Sunday, September 27, 2009

Weekend activity

Yesterday we all packed up in the car and went to the park. It was such a beautiful day. There is a lovely trail that goes along the lakeshore. The leaves are just starting to turn colors, although steady rains have kept everything pretty green.

Part of the trail goes over a small spring-fed creek. The creekbed is stained orange from the high levels of iron in the water. Right after I clicked this photo, my middle monkey said, "Now you can take a picture of me stepping on their butts, Mom." Dad put the kibosh on that idea toot sweet.

The boys tried to skip stones in the lake, but there weren't any good flat ones. So they amused themselves by just tossing big rocks into the water and hearing the 'ker-plunk.'

Hubby has finished fencing the chickens' run extension. Today they were let out into their new area, filled with lush green growth neglected by the mower for several weeks. We still have our eighteen chickens, the ones that survived the last dog massacre. The last hen, the one I wasn't sure was going to make it, has pulled through. She is missing one eye and walks with a wobble, but she is all right. She tends to hide in the coop most of the time though. Can't say as I blame her.

This afternoon Hubby and I dug out the last of the potatoes. I have to say I am disappointed with the harvest. I'm not sure if it was the excess chicken litter, the blight, our clay soils or what, but we didn't get a lot of potatoes for the 5' x 25' patch we planted. The barrow above represents about half of the total potato harvest. And I don't think these will store well. Lots of them have green spots or blight spots or were nicked by the pitchfork on the way out. The ones that aren't damaged don't have particularly thick skins.

Next year I will change the way I plant potatoes. One day last summer our hay guy told us about the way his father taught him to plant potatoes: dig a trench, put in a line of seed potatoes, and fill it with straw. Sounds good to me.

On the plus side, our green bean patch is still producing. And our pumpkins and brussel sprouts and rutabagas all look well. Plus I have some self-seeded rutabaga and snap pea seedlings growing. Looks like I managed to get a bit of a fall garden in after all.


Erin said...

Wow, what a great potato harvest! I would plant many more, but here in VA we have no basements and no good place to store them. I read about sinking a trash can below ground in the yard to serve as a root cellar, and may try that next year since if it works, it would allow me to grow many more things to use over the winter. Is that THREE boys I see? Wow, I only have 2 and get stressed, good job Mom! Great pics of your day, especially the one on the little foot bridge. Makes me miss MN, out here my kids can't reach into water under bridges for fear of Cottonmouth snakes!

Jo said...

Thanks Erin! Yes, three boys keep us busy. Someday they'll be old enough to help out around the farm... Let me know how the trash can root cellar works -- I've read about them, like you, but haven't heard any personal accounts.

Cottonmouth snakes?! Sounds scary. That's one good thing about MN winters -- it keeps most of the poisonous bugs and critters away.

nt moore said...

I tried the straw method this year and it worked really well. The harvest was normal, and "digging" the potatoes in July was painless (plus, the chickens loved all the bugs that were uncovered when I tossed the used straw into their run).