Just when things were falling into place here at Windy Thistle, it seems that the world fell apart. We're closed to visitors now. We've got all kinds of distractions here, video & board games, movies, a huge library of books, amid other distractions but the best distraction of all is the work that needs doing around the farm right now. We're busier than a long tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs around here!
We had two guests here when things got shut down - two teenage boys who were only supposed to be here for their spring break. That ended yesterday but their school is closed. They're not exactly happy about being trapped in the country without familiar possessions. Their mother, our housemate, has informed them that they work for the farm until further notice. Honest toil will make honest tired and give them less time to angst. Our son was laid off from his job in St. Louis, so he came on out to help, too. He's a hard worker and is showing the boys how to do the work.
So yesterday, we made that empty spot where wood chips had been piled two years ago into a permaculture bed. The wood chips have all made mulch and paths and been put to use. The spot mellowed with the dregs of the chips and became a very nice base. Well, it was double dug yesterday, mixed in with peat moss to make the soil more acid and planted with our new blueberry bushes, our old thymes, dug up and replanted from the long herb garden, and our strawberries are out there getting acclimated and I'll plant them in later today after the rain.
We had a load of gravel and two loads of soil/compost mix delivered right before the landscaper shut down his business. Squeaked by getting that in and it was all very much needed. The men folk spread the gravel from edge to edge yesterday, too. The driveway looks much nicer now. The grass had been coming up through the old gravel, so it was time.
They made me a garden bed form out of old wood, too - we'll cart loads of the soil to the paddock garden and fill the form and then pull the form and put it on the next bed and fill that one with soil and so on. It's not quite raised beds, since we don't leave the form in but it is part of the "No Till" method. We have 40 8'x4' beds to make, that's a lot of soil to move. I'll take pictures and show you the progress as it moves along.
Our Cornish Cross chicks are getting a lot bigger now and are fully feathered. We are rebuilding the grow-out pen and coop. There were parts of it that we didn't like last year, so we'll spend some time reworking that. Until it's finished, we have to bring the chicks in at night and stow them in the Maternity Ward for safety and carry them out to the temporary pen during the day.
The herb gardens are still fallow, except the garlic and sage. Garlic got washed out by the hard rains over the winter. We saved what we could and it's growing. I won't have extra garlic this year, sadly. I wish I had planted more. Oh well, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride. Sage did make it through!
We have two large dogs at the farm and two little ones. The big ones love to romp and were not respecting the herb garden so until they get used to it, we fenced it with temporary fencing. This will train the boys to avoid that while romping, well before anything but garlic and sage is out there.
Yes, the mint and oregano did also survive the winter and I will plant companions out for them this year. I have quite a few seedlings growing now, both in the dining room sliding glass door and under grow lights in the basement. I wish I had gotten more grow lights now, but every year I learn something that I plan on doing better next year.
Everything has one more month of being babied along, lovingly and tenderly. Final frost is 4/22 around here and so, until then, we'll be preparing beds, planting seedlings, nurturing what's growing and dreaming of all the fresh vegetables, herbs and flowers we'll hopefully produce here at Windy Thistle. I wish I could say come visit but alas, we can't have visitors at this time. We still have available memberships for the CSA if you are interested.
There is beauty where you look for it and strength in honest work. Keep safe and keep your loved ones close. We'll come through this stronger and better, believe it or not, with the reminder that we are all in this world together and it's a very small world. And never forget to smell the flowers. Peace, folks.