The girls and I headed down to the garden to start winterizing this weekend and while Rose helped me to pull the onions, Evelyn wandered around as 15 month olds are known to do.
Evelyn – “While Sissy is off pulling onions, I’m gonna esplore.”
“Outta my way Mommy, I’m esplorin!”
“Diggin, diggin, diggin in the dirt.”
“Dis flower is so butiful!”
“It may be pretty but does it taste good?”
“Oh my god! This leaf ripped right off when I pulled!!!!!!!”
“This place is falling apart around me. I’m outta here!”
The garden is fully planted now and even has the drip irrigation mostly installed. Now to just get a power cord down there to turn on the timer. That thing is fabulous!
Lots planted this year and with the newly built raised beds they actually have a chance of survival from the damn gophers. Sure, it will take most of my lifetime to grow enough veggies to break even on the cost of the wood and dirt but hey, the piece of mind that barrier of wire mesh between my precious tomatoes and those furry little buggers is worth it.
We also planted radishes, beans, egg plants, and tons of onions. I still need to put down a layer of straw mulch to keep the soil moist since the hot California summer is only starting.
Blue Bird Update: The little guys had flown the nest two days after I last wrote an update. With five babies in there I bet the parents encouraged a quick graduation to adulthood. ha! Last week my dad took a peek inside and saw that there were 5 new eggs. Those are some busy parents!
My dad found these electronic anti-gopher devices and we figured the best way to try them out was to stick one in the tomato section of the garden. That area is over-run with gophers/voles and will be a perfect place to test its effectiveness. We planted a mess of onion starts and garlic around the device and now its wait and see. I know the gophers/voles love onions since a few years ago, one found its way into the garden and systematically ate all 40 that I had planted. I would go down and there wouldn’t be anything left but a little hole where the the green part once was. Sigh….
Rose came down with us to the garden and was a really good girl for almost the entire time. While we cleared the row and my dad rototilled, Rose played by the fence line, chomping on the last of the seasons tomatoes, tasting rocks and organizing weeds into piles. I started off with her in the backpack but it is really hard to rake and pull weeds with a 14 month old leaning waaaaay over to the side to see what you are doing. I kept feeling distinctly unbalanced!
“I’m a real farm girl! I cut my teeth on extension cords!”
Contemplating life, the universe and everything.
Helping mommy plant onions is fun!
And then she went all Godzilla on the newly planted onions and I had to take her back up to the house. Thanks for finishing dad!
Spring has finally sprung here at Four Lease Ranch. It’s been raining so long that the weeds, especially the darned Star Thistle, are as tall as me. Let the weedeating begin!
When I went down this weekend to trim horse hooves, I found one definite benefit to all the rain. Their hooves were still nice and soft which made it possible to use the nippers, an action that will be impossible later in the summer. This was wonderful because I was a weee bit behind in the trimming and Dancer’s hooves were overly long. (Bad horsey mom!) You can see in the picture below how much I had to trim off one of his fronts. The long wet weather combined with moderate temperatures have brought on the flies with a vengeance! Whenever I am down with the horses I feel like I am being dive bombed by hundreds of miniature aircraft. I have put out fly traps galore but this is still what I come down to in the morning. Poor sweetie.
Luckily for Dancer, they make these. He looks a bit like a alien with it on but always comes right up to me in the morning and lowers his head for me.
Along with the (finally) warming sunshine comes the annual planting of the garden. This year we have planted tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash, butternut squash, cantaloupe, corn, strawberries, cilantro, basil, parsley, and chives. We have some rather voracious gophers in the garden right now so I have my fingers crossed that everything survives. If anyone knows of any good ways to get ride of gophers that doesn’t include poison let me know. Please!
The sage plant from last year is doing well. It’s leaves opening and embracing the spring.
Three plots for basil, cilantro and chives. Note the darned weeds that I have already pulled/weedeated twice. Grrrrr!
Tomatoes. I planted a number of them in underground cages so hopefully they can survive the gophers.