Groupings, Personal Space, Garden Art, and Color forum: Down on the Farm, 2017

 
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ImageMaryE
Jan 20, 2017 9:10 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
It's time to start a new thread and although there is nothing happening above ground in the garden, there is plenty going on under the 3 ft or more of snow that we have. That's right, it's easily 3 feet deep and in some places where it has drifted, much more! Here is a look at last year's garlic and onion rows. Garlic on the right was planted in the fall of 2015 and grew roots all winter. Onions on the left were started from seed and set out about a month before this picture was taken.
Thumb of 2017-01-21/MaryE/f16025

We came from here: http://cubits.org/SharonsFriends/thread/view/84852/

The garlic harvest was good and in the fall I replanted way too many cloves. They are now under straw mulch and also under that 3 feet of snow, happily growing roots. I can probably sell most of it at the co-op and have told our produce manager that and she was pleased. We always have had to buy garlic from California because there has not been enough local garlic. Mine sold well last year. I also sold onions at the co-op and plan to do that again this year.

This winter has been one for the record books and it's only about half over! We have pushed, blown and shoveled snow for weeks! The piles are very big and it's a good thing we put them way out away from the driveway and buildings because our space is getting smaller and smaller. The snow blower has been a Godsend but it is not quite big enough to do everything we need to do with it. Next spring or summer we might be shopping for a larger one and selling this one to a neighbor who has a smaller tractor and a very challenging driveway! Ryan, our good neighbor just down the road has come twice to shovel snow off roofs, and Rick keeps his driveway clear as much as possible. Always first he has to clear ours in order to get down the road to Ryan's, and at times the county road between us is impassible. We are so thankful that Ryan is working for the new owner of the ranch where I helped with cattle and did midnight lambing duty for about the past 18 years. He and his wife have been able to keep living in the old ranch house where his wife grew up.

Click to watch this new thread for whenever new information is posted. It may be a while, winter is not through with us yet. Meanwhile, seed and flower catalogs are keeping me busy dreaming.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagevic
Jan 21, 2017 10:39 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Watching and reading Hurray! Hurray!
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageArleneB
Jan 21, 2017 12:37 PM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
I'm here too, Mary! I'll be back later to comment on your photos on the other thread. Sometimes you can pull a good photo from Google satellite.
Imagebillyporter
Jan 23, 2017 4:16 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Mary,
Look at ALL that garlic! It looks wonderful and mostly wonderful because I have already been thinking about my garden, lol!
It's hard to find garlic here that hasn't been grown in China. Your co-op is very lucky to have home grown provided for them!
I think Ryan and his wife are lucky to be among good friends!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageMaryE
Feb 8, 2017 9:49 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Meltdown! It started about 4 days ago and now we can see some dirt in the driveway and a couple of bare patches on our west hill. The wind keeps it pretty clean so between that and the rain and the sun, those usually early bare spots have appeared. Patch is still confined to his small pasture by snow piles and drifts, but his trail between the shed and the feed/water is becoming easier to travel. A week ago he was sinking in almost to his chest, now it is just to his knees. Rain has been light, interspersed with sleet and snow. We've also had a lot of wind and some sun. The ground under the snow was not frozen except where we drive, so as it melts the water has been soaking into the ground. Our basement had a few trickles in it yesterday that didn't even travel across the floor to reach the sump. We hope this slow melting continues. The stock/irrigation pond might fill early this year just from the melting before there is even water in the irrigation ditch. We need the moisture in the soil, not running down into the river.

About a week ago I thought I had something in my eye, and of course I rubbed it trying to get it comfortable. It was weepy and didn't feel any better. I should have tried to wash it out. We have one of those old fashioned glass eye wash cups and I could have used it. Might have helped a bit with the discomfort. The next day I woke up with a weepy eye and when I looked in the mirror, oh my goodness, it was red. I suspected pinkeye, looked up the symptoms and decided that was most likely the problem. It was my co-op day so I went and worked, wearing glasses the whole time so that I would not be tempted to rub my eye. The distractions of work helped me keep my mind off my uncomfortable eye. After my work was finished I went to the walk in clinic where the PA on duty diagnosed it as bacterial conjunctivitis, pinkeye, and prescribed eyedrops to be administered every 4 hours for 10 days. It took about 3 more days for the discomfort to ease. Tomorrow is day 10.

