Someone mentioned to me recently that we don’t ever seem to talk about the things that go wrong here. I thought I was trying to report things with out bias, but perhaps I just don’t want to dwell to much on the painful things. I think I’ve tried to talk about the times that we’ve lost chickens, some just don’t make it; it’s always a difficult thing when something small, under your care, dies. But – as my mom is fond of saying – that’s life on the farm. Not everything that we try works out, sometimes I just stop talking about it… like the mushrooms: Pastor Mark was over on Easter and he said, “What ever happened to the Mushrooms?” Well, they just didn’t work out. One day there were going like gangbusters, you could literally record their progress hour to hour– the next day they were all shriveled and yucky.  What happened? Who knows? Win some, lose some.

IMG_0687The depression garden (that is, the garden that I planted in the depression) comes up in the loss category too. I think that any of the old seeds that germinated were sought out and eaten by the dang gophers.  There were little mounds all through out the garden. Then – after that, and more recently – the coyote melon plants just took over! In the photo on the left, all that green is coyote melon plant.  Sue decided that she would spend someIMG_0690time every day digging up coyote melons.  They have a tuberous root that is rather deceptive. Small plants can have humongous roots and vice versa. She spent an hour one day and got a huge pile of roots, but the number of plants was pretty low.  These are also the type of plant where, if you leave a small piece of the tuber in the ground, a plant will grow; kind of like potatoes.  So, if we work together this year, we might be able to clear a lot of them out… but chances are, we’ll be doing it for a number of years to come. Here’s a photo of some of the tubers – foot in the photo for size reference. Remember – I have a big foot!

IMG_0695In the win column would be the squash that was planted in with the trench trees. This is the reverse Hugelkultur bed that we built up in the already existing trench. (see previous post Hügelkulture) We planted all the summer squash type plants around the trees, and they have all come up and are beginning to set little squishes. Unless we’ve had an immense wind, we only water a couple of days a week and the plants – as well as the fruit trees that are planted in there – are thriving! Our issue with them will be keeping them well watered during the winds.  Luckily the monsoons will be upon us soon and we won’t need to worry quite as much. I might try another depression garden planting closer to the monsoon season.  We might be able to get some of the quick grow corn and the beans going. We’ll see.

Another win was the winter garden, we enjoyed broccoli and kale through the winter months, we had some success with the spinach, but we weren’t able to eat it before the gophers found it in the early spring. The onion seeds I planted in the winter are now coming up in odd places, but that’s ok. We’ve enjoyed the cabbage lately and have three more heads that will be ready over the next several weeks. The herbs overwintered very well and are growing like gangbusters now. So, all these I count as good. We even have 5 little pea plants that are growing up onto the pea fence, we’ll see if the gophers get them or leave them alone. Most of the trees we planted are coming back to life, but we may have lost the Hack Berries for some reason. And one tree, the Thornless Honey Locust, did not like the cold wind over the winter; it is still a little green towards the bottom of its trunk, but has shown zero signs of coming back. The Black Locust trees that I brought from the church back yard did make it, however. Win some, lose some.

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Left to right: Cabbage, Thyme, Purple Sage, Peas

There will be other things we try that will not work, and I’ll try to report them as they happen. Call me on it if you think I’m not being forthcoming. I will continue to do my best. Until that time, as always~
Thanks for reading.

Today’s Weather: better than the last couple of days. It was windy, but not the gale force winds that we were experiencing previously. The high was 79° and the low is predicted at 52°, but this morning at 4:30 it was 45° – so we can’t always depend on the Weather Channel for the most accurate temps.

Egg Report: Today Sue picked up 11 eggs, but one was left over from yesterday – she left it under an Easter Egger who was thinking they might want to sit.  I guess it got too boring for her, and we just picked up the egg with everyone else’s today.