Saturday, May 29, 2010

Painting Barn Roof, Planting More Garden

Jens volunteered to paint the barn roof! He arrived before 7:00 am, and Jeff had already gotten a safety harness (plus reflective roof paint and brushes). By 8:00 am Jens had secured the D hooks on the rooftop and strapped himself into the harness - he finished the entire one side of the roof by 3:00!

Also got more garden planted this morning:
  • 42 bell pepper plants
  • finished the pepper row and tomato row with cucumbers (marketfare)
  • row next to the peppers starts with 1 pack of yellow straight neck zucchini
  • about 4 oz of black zucchini
  • 1 packet spaghetti squash
  • about 1 teaspoon of acorn squash (saving the rest for late summer planting)
  • next 1.5 rows = green beans: .5 lbs of Tema, .5 lbs of Slenderette

Worked a little on the herb garden, added mariegolds to the border, hoed and watered


Sunday, May 23, 2010

Wine, Sauce & Yams

Finished washing and labeling the canned goods, then ran wires to add more lights in the cellar, set up more shelves and finally moved all the jars and bottles downstairs. Thanks to Knud and Shannon, these two batches of wine bottles were capped with the heat-shrink foil, red for the peach wine and green for the apple wine.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Garden Update - May 22

Our potatoes are up very nicely, as are the red beets, peas, parsnips, lettuce and spinach. We had a nice slow drizzling rain all afternoon and planted - finally - 114 tomato plants (about 100 Roma and the rest Brandywine) and the 47 cabbage plants. Also planted a dozen basil plants in the herb garden. Went to the Newville Hardware store to get more corn seeds, as well as summer and winter squash, cucumber and some flower seeds. Weed-whacked two rows of blackberries and filled in those spots where the plants did not take (about 10%) - we had extras set aside for filling in. Would have gotten more done today, but Sam locked her keys in the car while getting ready to be a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding - so we had to drive the spare key out to the wedding venue for her (twice - since the first time we took the wrong spare key). Also got another section done in the shade bed at the edge of the lawn, put in more bleeding hearts, sweet woodruff and hostas.

You Can Catch my Tractor on Fire....

Jeff did catch his tractor on fire the other day. Apparently, the exhaust pipe is right by the fuel tank, and he was running the tractor hard, disking the new corn field. He was running it so hard, then when he shut the tractor off (at the edge of the field), he could hear the fuel boiling in the tank - which apparently happens... Jeff started walking toward the house, when the fumes from the fuel caught on fire, and the entire hood of the tractor was covered in flames. Jeff ran (in his words) to the house to get the fire extinguisher - Sam said he was really moving - and managed to get the flames put out. He opened the tractor hood (which by the way was still so hot that it singed all the hairs off his arm) to get some air flowing, hoping this would cool the tractor off. The tractor started right back up and Jeff decided to drive it back over to the house side and cool it off more with a water hose. After this incident, Jeff took the hood off the tractor, to keep more air flowing around the fuel tank. It now bears some slight resemblance to "Mater" - but the tractor is running fine.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Winter Transplanting Worked After All

Perennials that were hastily transplanted during our move last November miraculously survived in the equally hastily created flowerbeds. Right now poppies, peonies, perennial geraniums, lavender, roses and a few stray daffodils are in bloom. Above is the circle bed right at the corner of our hedge in front of the house, which we edged with stones found around the property.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Bargains at Annual Plant Sale

Went to the Cumberland County Master Gardener annual Plant Sale and found some nice additions for the flower beds and more:

  • 6 evergrees (3 blue spruce and 3 scotch pine)
  • black eyed susan
  • blue bell flower
  • shasta daisy
  • bee balm
  • feverfew
  • lilly of the valley
  • 1 flat of cabbage plants

Friday, May 14, 2010

More Cleaning up and Planting

It's time to catch up with blogging - it's been a crazy week:

Last weekend Jeff planted corn - two pound of Silver King (we think) - this was seed we had left over from last year, so we'll have to see how it germinates. He planted this on the lower field - next to the blackberries in the back of the property. Jeff had ordered new parts for the fertilizer bins of his corn planter - they worked like a charm, saving us a lot of time!

We also killed a lot of poison ivy and continued cleaning out the willows around the pond. Late Sunday afternoon, Zach decided to set up the swing set - it was in pieces and had to be moved into place with the tractor. We got it all set up between two large trees in the back yard, near the 'future play house' (an old chicken coop that Sam worked on cleaning our for a couple of days already)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cleaning Around and in the Pond

This past weekend we worked on cleaning the pond - around the edges and the water.

Jeff sawed off a lot of the willow trees - which not only grow around the edge, but also grow in the water. He cut the larger pieces into firewood (which Anja and Duff carted away and stacked), and we made yet another burning pile for all the smaller branches.

Then Jeff had the great idea of trying to pull those willows, which were actually growing in the pond, out with his tractor - Tina had to borrow Anja's fly-fishing waders to go into the water and hook ropes and chains around the tree trunks....this did not work too well - so we went back to sawing them off where possible.

At the end of this rather exhausting day, we hung out at the pond and enjoyed the peaceful afternoon. Anja and Duff took a ride in the paddleboat.