We observed our 57th anniversary on Sunday. Before church we went out for breakfast, got our coffee and tea, placed our order, and a few minutes later the lights flickered and went out. The fans in the kitchen stopped but the grill is gas so they were able to finish cooking until the kitchen got too hot even with the window open on a just above freezing morning. Soon there was no hot coffee, no way to make more, no microwave, no cash register, and no lights in the rest rooms. They began turning away customers. Some of the customers already there checked their social media pages via their smart phones and in just a few minutes we knew what had happened. A building in the historic district of downtown had collapsed under the weight of snow. Of course buildings have wires and wires are connected to other wires, and the power company quickly turned the power off. The hotel next door was evacuated as a precaution, streets were blocked off and a building inspector was called in to determine if the rest of the building would be likely to fall, and if adjoining buildings were safe. We drove over that way but found that the best views of the collapsed building were on facebook, taken by people who were probably walking on the opposite side of the street. The collapsed building was only being used for storage and nobody was hurt.

Another thing that fell since this warmup began was a tree in Ryan's yard. It fell across the county road in a windstorm. The tree was an old willow or cottonwood and had rotten roots. The whole thing just tipped over. There wasn't a big root wad like you'd expect from a tree that size. They had just rotted. Ryan said he heard it and thought the big thud was snow sliding off the roof. Some neighbors pitched in with chain saws and a big tractor and cleared the mess off the road so that people could get to work or school and feed their cattle. It's over a hill from us so we didn't know anything about it until later in the day when we went to get our mail.

Yesterday was co-op produce delivery day again. I salvaged quite a few oranges and lemons and today I cut up about half of them to start a batch of marmalade. The process is to cook it for an hour or so until the rinds are tender, then measure it and add pectin and sugar which I will do tomorrow. When this batch is done I will start another one.

The black cat has stayed around for the past couple of months and now is tame enough to eat out of the bowl while I hold it. He still won't eat out of my hand and I have not attempted to pet him. I think with the warmer weather there may be love or at least biology in the air, and he has been missing for the past 2 days. I'm sure he will be back, the only question is when.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
ImageMaryE
Feb 8, 2017 10:04 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
I forgot to say that we had hoped to make a trip to Washington to visit with missionary friends but the bad weather has cancelled our plans. Besides having 3 mountain passes to cross, the Columbia gorge has another ice storm closing the interstate, and even the Puget Sound area has had another snow storm which caused an unbelievable traffic mess with roads likely to be closed for another day or two. It was wiser to stay home than to try to travel. Maybe we will be able to see then again next year.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagevic
Feb 9, 2017 9:00 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
57 years - WHAT A BLESSING Lovey dubby

I'm so sorry your had to cancel plans with your friends but better safe and sorry for sure.

Yikes on the tree across the road - and so thankful for all the help to clear it.

I'm glad your eye is better and I hope black kitty comes back soon Lovey dubby
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageMaryE
Feb 13, 2017 2:53 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
No sign of the black cat so I am guessing he is gone on business for the season. I'm sure he will be back next winter. Meanwhile, he will live on various kinds of rodents. Today we saw sage rats running on top of the snow. They live underground all winter, actually most of the year, and usually come out of their burrows before the snow goes away. The hawks and owls, foxes and coyotes will catch a lot of them.

Some red winged blackbirds have shown up already like they think it is spring. We haven't seen any robins so far and the gold finches have not started growing their bright yellow feathers. The birds know the signs of spring far better than the people.

Bare patches of ground are getting larger by the day. Deer are starting to move around now that they can go through the snow easier. We have chased them out of here several times and one day a doe was lying in the yard about 3 ft from the corner of the porch, chewing her cud. I chased her out of the yard and then out of the driveway twice before she left to rejoin the herd. Apparently she told them that there might be something here so 10 or 15 of them were back yesterday. After chasing them out twice, Rick saw them on the far side of the piles of snow that line the driveway. He went out and barked like a big, big dog and they ran and haven't been back! I'm hoping to be able to get to the hot fence that protects the young fruit trees to make repairs before they find that the wires look like scalloped curtains between the posts. I may have the advantage though because it has kept them out for 3 or 4 years and they would be likely to think it will still shock them.

A few days ago I waded through deep snow to bury the kitchen trimmings in the garden. It was a job! Up on solid snow with a few steps and then suddenly sinking down 2 feet. I stood on a big drift by the gate and had to reach down to unlatch it and then force it through the somewhat smaller drift on the other side. The soil under the snow was not frozen. I only went to where I could reach the shovel and dig a hole where the tops of my rows will be, but I did see one of the marker stakes for the garlic sticking up a couple of inches! I think those roots have been growing all winter.

