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Monday, April 18, 2011

Gotta Get This Garden Started

I started my garden, I am fully using the The Ruth Stout No-Work Garden Book methods, namely using a thick thick layer of hay for mulch, I purchased 4 bales of coastal hay, I didn't till my garden this year, I barely cleaned it up from last year's garden, I just knocked down the big stuff, I did rake out the seed heads from the carrots, I didn't want to save them because I found at least one wild carrot growing in the middle and they can cross pollinate and the seeds will make something other than the original carrots. Other than that, I didn't rake or till, I merely separated the bales and placed the fluffy hay all over my garden. The only place I didn't put the hay was the rock walkway.

I purchased 12 cherry tomato plants (I didn't mean to buy 12, I thought I only picked up 8, my mistake), I also purchased 8 anaheim pepper plants. I figured out where I wanted the plants, I hollowed out places for the plants in the hay, I dug up a bit of dirt and planted each plant, then I tucked the hay around the plants. Next I watered them in, I also watered in the rest of the hay to settle it and add some moisture to the soil.


Here are some pictures of the garden just before I worked it, after I laid down the hay (Thanks LL for helping me with the last bale!) and planted the plants.

This is the garden before the little bit of cleaning I did do. These 3 pictures, you can see the bean pods from last year, I just left them, if they sprout I'll be happy, if they don't, I'm not worried about it. Sorry about these pix being dark, it was getting dark before I stopped, I snapped a few pix before going in for the night.



This is the 4 bales of hay, pre-spread.


Here is Pekoe, wishing I would stop working and come in the sky castle for the night.

Here is the garden, post-spread. I used all 4 bales, honestly 3 would have worked, but I went ahead and used the 4th bale.



This cute little plant is one pepper plant, I planted 8 of them.



These are the tomatoes.




I'm watering the garden here, I took care of the plants then I watered the rest of the garden/hay to settle in the hay and add some moisture to the soil to make it easier to plant later.

Here is a quick video I took of Pekoe running in the hay, she loves doing that






All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Fires in West Texas

The fires were scary, we are still getting smoked out from time to time, but the smoke is from backfires being purposely set to deprive the fire of fuel. This fire started last Saturday, today was the first time since that day that I have been able to go into town, I was able to see the local extent of the fire, and I must say that it got closer than I even knew, it's amazing the amount of devastation from the fire. I am amazed at how many acres and miles of blackened earth I saw on my way to town. I did see a few burned buildings, homes and other structures.

I saw miles of destroyed fencing, this ordinarily keeps cattle inside, between the burned out fencing and the fact that many of the fences were purposely cut to allow the cattle to escape the fire, I saw signs from time to time that warned of loose cattle. I did see one dead cow on the side of the road, but it didn't appear to be burned, I think it was hit by a car.

I also saw how the ranchers out here come together to help one another, normally when going to town, I might see a few head of cattle here and there, you never saw very many in any particular area, today while going to town, I noticed that in several of the ranches that still had intact fencing and unburned grass, there were many times more cattle than normal, these ranchers had taken in the cattle that had no where else to go. It's heartening to see how people pull together in a time of crises and need.

I took some video of the ride to town, of course the videos do not do it justice, the miles of charred ground...
Normally I say "enjoy", but this time I'll just say "watch".

















All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Fire Update

Just a quickie update, there has been a huge fire in the area where I live, but we are fine, the wind was both friend and foe, causing the fire to spread super fast, but blowing away from our neighborhood. The surrounding towns were badly affected by the fire. Fortunately there was no human injuries or loss of life, there were losses in pets, livestock and wildlife. The neighborhood as well as the surrounding towns were without power for a good 24 hours, phone service was interrupted as well. Of course we had power from our solar setup, but no internet or any other source of communications. I was pleasantly surprised when the power came back on yesterday, I didn't expect to see power restored until today. After the power had been out overnight, on Sunday after church, we decided to try to save the food in our neighbor's house, we hooked up 3-100 foot heavy extension cords, strung them between our place and our neighbor's place, we plugged up the refrigerator, I was happy to hear the inverter running hard but working fine. Later in the day, I brought my laptop down to my neighbor's house, I unplugged the fridge and plugged in the satellite internet and was able to send out a few emails to worried family and friends before plugging in the fridge back up.

A few hours later, late in the day, the power and phones came back on, I had gone to our little store in the neighborhood and picked up a couple of bags of ice for a friend, when I was at her house, the power came back on so I didn't need to get any more ice for myself. I still have no internet service at my place, I assume there was some damage somewhere up the line, I'm hoping it will come back up soon.

We have major gratitude to the volunteer fire fighters and other officials who worked so hard to put out this fire and get our power back up and running. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people who lost homes and other structures, animals (pets, livestock and wildlife).



All written text from this blog are copyrighted and owned by Wretha unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved, You may download or copy for your own personal enjoyment, but please do not distribute without written permission. You may post a portion of this (or any) message from this blog on another site as long as you include a link back to this site and the original message.

Wretha,

Thanks for visiting!