Skip to content

The year of the gradual garden

May 31, 2008

After the big letdown with Jetta’s calving,  I was kind of glad that it rained most of the week.  I just didn’t feel like planting any garden.  We let Jetta lick and clean her calf, and eat the placenta.  The amniotic fluid on the calf, contains natural pain inhibitors, and eating the placenta helps prolong colostrum production.  Letting animals do what comes naturally, makes my job easier.  We left the calf with her until the next day, we didn’t weigh it, but it was quite large. It was all that my daughter and I could do to get it in the pickup.  We disposed of the calf, near the canyon edge away from the cow herd, where the carrion eaters could clean it up fast, without having to leave their cover in the woods.

Wild Ginger Asarum caudatum, it’s easy to miss these beauties on the forest floor.



Signs of life on the grafted apple trees.

It’s a long time until this Gravenstein will be made into cider, or sauce.

Bartlett pears, a lot can happen between now and September!


Today, my daughter had her plant sale, and I’m a bad Mom/gardener – I have been coveting her plants.  // people might not want all her plants, etc.  They are beautiful, there is something about kids, and seeds, and dirt, and tending plants.  It is just a natural, as an adult, I’m always trying to multi-task and most likely not paying attention to the little plant babies as I should.  Unfortunately for me, everyone showed and all the the plants are gone!  Sigh.

It has been too wet to plant outside, so I have been concentrating on finishing the greenhouse planting.
I did inter-plant a succession salad bed of sorts, between some of the tomato plants.  My tomatoes are planted on 4′ centers, so it was easy to squeeze the next round of lettuce in.
We also got all the peppers planted.  This will sound like overkill, but we planted 96 plants in the greenhouse on 2′ centers.  We couldn’t believe how many peppers we ate last year (65 plants) out of hand, and we put up all that we could and also kept fresh ones until January.  Good vitamin C!  So we planted more.  I irrigate once a week in the greenhouse, and I use soaker hoses, it’s just as easy to water a few more plants than not.   The bulk of these plants are sweet peppers, with several varieties of chili peppers, ranging from paprika and cayenne for drying, to anaheim and mild jalapenos for salsa.  It will take this many plants to really give us all the peppers we want, for fresh eating, and preserving for the off season.  One practice I started when our daughter was little, and have continued is, to plant cherry tomatoes at the ends of the rows.  This keeps the snackers, (kids, dogs, husbands) away from the bulk of the plants.  We have lots of visitors with small children, and it is easier to just let them graze away.  Besides, the cherry tomatoes are always needing picking anyway.  That way I don’t have to be the crank, shooing people away.

Inderminate tomatoes, Costoluto Genovese with interplanted lettuce.

Lath resisting her leading lesson, with concerned relatives looking on.

We found the new hiding place!

I couldn’t resist this pic – I love my baby dog!

Faithful doggies, waiting for Mom to come back from moving the cows.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. June 1, 2008 4:49 am

    I love your posts! Your daughter’s plant sale sounds like a terrific idea, you have beautiful, kitties, gorgeous dogs, and that is a familiar sight around here, someone struggling to get a calf halter trained. Thanks!

  2. June 1, 2008 6:35 am

    Great pics. I’ve been reading your posts on your greenhouse looking for good direction. Your daughters plants look wonderful. to bad she didn’t hold some back for ya…since you went through the pain of child birth and all.

  3. matronofhusbandry permalink*
    June 1, 2008 7:43 am

    Threecollie, and I yours! That plant sale has grown, she gets more customers each year. She has to pay for her horse groceries and supplies. She added a fall sale this year, trying to get more $$ out of the same people – smart cookie, like your offspring.
    Thanks again – and thank you for taking the time to post everyday!

