Yesterday I played, all day. After the spin in and potluck, I came home and finished the last few yards of the Finn X Jacob roving and started plying it with the Red Tunis. I ended up with 230 yards of lovely yarn to add to the 202 that I had previously spun.
Today Jim took off on his motorcycle around 10:30 a.m. and I started on some house cleaning, trying to rid the house of a few pounds of dog hair. I took a break for lunch and then tackled outdoor chores. Mowing first on the tractor around the house and between the house and barn, then with the lawnmower to get closer to the house, around the garden and chicken pens and also around the fruit trees. The tractor will do most of the orchard, but not close to the trees.
Yesterday at the spin in, one of my friends gave me a handful of sweet potato slips, both white and orange and I put them in water overnight to perk them back up.
I wasn’t sure where I still had space in the garden and I still hadn’t planted the Seminole Pumpkins and the winter squash and while I was working I had a flash of inspiration. Last year when I started raising chickens and bought straight run chicks from Tractor Supply, I ended up with more than my share of cockrells and needed to do something about them until our eldest son could come build the chicken tractor. I lined one of my 4 compost bins with chicken wire, put a tarp over the top and fenced in pen in front of it. I was delighted that they cleared all of the weeds out of it. This year when I got the 10 Buff Orpington chicks and divided the coop into keepers and culls, I again employed the compost bin idea, but put the chicken tractor in front of two of the bins then used two sides of the coop run as two sides of the cull pen and added some more fencing to give them a run too. Again, they cleared all the weeds for me. There is still more than a foot of good composed horse manure mixed with chicken manure. I moved the chicken tractor parallel to the coop, changed the fence arrangement, taking away some of their space, but still giving them a good grass area and two compost bins to scratch in.
This opens up the two compost bins that they have so kindly cleared for me, leaving me only two young pokeberry and one burdock to dig out. The bins were forked deeply to blend the chicken manure into the compost and to turn any seedling in and planted 14 sweet potato slips in one bin and the pumpkins and winter squash in the other.
Two more 5 X 5 foot beds instantly with nice rich soil. Now hopefully, the flea beetles will leave the sweet potatoes alone and the squash borers will leave the pumpkins and winter squash alone. They will all be nice additions to the fall harvest. The chickens are doing a nice job of breaking up some large stalks in the other two bins and dispatching the weeds. I do need to dig out some pokeberry and burdock in them.
Tomorrow, I am finally going to put the tomato starts and most of the pepper starts in their beds.
For now, I’m tired. Tomorrow is another day I can work the garden while Jim rides his motorcycle to meet our youngest son and maybe his family for lunch a couple of hours from here.
Life is an adventure on our mountain farm.