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helwen: (Due Consideration)
A method used in dry places for watering plants with minimal water loss. The most popular searches bring up the terracotta pots (olla pots), from South America I think, but the method goes back to BCE times in China. And of course there's permaculture sites that talk about it as well.

The olla pots are not cheap. Even regular terracotta pots are not inexpensive, but sometimes you can find them at transfer points/dumps. Or look at the garden center for chipped ones -- they're going to be underground so who care what they look like? I've also found sites where people used regular pots and put the pot plate on top of the pot (just make sure there's a small hole in the plate), and sites where people caulked two pots together. Your local Freecycle may be a place to look for terracotta pots as well.

Water needs to be able to pass through the sides of the pot, so no plastic or glazed pots. Although I did notice that some people paint part of the pots sometimes - to direct the water flow I'm guessing.

I'm trying out a small pot in one of my pots, just because it worked out that I had space in a pot to do that yesterday. Didn't have a clay pot plate to use as a cover, so cluged a cover with an old CD and some Gorilla tape.

Plants still have to be watered, via the pots, but the release of water is more regular and if the pots are appropriately sized one shouldn't have to water as often.

Some sites for more info:

Info and diagrams and stuff:
http://tipnut.com/garden-irrigation/

The pretty version of pots but has decent photos of the process:
http://urbanhomestead.org/using-ollas/

Picture of pot with potplate: https://myfolia.com/journals/102148-completed-clay-pot-water-jar-irrigation-system
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Nearly all the plants indoors are now outdoors or on the porch (easy to enclose if it gets below 40F at night). I've a few more upstairs to move out, but it's too late in the day for that now.

Moving plants onto the porch entailed moving a bunch of stuff around or off the porch, then moving a table and a long bench onto the porch -- bit of work, but got it done.

Also transplanted a few new plants into pots on the patio: Petunias, Pansies, one Lady's Mantle (to keep my remaining one company), and a mix of leaf lettuces.

Did you know that Petunias come in black? I didn't know that until this past Saturday - now I have two of them :)

***

I've been looking for a couple of nearly-finished tent bags for a week or so now, then figured I'd probably have to move the plants to find them, and I was correct. Hate have so much stuff jammed into one space; now I have room to go through what's still in the dining room and get things sorted.

Hoping soon to either rearrange or otherwise make enough space in the trailer to move a coat rack into it. It's a lovely old thing with a center post and the rack is a spiral with acorn-like knobs to keep things separate. I've used it for a few different things but it really isn't fitting into the house anymore. Since we're working on insulating the trailer and making it more usable, a coat rack is an eminently practical addition.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
There are plans and then there is what actually happens...

I'd failed to note that the cabinets were also attached to each other, not just to the wall, so I had to empty all four of them instead of two and then two.

We then ended up setting up the deeper ones first, because they're stable enough on their own to just set up in the new spot. I re-stocked them yesterday. But before that, we were assuming we'd need to fasten them to the wall, so we looked at the wall and L realized that it was just sheathing for the pocket door that lets into the laundry room -- no studs. Plus the door frame was funky anyway, so he took part of it apart and re-assembled it. It's a bit more permanent now, and no worries about pulling the frame off with your bare hands.

The shallower ones aren't stable at all, especially with the under-cut on the front of the bases, so the board that had been used for attaching them to the wall needed to be cut down to the correct size for just two cabinets. I removed it yesterday after I swept down the wall where the cabinets had been - yikes, just a little dust! There were five screws in that board, but only one had actually hit a stud. O_o

L removed the spacer bar at floor level last night -- don't need it anymore, and hey, it might come in handy somewhere else. We've uncovered an outlet, and the surge protector that was plugged into it. I'm thinking I might move that to the living room, so I don't have to keep crawling in under the sewing machine to plug in my laptop.

The now-exposed wall will need spackling, a little sanding, and paint touch-ups. Fortunately the previous owners left all the leftover paint from all the rooms, and I was able to find the one that was for this room. And yes, there will be spackling -- the holes are from a couple of different things having been attached to the wall, and some of them were even used. Then there's the gouges at either end of where the board for the cabinets was -- L figures they put the board on the wall and _then_ cut the ends off to the proper length. Oy. I'm not a professional, and I definitely make mistakes myself, but wow...

Anyway, today L worked on setting up the shallower cabinets. Apparently there's a difference in level of the floor from one side of the room to the other, or something -- whatever the case, they tilted away from each other in the new spot. L considered shims, then checked to see if the door hinges can be reversed (they can), and tried reversing their positions, left to right. It worked, so they're now attached to the wall and later on the doors will be switched.

***

And yes, all the Ginger are now inside or on the enclosed porch, as well as some other potted plants.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Still playing catch-up, between being ill for weeks and then fall festival. Made it to one kung fu class this week though, which was nice. Currently working on a major move in the radiant/weaving room right now. There's a set of 4 tall cabinets on one of the inner walls -- this is modular stuff, so each one is like half a cabinet, as regards their width. The two outer ones are not as deep as the two middle ones. Anyway, they look nice where they are so we left them there when we first moved in -- then we hosted the Gray family Christmas, and while it worked, a little more walk-around space would be good. Plus now that we have the trailer, we have more options on where things can go.

So yesterday I finally had time and energy to empty all the wire wall shelves I put up on one wall, and the free-standing shelves next to them, and the costume clothing rack (so I could move it more easily), and another set of shelves that holds the weaving and other fiber arts books. Moved some things to the porch, made some space in the basement, etc. I've emptied the outer two cabinets completely -- I'll do the other two after I and/or we move the first two and re-fill them. The shallower ones are going against the long outer wall, near the barn loom, since they're about as deep as the shelves that were there. The deeper ones will go where the wire shelves/etc. were, which is part long outer wall and part laundry room wall (a corner). This will decompress that space a bit, plus put more insulation on the outside wall.

I'll be putting a couple of free-standing bookcases (short ones) where the four cabinets are currently, but they aren't as deep as the cabinets. The warping frame will hang over them. Might be able to put some of the wire racks there too, but not sure about that -- in total, I expect to lose some storage space in that room, but it's a little too jam-packed, and I need the mental as well as physical space to work in, so it's all good. Things have gotten really jumbled together over the years of moving and living in an apartment, so it's going to take a while to get it right.

Also have to get the ginger indoors today -- they've survived so far, but they can't over-winter outdoors and it's supposed to get down to 32F tonight.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
And, finally got enough new soil into the raised bed to put plants in there yesterday. Two tiny red leaf lettuce, a couple curly kale, and a bunch of swiss chard. Should be able to put row cover over it for protection easily enough, for autumn...altho' depending on how things go with the greenhouse, maybe I could move a couple of the chard in there for the winter. Added to the raised bed's walls more, too.

Stuck poles in the ground the other day as well -- defining a practice space for martial arts. Still need to make simple flags to go on top of them as markers.

Most of the turmeric and all the lemongrass are on the (enclosed) front porch. A few are still outside, because I thought they'd died and stuck some lemon balm in the pots on top of them (really, the rhizomes were tiny!). Anyway, they weren't dead, so now I have some turmeric growing with lemon balm -- the nice thing is, the lemon balm provided enough shade that the turmeric could grow in a sunny place. Anyway, will probably bring those in soon too, so I don't have to cover them at night.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Today I divided and re-potted the Lemon Grass (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cymbopogon_citratus). It was a little harder to divide than I thought it would be -- the roots crisscross more than I'm used to with grasses. I ended up with four pots, so they have plenty of room to grow. Depending on how things go with building the greenhouse, we'll see if I keep all four or find a new home for one or two of them come autumn. There is some citronellol in them, but not as much as in Cymbopogon Nardus, which is the variety used for making citronella oil, having a much higher quantity of citronellol and is not tasty at all.

I'm glad I have the c-- they will help a _little_ with dissuading mosquitoes, but still be nice for making tea. FYI, the base of the stalks are used in cooking. Lemon Grass is not frost hardy, so it has to be indoors here in the winter.

