We are gardening on a dime this year! Look at all these seeds. Over 50 packets.
They were free! Faye, who works at the local garden center (aka grocery store, pizza shop, movie rental store, deli, hardware store, and so on–the little store in town), took them home from the store last fall and kept them in her fridge at home over the winter. They were going to be thrown out. They can’t sell last year’s seeds. Tim (who owns the little store) told her she could give them away! So Faye took them out of her fridge this week and back to the store–and handed them out. I love Faye. And Tim! Recently, they had a freezer breakdown and were going to throw away boxes and boxes of berries that thawed–Faye took them home for free and made cobblers for all her friends! (Including me!)
These seeds may not sprout as well as brand new packets, but they’ll do all right. Whatever we get out of them, they’re free. A whole garden full of free!
Last week, we got two tons of compost from the City of Charleston for $50. Not quite free, but that’s a lot of compost!
Two truckfuls. You know exactly how much compost that is when you’re unloading it one shovelful at a time from the back of a truck. Here’s the compost after it was spread around the garden.
Next we’ll take one side of the fence down and till the compost in with the tractor. We’ve got all kinds of other stuff we’ve been saving up over the winter, including poopy straw from cleaning out the chicken house and goat house.
I’m working on getting some things going in my homemade biodegradable seed-starter pots. Yellow and green peppers, cucumber, tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, eggplant, broccoli, cauliflower….
It’s still too early to plant in the ground here for most vegetables, but we’ve got the peas and lettuce fired up.
We are beginning Year Two of making a farm out of nothing. This 40-acre farm, wooded and long-abandoned, was once cleared land with crops and pastures wherever possible in the sloping landscape. Abandoned for at least 60 years as any kind of working operation, we had not so much as a tumbled fence post to start with to turn this land back into a farm. Our first year farm goals included basics like getting the house built, starting our chicken flock and goat herd, and establishing a garden. Last year’s garden was full of challenges due to top soil being scraped away during house construction. All that compost this year will help.
We also got quite a bit of fencing done last year, but more is on tap and soon. We need to get the sheep out of the goat yard and onto greener–and bigger–pastures.
Second Year Farm Goals:
1) Fencing and pastures for the sheep.
2) A better garden than last year! (And we’ve got 10 new fruit trees coming!)
3) Pigs. Yes, we’ve decided to get pigs! And, as if the planets were either in perfect alignment or completely out of whack because this is so bizarre, on the way home from picking up Morgan at softball practice yesterday the Ornery Angel stopped me on the road and out of the blue offered to give me a piglet. I don’t make this stuff up!
4) More chickens!!!!!!!! If they don’t cooperate and make some for me, I’m going to go out and get some! We lost a hen the other day. Have no idea what happened. Just went out to the chicken house and there she was, dead. No sign of any wound. Just….dead. I think Mean Rooster did it. In the lounge with a candlestick.
5) Goat babies of our own. (Please, Clover?) We don’t know yet if Clover’s pregnant.
Clover: “That’s on a need-to-know basis. When I think you need to know, I’ll tell you. In the meantime, I would like a pickle cookie. Just in case.”
6) Take control of the animals……….
Reminder: The Chickens in the Road interview will air this weekend on Inside Appalachia. (Saturday at 6 am and Sunday at 6 pm.) You can also listen to the interview online here at the West Virginia Public Radio website.