Friday, September 8, 2017

Garden Friday

It's Garden Friday once again.
The veggie garden is moving right along.
I just had to show you my maters.
Hopefully, these will end up in our kitchen.
I had one, solitary Cherokee Purple growing,
and wouldn't you know it,
I found it near the garden with bite marks on it.
I put some white sheets around the remaining tomatoes,
hoping to scare off whatever critters are feasting on my veg.
I haven't yet found a resource for shade cloth,
but that will be something I will try to have at the ready come spring.

The straw bale garden idea is coming together.
I recently shared that the straw I bought from a big box store
turned out not to be organic
(it hadn't occurred to me to ask ahead of time),
so I temporarily scrapped the idea.
Then something wonderful happened.

I used these feed sacks that I got from a fellow vendor at the farmers' market.
I knew I wouldn't be making daisy totes out of them
(it's hard to get the dog food smell out of the bags),
but they could still be repurposed to help me with my new project.

I split them open and laid them out, side by side.

The non-organic straw could still be used as mulch over the top of these sacks.

It should do a great job of killing the grass in the area
and be the perfect foundation for my straw bale garden.
I'm not a grass fan (unless you count fountain grasses),
so I have absolutely no qualms about getting rid of it any way I can.
Why take care of grass when you can plant things
 that take care of you?

Ready to add the organic straw bales.

 It only took two of the four bales I had bought to cover the sacks.
With the remaining straw,
I'll either add another row for planting,
or use it as mulch around the property.

This area of our side yard (our backyard is unusable for growing),
gets sun almost all day, so we're hoping the garden thrives.
Eventually, I hope to fence it to keep out the critters.

Ginger is quite the mess!
 Here's the something wonderful!
 Miriam, over at Cookspride Wilfong Farm, sold me some organic straw.
She sells organic produce and plants at the Mooresville Farmers' Market
where I hawk my daisy totes.
She and her son David were kind enough to set me up with 6 organic bales
so that I could get started with my new endeavor.

 Knowing that rain was expected,
the bales were placed on top of the mulch
so that they could soak up the showers.
Once they get wet, they are difficult to move.

This is the formation I decided to use.
I've read that it can be problematic to place them right next to each other,
so I opted for keeping a bit of space between them.
Since this is just an experiment,
I know I will be tweaking my next design in the springtime.
I plan to put some rebar at both ends 
so that I can string baling twine along the side for my snap peas.
I'll also add shorter rebar next to the insides of each bale for support.
If you use the traditional straw bale design, these steps aren't necessary.

I'll be conditioning the bales soon 
so that I still have time to get some fall and winter crops in.
Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts, Kale and Snap Peas will be sown here.
I'm looking forward to seeing how it does.
It's always fun to experiment in the garden.


This is our compost pile.
It was started before we bought the place,
and we've just continued to use the same spot.
It needed a bit of cleaning up,
so I spent an afternoon working on that.

I raked up quite a nice leaf pile
so that I could easily add leaves to the kitchen scraps that get added here.

I'd noticed the bin on the left when we were originally looking at the house.
How thrilled was I to discover what it was?
A compost bin.

Doesn't look like it was used at all,
but I planned to change that.

I wasn't too happy with having to climb under all the tree branches
to get to it.
It definitely needed to be relocted.

I found a sweet spot near the established pile,
but easier to access. 
Easy peasy.
A compost bin has always been something I've wanted,
but seemed to be on the bottom of the purchasing list.
Too many other things took precedence.
What a fabulous surprise to discover it came with the house!
I'm curious to see how quickly it turns our additions into black gold.
I'm still considering constructing a 3-pile system in the spring.
We'll see how ambitious I am feeling by then.

The homestead is coming together.
We feel so blessed to be living here.
We are praying for all those affected by the approaching storm.
We may get some of the effects,
but being inland, we are hoping for the best.
Please keep our friends and neighbors in Florida in your prayers.

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