Lemongrass_2014

I also re-potted the 6-pack of Lavender I picked up at the farmers market this past Saturday. Really, I should get some more next week if I can, because they don't have the highest success rate in acclimatizing here. Eventually they'll go into one or two raised beds, most likely on the south side of the barn and next to the greenhouse, but they were getting quite pot-bound in that little 6-pack!

lavender_2014

The barn and greenhouse will give them some protection from winter winds, and a good southern exposure year-round, while still contributing to making this a less pleasant place for certain unwelcome insects to call home. Raised beds and/or really big planter boxes will be important because Lavender need decent drainage, which I can't guarantee in the land here. Also, they prefer alkaline soil, whereas most of Western Mass ground tends toward the acidic, so I can better control their soil needs in a bed or box.

I'm also looking forward to eventually harvesting lavender for the house; bundles of lavender, leaves and all, help protect your woolens. I won't be trying to make essential oils since you need thousands of flowers for that, but some of them will make their way into sachets for drawers.

I'm glad one of my old Lavenders is still alive; I was hoping more would make it, but the past few years have been rough on them. Now it will have the company of a whole bunch of youngsters.

***

The soil in my pots is a mix of whatever the plants come with, Coast of Maine potting soil (really good stuff, and only a couple states over from here), and local soil; a mix of past, present, and future :)
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Raised bed still isn't done -- did do some work on it, but fitting miscellaneous rocks together to form a wall is a bit of work. The veg can't wait though, so two tomatoes are in large pots, with two new ones awaiting their turn to be re-potted into big pots. They're going to be "topiaries" on the patio...

The red leaf lettuce, curly kale, and swiss chard are all in proper pots, which will at least buy me a little more time. Glad I traded or sold some of the swiss chard though (that's how I got 2 kale) -- even with only keeping half the 6-pack, I have 12 of them! The lettuce 6-pack only went up to 8 proper lettuce and 3-4 seedlings that might make it. I'd rather have too much swiss chard than too much lettuce, since we can (and will!) blanch and freeze some of that for the winter.

Also repotted the golden sage today, and divided the lemon balm from one pot into seven. I was going to just have one big pot of it, but turns out it's good for helping to keep ticks and mosquitoes away. Since I got bit by a tick last week, I'm a bit more motivated to plant things that will help discourage their presence. We have a lot of landscaping to do -- more like terraforming -- so I'll just work on increasing the amount of lemon balm and other plants in pots while we work on the yard.

Tomorrow will be dividing the lemon grass, and then if I can manage it, I'll work on the peppermint the next day. Fortunately I can do this on the porch and stay out of the sun.

***

Sewing, not a lot actually. I messed up the order I was supposed to put the layers for the obi in, so I've been working on fixing that so that the interfacing will actually be _inside_ when I'm done. If I don't mess something else up, I should be able to finish it today.

***

Sun. I have to stay out of it while on the doxycycline -- apparently that means my eyes, too. Got quite the headache when we drove down to S. Deerfield for baptism yesterday.

***

Staged some things in the family barn to get moved to the trailer -- nice, out-of-the-sun activity.

L did hours of fence repair yesterday. BiL R wants to put young stock in to keep the pasture down around the hay field, which hasn't been done for a few years, so it needs some TLC. Nephew C is also working on the fence when he has time.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Afternoon not bad, aside from losing track of time such that I was late calling my mom (she's doing well).

L had some serious downloading to do to get one of his older computers ready for a project, so we went to town to deal with that over lunch. I also brought some hand work with me, and finished another rosette flower## while there. Then we delivered some garden stuff to friend D in town.

L got a couple of types of oil for the chainsaw and got it unfrozen but it's dull. The guy who deals with stuff like that has a backlog, so we're going to buy a new chain but have him sharpen the old one and keep it as backup.