Today I walked around on top of the frozen snow and peeked into the place where Ms Great Horned Owl had her nest last year. Nothing yet. We hear owls talking in the evenings and early mornings. They like twilight, not daylight. Sometimes when I am outside at dusk I see them flying from tree to tree or sharing a branch. I'm not likely to know if the barnowls like the new box location until it would be time for youngsters to be looking out the door.

Yesterday Ryan was here to show us his new camera (a gift) with the 400 something lens he bought used, and he walked around looking for birds to photograph. He gave me the link to where he has posted a lot of pictures. https://www.instagram.com/marvelousroots/ He hopes to turn this hobby into a business some day. With his talent, I think that might happen.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagevic
Feb 13, 2017 3:08 PM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
Terri and all - forgot to tell you - PePe Le Pew ambled along behind the house this morning like he owned the place. This is the second time Hank has seen him and it's always just as dawn is breaking. I'm SO thankful the dogs weren't out. It would have been our turn for el stinko Whistling
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
Imagebillyporter
Feb 14, 2017 6:20 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Mary,
Here, the goldfinches are gold when the dandelions bloom. Robins and redwings will move in in late March to early April.
Dang deer are getting brave, lol!

Oh boy Vicki!
That made me laugh, only because you said el stinko!
I smelled one the other morning. Thankfully it wasn't strong. Not sure if one shot off or got hit by a car.
I sure hope you can keep the dogs in till the coast is clear. Hopefully he doesn't decide to make your place his place to walk thru every day.
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageMaryE
Feb 20, 2017 10:45 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
A lot of snow has melted in the past week. It's so nice to see the ground again! Two or three days ago I dug a trail through a 2 foot high drift and opened a gate for Patch to be able to leave the small pasture. He went out at a trot, high stepping with his head up and his tail in the air! He is very happy to be out of the small pasture where he has been confined for about the past 6 weeks. There were a few places where he could get a few nibbles of green grass and it was like candy! Tasty green grass, places to go, things to see! Life is good again! He was becoming depressed and tired of hay.

Today I was looking at the electric fence that protects the young orchard and decided that I should be able to get the wires off the ground and tighten it all up tomorrow even if I have to deal with several inches of wet snow at the lower end. Yesterday the deer were close again, so Rick went out and did his imitation of the big dog again and they all ran over the hill and haven't seen them since! That has proven to be more effective than shooting a shotgun in their direction!

Yesterday I made another trip down the hill to bury kitchen trimmings in the garden. It is still a difficult trip. The garden shed has several buckets of frozen or chilled trimmings and coffee grounds waiting for me to take down there. Maybe that will happen in a few more days! I can see the wooden markers at the ends of the garlic rows and saw a few sticks of raspberry plants showing above the snow. I still haven't seen any sign of the strawberry row, the blackberries or the rhubarb.

Today we went to LaGrande, about 40 miles away, had breakfast at a restaurant where they serve cheese blintzes, and then I went to get a hearing test. Last week the technician who services Rick's hearing aids asked me if I would like to have a hearing test. I know that I don't hear as well as I once did, so I said yes. I have minimal hearing loss, so no need for any hearing aids. Apparently the higher frequency tones are the first to go. I can hear birds, coyotes, and things like that before Rick hears them with his hearing aids. No problem. I think the technician is paid per test, so ok, maybe it helps him and he is a nice man. For us, we had a nice drive to and from LaGrande, and a nice breakfast on a day when we didn't have other obligations or plans. We also went to one of the big box stores and found an employee just unpacking a big cart full of summer blooming bulbs. Well of course I had to buy some!
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
[Last edited Feb 21, 2017 7:33 AM CST]
Quote | Post #1237136 (11)
Imagevic
Feb 21, 2017 4:15 AM CST
Name: Vicki
North Carolina
What kind of bulbs did you get?
NATIONAL GARDENING ASSOCIATION Purslane & Portulaca ~ Garden Art
ImageMaryE
Feb 21, 2017 7:33 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Orange lilies and a double, bicolored peony called Sorbet..... so far. They'll fill a couple of spots where I saw that something was dead when I was spreading compost last fall. I can't have empty places! The peony and the lilies will all go behind some yellow iris. If they are blooming together, wonderful! If not, the foliage will be a nice background for the iris. I need to start taking the clippers with me when I go out to look at things. A snip here and a snip there.... it all adds up.
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagebillyporter
Feb 22, 2017 6:24 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
They sound pretty!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageMaryE
Feb 24, 2017 9:18 PM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
The snow is nearly gone now except for the big piles we made and some drifts. Patch has been out in the big pasture for several days now. He comes back to the small pasture for a little hay and then goes out again, happy for his freedom and green grass to nibble. It doesn't quite feed him, so he comes back to get some hay and maybe an apple or a carrot if I happen to see him there and have a treat.

