Thursday, May 26, 2016

November Hill farm journal, 7

Warm weather has finally arrived. We hit 86 degrees here yesterday afternoon and it's forecast to be. 91 today. I went out at mid-day to clean stalls and feed Keil his lunch tub, and to top off water buckets. It was warm enough to offer showers to horses and the pony and all three appreciated the cool water in the shade of the oak tree outside the barn.

We're starting to dry out from all the rain last week. The arena and the pastures are at a perfect point between wet and dry right now, offering a slight cushioned give underfoot that I think might feel good to a horse's bare hooves and to their joints.

I'm pleased to say that dear husband cut the weeds down in the flower beds and I have a grand plan (even while my last grand plan lies still unfinished in the form of saplings cut and still waiting for my fence project) to put down layers of thin cardboard topped with half soil/half compost. This should help with knocking the weeds out and claiming new areas adjacent to both beds that would give me much more room to expand. As if I need it! But it will cut down on the weed eating that has to be done in those areas and prepare the beds for something new. I'm thinking pollinator garden modeled after the one outside our local co-op.

We have a wild muscadine volunteering in the back yard. I have ideas about building a simple structure to give it space to grow without tangling along the fence.

In the vegetable garden I'm seeing the first yellow crookneck squash. The broccoli is ready to harvest and we still have lots of lettuce and rainbow chard. There were some kind of greens in the back of the chard and broccoli bed that got totally eaten by unknown insects. I admit I became mildly obsessed with the pretty lacy pattern that formed as the insects munched and so I did nothing to deter them. Each morning a bit more had been eaten away. I figured if I let them have those leaves maybe they would leave everything else alone. That either worked or they only eat the mystery greens anyway!

And though I know these were insects I can't help but smile thinking of fairies or little garden trolls out there snipping away with tiny scissors, making lace for dresses or to sell at the fairy farmer's market.

Everything else is growing steadily. Now that the heat has come we'll need to get back into the habit of watering. 

I also found tiny oak seedlings which I considered transplanting to the sunny corner of the barn. I ponder - shade in a very hot spot during the summers and shelter from wind and rain, but more leaves to rake and acorns to clear out. And then remind myself that these tiny oaks would have many years to go before that becomes an issue.

Lest it seems all I did yesterday was create new projects for myself, I promise that I spent some time sitting in the red chair in the grass paddock watching the trees and letting the sun turn my arms pink. I walked to the mail box and stopped along the way to admire the wildflowers along the way. 

I even stood and waited and sent thought requests to Keil Bay to walk to a spot in the barnyard spotlighted by the late in the day sunshine. And when he did I called him Sunset Bay.


Grey Horse Matters said...

I give you a lot of credit for having such a wonderful garden.mi don't have the time, know how or patience to grow anything. Love the picture of your Sunshine Bay.

Grey Horse Matters said...

Whoops, I meant Sunset Bay!

billie said...

I'm lucky that dear husband loves eating from our garden and does a lot of work in it. It's something I love doing but it requires some commitment of time. I feel like I never get to everything in a day - but by the end of a week I've gotten to most of what needs doing around here - at least the things that HAVE to get done. The special projects are all floating around like balloons for the day I have an extra hand to grab one and make it happen. :)

Matthew said...

I have a theory about how that wild muscadine got there...


billie said...

What is it? Did you plant it there?