I did a little work on the wall and also tromped all over the hay, mulch, comfrey, branches, etc. to try to get it to settle and be more in contact with the ground. Dry matter that stays up off the ground takes a _lot_ longer to decompose (as in years longer, for tree branches). Watered the ferns and the rhubarb.

Then I came up to the future veg bed and did a little digging out of rocks and roots, as we've figured out we need more space cleared for the bed. Also, we really don't want stinging nettles in that area, so I'll probably be digging around that part of the barn for a while yet...

I didn't do a lot with the veg bed area because my hips started to bother me -- probably from tromping around on an unstable surface earlier! -- so I took a break and did Basic Stance form a couple of times, and then I cut some more Comfrey down and filled the garden cart. I have to bend over to do that too, but it isn't for as long as when pulling out roots and rocks, and I got to stand up after each cutting and walk over to the garden cart. L demonstrating using the corn knife, I think this morning? Or maybe yesterday evening. Anyway, it's easy to use and works very well for cutting Comfrey.

L's mowing more lawn as I write... There is more mowing than usual right now, as we're helping the next door neighbor with her yard. She's under doctor's orders to basically not use her arms or shoulders for anything strenuous, likely because it will aggravate the problems she's having with her back.

***

## - The fabric flowers will be for fascinators and maybe a small hat. I offered to teach a class on them, so I'm playing around with variations).

***

Maybe tomorrow I can get more surfaces cleared -- I'm trying to get things to the point that I can get the drawing table into the house, and take another shot at drawing. It's been on my mind more often of late, which I take to be a good sign.

***

Well, time to get up and do more stuff -- think I'll start work on the blue skirt...
helwen: (MacGyver)
A gorgeous sunny day! And no significant humidity either, so I can breathe freely and my laundry should dry quickly :) Haven't done too much yet outdoors today, but worked a bit on the future veg bed and laid plastic over it.

We're going to opt for larger stone for the walls of the bed -- something wide enough to sit on. I'll have to move the plastic later to cover the next bit of land or find another small piece to put next to it. I had found a huge piece of plastic this morning, but it would have been too much to handle alone, what with the breezes and all.

L cut down a bunch of the comfrey yesterday and filled up the garden cart; I took it down to by the brook and tossed it all on top of the mulch hay this morning; more to come. We're doing a fair job of taking yard cuttings and suchlike and turning them into soil.

The retaining wall is slowly coming along -- worked on giving it more form yesterday, although too soon after eating, which led to much distress for the rest of the day. Very thankful to be feeling better today! I'll try to do a little more on the wall today, as it still isn't high enough all along to put any of the fill against it. It's great to be working on recreating some of what was there before tropical storm Irene came along, and hopefully we're being true enough to the way the river flows to maintain it. We're essentially echoing the land that has started rebuilding in the river bed, but a bit further away from the water's edge to give it some working room.

Doing this all by hand takes longer, but I think it's better this way, because your work is more affected by what the land and water are doing than if you used machines to do the work, and so perhaps more natural in construction. In the case of a river that will swell with heavy storms, it's better to have a wall that is shaped to be compatible with the power of water. It's actually been kind of fun to build, even though I have to really struggle with some larger rocks, because I'm trying to build something that will be strong enough to hold the recreated land in place, redirect water if necessary, and also is not water-tight so that when we have heavy rains the water can drain through the wall. I've actually assembled some of it with gaps here and there that I then fill with smaller rocks/gravel and even sand and dirt. This again echoes what the river is doing, but at an accelerated pace -- and with fewer rocks in the top layer where I want to plant a garden...

Oh, I also moved some of the ginger plants outside this morning. I need the space indoors for other things, like the new baby tea plants, which have been in perhaps too shady an area. Hopefully the new spot will be better for them.
helwen: (Steam)
Well, I was doing pretty well with the posting and then suddenly stopped. Phoo.

So! I've continued to muddle along on the sewing. Finished making both the silver and black kimono, still working on embroidering the mon.

