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Tomorrow is our last average frost date and it seems that we have gone from winter straight to summer, so we aren’t afraid of more cold nights.  After our weekly jaunt in to the Farmers’ Market for salad, asparagus, a bit of meat and some more pepper seedlings, we started on the garden to do list.  First up was removing the remaining 4 pods of the old compost bins.  They were constructed 9 or 10 years ago when the property had been purchased, but the house was only under construction.  My current compost bin is up from the chicken coop and serves me well.  The very large multi-pod bin was necessary when the gardens were just started, filled with composting leaves and horse manure from down the road.  They have served as temporary shelter for cull birds and last year for sweet potatoes, winter squash and pumpkins.  Today we deconstructed it.  SIL knocked it apart with a sledge, Daughter and I knocked nails through the boards and pulled them, dropping them in a bucket for later disposal.  Many of the boards are Chestnut and still sound, so they were stacked with the idea of using them to construct a more permanent meat bird coop.

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While we hammered and pulled, our helpers started on the weeding, to keep them away from the nails.  Unfortunately, SIL missed and swears my middle name must be Vlad as he impaled one of the smaller finishing nails through the sole of this boot and into the instep of his foot.

Once the wood was stacked, we tackled the former grape bed that had not been weeded very well last year and had many large clumps of Bermuda grass growing in it.  While Daughter and I weeded, SIL hauled rocks and put them in the tractor bucket.  Daughter was given her first tractor driving lesson today and by the end of our workday, was driving the tractor alone to dump the buckets of rocks onto one of the dozens of rock piles on the farm.

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The chickens loved having clumps of grass, chickweed, burdock, thistles and other greenery with roots tossed into their run.  They are still penned up, because we still haven’t moved all of the fence to keep them out of the gardens.

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Romeo standing guard.

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Today was a great start on the garden.  When it cools some tonight, I will set the peppers, tomatoes, and tomatillos in the beds prepared for them.  The former raspberry bed still needs further clean up, many volunteers pulled and weeds removed and we will get the beans and other seeds planted.  The barren end of the chicken run will be planted with winter squash, the area where the compost bins stood, we will plant the Seminole Pumpkins.  Until they get large, I will continue weeding the area between where the bins stood and the chicken run.  Sunflowers will be planted along the edge of the garden for their beauty and for the seed for the chickens.

Love this time of year, just wish it wasn’t quite so hot already.

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