About a week ago, we let the flock into the garden to earn their keep and to fill their bellies on the dying vegetation in there. To say they were excited, was an understatement! They all rushed in there like shoppers at a 75% sale! As you can see, they were all over and even standing in the garden boxes to get the very best of the remains of the day in our lovely garden.
Duke kitty always finds a lap to cuddle up in! He’s a farm kitty but he’s a lover boy as well.
While I was out there keeping an eye on the little rascals, decided to do a little tree trimming. These two mulberry trees are crazy growers and if I don’t keep them trimmed back they start to take over the side of the poultry barn! And then they block a few of my garden boxes. The sheepies are already ready to help strip all the branches of nasty leaves!
I should rent them out! They are very very efficient.
Since I like to call my garden an experimental raised bed labratory… I am going to make a hugel kulture bed in the north end of the garden! If you have NO IDEA what a hugel kulture bed is… I believe it’s German for “big pile of yard waste with dirt on the top”. Haha… Basically, you bury sticks, logs, compost, dirt, weeds, whatever you have in a big big mound. And then you cover it over with some dirt and it will compost down and return lovely good stuff to enrich the bed and you don’t have to bend over that much. I’m all for that. We have lots of stuff like that. Not too many logs, but lots of branches and stuff.
Of course, the flock is disgruntled because they were gonna eat all that. So I let them continue to browse even as we laid more and more stuff from the garden and all in the area. It’s actually going to be about 40 feet long by about 8 feet wide. I plan to plant all my pumpkins, zucchinis and squash all over it next year. Part of the selling point on hugel kulture is that it’s suppose to create a nice spongy sort of water soaking up bed that will stay moist as it decomposes. So it will be great for stuff like pumpkins and squash that really like to stay consistently damp. And I can even run a little drip line down the middle, just to be sure on the dry spells.
I’m definitely going to work some irrigation/drip lines into my garden next year. We had a really good harvest over all, but the dry spell in the middle sort of wrecked havoc with our yields. I’d like an easy way to get everything watered when we need a little help. Each year I hope to improve the garden more and more so that eventually it’s just easy and wonderful and productive! It’s getting there!
We have this weird little odd tree near the garden gate… just not sure what it is. I thought it was a pear, but it’s not. It’s got a fuzzy coating almost like a peach, but it’s not a peach. I thought it might be a quince, but no. And look at the way the seeds are. Strange. No one likes the taste of them… being the goats and sheep. I’m a bit reluctant to give them a snacking… the tree is nearly all dead, except for one awkward branch that produced about 10 or so fruit. As soon as I get our chainsaw, I’m afraid it’s getting cut down. Unless it’s some really weird missing link to some heritage fruit thing… if you know what it is, please leave me a comment?
Well, after about three days, the gang had the place all tidy! And Jessy helped me as well, and we got all the left over vines and such cleaned up. It looks great, just nothing much growing. That’s okay. I think it’s awesome. Over the next few months I plan to keep at it, laying some more carpet mulch between the beds… and adding a few more beds here and there. My wonderful friends down the road have three nice crates for me, like my group and a wonderful old steel water trough that is going to be the focal point of my herb and perennial section!!! I’m so excited! And of course, I’ll be filling up more of the beds and refreshing some that packed down a bit. We have the sheep barn and the big barn to muck out good before it gets too cold. And all that lovely stuff will come out here to lay fallow for 5 or 6 months! I do plan to plant some garlic in a bed or two later in the month of October.
I’m excited about all our bird house gourds! Will be fun to paint and decorate them next spring. They have to cure and that means a good long process in a nice dark, cool place. I’ll probably bring them into the mud room. They go through this weird transformation… they will get all sort of moldy, and then dry out and then get hard! And the insides just sort of dry up… some end up with rattly seeds. Once they are all dry and hard, you can sand them and paint them… do all sorts of fun things to them. They make great birdhouses to hang all over the place. Drill a nice big hole in the side and wait for some friends to move it! I love it!
I think I will probably give it all one more good mow and then we’ll be done. I trimmed back that ugly droopy weird bush right by the gate, it’s the stumps that you see in the left hand corner. I’m kind of hoping that it comes back, but in a more controlled and nice form. I would like it to sort of shade and hide my big water barrel. We’ll see! Sure would like to stumble upon some more white picket fence on Craigslist, cheap! I see it, but everyone is asking like just a few dollars less than brand new! That’s not for me. I got ALL that fence and more for a whopping $25 bucks or so… Now that is a deal. I’ll just keep my eye out. You just never know! Next year I want to grow sunflowers all along that back fence, the eastern fence. All 100+ feet of it! Wouldn’t that be neat? I love sunflowers… They grew pretty well this year, so I think it will work out just nicely.
Overall, I’m pleased with the garden this year. Way better than last year. It’s not quite to where I want it, but it’s sure on the way there. My three big straw bale beds are starting to fall apart. Which I expected. They are working on year three coming up. I think that I might board them in… Just not sure yet. I might just draw them up and inward and make nice raised mounds without a boarder. Just not sure yet. That is what the winter planning is for! And I will keep my eyes out for some scrap lumber or something to make boxes from. If I luck out and find the right thing, it will work out just great! Gardens are just so cool… I hope everyone has a chance to get their dream garden going!