Wednesday, April 5, 2017

A Few Little Bumps in the Road

Not my farm.  But, I can dream, can't I?
Sometimes life is smooth sailing.  Sometimes you can't do a thing wrong.  Other times it's like you're crossing an old cornfield on a 10-speed.

Things get a bit bumpy.

I hit a particularly hard bump at my paying job a few weeks ago when I twanged my back.  Almost a month later, I'm off work and on physical therapy with orders for activity as tolerated.  That is probably the most non-specific thing I've ever seen a doctor order.  The bad thing is, I don't know what is too much until I've done it.

But I digress.

The bumps in my road these days seem to happen one right after the other.  Bad tires on the truck lead to the discovery of a bad wheel bearing...oy.  But, fortunately the rattling noise from under the truck was not the exhaust system fixin' to fall off.  It was just a loose heat shield which the guy welded back on for nothing.  Thanks to my Dad all is done and dusted in the repair department.  Which is a good thing because that is my farm truck and I'm going to need it pretty soon to haul compost, peat moss, potting soil, and etc.

So, as you might imagine, I've bee a bit limited in what I can manage to get done in the garden.  I take my little cushion and my little hand spade out and sit by the raised beds whittling away at the grass that has been invading and simply won't DIE.  I got the old black raspberry canes mostly cut down and then tied up the year-old canes that will fruit this summer.  I discovered a new plant not too far away.  Did you know that if you let the ends of the canes of a black raspberry bush touch the ground for too long, they'll root in and start another plant?  Neither did I.  Criminy!  That thing could take over the whole place in a couple years!  I've also been whittling away at the mounds of rabbit droppings under the hutches.  Setting up winter quarters on top of the raised beds was a genius idea if I do say so myself.  All I have to do is re-distribute the rabbit poo to the other beds and get the rabbits back to their summer digs by the end of April. 


The enforced downtime has allowed me to plan and plot and plan my plots to the point where I think I know where every dang plant will land when I get it all...erm...planted.  I started a "let's grow onions from seed" project that didn't really go as hoped.  The bunching onions are doing great!  The Spanish onions have pretty much bit the dust.  The other onions, the name of which escapes me, never germinated at all.  So, I ordered onion plants online.  They should be arriving soon.  Oh, and the sweet potato project never really got off the ground.  I got a few roots.  Then one of the potatoes started to rot so I threw the whole shebang into the trash and ordered slips online as well.

There comes a time when you have to throw in the towel.

Once again, my kitchen shelf space is brimming with seedlings.  I have 6 kinds of tomatoes (I think), several kinds of peppers, a few cabbages, some broccoli (hopefully the second round does better than the first), some brussels sprouts, a whole bunch of basil, and a few sage plants.  Yesterday, I was gifted a bunch of cilantro seeds.  I'll grow them.  But, it will have to be outside.  I can't stand the smell of the stuff and I won't have it in the house.  Bleh.*

*cue the outcry from cilantro lovers.

Another exciting thing has happened.  I know you're not going to believe this, but two out of three mint plants survived the winter!  For most people this is nothing to write home about.  For me it's a dang miracle.  I've tried for years to establish a variety of mints in my garden.  Every year it's the same thing.  They winter kill.  Not this year, though.  I discovered this when I was working on the herb garden trying to get the damn grass out of it and I kept digging up much fleshier roots.  Finally, I pulled on one of those long suckers and it ran right up to the dead-looking mint plant.

Gobsmacked, I was. 

All along that root were tiny, green shoots.  I promptly dug it all up and replanted it in some buried containers to hopefully, well, contain mint's apparently well-deserved enthusiasm.  Just in case I managed to kill the momma plants anyway, I took a few root cuttings that are growing like weeds in amongst my other seedlings.  The two that lived are spearmint varieties.  The chocolate mint didn't make it.  No matter.  I'm going to get a new plant and move it to the magic mint bed with the other mints.  I hope to find some other kinds.  I have four more containers set into the ground already.

So excited.  Simple pleasures for simple minds.

I could blather on all night, but I probably shouldn't.  I'm getting the hairy eyeball from the spouse about it being suppertime.  But I don't mind.  I kinda like having the bum around. He kinda smoothes out the bumps sometimes.


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