Ironed the old black silk hakama today -- they're not in too bad shape, one little tear near the bottom of one leg (mendable), and one tiny burn hole at about knee/upper calf height (not mendable because it would show too much). I made them for when Kai and Genevieve were king and queen and were doing Japanese for their reign. The burn hole surprised me, but I did wear them to Pennsic, so at some point I was too near a fire apparently.

Converted my old white skirt (from when I used to do garland dancing) into knickers for the Loli outfit. Pictures later.

Shortened an old SCA skirt, as the bottom edge was frayed and ragged from being over-long -- part of doing a Spanish well-to-do look. Added gold bullion fringe near the hem so that the bottom of the fringe is at the hemline but it has the fabric in the background to add substance and depth to the fringe. Lyle and I went to a Steampunk party at the Springfield Museums -- great music, fun crowd, great art, and all for $10 for both of us.
Steampunk Party Spfld

Finally mended the leg seam on the silky pants that go with our old Chinese Tai Chi outfits. Also discovered a repair I needed to make on my long petticoat, so that's done too.

***

Still working on clearing an area for part of this year's veg garden, but with all the rocks in the soil I can't work on it for very long periods. The goal is to also clear out the grass to the south of this area for the herb garden. Making progress but feeling a little discouraged because it isn't done yet. I need to get out there again today, if only to harvest some stinging nettle, but going to try doing a little more digging too.

L has helped when he can, but he's also been working on keeping the pasture down, clearing all the old plant debris and digging out stumps, removing some of the fencing, etc. The fencing's quite a job, with not only posts to remove but also the fencing is well stapled and/or tied to the posts, and the fences that were still standing had rocks holding down the bottom edge -- underground. Might not have started out that way, as the fencing isn't new, but hard to say. The fencing that's down is this pile that got partly taken down and rolled into a messy pile and left there, and then brush and brambles grew through and over it. I started the work of getting it out and L has continued it. Some of the fencing is salvageable and some not so much.

We gave some of the neighbor's garden stuff away. More to go. The greenhouse is mostly empty.

The grass is growing now, and L has done some mowing already.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
I haven't been posting much here since we moved, in part because LJ is always signing me out -- even when doing something as simple as clicking on someone's post to comment or read comments. Turns out LJ uses some sort of dynamic loading process for their pages, which is not compatible with satellite. Satellite uses caching.

So posts will have to happen when I'm in town -- not a horrible problem, except for trying to remember to put any pics I want to upload onto my laptop first...so, still no pics of anything today.

***

We harvested some sweet dumpling squash (winter squash), and continue to harvest swiss chard and kale for fresh use. One blueberry bush still has berries on it, so I continue to harvest a handful every so often. The dark blue/purple of the berries is quite striking against the red of the turning leaves...

Finally got 10' x 12' area cleared around and in front of the 3 extant blueberry bushes (yay field grass and nettle roots - not), and finished planting 3 new blueberry bushes yesterday...only took a week and a half Just needs bark mulch and I can call it done for this year. Well, unless we get one more bush so it's a complete horseshoe shape for the planting pattern...

Also yesterday, L took a neighbor's tree most of the way down (just a bit of trunk left, and some more clearing of debris from cutting it down). It was smack up against the house, so it really needed to come down; we're trading labor for that for the bags of bark mulch she'd bought for use on the piece of our land that directly abuts her yard. She's been taking care of it with the previous owners' permission -- we're going to take back care of it, and the mulch will come in handy, so it's a good trade.

I did some work on moving stones to the side of where we're going to put in a grove. Found an interesting rock buried at the center of the area...L thinks maybe a type of feldspar, but we really don't know. I took pics yesterday but the lighting wasn't good; going to try again today.

***

Work on the barn has been at a virtual standstill all summer, with L too busy with work and helping out at the farm. He did fix one door, and has figured out the measurements for the barn stairs. We could use someone working on the barn, but the carpenters we have been checking with are all too busy. Given the "wonderful" job the seller's carpenter did on the basement stairs, we're reluctant to use anyone we don't know.

Speaking of those, one of the carpenters we know will finally have time to build the new basement stairs next month!

