Sunday, December 2, 2012

Still Here. . .

. . .But not posting much. What will follow may be construed as excuses or reasons.  Take your pick.  Just some thoughts on the Suburban Sharecropping/urban growing/turkey raising experience.

I've been thinking of the gardens, probably because I haven't been able to be in them much.  Maureen has been doing the Lion's share of the work, tho I did help with the weeding.  The bermuda and weeds had gotten out of hand and we had to resort to a herbicide (for the first time and just in the walkways) and a lot of back-breaking work to clean the beds.  It is now a much better looking garden. Sorry no pictures at this time, and no 'before' pics because it was just plain depressing there for awhile and we both avoided even going over there....which just compounded the problem. Benign neglect makes for much weeds.

Another project has been the patch of grass that will be a fruit tree bed in the future.  We had removed all of our grass in our yard to put in vegetable gardens.  This was a dirt area the dogs liked to lay in and play in, so we thought to make it a bit more presentable for us and comfortable for them.

You can see by the progression of the pictures what happened.  I don't have pictures of the final result.  But between dog urine and thinking sod was a chew toy, you can guess the result.  We even sodded it again for Betty's memorial and it looks worse than ever.  Lesson learned and onto Plan C.

After last year's turkey harvest, we bought a frozen bird this year.  Not that we won't try that again; we just didn't plan ahead. Soup, our turkey hen, has become too big and tough to harvest, so for now she is guarding the chicken hens. We also heard that there is something in the turkey manure that is beneficial to chickens and a preventative for some disease.  Still looking into that. (edited by Maureen ~ Steve is putting off harvesting 'Soup' because he has become attached to her benefits to the other birds might just be rationalizations.)

That's Soup on the left.  She got into the nesting box and couldn't get out...often.  We eventually had to block the bottom two boxes to prevent another stuck turkey.

We had a pretty good garden harvest this fall. After a horrible tomato season last year, this year was pretty good.  Maureen canned up quite a bit of tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, catsup and Rotel.  The asparagus will have it's first full harvest this year and is being anticipated with glee. The winter garden is in and growing, except for the plants that aren't.  Every year we have about a 25% rate of unsuccessful plantings.  By that I mean, they don't die, they just sit in a kind of suspended animation.  We put them in and while most around them get bigger (aka GROW) these little buggers just sit there....not dying, but definitely not growing.  Very weird.  We have gardened for over 20 years and have yet to figure out what causes this or what to do about it.  Our solution....plant 25% more seedlings than we will need.  Problem solved. 

A decision we are mulling over now is taking out the pecan tree in the back yard at our house.  This tree was a sapling when we moved in.  It is now over 50' tall and 14" thick at the base.Besides starting to push against our water main, it is a mess....24/7.  One season it drops allergy causing "flowers" and another it's the gooey aphid sap that sticks to everything, on top of leaves that seem to multiply and drop for months.  The shade is nice in the late afternoon summer, but the neighbor has an oak tree that duplicates much of the shade. That same shade though limits what can be grown in that section of the garden.  The nuts are wonderful; but a pain to extract from the shells.  The short story is we are considering taking it out.  The wood would be used for BBQ and a special woodworking project, but will be difficult to cut down because of the tight quarters.  Always a new adventure on the horizon.


What if it's today? - A survivalist's blog said...

Even before I scrolled down to the after pictures of the lawn the thought was going through my mind that the dogs are going to tear it apart. That was my experience from Big Dog and Yip-Yip and my beautiful strawberry bed. They like the dirt better!

Steve said...

WE are now planning on leaving it dirt or artificial turf.

WhatIfWeAllCared? said...

Yes, weeds... took over my 'garden' last summer and I never got control again! :(