Weekly Farm Update: 05.15.22
This week has been eventful. We endured two more frosts, bears, planting vegetables, and more.
On Monday and Tuesday, we had temps down around 30 which burnt the tender leaves of the newly planted sweet potatoes. No warning on the weather app so I was definitely caught off guard by the drop in temperature in the early morning hours. Interestingly, on a grafted persimmon I was able to measure the damage of the cold air by looking at the height of the damaged leaves. It appears the cold air pooled to about 3 feet from the ground up. Good to know going forward. Glad I did not plant any other tender veggies like peppers or tomatoes yet.
I did make a rustic cold frame from reclaimed wood that was from a raised bed tree seedling nursery from last year. I think it will work great once I get some old windows on it.
The kitchen garden greens are popping up which include two types of radishes, bok choy, mustard greens, dill, and a whole lot of lettuce. These are planted near the kitchen door and along the paths to each chicken coop due to the frequency of visits to these places each day.
In the house garden, I planted an entire 4x50’ row of contender bush beans. CM helped me plant several winter squash varieties, watermelons, melons, GMO-free soybeans, painted mountain corn, and peanuts this week too. We had some much-needed rain which is a major help in germinating these seeds. Every day I am slowly making progress in finishing up the new planting rows in the house garden as well as the food forest orchard. Basically, the mass planted vegetables are planted out there while smaller plantings are placed in the house garden. This coming week should be the end of spring frosts so I will be putting in more vegetables. Due to our national food crisis (either deliberate or by incompetence), we are focusing on staple foods—winter squash, sweet potatoes, potatoes, peppers (seasonings), tomatoes, cucumbers, peanuts, peas, salsify, carrots, sunflowers (oil), and a variety of beans to grow out. Of course, we will have some finicky veggies for variety but those are the main ones for this year.
Thursday night I was awoken by the sound of fencing grinding on corrugated metal. I looked out the front door to see a black bear walking over to our coop at which point I rushed to wake CM, grabbed a spotlight and gun and we slowly made it outside. The bear spooked and rushed to the outer fence and climbed up a 4x4 post and barreled over the fence. I believe there was another bear on the other side of the house which took off as well. I could hear something big crashing in the woods when we walked around. To make a long story short, the bears left and we learned our lesson to put any trash inside the storage container until we go to the landfill. There were only two trash bags out but that was plenty to encourage the bears to smash the fence and check them out. We are going to buy a solar charger to have an electric fence around the house/deer fence. This will also help slow down future trespassers in case they want to break in.
Sunday is our 6-year anniversary so we decided to buy a small countertop ice maker. This has been a godsend as AC is not always possible with the solar array we have currently. To have a chilled glass of tea or water is just epically awesome on a hot day. We feel so rich now—how did we ever survive with no ice for our drinks?
We have not had to do a lot of grocery shopping recently due to our diet mainly consisting of bread, fresh eggs, cheese, and a dipping sauce of some kind. We eat egg sandwiches like it’s our job. Frankly, nothing else gives us as much energy as this meal throughout the day. We did however decide to go this week for our bi-weekly grocery budget. Can you believe that this cart cost almost $130 bucks?
tty crazy to see how prices are
skyrocketing. Meanwhile, cereal boxes are so thin at this point they look like envelopes. We are fortunate to have the income to buy this amount though as we see people on social media really having a horrible time affording a fraction of what was in this cart—it’s so heartbreaking. Knowing this, it really irritates me to hear well-known people complain that their single grocery cart cost $500 bucks! First off, what the hell are they buying, and second, who are they kidding pretending to understand what life is like for the average American family?
CM and I also worked on the truck to change both back tire brake pads. The originals were still on it and were totally worn down. The whole task cost us $30 bucks and we learned a new skill. We love not paying the disgustingly overpriced mechanic to do it for us too.
I was not able to get any articles posted this week but CM did. His article explores the need to understand the baggage behind your anger and offers ways to grow from this. Much of our baggage comes from unhealthy family upbringings that are important to tackle in order for you to free yourself from the mental changes holding you down. Of course, this is neither easy nor comfortable to do, but it builds character. The joy you experience working through these problems leads to a much healthier and happier you. What could be more resilient than that?