Monday, November 12, 2007

garlic & winter wheat / rye

i planted roughly twenty five pounds of garlic. the chickens promptly broke into the garden and scratched a mess of it up. the following morning i caught each of them and clipped the feathers on their wings. that after noon i had to chase several of the out of the garden. i traumatized each of them a bit. running them until exhaustion. i still need to shore up the defenses.

i also planted winter wheat in the remaining tilled area. winter wheat survives remarkably well here in southern missouri. last winter several hard freezes never even slowed it. i'm not sure what snow cover does to it but i imagine it just lies in wait until the sun can strike the blades. last year i also put raw manure in with the seed. that seemed to work out fine since that ended a very fertile area for spring planting.

i finally finished the back wall of the root cellar yesterday. i'll take photos today. i also insulated the water main that runs through the cellar against freezing. the front entrance is now my focus as time will allow.

the dark days of winter local challenge almost ensnared me. i opted out by default. i haven't had a moment to sit and write. the eat local challenge, although a worthy cause, hijacks my blog entries. in our defense, we eat local to our farm more than twice per week. last night tabitha made enchiladas. i almost exploded. the entire meal was local, chicken, cheese, sour cream, tortillas, and our very own green salsa. the tortillas were the only thing from off farm.

we are expecting rain today--hurray.

when i was at the freshly patronizing beer store, a funny thing happened to me. a woman looked at me and said "you're the farmer." i gave her the dumb look of a startled deer. then the woman behind the counter said "you're the farmer?" my expression remained frozen. they lept into a conversation about our farmstead describing the progress and intricacies of our animals like there had been a regularly scheduled program of conversation. it is weird to see your reflection in other peoples eyes. their lens seemed skewed to me but we're weird and i admit it.


Danielle said...

Ha ha ha...I so know what you mean. When I went to vote last Tuesday (and was rejected but that is another story altogether) the poll volunteers asked me where I lived and when I started to describe it to them, they all said, "oh yes, we drive your place all the time. Your the ones with the chickens and such." So I guess our Indian name is the "chicken people" until something else we do is even more unusual for these folks.

pablo said...

I think I've read that winter wheat needs to have snow resting on it to help it grow. I'm not a farmer though.

Anonymous said...

I find I can pretty easily contain our chickens and guineas with wing clipping and a 48" chicken wire fence. The 48" fence goes around the parimeter of our 1 acre backyard. They occasionally get out of the back yard, one at a time, and then run frantically back and forth calling to be let back in. The garden is outside/adjacent to the chicken yard with a slightly taller fence. The only time they get into the garden is if we forget and leave the gate from the chicken yard to the garden open.

One nice thing about the 48 fence, since it isn't absolutely tight, I can step over it midway between posts, avoiding wandering looking for gates... Until the bottom edge gets grown into the high grass, it generally needs to be staked down to keep the more clever chickens in.

Your bean trellis stock panels would make nice greenhouses for winter greens. Here in VT we get an extra three months of growing season with an unheated greenhouse. We just bend the panel in a 8 foot wide arch about 6 feet high, put several in a row and put 6 mil plastic over it and close in the ends. Stakes help keep the initial 2 feet of wall vertical and well planted for any wind. With a couple if guy ropes to keep the radius, ours hold a VT winter snow without issue.


Wendy said...

Funny! Do you think they read your blog? Liz, at Pocket Farm, here in Maine, blogged about meeting people in her neighborhood who read her blog, and how it kind of had an effect on what she said.

karl said...

danielle, sometimes i wish were weren't as exposed. except for the ability to get dsl i'd like to live much further off the beaten path.

pablo, thanks i didn't know.

anon, the chickens can assault the garden from the southern face. the compost bins make for a wonderful chicken staircase.

wendy, no they most definitely do not read my blog. we are just too exposed and our activities are too out of the local norm.

Wendy said...

Well, that makes it even funnier, because from reading your blog, you don't seem all that "different" to me. I guess it's one of those cases in which one has to be there ;).

Of course, I've dug up half my front yard for gardens, raise chickens in my backyard and have a clothesline I use even when there's snow on the ground ... so, I guess "normal" and "different" are very subjective ;).

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