler needs to run to keep the food plants alive and that has to happen early too.
Truthfully, I’ve been feeling a bit defeated by our garden this year.
At least…until this morning.
When I saw that some tomato plants have rebounded from what I thought was certain death in our June 21st frost. The irony, right? First day of real summer and we get hit with a killing frost?

So I was excited to see a handful of tomatoes in the mulch, with several having blooms on them!
*swoons*
I might get a tomato sandwich yet this year!
And this morning, while I was weeding the thistles, I discovered a fair bit of our corn was up…and quite tall already.
Just hidden in the thistles.
So there’s hope for that too.
I planted mostly feed corn (for homemade libations, if y’know what I mean 😉 ) and for the silk.
Corn silk is dried for tea for a handful of things, including inflammation and urinary health.
I’m happy to find a few stalks coming up amidst my thistles…which I have also been harvesting and drying for teas.
Thistle is excellent for your liver (I’m hard on mine 😂😂😂 I admit it).
Plus the goose bebes love it!
I had hoped to harvest flowers for a mead, but I haven’t gotten there yet.

Stinging nettles will be collected this weekend for stinging nettle beer.
I was supposed to do it earlier in the week, but by the time I got the basic chores done, I just wanted to melt…so tomorrow morning I’ll don my gloves and pick a whole bunch of them.

Oh, and we have another house duck…temporarily, of course…

I hadn’t planned on this one coming in, but the hen was in a poor spot when she hatched them, and chickens killed the rest of the clutch off…so we snagged this little and brought her in.
She’s been named Oreo.
I am hoping this is a hen, because she’s just so darn pretty!
And we don’t need anymore drakes…extra boys are Freezer Campers.

And, our final round of incubation is finishing up.
Pipping and peeping started in the incubators yesterday.
By the end of the weekend, everyone who was going to hatch, will have hatched.
And we’ll be done ’til next February.
All that’ll be left is the butchering.
Which should start in a couple of weeks, as some of our first hatcher roosters are close to size now.
Then my weeks will be filled with butcher, process, can, sleep, repeat.
Until the end of November or so.
😂😂😂

This weekend will be a fiery hot one, but we still have the final wall of the greenhouse to build, then we put it up…
And I have hay to cut.
And more weeds in the garden.
And a fence line to move.
And boxes to flatten and lay out over the next garden area (to kill the grass).
And somewhere in there, some sleep…
😂😂😂

We’ll get done what we can, and keep picking at the rest.
That’s just how it is.
🙂

Maybe I’ll go have a nap with Ruby…or a beer.
Prolly a beer is a better idea.
😂😂😂