Sunday, September 03, 2006

photo deluge

first things first, i have been busily composting trying to keep our soil rich and productive. this is the black gold that end up with.

the ingredients are simple, manure and wheat straw. sure other things get added like coffee grounds, lime sand and urine but mostly we compost our cow manure. this batch is almost there.

this is the current "add to here" pile the guineas scrap around in here for bit of undigested grain and bugs.

tabitha is proud of her harvest of butternut squash.

we spent the afternoon weeding and mulching the asparagus bed. we let it get a little out of control but it seems to be still very healthy. i'll add some slightly green compost to the top of the mulch just after the first frost. they'll like nutrients and the threat of scorching the stalks will be nill.

here merlin is eating the weeds that i pulled from the asparagus bed.

i built this little frame for the wet rich kitchen waste. this will be perfect for the chickens to scratch around in and eat what the may and the remainder can compost into a a rich loam for the garden.

here are our two dead orchard trees--killed by sme unknown peril. they seem poisoned but none of the spraying agencies will claim responsibility

i tilled this swath of garden 3-4 foot wide and we planted turnips maybe a week or so late but we love turnip greens steamed and they will be here soon. turnips are a neglected root vegetable they are wonderful sliced steamed, buttered and salted period.

our guineas are on garden patrol and are very appreciated for dispensing of many of our garden pests.

rosie is really setteling in around here.

the chicks are now chickens and growing at an amazing rate. the interloping raccoon has realized the futility of any further attemps at killing my chickens and have left us alone. i don't think i'll try to trap him aymore.


Abigail said...

I would say Tabitha's pride in her squash is justified! Nice haul. I love butternut squash. Mmm.

Danielle said...

Wow, your guina hens are beautiful! Do they lay well and in a regular spot?

How long does cow manure have to compost in order to use it on your garden?

I'm super impressed with Tabitha's butternuts. I actually got 2 eeny teeny butternuts this year from seeds I saved from last years organic farmer's market. I was impressed with that, but her harvest puts mine to shame. Butternut and acorn are absolutley the best squash in my opinion.

Nice asparagus beds. I don't think I even knew you all had made beds for them. You'll be rolling in asparagus within the next couple of years!!! So yummy!

Merlin is a sweetie. When can you eat him?

karl said...


yes that is something to be proud of. the other half of the harvest is at the other end of the bean arbor. that pile is not quite as large.


the guineas aren't sexually mature yet. we aren't really sure what their sexes are either. the compost is dependant on so many things moisture, temperature, how often i mix it and contents. usually it takes about 7 weeks. i can speed things up by mixing more often. butternuts yum. the asparagus is like our secret garden. we covet it and hope to relish in asparagus glory each spring. merlin is a naughty boy and i salivate every time i look at him. we have just been discussing the weaning of that naughty boy and sending him to pasture with mikes cows for the next 6 months or so. our freezer couldn't take a slaughtered cow right now. the kids already say "merin burgers, yum" when they see him.

Ed Abbey said...

Karl - any tips on planting asparagus? I've tried planting it several times with limited success and I've always guessed it was soil PH though I don't know for sure. It grows wild here along the fence rows so that I usually get my fill but it would be nice to have a source right in my back yard.

karl said...

ed abbey,

if asparagus grows wild there then, the soil should also be great for a little secret garden of your own. the only tips i have are buy from reputable company. we got ours at we simply followed the directions that they sent with the crowns. everyone that we talked with about this has all these complex, convoluted and busy work instructions on how to plant asparagus. we eventually ignored everyone except johnnys. they send them at the right time of year (pre pay/order them cause they run out) and you just plant them right away. no waiting around after they arrive.

good luck

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