Country Chronicles: My thumb might not be green

Lots of news at the ranch these days. Want an update?

Sprummer 2012 isn’t all I cracked it up to be. It has rained like crazy, it has been so wet. Like sometimes I think we should start building a boat of some sort.  And then June 9? Four days after I planted out all my garden seedlings the kids and I had started, it snowed. A fair bit. I nearly cried.

Some things survived I think. Red cabbage is hardy. Peas just don’t quit. Onions popped. Strawberries might bring a crop of 5-10 (individual berries not kilos).

I don’t know if I can take all the blame for all of our gorgeous seedlings meeting a fatal end. Who can expect snow on June 9? Certainly not me. In any event there was also a happy discovery. A gorgeous, huge rhubarb patch up in the woods. Looks like someone else tried to garden sometime in history? Perhaps I will start a rhubarb farm. It might be the only thing hardy enough to live here. We’ve been loving strawberry rhubarb pies, compote and Darlas delish muffins.

Today I replanted most everything. tomatoes, carrots, squash, eggplant, beans, peppers, zucchini, basil, pumpkins, cucumbers, cilantro, sunflowers. Here is hoping it doesn’t all rot or get washed away in the torrential rain fall. In other garden news, using hay in your lasagna garden when you are in the midst of a very damp spring might not be the best choice. It sort of looks like I might have an alfalfa crop to end all others. Boo…

In other ranch news: Ferogie moved out and Jordan moved in. We miss Fergs, but not as much as we would have before we realized he doesn’t finish book trilogies he starts (PS I took them back if you are looking ;-). The kids are still naming Jordan. We look forward to E’s nickname for him…though I doubt it will be as catchy as the others as she named them when she was just two. Now that she is nearly four she doesn’t say nearly as many hilarious things.

Yesterday we took a lion and a princess to the car show downtown. It was awesome and I will cry the day they are too cool to do what they think is fun and rad.

Today we had a family chocolate fondue after school. I think the kids may have liked that.

There is still an adorable constable about this week. Sam makes a fine companion.

I have no idea where they learned this behaviour from…

My husband is really good at gift giving. I turned old this weekend and he bought me this awesome and perfect for w-ring addition to the deck (and yes we know we can’t leave it this close to the roof). I bought him underwear and tshirts (gift giving is not my forte…or love language).

I won a CD this week. Thinking about this song from it for many hurting friends of mine…

Tomorrow is ONE THING TUESDAY! Think about something that makes you feel ALIVE, BLESSED, JOY Filled? Come back and tell me?

Country Chronicles: Lasagna Gardening (aka too lazy to double dig)

Feddersen Garden 2012

Oh what a magnificent ‘pause’ I am having. Naps. Baking. Gardening. This week wins (save a trip to the dentist for my very first filling of my life…worst).  All the fun projects we dreamed about all this long cold winter also got started over the last week. Joel flattened my garden area and I got to work digging the soil. I spent a solid 12 hours picking rocks and turning over the soil and do you know what I found? More hard soil, more massive rocks. So to honour the lazy gardener that I am I remembered what I heard on the radio about “lasagna gardening” or layer composting. Apparently you can start your garden anywhere,  while skipping the double dig. This method is thought to be better at reducing weeds and water use as well. It made sense to me (plus I could stop picking the ginormous rocks).

Newspaper layer

First you select where you want  your bed then just go ahead put on a three layers of soaked newspaper. This will apparently draw the needed earthworms to your patch. Next you toss on a layer of peat moss.

Peat Moss

Next a layer of hay. (Abin? I might need to steal your saw table…).

Hay layer

Next a layer of bark mulch.

Bark Mulch

Then repeat. If you are doing this in the fall (which is preferred) then you can just leave until planting. If you are doing now (like me) then you will need to also add a solid four inches of good soil on the top. I want to get this bed ready as soon as possible as I want to plant some early crops now (peas, lettuce, spinach). I think this method will be expensive this year as I am needing to buy most of the layers, in the future you can just use whatever you have around the house alternating between brown (shredded paper, fall leaves, hay) and green layers (raw compost, grass clippings, trimmings from plants). The top photo is the layout for our garden this year! Click the image if you want to create your own garden or want to read more about my planting plan. If you want to read more about this method you can read this or watch this. I will let you know how things grow! I have a feeling that the ‘above ground’ veggies will do great, while things like carrots won’t enjoy having to try to navigate down through my rocky ground.

Also at our house this week? BIG excavation! We’ve had a lot of work done on our switchbacks. While it wasn’t the miracle that Joel and I had sort of hopped for (you know, like suddenly our driveway was 10 feet long and flat?) I think it will help. The grade is reduced a little and now all of the corners are flat (you are not climbing steep grades whilst still turning a corner). We have gravel coming in too and hope things will be much better by next winter!


Hey gardeners out there…what do you think? Do you think I will get a crop with this method? Love to hear any tips you have!!!