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June 19, 2011 / 74

LUKE – I am NOT Your Father!!!

I don’t even KNOW anyone named Luke!

I just had to do that… the headline, that is. And since it’s father’s day… and I am a father… seems a good day for an update on the garden.

We FINALLY got some rain this past week. Got a whole .6″ AFTER I spent a couple of hours watering the new plantings that haven’t come up yet, bringing our YTD total to 10.8″. So maybe we will yet have beets and green beans and such.

We planted 24 tomato stakes (two seeds per) and due to the dryness we are now down to 15 plants, and a couple of them are looking iffy. We are also noting which varieties are doing really well given the circumstances so we’ll know which are “drought hardy.” We’re learning. We feel that now it’s more important to learn while we have the luxury of grocery stores to fall back on. If food should become so scarce that we need to grow and store MOST or ALL of our year’s food, then what we learn now could be very important. And if conditions never get that bad… well… we still get to raise and eat our own food. ;-D

The birds are doing well now. We have a concrete block wall on one side of their little pens, with a patio block (2″ thick concrete slab) on top of the blocks to “seal” them. The chicks have been flying up to the top of their wall for several days now – with at first just one bird, then two, etc, until today they were all up there sitting on the ledge “surveying their domain.”

But the guinea keets, which we were told would be flying soon after hatching, are still not able to fly to the top of their wall. Which is not to say they aren’t very clever little birds. There is a short block in front of one end of the wall which is about two or three inches shorter than the wall… Yep – you guessed it. They have learned to get up on that short block, then they hop on up to the top of the wall.

Incidentally, putting the keets on medicated feed seems to have done the trick and stopped the deaths. I gave them the last of the bag today, and we’ll see if it was enough to settle the issue, or if I’m going to have to get more and go for a longer term. There are 22 of them left, and we’re hoping that 9 is all we’ll lose.

My two college kids came up from Columbia, MO for the weekend and helped with some of the drudge work. My son ran the old lawn mower and used my chain saw to hack some pesky path-encroaching honey locust branches off, and my eldest daughter hacked some of the clovers and weeds back to reasonable heights.

The rye is drooping but still some green, and the winter wheat is drying down but is still a bit green in the berry. gonna be a lot of work when it’s ready… have to cut it with a scythe, gather it, hand thresh it, and use our fanning mill (if I can make it go) to separate out the chaff. Then test it for moisture content… and go from there. We’re probably going to store it in air-tight buckets with O2 absorbers in them.

Then today we went “shopping” for some needed things – like I needed new boots since my old ones were literally coming apart – everywhere – which is not too surprising considering the wear they’ve had in the five years or more I’ve had them. Not bad for $24 boots! And my TV died last night – so we picked up a relatively inexpensive one. And I found a T-shirt in my size that I’ve been trying to find for about two or three years! It has Family Guy characters Brian (the dog) and Stewie (the baby) in a canoe and Brian says, “Paddle faster. I hear banjos.”

There won’t be many, if any, cherries (Montmorency) this year. I understand that fruit trees tend to be variable – bearing heavily one year and not the next. And the strawberries are not doing much either. We’re hoping the wild raspberries will do better. The first raspberries are out there… I’ll probably have to take a bucket/pail out in a couple of days. Seems funny – we don’t even have all the planting done yet – and the harvest is starting already.


One Comment

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  1. Steve Picray / Jun 20 2011 07:51

    You may not be Luke’s father, but you ARE his grandfather (it’s your grandson’s middle name).

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