Thursday, March 3, 2011

Spring Sprang

I always seem to find myself here when I have multiple other things that are more pressing, but alas, I'm here so I'll make it quick.  :-)

 Yesterday I had a positively glorious time playing in the dirt, with at least 1 little helper most of the time.  We ripped out most of the arugula and some older lettuce, kale, collards, and mustard greens.  The goats were happy to take the cast offs from my sweet helpers' hands.  We filled multiple wheelbarrow loads with compost and refreshed the beds.  One particular bed ends up quite shaded in the winter.  I've had it covered with a billboard tarp since November.  I peeled back the tarp to find grey beach sand.  Nothing more.  I've been planting and ammending that bed for 3+ years now, and its still basically beach sand.  Its also no surprise to see roots like these on the mustard greens.   
The little blobs in the roots indicate nematodes, a horrible menace to the Florida gardener... and very little to realistically to about them.
So after ripping out the old plants, adding fresh compost and mixing it in some, we transplanted- something the farmer girl has really come to enjoy.  I love having her little hands working with me.  Farmer Boy 1 enjoys it too, but the temptation to pitch dirt in the air is sometimes too much for him to handle.  FB2 likes to just wander around the garden carrying off any tools someone else is using. 
We transplanted an entire bed of cayenne peppers (hoping to trade the fruit for a drink concotion that is helping several friends and family members), a good number of bell peppers, the last of the big tomatoes and lettuce, Black Valentine pole beans, huckleberries, wonderberries, cucumbers and eggplant. 
What remains in the garden now for today's eating are collard greens and lettuce.  What remains for seed production purposes are a few old lettuce plants, arugula and bok choy.  Aside from what's noted about as recently transplanted, we also have yellow squash, zucchini, bok choy, swiss chard and peas in the still-growing phase.  There are still a good number of things not quite ready to transplant, but more about those next week.

Next we planted seeds:
For the pretty patch: cosmos, marigolds, zinnias, morning glory and sunflowers.
For the eating: Sugarlee watermelon, Chinese Red noodle beans, cherry tomatoes (lollipop, sungold, and chocolate cherry), and basil (genovese, cinnamon, and lettuce leaf).

On the animal front, we sold Rocie and Poncho.  After not being able to sell Willy after weeks of having him posted on Craigs List, I started early this round... they were gone the first evening.  Truth be told, I wasn't quite ready.  When I got the call that the buyers were on their way, I quickly rounded up the kids for a photo shoot.   How many beautiful mornings had the kids been in there playing with them and though I'd stop to admire the abundance of cute, I never grabbed the camera.  These pics aren't too great as the light was fading and the goats were hungry (hence eating farmer girl's hair), but its something. 

Esperanza is still big but not looking particularly "due".  Helen is bagging up more so my guess is she's the next birth.  We'll be spending all day on Saturday on the "Bachelor Pad" despite the huge amount of gardening work to do.  A place to put Copper after Helen kids is essential.  She's had way too many babies too close together.  If we don't get the new section fenced we will simply have to find another home for Copper fast.  She got pregnant 4 weeks post-pardum last time.
Back to work now.  Thanks for the break in cleaning.  :-)

1 comment:

  1. Okay, we are giving up on homesteading for the time being, but my husband and I are seriously considering moving to Florida in 5 years or so. We came down for vacation a couple weeks back and someone told us Florida wasn't a nice place to raise children. Is that true? He mentioned the grass was saw grass and hurt little one's feet, that it was too hot for little ones in summer, and so on and so forth. Any thoughts on that and are you all north, mid or south Florida? Please respond on my blog so I can get your answer, I'm super interested. Also, what do you do in the very hottest months with your garden? Do you use shade cloth?