"Good intentions will always be pleaded for every assumption of authority ... the Constitution was made to guard against the dangers of good intentions. There are men in all ages who mean to govern well, but they mean to govern. They promise to be good masters, but they mean to be masters." - Noah Webster

"There is no worse tyranny than forcing a man to pay for what he does not want just because you think it would be good for him."
-- Robert A. Heinlein

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Spring Planting

Feeling good.  Feeling fine.  Spring is here and I get to get some sun.  I spent most of the day yesterday in shorts and no shirt, running around the yard doing various things.  We had 100 straw bales delivered two weeks ago and they are ready for planting.  We have our tomato starts and some more Swiss chard and other cruciferous types.  I've got some more strawberries; six more plants.  Most of the ones we had from last year wintered over nicely

Straw bales arranged for planting

I even got a couple of grape vines from the feed store and I'm going to plant them along the driveway.  I will need to put up a fence rail there for them. I got the only two vines left at the store.  One is Concord and the other is Fredonia.  Fredonia. Reminds me of the Marx brothers movie, "Duck Soup," and the mythical country of  Freedonia.

This time we doubled the straw bales side by side to achieve more stability.  Only one little row at the back is still single.  I also kept a couple of bales for the backyard for more herbs.  Then two more bales went under the porch for alternate bedding for the chickens.  Speaking of chickens, there are dandelions and other wild edible greens that are busting out all over and the chickens are loving it.  I will snatch up handfuls of dandelion and feed them through the wire.  I wish I could still let them free to eat what they wanted to, but I have to protect my plants, so we are back to bringing the food to them.  As I was digging out my corn and bean area I must have gathered a dozen or more grubs which I fed to the chickens and, of course, that is like candy to a little kid.
Leafy walkways that will smother the weeds

This season I am doing much better with the walk areas by piling on the leaves in a very thick fashion.  They will smother the grass and other weeds and as they decompose they will help hold in even more moisture between the bales and further condition the soil for next year.  The other advantage in doubling the bales is that we can do more of the companion gardening.  Twyla has been reading up on it and we will be planting marigolds with the tomatoes. I'll post more about that after we get more things planted.

I also plan to get some good things done along the steep slope in the back yard to have more things planted in the next few days.  I still have a couple of berry plants that were given to us by an English woman in North Carolina.  I planted a McIntosh and a Gala apple tree in the two front corners of the property and it is so nice to see the little green buds starting to sprout.

Even though it means lots of hard work for the coming days, I'm really excited about getting it done and seeing all of these things growing.  We went out to dinner with some local folks who are also big into gardening and we were talking about how there just is no comparison between the stuff you pick fresh out of your own garden versus the stuff from the supermarket. You have no idea how many days or even weeks that produce has been in transit or sitting in a warehouse or distribution center somewhere.  I wish I had a dollar for every time I've shared one of my own homegrown tomatoes with someone who claimed to not like tomatoes, only to hear them say with surprise, "You mean THAT's what a tomato is supposed to taste like?!  Wow!"  And the same is true for lettuce, spinach, cabbage, peas, beans, and corn.

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