Sunday, May 26, 2024

November Hill farm journal, 212

 Getting back into my routine this week with daily gardening, mostly hand weeding the native beds again, starting with the upper terraced bed, which was overrun for some reason. I’ve been pulling weeds for three days and also cutting the tall goldenrod back by 2/3 so the summer blooming plants aren’t dwarfed. I’m pulling out some of the tall goldenrod too, but allowing some to stay for autumn forage. It’s a great plant but as I have noted many times, I made a big mistake putting it in any bed! 

Husband is catching up with some mowing in the mornings before it gets too hot and I started the daily groom and insect proofing of the equine herd yesterday, as we are definitely now fully in that time of year. All appreciate having their legs and bellies sprayed with the nontoxic but noxious spray I’ve been using the past few years. It works the best of anything I’ve ever tried and although they “improved” the smell, it is still not something you want to get in your eyes or nose. We do they spraying in the barnyard and I aim carefully. 

Redford donkey still doesn’t allow spray but was happy to have me apply Coat Defense powder to his entire body. It smells good and he enjoys the rub in part. Everyone looks good and were noticeably happier after the spa treatment. 

I think Cody is looking particularly handsome these days. 

Unfortunately I have not yet gotten his saddle on site and haven’t started riding. I was so excited for that and still am. It will happen. 

The volunteer elderberries are quite stunning right now:

All doing wonderful jobs controlling soil erosion, stormwater run-off, and providing amazing food and shelter for birds and insects. If I get my ducks in a row, maybe I will make some elderberry syrup or cordial or jam when the berries are ready!

I spotted the first Monarchs yesterday and am happy the milkweek is abundant and ready to provide food for the very hungry caterpillars. 

The large blueberry bush in the back yard is loaded and will be fun to pick from when the berries ripen. We also have many figs on the fig tree and will see if they ripen earlier this year as they did last year. 

The potager is looking very lush - I didn’t get photos yet but we’re harvesting lettuce, spinach, kale and have cucumbers and tomatoes on the way. Husband planted everything this year and has done a great job keeping it watered on these hot days. 

We’re all happy to see the barn swallows nesting in the barn and are all keeping a look out for snakes. I noticed a very long snakeskin outside the barn yesterday - we welcome the black racers and other black snake species but also always offer some help to the birds when we can. 

We have had bunny nests too and I think they’re all safely out at this point. 

While we were away, husband encountered (and relocated) a large copperhead in Poplar Folly and also an Eastern box turtle who was allowed to remain. I haven’t made any progress on my work back there but I’ll get around to it eventually. There is much to do and I’ll continue rotating around the farm doing some daily work without going into overdrive. I have committed to that and I’m sticking to it. 

I’m happy to have writing weekend coming up in June and also a reading of my work with Door=Jar which I’ll share this week. It’s online and anyone reading here is most welcome to join us there. 


Grey Horse Matters said...

Always so busy! I’ve been weeding too. Not my favorite job but somebody's got to do it. Cody is looking very handsome,hope you get to ride him soon.

billie said...

I think some of my tasks sound like I’m busy but the actual task feels like some kind of meditation. Weeding, like mucking, just ends up being me getting very singular in my thinking, almost like my brain gets so focused on that process it lets go of everything else, so I end up feeling like I had a break in a way. I need to go do some weeding right now as it is VERY cool out this morning, but I have clients, not my usual schedule, playing catch up after vacation, so I’m just relaxing with my coffee.

Cody is such a good guy. They are all enjoying their spa time with applications of things to keep them comfortable with our insect season here.