Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thursday's Livestock and Garden report~ Week 4

another busy week has sped by, and there is lots of stuff to tell (and show) you. I'm glad for all my readers- those of you who have followed my blog from its very boring beginning, as well as those of you who have become recent followers. thanks to all of you who take the time out of your own busy days to see what we're doing here on our little homestead in northern PA.

Dave decided that this was a weekend for planting potatoes, so that's what we did! i went crazy buying seed potatoes, so we're sure to have lots of fresh potatoes to eat, as well as plenty to share and sell.

we planted 40 lbs. of the Yukon gold here in the upper garden. these potatoes are not keepers, so they will be nice and handy for me to go out and dig for easy summer meals.

A was intrigued, and was of course more than willing to help her daddy plant the potatoes. i cut them up, and we'll readily admit, the chunks are bigger than normal. they are also planted a tad bit close, but we have so many...

(remember, i bought 150 lbs. of seed potatoes! there are 50 lbs. each of Yukon gold, kennebec and red Pontiac)

before we were even done, A was happy to help water the newly planted potatoes. she has a watering can, and is able to get water out of the frog puddle all by herself. and with those trusty yellow rain boots, this is a job that any 2 year old would love!

this is not technically the garden, and obviously there are no animals either. however, this is the completed walkway that G and i did this week. I'm really very pleased with how it turned out. last night before the rain, i transplanted some of my abundant day lillies, and now the walkway looks like it was done by a professional landscaper! with the completion of this path, you can now get into our house by both doors without tracking through the mud. i will fill out both of these garden areas with more flowers as the season goes on. but for now, it's off to a really good start!

on Friday, we had a pleasant and welcome surprise when a friend from church stopped by with a trailer load of farm machinery that he had bought at an auction. we were very pleased to buy both a plow and disc!

Dave immediately drove down to the lower garden to try out the disc, and of course it worked just fine.

then on Saturday, before he headed off to work, he taught me how to plow. it's not that hard, and it was a very satisfying job to do. i was done in no time at all, and was thankful that we have a tractor, and not horses...

A and B were thrilled to be outside with us, and collected lots of worms from the freshly plowed ground to feed to the chickens.

another task that i finished this week was the "final" plan of the lower garden. my two favorite books this year are Carrots love Tomatoes and The Joy of Gardening. as i mentioned last week, i am gleaning advice from both these books to plant wide rows, with companion planting to help deter critters from devouring all my hard work!

i spent time making a *color coded* diagram that i was hoping to share with you, but my computer is being stupid and won't let me. if i get it figured out, I'll upload it later.

the end of last week we worked hard to get all our fruit trees in the ground. Dave dug most of the holes, but N helped with the holes for the plum and cherry trees. A was glad to supervise.

B watched over her daddy while he planted the cherry tree, all while she was munching on an apple.

A helped with the apple and peach trees. as he was digging the holes, Dave took out the heavy bottom layer of clay soil. when he planted the trees, he used only the top soil and some rich, black soil that he dug from the old barn foundation. the trees should do very well, and we hope to have fruit of our own in just a few years.

the meat birds were moved outside to their hoop home. they will remain in this hoop house until their unfortunate demise on June 17. however, they are right by the garden for now, as the oats and clover are not up yet.

A loves to help me feed the chickens, and insists on having feed in her own little bucket. they are eating so much now that i need to feed them 3 times a day!

A made sure that they are all settled in. it's still a bit chilly here at night, so their hoop is covered with another tarp, and they have a light bulb inside to help keep them warm.

we've had lots of rain this week to help our onions, potatoes and day lillies get a good start. hopefully next week we''ll be able to get more of our garden in. until then, i hope you have the chance to get outside yourself and marvel at the wonder of God's creation, all fresh and new for spring.


Anonymous said...

That looks like lots of work, but lots of fun as well!

And LOTS of potatoes. We don't eat many white potatoes, but I sure love sweet potatoes. I might try planting some, but never have before so I'm not sure how they would do.
I love the picture with the worms. :) CUTE!

Joyce said...

Hi, Jennifer,
I enjoyed your post so much, especially the delight your little ones get in helping with the work. It brings back so many memories of when we were building our home and developing the property when the children were little (20 years ago!).

The only bad thing is, your post makes me feel that I am lazy!

The walkway is lovely!


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