Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Leaf Mulched No-Till Potato Garden Patch

I planted potatos in a small patch in my garden this year. I laid down a bed of composted leaves and just laid the starts on the leaves and then dumped leaves on top of them. As the plants grew I dumped more leaves on top until I ran out of leaves. Here is the result.

I am really happy with the results of this experiment. I got alot of potatoes from a really small area. Biggest one was about 7" long. I noticed that the mice seemed to really like the yellow potatoes best. I got more than they did this year.
Hopefully Ill be able to gather enough leaves and such this fall to really do some more of this next season.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Old Man & Mrs Henry, Boots and Bicycle

I work at Walmart. I do other things too, but I work at Walmart. I see lots of people at Walmart. I meet lots of people. I see some pretty rotten things at Walmart and I see some beautiful things at Walmart.

The other day I saw something beautiful, something that brought back a memory from long ago.

When I was ten years old a friend gave me his newspaper delivery route. It wasn't a lot of money or a lot of time, but it was. Anyway, I grew up in a trailer park and my folks didn't really have a lot of money. We had plenty of food and we had clothes on our backs, but we didn't have too many extras.

So as winter came on that year I didn't have any winter boots to speak of, just my old bo-bo sneakers. We got some early snow that year  and Mrs Henry stopped me when I was delivering her paper and ask me when I was start putting my boots on. I just told her the truth, I didn't have any boots.
Well, the next day Old Mr Henry, (you know who he is, everybody had one in the neighborhood) caught me again when I brought his paper and he said to me, "Take this note to your folks and come back over here when you finish passing those papers." Oh man I knew I was in trouble. Old Man Henry sending a note to my folks. Funny thing is...I actually took the note to my folks. Times was different then I guess.
You know that note was to my folks asking them if they'd mind if he took my to the shoe store for a new pair boots. And so the story goes...
Well, the other day at Walmart I experienced something pretty cool. I was working in electronics and a young man probably about 13 years old came over asked for help with a bike. So we got the bike down and after I rang up the sale he gave me his money which was about $20 short, he did what most of us would do and kinda stammered and got a little embarrassed and ask if he could call his Dad. I handed him my cell and he called, but Dad didn't answer...about that time this other lady who'd been standing there, I thought she was his Momma or something came to the register and said she would cover the shortage. Well, the kid stood there kind of amazed and as we finished up the sale the boys Dad called back so I handed my phone over again and overheard the boy tell his Dad that "some lady" had already taken care of it. He didn't know her and she didn't know him, but both of them got a blessing from a stranger that day and so did I.
I hope that blessing is a memory that boy keeps forever.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I really am just a madman in a blue box.

The title of this post is  a quote from the Doctor Who episode titled, "The God Complex". It's a beautiful episode in which the Doctor finds himself having to deal with his own vanity in order to save himself and his friends from certain death.
I grew up in the 70s and 80s watching Doctor Who on PBS. Tom Baker was my Doctor and his adventures with Sarah Jane and Harry are far grander in my memory than they are now when I rewatch them. I have fond memories of those days and certainly I longed for as did so many others, a ridiculously long scarf with which to pretend to be the great Time Lord.
I have found the new Doctor Who adventures to be far more interesting because they delve into the pschology of this madman in a blue box. They seek to expose the underlying, hidden character nuances of the Last of the Time Lords.
I found that in The God Complex the good Doctor comes to realize just how much he really is like race of humans he so adores, in that he too feels the same need of self-affirmation that we do. He comes to see his need to be adored and  his own willingness to take great risks to be a hero so that others will adore him...and he realizes that all of it is indeed vanity....
Thank you to the BBC for giving us a program that makes us think.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Artistry of an Old House in Wellsboro Pa.

This wonderful old home in the mountains of Pennsylvania bares the signs and wear of being well over a hundred years old, but it also expresses the attention to detail and artistry of an age long gone.
Stained Glass and Etched Smoked Glass windows, Ornate brass door handles and plates, massive garden landscapes, mosaic tiles and lion head door knockers...just too interesting. I did not get to go inside, but Im told the woodwork is exquisite.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Doing Yard Work at an Old House in Town

Sweet old house in Wellsboro on which we have been doing yard work. There was an old rickety wood fence and a wrought iron fence around the front which really obscured the curb appeal. It is a work in progress as some of the pictures will show.
Second load of  debris. We hauled a load of brush to the township building to be recycled and some came  home to feed the goats. This load is going to find its way into reuse one way or another.

I just really liked these stairs. Wish I would have gotten some pics before we started cleaning up this area.

Another curbside shot. There were several small trees and bushes that we pulled out with the truck. That was kind of fun. Should have taken a video. Grr.

Some of the downed fencing.

There are huge bushes like this all over the property that I get to trim way back. More pics later.

Property has lots of old overgrown gardens. Must have been quite a looker in its day.

More pics soon.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No-Till Gardening video

Heres the video that didnt show up well in the previous post.

No-Till Gardening 2011

No-Tilling or Mulch Garden click link for video.
Alright, Im back. Short on time and late on planting. Trying no till gardening this year. Laid the onions out on the soil and covered them with leaves and hay. Theyre growing well. Hoping to get a good crop of large tomatoes this year. I finally got my potatoes put in on top of a thick layer of hay which we pulled from the goat house. Then I covered them with bags of leaves that I gathered a couple years ago during the fall clean-ups in town.
Using the hay bales with the hope that the chickens will be able to feast on worms and bugs living along the edges. Havent got the fence up yet, but working on it.
Last years pig pen is layered with great soil, but underneath it is very soft from the dozens of bags of leaves we dumped in there. Hoping the worms will compost it for me over the summer.
Lots to do this year.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Groundhog Day

Always a great thing to get this day in the past. Either way it means that Spring is coming. Today Ole Phil gave the good news of an early Spring, so jopefully we can put away this dreary cold, wet, dark winter very soon.

Monday, January 31, 2011

first harvest

Just thought Id pop by to mention that we harvested our first pig yesterday. It was kind of small, but wasnt getting any bigger. It was quite different than doing a deer. A little more difficult. I was hoping to get some leaf lard from around the kidneys, but there wasnt any. Actually there was very little fat at all which really surprised me. The skin didnt peel away as easily as a deer.
I kind of feel like I couldnt gotten more if I'd have had it done by a professional, but there doesnt seem to be one close by.
Oh well, it was nice to get the first one done. Now to find the time to care of the big one.
Theres a bunch of roosters that need harvested as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring is coming

I can feel it. Hidden beneath the snow the grass is just waiting. I was thinking about gardening today. Saw the marigold deadheads just waiting to get started. Eyeing my front "sun room" for how to oragnize the seedling starts. It wont be long now.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Wow. Its winter. Howd that happen.

Well, its winter time now. The gardens are doing their thing and resting. Ive got a couple pigs in one of them, but not for much longer. We'll be harvesting them soon. Im kinda not thinking much about the garden right now, though I should be. Last year was disappointing considering how the moles tore through so much.
I do need to redo the strawberry patch and Ill probably plant some more blueberry bushes. We planted some asparagus in the fall. Im hoping that comes through for us.
Plenty of snow on the groung and more to come. Icy temperatures this year. Cant remember ever being this cold. I guess itll help control some of the pests so thats good.