My hearing test, while interesting, showed very little loss which is just as I thought it would.

I can see the straw on the garlic rows now. I walked along the rows looking for sprouts, none are showing yet.

Today the remains of the old hot fence was taken down, metal t-posts were pulled up and moved so that the enclosure is wider and not quite so long. The last tree in the row was put into such terrible soil that despite my apparently not diligent enough efforts, it died. We decided not to plant a new tree there. New wire was put up because the thin wire wrapped around a tough plastic line sometimes breaks and is almost impossible to find where. The solar fence charger was relocated to where it is easier to turn off when I need to unhook the little hooks that we are using for a gate. They are not insulated. We will only open the fence when we need to prune or mow or harvest. The fence looks good and is HOT again should any curious critter decide to test it. We need to buy a few tension springs for the wires which will stretch and sag a bit over time, didn't think of that when we were at the farm store today. The project took most of the afternoon. We were thankful for some sun and not much wind so it was pleasant to be outside working.

Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
ImageArleneB
Feb 25, 2017 7:08 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
So spring is in the air for you too, Mary! Well, we can hope. So glad you got the hot fence repaired. We lost several trees last summer due to the drought. A couple of apple trees, which are hard enough to grow down here to begin with.

David got the stakes in for the black raspberries. We wanted to get it done while the ground was wet from the past few days of rain. We still need to get wire to string but we'll get it later today.

Yay for Patch! I'll bet he watches for you when he comes for hay for a special treat. I wish I was closer, I have some old apples I could share.
ImageMaryE
Mar 6, 2017 10:45 AM CST
Name: Mary
The dry side of Oregon
Be yourself, you can be no one else
Spring isn't exactly springing, however, it is slowly coming. The snow accumulation from this past winter is almost gone except in the piles where it was pushed by the tractor and a few of the larger drifts. My yard only has two remaining drifts. The vegie garden is clear! Yesterday I took the last of the winter accumulation of frozen kitchen scraps to the garden and "fed" it to the soil (buried it). I saw a few brave earthworms in the places where I dug. The soil is still very wet and I scraped it off the shovel when I was finished. It's improving for just walking, evidenced by the fact that my shoes didn't gain several sizes while I walked between the garlic rows to check for sprouts coming through the mulch. None yet. The soil thermometer was pegged out at 30 last week and now reads 35! Progress!

The old rhubarb plant has some red nubs and one little wrinkly pink-red leaf. That plant was here when we moved here in 1993 and I have a better variety so I don't give that one any care. It lives in spite of me. The preferred variety has much thicker stalks and does get some tlc most years if nothing more than mulch. As of yesterday there was no sign of life on either of the big clumps. I raked the surface of the mulch to break it up and then poured the water on it from rinsing out the kitchen scrap buckets. Soil in the strawberry row is still too frozen to allow for any weed pulling.

The pink and peachy color peony, a variety named Sorbet was planted yesterday along with some orange lilies. Those were put in places where I know something didn't survive. I have more lilies to plant and also a new Siberian iris, an old variety from the 1930's but new to me. It's Caesar's Brother. I need to give other bulb type plants time to poke through and show me where they are. I need some of those fancy markers, the kind that aren't gone with the wind.

It's been several days, maybe close to a week since I've heard or seen an owl. I hope they are ok. Maybe Ms Owl decided on a nesting place at one of the other groves of trees in our area. I should spend some time outside at dusk to listen for hoots.

Deer are able to wander easier again now, and we see them giving our place a wide berth because Rick's imitation of a big barking dog has apparently made a lasting impression! Smiling
Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most.
More ramblings at http://thegatheringplacehome.myfastforum.org/forum54.php
Imagebillyporter
Mar 7, 2017 6:20 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Mary,
I still can't believe your snow has melted.
My rhubarb sounds like yours. I love to see it in the spring.
I'm not sure if I have Caesar's Brother, but if I do I love the intense purple color!
Way to go Rick!
A small town has no secrets except itself
ImageArleneB
Mar 7, 2017 7:05 AM CST
Name: Arlene
Grantville, GA
My rhubarb didn't survive! I hope my mother has some when we visit in May.

Glad you got your peony and lilies planted.

Imagebillyporter
Mar 8, 2017 6:54 AM CST
Name: Sally
Nichols, iowa
Oh Arlene,
Is it not cold enough or did something else happen?
A small town has no secrets except itself

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