    Woody, thanks, I’m going to give most of the credit to my kid and the camera for the photos. I only take about a 1/3 of them.
    Here our greenhouse makes the difference on the variety of food we can grow. Not because of cold temperatures, but because of the rain, a lot of foods will just rot in the field. You will be surprised what you can over winter.
    I know, I know, I think the cow feels way worse than me, but her cloven hooves are too hard on the key board, so I can’t let her type her own posts!

  4. June 1, 2008 9:07 am

    Speaking of greenhouses… would love a post on how to build a relatively modest-sized one.

    Trace is one gorgeous boy!

    Any yay for your daughter. And for the idea. Great way for kids to make extra money.

  5. June 1, 2008 9:43 am

    Great pictures……thanks for sharing your part of the country.
    Your daughter obviously has your green thumb and love for growing things. Good for her.

    Love the photo of Lath learning to lead. My oldest wanted to teach the new calf to lead this year. It was his first try. Mind you, he’s 27 and thought it was going to be a piece of cake. Boy, did he learn alot! When they stick those toes in, they are not moving. 🙂 It was fun to watch. He did win in the end but not without lots of effort, patience and laughs from Mom 🙂

  6. June 1, 2008 11:53 am

    It took me a minute to find it. OMG, I’m still laughing! Sorry about the typo. All corrected now.

  7. Kristen permalink
    June 1, 2008 12:39 pm

    I would have loved to come to your daughter’s plant sale!! Glad to hear she did well…..I am sure she worked hard for it. I love seeing other families that teach their children to work. For some reason society thinks that children should live a cushy life with no real chores and then they are suprised when they grow up and don’t want to do anything…shocking I know 🙂 I love the little kittens…so cute.

  8. June 1, 2008 3:49 pm

    I’d love to just have your daughter:) You’ve inspired my to try my hand at grafting next year.

  9. matronofhusbandry permalink*
    June 1, 2008 9:33 pm

    Karen, that’s a good idea for a post. Blogging really makes me scrutinize what we are doing/have done, if it is helpful to others. Someone is waiting for a water system post too…
    So much to blog about, so little time.

    Trace is gorgeous and so loveable – I’m getting teased about how many photos we have of him! His breeders just emailed about a new litter…, (insert big sigh) we want to wait until he is two, to get another sibling, but she promised pics of the new litter. I waited too long between Melvin and Trace, and I don’t want to repeat that ordeal!

    I’m also coveting her plant business! She does OK, in her rebellious stage (first one) she decided to sell flowers instead of vegetables. She didn’t make as much money, so that was that!

    I corrected the typo on my end too, I kind of liked the new name – you made me chuckle all day! Thanks!

    Debi, thanks, it’s nice to see plant sale go so well, with satisfied customers, and no mishaps along the way.

    Teaching those calves is fun – I thought she should have went downhill, but she’s as stubborn as Lath! So my suggestion fell on deaf ears. The milk cows were the funniest, thinking they needed to rescue that poor calf from us. Lot’s of bellering! Did you capture the leading lessons on camera?
    I would like to see that.

    Kristen, she does work hard, this all started with her wanting a horse. She earned the money to buy her horse, and then wanted to wait until she had enough to buy a years worth of supplies. That part was her idea – we were surprised and very pleased. She hates parting with her money because she knows how hard it is to come by. We tease her about loaning us money!!! Hard work never hurt anyone, we have never once had to remind her to do her chores. Now helping with household chores – that’s a different story. But, where living things are involved she has never once thought of herself first.
    Sadly, we realized this weekend, that the momma cat to this batch has not come home. I have a love/hate relationship with our cats that go so far afield. I want to scold them when they come back, but I’m always so glad to see them that I just give them a big hug! She was our best mom, and I always hated seeing her hunting clear down in the woods, more than a mile from home. She would not eat cat food, so she always hunted. I’ll be surprised if I see her again 😦

    Linda, if you keep posting pictures of your place, with good looking cowboys, and horses, you just might find her on your doorstep one day! You’ll do great with the grafting with your green thumb. You need more to do in your “spare” time.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: