Sunday, July 18, 2010

Hey Eric

Yeah I know I promised to stay up on some photos! Our friend Eric is still deployed, and probably will get a few good laughs at our messy shop. This is the jetta, our little diesel car that gets 34 miles to the gallon. It does need some help however, the oil pan is being replaced today by Frank and the compressor for the AC needs to be replaced, its crazy hot here and the car has no ac...

Just because, well we dont change do we? Our shop is still disorganized. We are working on fixing this, little by little. We move tool boxes and tools and put wood up on the wall for shelves, and just to cover the insulation because it looks nice.

My poor husband. He gets to be filthy and I get to take the photos! Yesterday he finished fixing our tractor, and it now goes in reverse and engages the PTO. We bought it knowing it didnt reverse, which meant the PTO wouldnt work so we couldnt use any of the back attachments like the bushhogger which it came with.

Poor lighting but still a decent picture of my overworked husband.

And again... but he looks so nice working it wears me out!

These photos are compliments of Tad. He was cleaning the front yard and porch yesterday and found a large bullfrog and came in for the camera. For being 9, the pictures are not too bad. He took a heap of pictures, many of which I deleted. Like the 5 pictures of bullfrog rear.

I think he lives in the one window that isnt cemented in. It just has leaves and rocks that settled there.

And lastly, he is fat. This is just a well fed bullfrog, I wish he and his friends would eat a bit more of the local bugs.

These last pictures are of my garden. Last yr, we put our garden in an area that ended up too shaded and little grew there. This yr, we chose a great spot with good southern exposure, but our soil is too thick here. Its not clay, its silt. The fine dusty dirt that is sticky, it dries very heavy and cracks and the poor plant roots cannot push through it. We learned this from Nikki our best friend in Ga, and master gardener as well as books she provided for us.
In the left of this picture, you can see weeds. There is no garden here, but there will be next yr. The right of the picture is my squash, zuccini and pumpkin plants. They have done well! We are eating squash and zuccini as well as putting it up in freezer for winter stir fry, pot pie and stews. The center of the picture is my next yr garden. Because of the lack of loamy soil (well drained, enough sand, equal parts of the 4 soil types basically), we are laying newspaper overlapping and watering the papers, then laying waste hay/straw and manure mucked from the barn. This holds it down, as well as keeps weeds at bay while these substances break down making the soil more loamy for next yr. We will continue to overlay this with manure as it breaks down as well as throwing composte on it and a variety of other healthy things.

I lay out newspaper and cover with manure as I muck the barn. Each time I muck it, I fill the lawnmower trailer until it is too full to keep adding. This takes about 5 days. Then Tad or Nathalie brings it here, empties it and then takes the trailer back for me leaving it outside of barn for my convenience. So each day when its cool in early morning, I do chores then water the garden and lastly, lay down more paper, water, lay manure. This makes my garden area for next yr nice and it grows daily, rather than sticking with it for 2 solid days and being tired of the same task.

See our working tractor? Frank was very pleased with the performance yesterday. To the right of this picture in front of the hose, is a new bed. I build beds this yr for new plants, and we are putting in a fall garden. The beds are built by digging down in the soil and layering goat manure/straw, fertilizer, agriculteral lime, epsom salts, local cow manure and earth, I do this layering several times until I have a bed. They are not all shaped proper, its just whatever space is between or next to other plants/beds. This makes a loose aerated bed for little seeds and roots.

The newspapers and straw make for a no till garden, as well as no weed. As I pull weeds from between the plants, I lay newspaper/manure in the spaces there as well so next time I do not have to weed. If I need a space for new seeds or plants, I just plant into the newspaper by tearing a little hole.
We are not doing traditional row gardening. We have tried that, I cannot keep up with the weed growth. So while my great-grandparents are likely rolling over in their graves, I will continue to garden in new and easier ways. This last picture shows you rows/hills. These are built up beds and have newspaper in between to prevent weeds.
Thats it for now, the children and I prayed last night for it to be 6 deg cooler today than yesterday, and our wish was granted so we have been working outside all day!

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