Sunday, April 29, 2012

This spring in the garden has been fabulous. The shrubs, bulbs and plants have just bloomed and bloomed. The Cecile Brunner rose has so many blossoms, you think the whole bush is just one huge rose.

 The Iris and lavender are so purple.  When you get close to the lavender it hums with the sound of all the bees.

We have been planting and planting in our vegetable garden but I am worried, because of the weather in April, that some plants are going to be late.  Our CSA business normally is ready to start up at the end of May and that doesn't leave very much time for the plants to start producing.  They can't eat the nice looking flowers!!! One a positive note, our cherry trees are just full of green fruit and it promises to be a good crop for my CSA members.  When I woke up this morning my right hand was cramped shut, I couldn't move the fingers to open it.  I had worked hard yesterday with my hand hoe digging trenches for seeds and after dinner I went out again to try and get a little more digging before it got too late.  Guess in my dreams I was still planting.
Isn't this a cute picture?  Saw it in another blog.  Guess the mother cat doesn't mind the chicken babysitting her kittens and the kittens don't mind either.I am having some problems in my chicken coop.  One or more of my chickens are breaking eggs.  In the past, it would happen occasionally as one chicken using the same nest may put a hole in an egg in trying to move the egg/s around under them.  But now I am finding 2-3 eggs a day broken completely and eaten.  This is a very dangerous habits and very difficult to stop.  I went out to coop several times yesterday to try and find out which bird/s are the egg crackers and to also take out eggs just as soon as they are laid.  My hope is to stop the cycle, if possible.  With the price of feed, it is very expensive to keep animals and my egg business helps with augmenting the costs.  To loose 2-3 eggs a day really adds up to a great loss. Maybe I should just put some kittens in the coop to keep the naughty chickens busy minding them instead of pecking eggs!
I read an interesting article about APRONS.  Most people don't even know anyone who wears an apron in the kitchen any more.  I have a few friends that wear them and I have very fond memories of my Grandmother always having one in the kitchen and out in the garden.  Here is the article.
I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath, because she only had a few, it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and they used less material, but along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.
It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears. From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven. When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids. And when the weather was cold, grandma wrapped it around her arms. Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron. From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls. In the fall, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees. When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds. When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner. It will be a long time before someone invents something that will; replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.
They would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron... But Love !!"
Have a wonderful week from Windmill Farm and Country Design.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What is a Dibbler; Dibble; or Dibber?

Welcome Back to the Windmill Farm and Country Design :

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter Weekend with family and friends.  We sure did, we loved having our grandkids over for the week before since they were on spring break.  And then all our family went to a fabulous campground not that far away and camped.  It turned out to be the warmest weekend we have had for a long time and it was so delightful to be able to all be outside and enjoy nature.
During these last raining days, since I cannot be outside working in the gardens, I think about gardening.  A friend of ours has given me some CDs of a gardening show on the BBC network called Gardening World.  It is unbelievable that I have never seen it and the ones he copied for me were from 2011 which turned out to be their 45th season.  I have a note pad next to my chair as each show gives such wonderful suggestions for planting beautiful English Country flower beds; or they talk about trees; vegetables; any subject you can think about.  I am going to have my friend work backwards when I finish this series to season #44 and later. 
Reading blogs are quite fun and each one seems to be unique, you may find them more interesting than you think and they normally are quick readings, nothing like a book, just several minutes of concentrated information if you pick the right blog. I am a busy person, as everyone seems to be these days so my time is valuable.  Blogs are quick ways to be inspired, to learn.  If a blog doesn't do that for me, I have several I check in with several times a week to read what is happening.   I have marked several as my favorites that talk about antiquing; or old houses; or DIY projects or chickens or gardening, of course are my favorites.

I recently taught a class at our farm and also one at the C Bar D Feed Store on Raising Backyard Chickens.  The subject was teaching people the basics of having your own chickens, possibly within the City Limits.  Most communities have a renewed interest by people to have fresh eggs and have been changing their usage codes to allow a certain number of chickens either for a designated size space or within the City limits.  Gridley is a town that does allow chickens, but no roosters for obvious reasons, check with the City for the complete ordinance on keeping chickens.

One of the gardening blogs that I follow myself just happened to mention a tool called a “Dibbler, Dibber, and Dibble”. Definition: A dibber or dibble is a pointed wooden stick for making holes in the ground so that seeds, seedlings or small bulbs can be planted. It referenced that it could be purchased from the new Williams Sonoma catalog.  That company now has a section called “Agrarian”. Several people I have talked to recently mentioned it also, it is such a surprise to see a traditionally kitchenware store/catalog now have gardening; beekeeping; and keeping chickens items for sale.  The love of small farms; or gardening has officially gone BIG TIME to make it to Williams-Sonoma catalogues. So of course, I went out to google and ended up purchasing a Dibble; dibbler; dibber off of Ebay to try it out in my garden.

TIPS for gardening this week:  Roses-to enhance colors in roses-(Read this from a nursery blog) Add about 2 ounces of Epsom Salts (Magnesium sulfate) which you buy at any drug store, on newly established plants; and add 4 ounces on older plants in April and repeat in May.       To stimulate more canes on roses; cane berries, blueberries, etc. apply alfalfa pellets and water into the root zone about 3 times at monthly intervals.

Until next time, from Windmill Farm.