February 12, 2013 by Kriscinda Lee Everitt
That title’s a grabber, eh? We’ll get back to that in a minute…
*sigh* It’s cold again today. Yesterday, it got up near 50F! It was very exciting, but today: cold. AT least the snow’s gone, for now. I know it’ll return, but for now, it’s nice to look out the window and see some green.
So, I finished my first novel yesterday! And, by “finished,” I mean that I completed a first draft. Still lots of work to do on it, but I got it out, beginning, middle, end. The plan now is to sit on it for a week, then take a week to read it, and then a final week to make any changes I want to make before I give it to my readers. (After they read it and give me their notes, the revisions begin!)
When I woke up this morning, I was really excited to not be chained to the laptop. There’s so much to do here. At night, before bed, I’ve been reading that Seed-Starter’s Handbook I got. It’s been very illuminating, but it’s also making me realize that we’re going to really have to get it in gear in the very, very near future. So, I’m back to garden planning.
I am realizing that we aren’t likely going to have a massive as garden as we’d previously planned. On one hand, it’s a bummer because, well, we want all those vegetables. And it’s not like we’re not up to the challenge; we are. But, this season, I only have a very limited amount of space to start seedlings, so instead of me making myself nuts trying to figure out how I’m going to start all these plants, it’s probably best that I just downsize this first year. Granted, it’s still a sizable garden—just not as big as I wanted. It will be limited to the space that is already garden space, left from the previous owners. At the end of the season, we’ll see how we did and probably (hopefully) expand the garden out to where we initially wanted it, ready for the next season.
In order for that to happen, we’re planning—come the end of the summer—to build ourselves a decent sized hoop house next to the garden proper. Then I will have all the room I need to start as many plants as we want, and we’ll have the added bonus of starting some crops early and keeping them late. Added, added bonus: I can putter around in there over the winter, so I won’t be cooped up in the house all season.
Around the same area (want to keep everything as central as possible, and we’ve got the space there so why not?), I’m planning on constructing a compost space, probably out of cement blocks. I’m excited about that. I also want to build a box to put on the porch off the kitchen, but…priorities! All in good time (or something like that).
As I probably mentioned before, there is no water source by the garden. The previous owners always just sort of let nature take its course up there. There is an old hand pump next to the barn, but it’s highly doubtful that it works. The previous owners (Okay, I’m just going to call them by their names: Barb and Ken. Yes, I’m not kidding; their names are Ken and Barb[ie])…Barb said that it had originally gone down 30 feet, but that her father had re-drilled it down to 50. It might have collapsed; who knows? And maybe someday we’ll have it drilled yet again, but until then…rain barrel system.
The garden is about 30 feet from the barn. I want to good-sized rain barrel system up against the barn. There is a gutter and a spout that just drains off into the yard, so why not use it. The barn roof is huge! If that thing doesn’t catch enough rain, I don’t known what will. I’ve seen some designs online that seem simple enough—and some that include extra barrels for making compost tea, which also looks pretty straight-forward. I think we can do this.
There are a thousand things to do around here, but in order to really get this garden rolling, we’re prioritizing:
- First, we need to pull up the rest of last year’s garden and get the beds in.
- Second, we need to clear the area next to the barn where we want the rain barrel system.
- Third, we needs to construct the rain barrel system (want that up and collecting over the course of our rainy spring).
- Fourth, we need to construct the compost bin and get that going.
- Fifth, we need to grow stuff.
- Sixth, towards the end of the season, we need to build the hoop house.
- Seventh, if we’re up to it, put more beds in and expand.
Those are the big, buildy, manual labor, garden-related things we need to do. I’ll also be starting the seeds—trying not to kill the seedlings—in our sun room. There are also some other areas of the property I want to clear brush from, and I’ll like to get that done before things start really getting green. We also need to deal with the dead branches on these big trees. I wish Barb and Ken had taken better care of these big, old trees. There are so many obviously-dead branches (big ones, too). When they come off (and they have to), it’s going to be painful. It should have been done a long time ago. We were thinking of getting our own pole saw (it’s not like we wouldn’t need it) and try to get what we can reach ourselves—and cut down on how much we have to pay for someone else to get the higher up stuff—but I don’t know. There might not be enough we can reach to really make it worth it. Not for this job.
So, these are the things on my mind right now. I need to really sit down and do some serious planning, scheduling, etc., to get ready for the onslaught of crazy work that’s about to hit us, after a too-long lazy winter.
And now, I’m going to totally ruin this post. Remember in a previous post, when I mentioned that every time the snow melts, there’s this massive amount of deer crap all over the yard Well, I did. And here’s a gallery of just a fraction of it. I’m not even kidding, this is probably just a sampling of about 5% of the deer shit all over this yard. Enjoy. Oh, and if you want your metal, you’ve got to go through the deer shit to get it.
Oh, and just because I came across this while doing this blog post, you get this: