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Time for an update

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Sorry I haven’t been around to post, life just gets in the way sometimes.  Mine sure has, however in a good way.  Tuesday Silver and I went to pick up a bathtub that a friend of ours bought and could not get themselves.  Their car won’t carry it and Tuesday was the last day they could get it.  So when we dropped it off we got to pick up their washing machine to use at our place.  We have running water they do not so, we hold on to their washer; they come here and use it when ever they need it.  I think it’s a good trade off don’t you?  I might get the laundry caught up by the time the kids head back to school.

small but GOOD!

If you can’t tell this is my “early” potato harvest.  Half of my potato experiment was totally died back.  Which were they “sprouters” from over winter.  So I went through and dug out that half of my experimental plot.

I have to say, I was surprised by the amount we got in this small space, that is a 12+ cup measuring cup.  Most of them came out as “yukon gold” types and only a couple came out as russests.

We had a lovely breakfast stir fay with these and, WOW; the flavor was wonderful.  As Silver commented, “they actually have flavor”.  He was very right in that statement, I have never tasted a store bought potato with such flavor in it.

I can’t wait to try out the German butter balls growing at the other end of the plot.  They are a “late season” type and they are still very green and healthy.

Look at that dirt!

Now, do you see this?  This is under the straw that we used to grow the potatoes, this is still in the “straw layer”.  Notice how dark it is?  It is already composting down.  As I “tore apart” the one side I guess you could say that I have “turned” the pile.

When all the potatoes are grown I will be adding our current compost pile to this straw pile and mix it good then cover it till next spring and hope it works the rest of the way and give me some compost!

Now for those of you who didn’t see the post explaining my potato plot back on Blogger.  All I did to grow them was take some left over composted goat manure from last year spread it thinly.  Poked the potatoes into the manure.  then once they started growing I covered them with as much straw as I could.

Neat thing about this is that as the straw does have seed in it still (yes folks so watch it) there was grass growing on the 2 feet of layered straw.  It was growing so thickly that the roots had formed a mat that was keeping it all still.  Now my soil here is not pretty it’s very hard clay with rocks scattered, we do have about 2 inches of good soil on top of that.  However, it seems I have helped my soil under the plot:

over 4 inches down!

I think this picture tells the amazing tale.  As I was looking for potatoes, I was digging down just in case.  Well, I got past the 4 in mark and I still had black dirt!  So for those of you who want to try to “fix” your soil maybe you should try a thick layer of straw.

Silver is considering once we have space cleared for our couple of “field” crops he wants to get some hay bales.  Yes, hay bales.  He wants to spread them thickly over our “field” area, give them a year to compost down then we rototill it in.

After seeing what straw has done to the ground under my potato plot I think it should help a great deal amending the soil here.  The soil here doesn’t even look this good under the leaf litter.  You should have seen the worms!  I swear with every scrape I made with that mini rake I found at least 3 worms.  So pretty and the dirt smelled wonderful too!

Now lets talk about my tomatoes and something I am wondering about with them.


These are the tomatoes in my back garden which are planted right in the ground with no support.  The only thing we have done besides they are in ground that was amended last year.  We gave them a straw covering the other day.  They have been doing very well.   I have said this before and I think I will keep saying it.

I am never going to buy another “pre-grown” tomato again!  These have done so much better than the ones I bought last year.  Those ones were this size when they died, and were not as lush looking.

Now look at this one:


This is one of the ones in my box.  It’s been getting EATEN!  I have only to date found 3 hornworms on these tomatoes, but they are also covered in aphids and stink bugs.  Now the ones in my back garden do not have any of those one them.  So I really do wonder why that is.

Now I will say besides the fact they are in a box and not the ground they only really have one difference.  I received in the mail a small packet of fertilizer, and figured; what they hay.  I put it in the tomato box.

Now I don’t buy fertilizer, but I also cannot stand tossing away something I could use that someone gives me.  So, now because these are being eaten up big time; I wonder.  Does fertilizer attract “bad bugs”?  My back garden has no fertilizer in it.  While my two Elderberries have gotten some when we planted them, they also had a minor bug problem that seems gone now.  So why would just that box of tomatoes be getting eaten up?

My potted Stevia is near those tomatoes, also my potted Dill, potted cukes, and my herb garden isn’t far from it.  So what else could be causing it?  Thankfully the plant is recovering from it nicely, but I’m not happy that I have had this happen.  I really do think it was the fertilizer that attracted the bugs to the plant.  I might be wrong, but it does not add up to me.

OK, I did some replanting in my back garden and a couple of new plantings.  Right now I have sprouting: dragon’s egg cukes, rice beans (again), and edible Crysanthimums(sp?), and some kind of melon (still not the Tiggers).  My squashes are still doing well and still no female flowers.  My lemon cukes have flowers on them.  I think I know for sure which tomato is the purple smudge as some of my still green ones have been developing purple on the bottoms.  I guess they start at the bottom and go up in color.

Now I want to share something that I read on Facebook this morning it was written by, Wayne Weiseman; and he stated to please feel free to share and pass it along and I am saying the same.  Please feel free to pass along and share this it’s so true and cute at the same time!

God said: “Frank, you know all about gardens and nature. What in the world is going on down there on the planet? What happened to the dandelions, violets, milkweeds and stuff I started eons ago? I had a perfect no-maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long-lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of colors by now. But, all I see are these green rectangles.”

St. Francis: It’s the tribes that settled there, Lord. The Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers “weeds” and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass.

God: Grass? But, it’s so boring. It’s not colorful. It doesn’t attract butterflies, birds and bees; only grubs and sod worms. It’s sensitive to temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want all that grass growing there?

St. Francis: Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing grass and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn.

God: The spring rains and warm weather probably make grass grow really fast. That must make the Suburbanites happy.

St. Francis: Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it grows a little, they cut it—sometimes twice a week.

God: They cut it? Do they then bale it like hay?

St. Francis: Not exactly, Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags.

God: They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?

St. Francis: No, Sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

God: Now, let me get this straight. They fertilize grass so it will grow. And, when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?

St. Francis: Yes, Sir.

God: These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work.

St. Francis: You aren’t going to believe this, Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it, so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it.

God: What nonsense. At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in the summer. In the autumn, they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. It’s a natural cycle of life.

St. Francis: You better sit down, Lord. The Suburbanites have drawn a new circle. As soon as the leaves fall, they rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away.

God: No! What do they do to protect the shrub and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?

St. Francis: After throwing away the leaves, they go out and buy something which they call mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves.

God: And where do they get this mulch?

St. Francis: They cut down trees and grind them up to make the mulch.

God: Enough! I don’t want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you’re in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

St. Catherine: Dumb and Dumber, Lord. It’s a story about….

God: Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis

Be well, Be Safe and Blessed Be…

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About rivenfae

A homesteading mom with 2 teens,12 cats, 4 dogs, a flock of chickens. small goat flock and a piggie. Also a dream of a sustainable homestead out in the woods of Missouri.

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