Garden time is just around the corner and I realized I needed to contain the girls (hens) to keep them from digging and scratching my garden up. I have strawberry plants due in a couple weeks and those will need to be planted soon after arrival. What started out as a simple plan turned into a major undertaking.
The hen house where I bed them down at night is right here next to the house. I go up every morning in the dark to feed and turn them out before I head off to my full-time job. It was a fine space to raise them from chicks, but now it is a little cramped, so I let them out during the day to keep the crankiness level down.
I had planned on moving the girls out to the big barn and letting them free range the goat pasture. A good plan, with them having over an acre to roam and scratch around without bothering anything. Yes, the barn is farther away from the house than the hen house is now, but I saw nothing wrong making the trip in the mornings to let them out for the day. Hubby, however, did not want me making the trip that far in the dark with coyotes in the area. So, picking my battles, I decided to let this one slide.
The only other option was to fence in around their existing location. There was a smaller area that we had used about ten years ago, made from 10’ deer netting that needed to be cleaned up before I could even begin with the new area. It took me the better part of Saturday tugging, cutting, and pulling out 300 feet of deer netting and 150 feet of 2’ high chicken wire that had been overtaken by briars and small trees.
I need another good day of cutting up two trees that are down and one that needs to be cut down. I drove what t-post I had in yesterday and will need to drive around 6 or 7 more after the trees are cut up and moved. I am going to need someone to help with the cutting of the trees, again picking my battles and not doing it myself because it makes hubby nervous when I do. If he was able, he would be right there showing me how it is done. No matter that my daddy was a saw miller all his life and I know how to run a chainsaw. Hubby’s health is not good, and I know it bothers him to see me working so hard and him not being able to help. So, I don’t push (most of the time) when I know he don’t want me doing something that he considers dangerous for me. Hard for him to understand that I love working outside a lot more than inside cleaning house.
Some time this week I will swing by Tractor Supply on my way home from work and pick up some more fencing wire. Hopefully I will have someone lined up to help with the cutting up of the trees by next weekend or maybe get that done during the week. I see a good day hauling and stacking wood out of my way in my future. Once that is done, I should have the fence up in no time. Then on to the gardening. It’s a good life.
So, here’s what happened next.
I was checking out indoor gardening on YouTube one day trying to figure out what was wrong with our indoor garden. I ran across a video on hydroponic gardening. I believe the first video I saw was on using the Kratky method which was simple enough. I began researching more just because that is what I do. I read the crap out of it. There is one section of the library that should be dedicated to me. In my readings on the hydroponic gardening it was mentioned that before diving in to building your own hydroponic garden it would be wise to purchase a ready-made version to test it out.
This lead me back to YouTube to check out what my options were. I decided to buy an AeroGarden and began to look around at the prices. The one thing about me that you should know is I am cheap, hate to spend money when I might find a used one for sale cheaper, that and I really did not put a lot of faith in it really working like they advertised. I found a used one on Facebook in the marketplace. Hubby and I went and met with the person one Sunday, and we had an AeroGarden. I could not wait long enough to go online, order the seeds from AeroGarden, and wait for them to arrive. I had tomato seeds left over from the past Spring and planted those in the little pods that came with the system.
That was on Jan. 5th, I was so amazed at how fast these little seeds turned to 12” plants with stems as big around as my little finger. By Feb 6th I was having to transplant the tomatoes out of the AeroGarden because they had grown over top of the lighting system. When I planted the seeds, I told my husband we would at least have tomato plants to plant in the garden by April. I had no clue; we both were so amazed every day as we watched these plants go from seed to plants. I am now on the lookout for another Aerogarden, so I can have a flower in my bathroom where there is no sun. We now are trying Butterscotch lettuce in the AeroGarden. Excited to see how this turns out.
Let me catch you up.
Last Fall as the garden was dying off, I just did not want to face another Winter buying store bought tomatoes. Let’s face it, they do not compare to a garden picked tomato. I took cuttings from a few of the plants we had left that had not been bitten by jack frost. That was the being of a learning process.
I told my husband, God bless him for loving me enough to let me try anything, I was going to grow tomatoes for us to eat during the Winter. Him being a tomato sandwich lover, was all for it. So I cleaned a small spot out in the laundry room and proudly set up my plants. Well you cannot have a fresh tomato without a green onion. The last fish in the aquarium had just pasted away so that turned into an onion bed. Then one day walking back from feeding the chickens I spotted a cluster of something green growing in a garden bed and went to investigate. Oh my, there about an inch tall were a small cluster of cucumbers from one that had gotten to big and I just left it laying. I gathered up the tiny baby plants and added them to the growing garden in the laundry room. One grow light turned into two, three tomato plants turned into: tomato, onions, cucumbers, celery, chives, pumpkin and hot peppers.
In my head, I saw us having fresh food to eat by at least January. Tomatoes bloomed, a baby cucumber appeared, we watered and fertilized, and we waited. We have not decided if we bought the wrong grow lights or if it was too cool for them. We have not gotten the first veggie from out indoor garden. It was a learning experience and I had fun trying. I am not a quitter and don’t give up easily. Stay tuned for what came next. I was so surprised.
I am sure you have read dozens of Christmas stories. My husband and I first Christmas together was a a little different than most. At the time I did not have a job and my husband had just got laid off from Chatham Manufacturing. We were so poor that we barely had enough to eat. There was no way we could spend what little money we had on buying presents.
I wanted so much to give my husband a first Christmas that he would remember. I set out in search of a Christmas tree that would be able to set on the table in the little camping trailer we lived in. At the time, it was all we could afford to rent. I walked around, up and down the dirt road, and finally all I could find was a couple of Charlie Brown trees growing on the side of the road. Come to think of it was probably best I did not find a big tree due to I had taken a bread knife that had a serrated edge to cut the tree down. I don’t recall us owning a saw or ax, so knife it was. I cut down two small pines not as big around as your big toe. They were not over a foot and half tall.
I proudly carried my two trees home and found a can that was big enough to hold the trees, added water so they wouldn’t die, and rocks to hold the trees up. I tied the trees together at just the right space to make them look like they had more branches than they did. I cut cardboard shapes and took old foil and wrapped them and strung up a small string of pop corn. That tree was so pitiful, but we had a Christmas tree. I have heard my husband of 36 years now, tell people about our first Christmas tree many times, always with love in his heart. Merry Christmas my dear husband!
When the kids were growing up it was a rule that everyone was at the table come dinner time. We ate as a family and enjoyed many conversations. We talked about what happened that day, homework that had to be done, and let’s not forget “eat your veggies, you’re not getting up until you do”.
The kids grew up and it has been my husband and I for several years now. The table became a place to drop anything in your hands as you passed by to the rest of the house. Hubby and I now eat in the living room, watching the news when I have the remote, or a western when he has the remote. I got tired of cleaning the table off and with a small house, space is valuable. The table got replaced with a stereo and treadmill for awhile, then a rocker.
Now we have two grand-babies and another on the way. Family dinner is now on Thursday nights and it has become necessary to have a kitchen table again. I never thought I would get so excited over a table that I know is going to need to be cleaned off every time I turn around, but I am. I miss those times around the table, everyone talking at once. I look forward to hearing about what is going on with the kids and grand kids lives. Watching their expression as they relay the tales of something exciting. This is stuff you can’t get off Facebook, this is family dinner around the table.
Happy Veteran’s Day to my father, my husband’s father, my sister and brother-n-law. Thank you to all of the brave soles that stood up and fought for our freedom. Thank You and may God bless.