Monday, January 30, 2023

January 2023


After a frozen lake in December, the lake has been open all of January. The Trumpeter Swans have remained for longer this year than in the past. We have had seven here for several months now, and we have hopes they will like it well enough to stay.

A new house is being built at the other ends of the lake, so our little lake is changing once again.

Still winter - so I'm officially in my cooking mode. Since I view a lot of recipes, Facebook shows many in my feed, and I experiment a lot. This potato pancake recipe has become Ron's favorite breakfast. When done, they are crispy brown!

The other dominant theme in my Facebook feed is gardening. Although I have tried unsuccessfully on several occasions to start petunias from seed, this picture convinced me to try again. I ordered several specialty petunias from Baker Creek, and was excited to see them in the mail.

I was a bit dismayed when I opened the seed package and found this tiny zip lock bag with what looked like dust inside. 

The instructions said be sure soil is warm, so I dug an old heating pad out of the closet and I think I planted the seeds.  Hard to tell as they are almost microscopic and I wasn't sure I even had seeds in the pots.  After 10 days, I spotted a bit of green! YAY

If you look very closely, you can see tiny leaves - (may be chickweed?) but I'm cautiously optimistic that I actually have petunias.  They look extremely fragile, and have been this exact same size for about a week.  We'll see - but I'm glad I planted early if they grow this slow.  They should be ready for my dreamed of hanging baskets by about May (if they're actually petunias).

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

New Year Project


When we put in this fence line last year, it was intended to give the deer a sense of boundary. To make life easier for both the deer and me, I planted raspberry starts all along the fence line. This attempt to bribe the deer to eat from "their" raspberries and leave mine alone didn't work at all.  Since this line got overrun with weeds, they preferred the nicely trimmed main raspberry patch, and I ended up picking the berries buried in the weeds.  So, this is what it looked like after a year of neglect. Opportunistic weeds like grass, Alder trees, comfrey, foxglove, creeping buttercup, and many more had developed a very hard sod/weed base all along the fence.  The only wire I had put on the fence was a single line of wire to kind of trellis the raspberries.  I really can't stand weeds, so I began clearing the weeds off this fence line and creating a new area adjacent to the main garden for another Hugelkultur mound. We are going to put a more serious fence outside the mound. This side of the garden is the main entry point for deer, raccoons, rabbits, etc. and I'm hoping a better fence will solve some of the problems of critters in the garden.

I began working on clearing the weeds about a month ago. Weather only allowed me to work on it periodically. I realized quickly that I would need a lot more mulch to complete the project, so I ordered another 15 yards of mulch.

I should finish the fence line weeding today, and then I can start on the fun project of installing the actual fence line on the other side of the new garden area.  I'm trying to transition the garden into more of a raspberry thing - I know raspberries do well no matter the weather so why fight to grow more exotic plants that may only do well in a "tomato" year? I may have to open a U-Pick for raspberries. 
I'm also trying to transition to more of a mulch covered food forest and less of a row crop tilled garden.