Garden planning, and company
Yesterday morning I woke up and went into the kitchen to make coffee as I do first thing every morning. I looked out the window and Max & Flav were lying together waiting for me. It was adorable. Clearly from the photo you can tell they saw me.
This morning I cleaned all the rabbits out, and gave them fresh shavings, straw, etc. They were thrilled. Then we went out in the forest to gather some wood since our woodbox is getting low and we've got nothing the woodyard to split. We managed to gather a little wood but Kevin is still having trouble with his good saw. We brought a mule load home which is a good enough start. We found Phil the porcupine on the new road (I call all porcupines, "Phil." Just like Muskrats are "Marvin's" etc.) He had made a huge mess under the tree he'd been eating on, clearly for a while from the huge piles of debris and porcupine leavings. I got out to go take pictures and Kevin carried on but stopped just a little ways up the road to let me know he'd found Phil's "wife." We make quite a team. Sure enough there was another smaller Porcupine in a nearby tree. Her mess was just slightly smaller than his mess.
I came home before Kevin because I can get home a lot quicker in the mule than he can in the tractor, and I had formula to make for the goat kids and Izzie. I spotted the wild turkeys roosting in a tree on the edge of a field close to home and took a few pictures. I also spotted Torn Ear standing at the house. We were out in the bush, and he was already at the house waiting for us to come home. The small buck was with him. The look he gave me was just like, "where have you been?"
I managed to make an almost complete list of all that has to fit in the garden, somehow. We get our seeds/plants from various places, so we need to figure out what comes from where and how big the garden is going to have to be this year because of it. I also plant in pots on our deck. So far I've got (and this is not a complete list nor is it in order)
Sunflowers (for seeds)
Yellow, red, and, green onions
Cucumbers (both for eating and pickling)
3 kinds of lettuce
Okra (which I hope grows so we can make pickles!)
Sweet & hot peppers
Tomatoes (cherry, for the pots, big beefeaters for the garden, so we can have fried green tomatoes, and sauces, and tomatillos for salsa)
Summer squash, and maybe butternut
and I'm sure I've left some things out. Oh blueberries and strawberries. We also want to grow potatoes, corn, and possibly some watermelon. The one year we did grow watermelon, it grew really well. I've also got to work on the rhubarb plants that are here. They are still growing well but need some TLC badly. Hopefully they'll come back to good health and we'll have pie and jelly from them. Thyme, mint, and chives grow really well. Thyme is by far my favorite herb. I have a ton of mint and it continues to spread each year. We also have some flowers we'd like to plant and we'd love to get some growing in the rock walls we have going up the driveway and by the house. But it's all going to take time, and a lot of work. I'm so excited but also exhausted just thinking about the work ahead of me.
Last night we had one of Kevin's favorite meals "Pineapple porktenderloin" it's a crockpot recipe and it works really well everytime. We have it over Jasmine rice. I don't use apple juice as the recipe calls for, I just use pineapple. It's from one of my favorite sites Crockpot 365. Here is the recipe: http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/2009/02/pineapple-pork-tenderloin-crockpot.html
Tonight I tossed together chicken and veggie chowder. I made a roux, then added some veggie stock and a bunch of veg (green beans, peas, carrots, corn, onions) and some cooked chicken. Then added some milk, a little cheese, salt and pepper. It worked out well and it was super quick and warmed us up. It was damp out today so I caught a chill while we were out in the bush.
Although now Kevin has the fire roaring and we are all good and warm and pretending we are on a tropical island. I started to read a great article in Backwoods home magazine last night about where our vegetables and fruits come from. Then I fell asleep. But it was wonderful, just a brief, short history on some of the foods we grow and eat, like potatoes, squash, beans. Watermelon is thought to have come from the Kalahari dessert.... where it is a source of stored water, since watermelon is up to 90% water. I bought a book in the summer which I just had to have, it's called "The history of food." It's huge and it's like a dozen textbooks in one book, it contains so much history. I'm still working on it. It's something you have to read a little bit at a time and then research a little further. I am reading right now about the history of milk, and specifically, goats milk. It's a great book. I bought it in hardcover, I'm not sure if it's in paperback or not.
I think it's time for a cup of tea and back to researching plants.