Saturday, July 20, 2013

Country yard sales

I like yard sales. A lot of my little dust catchers come from them. I used to go to town yard sales. There are lots of cool things at town yard sales: clothes, toys, dishes, knick-knacks, get the idea. Since moving to, as my grandma puts it, "the middle of nowhere" I've discovered that country yard sales are much more diverse.
This shelf has three generations of yard sale and thrift store finds

 The last one I went to was a few weeks ago, at a neighbor's house. It was, in fact, the old man who gives me chickens from time to time. Lily and I browsed around for a few minutes and I saw the typical stuff you expect to see. There were a couple of infant car seats, some baby toys, some curtains, doodads and thingamajigs. Then the old man says, "I got me six geese. They're more'n half grown. Someone just gave me the eggs, 'cause their incubator was full, but I ain't got no use for them. I'll sell 'em to ya. Y'all got that creek down there...It'd be nice to see 'em when I drive by." (Now, when he says "geese" I flash back to my four-year-old self screaming and making a mad dash up a picnic table while a gaggle of geese, absolutely irate that I had dared to run out of stale bread, honked and flapped and chased after me. But then, I put on my big girl panties, told myself that I can always eat them if they're mean, and got over it.)
 We discussed price, $50 for them all, five females and a male. He couldn't remember what breed they were, but since they're "auto sexing" (you can tell the boys from the girls by color) I was pretty sure they're Pilgrim Geese. They go for about $15 each, for a day old chick, so $8.33/bird was a pretty darn good deal. He even promised to round them all up and deliver them to me. 
 See, more diverse. You just don't find geese at a town yard sale.
 So, he brought them over and we put them in with the goats and other birds. Everyone settled in quickly. Once they had been here a few days I picked names for them. I got lots of good ideas from my FB friends, but finally decided to go with Harry Potter names. Since the gander will be mostly white when he's full grown, I decided on Albus. Then I just had to decide which five girl names from the books I wanted to use. After much internal debate I settled on Minerva, Nymphadora (aka: Tonks), Hermonie, Ginny, and Luna. 
 And here they are...

Albus, Hermonie, and Ginny

Tonks and Luna


The whole Hogwarts Gang

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Confession time...

 Confession time...

 I'm back, after a long absence, to admit that the garden is (was I guess, because it's all pretty much dead now) an absolute mess this year. Plants didn't sprout. The ones that did were killed by one of several things: a freak freeze in May, bugs, being overpowered by my nemesis, Johnson Grass, being eaten by goats (pretty much every herb I had, except the apple mint), or the lack of rain. Laziness definitely played a part as well.
 Rather than focusing on my absolute failure in the battle of gardener vs. nature this year, I've decided to plan ahead for next year.

Step 1- Fire!

 Okay, I know it sounds a little extreme, but I'm that frustrated with the damn weeds. "Now Renee," you might say, "what did you expect when you tried to turn a pasture of Johnson and Bermuda grasses into a garden?" We'll, you've got me there. I absolutely wasn't thinking! Anyway, back to fire... When the few, sad, pathetic tomato plants finally give up and die we're going to mow it all down and then go out with a hose and a weed torch and burn all of the stubble away. (See, not as dramatic as it sounded...)

Step 2- Wooden frames

 Hubby is going to build me frames for my raised beds to help keep the weeds out! After seeing some of the roots on the Johnson grass he decided that two foot tall beds might deter the stuff. It has the added benefit of straightening out the mounded beds, which ended up all cockeyed. Once the frames are in place I'll put a couple of layers of cardboard underneath and fill it with screened topsoil and compost.

Step 3- Cardboard

 This involves going to three or four stores nearby and asking nicely if we can have their boxes. After they say yes, I will break down all of the boxes and pull off any tape before covering all of the paths with several layers of the overlapped cardboard. 

Step 4- Gravel

 Hubby has found a source for all the free gravel he can carry (isn't Hubby awesome?) so, over the several layers of overlapped cardboard, he will put down six inches or so of gravel. This will serve to hold down the cardboard and to keep the paths dry.

There are still some details to work out, but this is the current game plan.