Busy Days have filled my world lately. The sunshine is beautiful and the temperatures near perfect. It’s May and the season for gardening is here. From enjoying perennial flowers that make their way into a fabulous array of beauty, to planting the annuals that we must work harder to enjoy each year. It’s been a busy month already! Roxi & Ivy are always curious to find out what is going to be the activity for the day. When I’m in the yard, they are content as long as they see me. Once I slip out of their view, EVERYBODY knows I’ve left their eyesight for their cries for me to come back are constant until I return.
After the long, cold winter we just had it is so refreshing that Spring is finally here and in full swing. Grass is growing, as well as WEEDS!! Since Roxi & Ivy love weeds better than grass, I want to stick them here and there and everywhere I see a little patch of weeds!
As you may have seen in prior posts, I have different pens for different needs concerning my two little pygmy goats. Their “bedroom” (of which they are standing in the doorway of in the above photo) is their main stay. It is their safe place, located in the back of the Cackleberry Inn chicken house. A hanging dining table that holds a bale of hay keeps constant food available, especially when a couple of rainy, stormy days keeps them there more than out in one of their other pens.
Roxi & Ivy love to romp and play. so, they have their own play pen. I constructed it out of PVC pipe and wire. Their “mobile home” as well as their toys of barrels and crates keep them entertained. You will find my snapshots with this “corral” in several locations around the yard. I usually move it a few inches at a time, maneuvering it along easily. Roxi & Ivy have come to be very content in the corral and feel that is “their’ space. They LOVE to observe activity on the farm from their blue barrels!
With weeds popping up here and there and everywhere, and with Roxi & Ivy loving them so much, I wanted a way to move them around to little patches of weeds easier than in the corral. I mean let’s face it, the corral is for the large parts of the yard. So, the Weedeater’s Cube was created. Yes, they enjoy having free reign within the little cube and the bonnet gives them brief relief from the sun or a mid-day shower.
Our wood pile is always full of grass and weeds. They tend to find an easy place to grow around and through the chunks of wood. I built a temporary fence around the pile and let the girls have it. Their delight! Also, since they, as goats, are a cousin to deer, they need nutrition that they find in twigs, bark, and wooded leaves. The wood pile is one of their fun places since they can jump and climb all over the logs.
Lately I’ve been enjoying some time in the yard, cleaning out flower beds and pulling weeds. Sometimes, I’ll tie the girls to the area I’m working in and let them help me clean out the weeds. As I pull weeds and they pull weeds, I wondered if they think I, too eat the green leafy plants, or if they wonder why I DON’T eat such luscious greens. 🙂
Incorporating herbs into the lives of my goats and poultry has become rather important to me. I want to take as any measures for their health as I can. The more I read, the more I learn and become more fascinated in the benefits of herbs. Poultry and Goats both really benefit from adding fresh herbs like garlic and oregano into their diet. So, I planted lavender, oregano, basil, rosemary, sage and lemon balm around the Cackleberry Inn. I also created the Climb & Dine which puts a vertical twist to offering herbs to my little flocks day.
We love home grown tomatoes. a few years ago I began canning tomatoes and it’s a sad day when I go to my pantry and there’s no canned tomatoes to cook with. We also like a jalapeño relish I began making and canning a while back. The pantry bounty has about run out so, growing tomatoes and peppers are a priority for us this year. Then I learned about companion planting. How one plant assists another if planted near each other. Well, how cool!! Roses love garlic (who knew?!)
As I continued nestling plants and seedlings into soil, I came across a great idea on Pinterest. I now call it my Italian basket. An upside down tomato in the bottom with Italian herbs on top.
Rest assured the tomato plants look tiny and weird hanging upside down, but let’s give the little things a chance in their new environment. Now, the rest of my “Crop” is strategically placed within our old Mercury garden. It is surrounded by old tires which are awesome “homes” for plants since the tires hold water like a well during dry times. Originally, this area was the chicken lot to the old chicken house. Then it became the Mercury garden. As my love of chickens was renewed, I fenced it in again for chickens, using the old Mercury as a shelter. Later, I used this area as a place to keep Roxi & Ivy. Now, the fencing has come down, Roxi & Ivy helped me remove the weeds, and now tomatoes, peppers and herbs adorned this little garden.
My Blackberry bushes are planted just to the side of this vintage garden. My blackberry bushes, *sigh… well, I got a little too excited about pruning a while back and I think I may have pruned too much. This did not kill my blackberries, however, we may not have much of a berry harvest this year. See, i’ve learned that Blackberries grow “canes” one year and then berries grow on those canes the next year. When pruning, one should only cut off old canes, and leave the new canes since they are the ones that will bare the fruit. Lesson learned a bit to late for this season. However, in preparing for said new canes to grow (for possibly next year’s berries) I have started a wooden fence that would provide a strong resting place for the upcoming cane filled bushes. With the help of my fella and his grandsons posts were set properly with the intention of wooden rails to follow in the future. Well, this weekend the future became present. It was time to install the rails. Always eager to use my handy, dandy screw gun, I jumped to the challenge. In my excitement of getting the board positioned at the height I wanted it, and then assuring it was level, I incorporated the assistance of some old saw horses. As I stood back for a view of my handiwork, I suddenly realized, something was wrong.
Before panicking, I sighed and put my screw gun in reverse mode, removed the screws on one end of the board and released the saw horse from it’s captivity.
As you can see in these photos, the reclaimed, rustic garden in the background is ready for sunshine and rain as it prepares to produce wonderful veggies and herbs to delight our taste buds.
Meanwhile, the Coffee Cats hang out with the chickens as they enjoy a perfect evening of free range pecking and scratching before it’s time to turn in to the roost for the evening.
No, not all mulching is done, not all garden grooming is complete, Roxi found a way out of the corral so it now must be reinforced, and we won’t even think of the chores that await inside the Cackleberry Inn, much less inside our own home. But today, all is calm and I love Spring.