***

Chicken population continues to decline (age), and we're slowly working on clearing out one of the rooms so we can bring in more chickens. Hard to find the time, with another haying, and fall festival, and harvesting, but hopefully very soon we'll have more hens...

***

Not having a booth this year -- will be helping L out with the maple cotton candy again. I'm also helping out with festival prep at the farm -- candy wrapping, and the like. A little extra income is a welcome thing.

***

Still doing kung fu, of course. Not every class and not every day, but keeping on and getting a little stronger as time goes one.
helwen: (Due Consideration)
Last weekend we moved 45+ potted plants over. I still have stuff from the previous move of plants to put in the ground -- a few daffodils, a bunch of iris, Jerusalem artichokes, and the hops. Hm, and maybe a little more Lady's Mantle. The black currant is doing well, where L put it. Of the potted plants I put in one of the gooseberry bushes and L hacked out a hole so we could get one of the elderberry bushes in. It's getting late in the season for planting elderberry, so hopefully the other one can go in today or tomorrow. L's been hacking out a clump of baby trees/bushes that have been doing battle with each other, where we'll put just the one bush, thanks.

Quite a bit of rain over the past couple of days, so the only gardening I've done is identify one of the garden weeds. It's garlic mustard, which is an invasive. It's also edible, so I'll try to harvest a little for eating, but mostly I plan on eradicating as much of it as possible before they all go to seed. Native butterflies are affected, both by the fact that the eggs they lay on these plants don't thrive and because the garlic mustard is crowding out the native plant species the butterflies depend on. Trying to restore a little balance to our tiny corner of the world...

Looking at some plants to place near the river, to help stabilize the banks and maybe give us some side benefits as well. Looking at diamond willow, osier/basket willow, and bog myrtle/sweet gale (myrica gale). Also looking for fiddlehead ferns and maybe some American sweet flag. Nasami farm in Whately has loads of native plants, so hoping to make it there this year -- and sooner rather than later, but we'll see. May is a busy month.
helwen: (MacGyver)
Dancing at The Magic Portal* last night was definitely fun! And I learned that once I'm warmed up enough, I can wear high heels without it causing a lot of problems. Started out dancing in flats for the lesson part of the evening, then switched to the heels.

And yes, I did find a dress to wear, altho' once again, I'm very happy I have a dress mannequin now, as it made it possible for me to re-do the strap attachments in back so that the dress lay properly -- otherwise I would've had to wear a jacket to cover that bit up and it was quite warm last night!

Legs are doing pretty well, neck and back are pretty stiff though. Salsa is quite the work out. Despite that, managed to plant the peony and some daffodils this morning.

*The Magic Portal is a Thursday evening gathering at Elmer's Store in town. Skilling/Re-skilling happens ~6:00 - 7:30 p.m., then entertainment of various sorts from ~8:00 - 10:00 p.m. Entertainment last night was a chance to dance after the lesson, but is sometimes jamming or open mike. New thing started by some folks in town this past winter. L and I have learned some things there and have also taught a couple of times (taught rounds (both), fingerloop braiding (me), useful knots (L)).
helwen: (Due Consideration)
http://www.gardenguides.com/taxonomy/sweetflag-acorus-americanus/

Thinking about putting this in the yard. Native, drought- and shade-intolerant. I'd like to put it near the river, but much of the sunny bank areas are under-cut and raised up, so I don't know if they're damp enough. I could put them in the sunny part of the lower field, which is pretty darn boggy right now, and isn't as high up as some parts of the river bank. But if I could find the right part of the banks to put them, they might actually help to stabilize the bank.

Gardening

Aug. 18th, 2012 04:13 pm
helwen: (Default)
Gardened for a few hours, not sure if it was a lot done or not -- staked and/or tied up some tomatoes, fed tomato horn worms and some Mexican Beetle larvae and beetles to the chickens, picked some blueberries, yellow waxed beans, Cranberry Vermont beans, Amish Paste tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash, dispatched a few squash bugs, and weeded some. That said, I covered a very small part of the garden -- much more to do, and not quite enough energy to do it. Maybe in a couple of hours I'll go back out...

