Like a walk through the country side living on a small farm is full of daily surprises, sometimes wonderful and amazing, and other times puzzling and sad. I hope you will walk with me as I live out my dream of living on this tiny farm. You will come to know the dogs, cats, Shetland sheep and chickens that make up this farm and what goes into keeping them happy and healthy. Come and join the journey with me.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Hot Summer Time

It always amazes me how 'time flies'. For the longest time, it seemed that we waited for the mild days of Spring, and then they finally came--all two of them---before we staggered into hot Summertime. It's almost July 4th! How did that happen?
My 'garden' has been a struggle this year. I had about 24 tomato and pepper seedlings (heirloom varieties) started, but they just wouldn't attain any size, and time was running out. So I spent an entire morning carefully setting them out in the tomato patch---where they promptly fried to death over next two days. I did save some back to plant in containers, thankfully. So my tomato patch is a rank weed patch instead. I am going to plant some squash out there and mulch after it sprouts.

In the meantime, I have been collecting buckets and stray tomato plants from here and there. Every year I grow a few tomatoes in buckets, but this year it seemed like time to expand the experiment. The local feed store has five gallon buckets fairly cheap, and it's easy enough to drill holes in the bottom of them. Then I filled them half full of 'stuff' from the sheep lot (not the fresh 'stuff'!) and finished it out with shovelfuls of black dirt from around the wood pile. For the early bucket residents this year, I had them sitting on upturned chunks of wood near the woodpile. Over the weekend though I finally got the last transplants in and decided to arrange them around the front of the wool trailer, where I have another 'raised bed' (actually a wire rack on legs, layered with wool to keep in the dirt). It's kinda cute, but I still need to wrap rope around the sticks of wood to keep Boone from getting to close to the tomato plants and 'anointing'' them.

In the wire bed, I have marigolds, onions, two types of beans (with a wire panel attached for them to vine on) and several volunteer tomato plants (no idea the variety!). In buckets I have 3 Cherokee Purples and 2 Arkansas Travelers that I raised from seed. Boughten varieties include: 2 Brandywines, 1 Arkansas Traveler, 1 lemon cherry tomato, and 2 Sweet Pepper plants--1 green and 1 orange. All told 11 container plants. Three containers are located elsewhere in the yard. I hope to be able to collect enough rain water off the eaves to keep this small garden watered.

The rest of the yard is slowly coming into some semblance of control. The flower beds are fairly cleared of weeds and the yard is mostly mowed, despite multiple lawn mower malfunctions this year. Both push mower and rider now have new blades, and the rider also sports several new parts on its deck, after three bolts 'got' sheared off while mowing. My Dad was able to take the deck off so I could haul it in to the 'miracle man' who works on mowers. $145.00 later it has new blades, a new belt, three new parts that I have no idea what to call (but they keep the blades working!) and after a through cleaning and reattachment of the deck by my Dad, it looks like new. Hopefully it'll last another ten years.

In the meantime the sheep have been busy trying to keep the outer lawn areas mowed for me. They look a bit like balloons on sticks as the grass is plentiful and lush this year.

The weather is awful--hot and humid most days, with an occasional storm rolling through bringing brief relief, before the humidity climbs again. All the critters mostly just find a coolish spot and hibernate during the day. The inside cats tend to find cool spots off by themselves (Not--see picture). The hot weather slows them down a bit, but not much. They just get up earlier to start their games....
This big snapper was royally ticked off because of my fences getting in its way. I can only assume it finally dug it's way out.


On the way home from work the other day, I stopped at a huge yard sale. I ended up buying this really nice computer cabinet. It is one of those that has the bi fold door that shuts everything away out of sight. It's a prefab deal, but looks like the 'real' wood stuff. Has lots of nice little cubby holes and drawers too. I can't bring it in the house yet, as I need to get a new washer (the current one leaks some) and I don't want it damaged like my old desk has been. The old desk is getting a decided list to one side.... It will be very nice to be able to shut all my computer equipment away from prying paws. These desks usually go from $275-350 and I paid $125.00. Best part is it is already assembled! It does have one shelf missing, but it's not a critical one. The sucker is heavy too. I'll try and get a picture of my 'find' this week and post it.
And that about sums it up. Tempe is filling up the garden produce basket until some fresh veggies come along. It may be awhile...

5 comments:

Louise said...

I can't grow veggies. Flowers, fine, veggies, no way. But, luckily, we have lots of farm stands around that I can get them from. They're probably not organic, that's the only thing.

Two of my cats are up on my bed this very minute. I'll never get all four of them there, they don't like each other well enough.

Star said...

Oh dear oh dear. I am laughing and crying at your blog today. I am gloating because we picked two enormous and delicious tomatoes in the garden today. See my Blog for a picture! but I am also crying because after all that work, I am so sorry that you didn't get any. Our weather is the same as yours except today isn't humid, for once, just hot and horrid.

Vicki Lane said...

The container garden sounds like a good solution! You can always say you're letting the tomato patch lie fallow for a year or so...

Horribly hot here too.

Nancy K. said...

Your weather sounds a lot like ours ~ either HOT and HUMID or RAINING!

Michelle said...

Your post makes me smile. I wouldn't want to be sweating in your sauna, but would love to be there for a visit!