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Archive for June, 2013

I don’t know where exactly a person has to live to be able to comfortably deny climate change but it certainly isn’t here, in a drought zone so desperate that the government bought land back from the settlers so that they could leave in the late 1930s, where it’s been raining steady since April. This following an extremely wet and early winter, with record snowfalls. Following an even wetter spring of 2012. Anyway- suffice to say this ain’t no drought area anymore and we’ve been adapting to the wet weather the best we can.

 

A lot of work has been delayed because of the rainfall but one thing it’s good for is gardening. Granted, the leaves of some of my plants are pretty pale and could use some sun but they’re doing alright so far and with any luck we’ll get sun some time in the next couple of weeks. (Not this coming week- another 50+ mm of rain is predicted.) Once again, I’ve moved the gardens around. I think I must just love moving earth because I keep changing my mind and move my gardens every year. The upside to that is with all that beautifully conditioned soil the grass isn’t competing well, and dill and mint and milk thistle is popping up all over the “lawn”.

 

I did a few bucket gardens again this year, this time with kales and mustards and zucchini. The Giant Red Mustard is delicious and the Tasoi is quite nice too, and I’m thinking in another week or so I’ll be able to harvest some of the kale varieties. I have French Sorrel in the garden and am hooked on the light lemony taste, and some broccoli coming along quite nicely, with celery, rhubarb, strawberries, oregano, basil, tomatoes, beets, string beans, and peppers all off to a good start.

 

I have a few smaller gardens too, with everything from carrots to turnips, assorted peppers, and more kale, a bit of mustard, poppies, and a few things I’ll remember once they’ve matured and I distinguish the leaves. I’ve found keeping everything mixed together keeps the pests down and the bees happy, is the best use of space, and looks just beautiful when it’s all in bloom. A couple of weeks of sun and the space will be transformed. I put some flax straw down thinking to keep the moisture in, but that was a premature decision.

 

We also planted close to 900 trees, and when I say “we” I’m kind of going with the royal use of the word because Shane was entirely busy with work when they came in. That was a lot of work. With the soil being so bad out here, each hole has to be dug deep and amended with compost to prepare for the seedlings and it was the one week we didn’t have rain so I had to haul buckets of water along with me. This year we planted more lilac, Siberian larch, oak, green ash, hawthorn, Scots pine, spruce, and crabapples.

 

That’s a little over 2,000 trees planted since we moved here six years ago. I am so pleased with the growth of the previous years’ trees. I was told there were certain trees that wouldn’t take out here (like maple) but it just goes to show what a little extra care will get you- they’re doing beautifully. (That pretty 3′ tree in the middle photo was an itty bitty stick when I planted it 2 years ago.) It’ll be several years yet before the property really transforms because we’ve started almost all of our trees from tiny seedlings but I’m already excited just having them in the ground.

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And some music for you, for no other reason than I’ve been listening to The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars album (again) and I can’t be the only one to end the day leaping around and playing air guitar (again). 🙂

 

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Still amazed by how much (and what) people throw away. Our most recent score was a couple of very large towers, some perfectly good garden trellis, a couple of rolls of tin, some cinder blocks, and some pallets from the dump. Driving past someone’s house we noticed some logs and Shane asked if they were throwing them away- sure enough. All of the wood in the picture has been salvaged from one place or another, including the wood roof which Shane is going to cover with our found tin.

pallets etctowerswood

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Shane finished up the solar panel mounts a little while ago. They’re looking pretty good. Can’t wait to get the panels up there and whole system hooked up but I’ll have to a while yet with the number of projects on the go.

 

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