I wasn't sure if the Cranberry Vermont beans (a dry bean variety) were ready to pick because mostly they aren't the deep cranberry color, but some plants that got flattened by tall weeds in one part of one of the rows had started to grow from seed pods that had gotten squashed against the ground, so I guess I can pick them now, before the Mexican beetle larvae eat them all.

This has been a rather pestiferous year. I don't think I've had to work this hard on removing eggs, beetles, worms, etc. ever before, and at that quite a few of them will survive, I think. After we've finished harvesting L will need to till the whole garden. Not my preference, but we can't let all those critters winter over in the mulch.

Hugelkultur

Jul. 5th, 2012 06:10 pm
helwen: (MacGyver)
http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/ (the how-to basics)

http://www.nwedible.com/2012/03/half-ass-hugelkultur.html (one of the links in this article is the one I posted above)
helwen: (Default)
Watered south garden yesterday morning -- got a late start so we were out there from about 9-11. Did some weeding as well, so that the water would go where I wanted it.

Also had to -- again -- find plants that had been dug up and try to save them. There's a dead raccoon by the edge of the road as of yesterday, so we can only hope that he/she was the perpetrator of the destruction. Not sure if one of the tomato plants will survive yet...

The bush delicata seeds have survived being dug up repeatedly, at least 3 between the two mounds, so I have hope. The mound of those I'd planted earlier have at least 3 up. We also have a few zucchini forming. The kale continue to flourish and the cabbages are also coming along. Beans always do well, although the wax bean my MIL likes aren't doing quite as well as my Cranberry Vermont ones -- somebody's been nibbling on the leaves... Even the peas are doing pretty well.

L started work on planting the meal corn, as well as continuing his work of bringing mulch out of the barn. He also cut down the grasses and stuff around the row of potted bushes at the east end of the south garden, plus clearing around a baby asparagus that each of us has been re-discovering all spring. TropStorm Irene continues to do us no favors into this year...

I finished up removing the lawn around four blueberry bushes and squaring the cleared ground around them (2 pairs, by distance from one another), L hammered in posts and we put bark mulch around them. Next is getting netting to cover them, as apparently this is an excellent year for blueberries!

My older Gooseberry is also bearing well, as is the black currant. The latter are a bit tart/sour, but excellent for jam makers. Or maybe a nice sauce of some sort?

L recovered a few of the strawberry plants and we've been sharing that little bounty the past couple of days.

Managed to water the ginger plants, most of which are still in pots, as well as the potted herbs before the end of the day.

As always, too much to do, but it's nice to see the garden looking good.

****
This morning I got out there by 7, with L joining me a bit later. We finished working on the part of the field L had started yesterday for the corn.
helwen: (Default)
Thoughts on this site?:

http://www.witchipedia.com/

[EDIT]: Just found this -- http://www.amazon.com/Cunninghams-Encyclopedia-Magical-Herbs-Series/dp/0875421229

****
Any book recommendations?

****
Just starting to look into this in more depth...

I'll also be ordering a book on herbal medicines: The Medicinal Herb Grower by Richo Cech

Possibly also these: Planetary Herbology or The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra and Healing Wise by Susan Weed

[SECOND EDIT] Whoot! I really should just look at my own shelves sometimes... I went on a book-buying spree a few years ago and then didn't have time/energy to really read a lot of what I'd gotten.

Now on my reading list: Encyclopedia of Natural Magic, by John Michael Greer
helwen: (Default)
http://www.alchemy-works.com/calluna_vulgaris.html

Well, the plant actually, after which I was named. Had no idea it was used for so many different things! The heather ale I knew about (recipes today are suppositions on how it might have been used in the times before the English banned it in Scotland, in order to promote use of hops)... but rope-making?

Some of our local wildlife would like it too, so I might see about introducing it in a few spots on the hillside, as well as in the garden. But, I think I'd rather get it as a plant, not seeds...

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helwen

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