Thursday, May 16, 2013

It's the rural life for me! (And the more rural, the better.)

We waste nothing, if we can help it. Those are our old pots and pans, with  hen-and-chickens planted in them.
Copyright 5-2013, by RLMT/blog author.

     Behind the old coffee pot and sauce pan full of ornamental plants is a patch of radish, sunflower, cilantro, and their neighbors, a large sage plant (second year) and a bee balm bush. No longer able to garden in the recommended-by-the-nearby-university way (roto-tiller and serious hard labor), we've taken to less painful methods to grow decent food. We use adaptions of wide-row gardening, Fukuoka farming, and gardening by the square foot. If the dirt will grow something useful (yes, and flowers), it should be given every chance to produce. We also employ companion planting methods, if at all possible, and we use no chemicals (I can't tolerate most of them; they make me physically ill in a short time). Good old-fashioned cow poop from the farm of friends nearby is our main source of fertilizer, but it helps to plant 'green manure' such as turnip crops in the autumn. Every little bit helps.  

Don't worry. I've been in good, paws. That's Rawree. He's a year old now.
Copyright 5-2013 by RLMT/blog author.)

     Rawree and his sister joined us shortly after their momma, Tuesday of Heartbreak Ridge Farm Store, weaned them. (Don't let 'em fool you in that store; Tuesday runs the place!) They've been a lot of fun and never boring to spend time with. Fortunately, Rawree is determined not to let me garden or otherwise stress myself more than he finds comfortable (ahem). 

That's Rawree's sister/litter mate, Dominga, holding down the books for me.   She's very helpful.
Copyright 5-2013 by RLMT/blog author.
      No library is complete without a resident cat (or guardian dog... but we don't have a dog that will come inside at all). Dominga (born on Sunday as you might guess) takes her job very seriously, and even takes up the slack on watching after me at times (well, Rawree has to go worry about the lizards, bugs, frogs, and such at times; both cats haunt the windows near the ground our earth-bermed house has). She also deserves some time off to relax. 

Yes! Those are indeed this year's garden crop. We hedged, planting early and  covered these two rows of early  goodies with hay and straw when the forecast spoke of frost. Sweet corn and bush beans. Their neighbors are beets.
Copyright 5-2013 by RLMT/blog author.
     My Dad was a gardener. I was his helper. Even on my worst day (chronic pain), a little green tonic goes well. I have house-plants I never asked for (funeral-provided, for the most part) and that I seem to be stuck with (or they're guarding something the cats and dogs can't?). If I can do nothing else, I look out the window at the trees all around our home. I keep an eye on the romps the acrobatic squirrels carry on among the nearby hickory, oak, and black walnut stands. 
     Against the house are all my little garden patches. Among vegetables can be found flowers of various kinds. White clover is allowed to grow anywhere it will, as are other edible plants like dandelion and various greens. The idea behind our gardening is to grow as much as we can within our means and within our physical abilities, in any way we can do that... and to share, share, share. 

     This has been a beautiful spring. We now prepare for summer to ripen. It's almost time to tell ghost stories around a bonfire: Memorial Day is nearing fast.