Even though the rain is few and far between we have been having beautiful weather. Spring has definitely arrived and for us that means high winds also. Most days starting in March we have a sustained 15-20 mph wind and goes up from there. Today, we are 25-35 mph sustained with higher gusts. It keeps you cool when the temperature rises, but it makes it miserable to be outside doing anything. It keeps me from working in the garden, that and the million other things that seem to keep me busy. Planting tiny seeds when the wind is blowing as much as it is challenging to say the least. I have to plant at night when the wind has calmed a bit to have any hopes that my seeds will stay put.
I am experimenting with making my own seed tapes. You take strips of newspaper and dab a bit of "glue" (flour and water) spaced apart accordingly to what you are planting. I am going to experiment with lettuce and carrots (the two smallest seeds we plant) and see if they work. You place the seeds on the "glue", let them dry and roll them up. Go outside into the garden and dig a trench and place seed tape in and unroll. Cover with soil and water. Keep the ground moist until seedling emerge. Keep the ground moist enough is a constant struggle. My germination rates and low sometimes because the soil drys out so fast because of the wind. I'll attempt to plant these this weekend and see if they work.
I have planted a few things so far. My peas are growing nicely and hope to have a good crop this year. I soaked my seeds to speed up the germination since I was a bit late getting them in the ground. This technique seems to be working well. We planted potatoes from leftover harvest potatoes from last year. I'm not sure if they will grow or not, but it was a nice experiment to see if we could grow potatoes from our own leftovers. If nothing starts to pop up soon I'll probably go to my pantry and grab some potatoes that have developed plenty of eyes that should grow a good potato or two. I've planted a row of beets for Bubba. He LOVES beets. I'm planning to plant a few more rows for feed for the pigs. I don't like beets and I don't think pickling will make me like them either. We'll freeze some, but give plenty for the piggies to enjoy too. I wonder if there poop will turn purple? Sorry! :-) I've planted a few onions, but Monkey's nap the other day interrupted garden time so I still have about 90 more to go. Bubba and Junebug each have their own garden space in my main area. It gives them something to do and care for and hopefully keep my garden from being stepped on and grow their interest in the hobby. Junebug let Pipsqueak and I help her plant in her garden. Junior has a much larger garden, probably a 10 x 10 area between our shop and greenhouse. He hopes to sell some produce the grows, but I hope he'll share with the family as well. It's amazing how much they like to pack into their small spaces. Bubba planted enough vegetables in his space for a garden twice the size that his is. Maybe the close planting will keep the weeds at bay? Time will tell. Junebug planted some peas in her space and she ran out there first thing this morning to check her garden. Her face was priceless when she came in to tell me her peas were growing too!
Speaking of pigs, the male piglet from our last litter is an escape artist. Wilbur thought he didn't need to stay in the pen with his sisters and should roam our yard like a dog. That was all fine and well until I got a call from the sheriff department saying that my pig was spotted along the highway. Great! How the heck am I suppose to get a pig home with five children? I load everyone up into the van and head out. We found him 1/4 mile away on the wrong side of the road, gorging on dried corn from the past harvest. He wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. I left Junior with Wilbur and ran home to get a carrier and the scrap bucket and hoped I could capture him and then figure out how to get him into the back of the van. By the time I got back to Junior a lady and her son stopped to help us. She use to be the vet in our town and I think she may have been the one to call the sheriff when she saw him out on her way to town. We quickly captured him and with their help we got him in the back of the van. Now, remember, we live a 1/4 mile from where we found him. I pull into the yard and back up to the garden with the chain link fence. Just as I'm ready to get out of the van to get the carrier out he starts freaking out and is half way out of the carrier. I rush to open the back doors and he tumbles out and fights his way out and into the garden. He wasn't harmed, but my van was. He SHIT all over the back of my van. Oh, the smell. I quickly cleaned it up and got ready to head to town for an appointment. Something big always happens when you have somewhere to be. He stayed put the rest of the day and all night, but the next morning he was out again. Drastic measures were needed to keep him in. Our electric fence wasn't sending out enough power to shock him with our ground being so dry. I chased him into the main pen with the bigger pigs and got him locked into our hog panel area for when we capture them to slaughter. He has been there about 3 weeks now. He has fresh water, scraps everyday, and a bed of hay to lounge in. Hopefully we get enough moisture soon so that the fence works optimally. Otherwise, he will be a hog roast early summer.
Until next time,