Giving Pearl a Haircut

It’s that time of year again when we give our Great Pyrenees a haircut. It gets hot and humid around here in the summertime and she needs to be able to cool off. On top of that, last summer she got a hot spot on her back that was bothering her, so she licked it. Then the fire ants discovered the spots and started chewing on her. So she tried to chew on them and before we knew it, she had an infection. The problem was, it took us a while to figure out it was the ants that kept the infection and chewing going. We are going to try to prevent this problem this year with an early haircut and being more vigilant.
 

Look at that smile!


Pearl is a very laid back dog. She didn’t budge an inch when I fired up the clippers and started whacking away. In fact, when I wanted her to budge, it took some coaxing.

A dog groomer I’m not. Her hair is much shorter, but it is not a nice, smooth looking hairdo. She still has a lot of underfur which is very thick, but a lot of it will shed out before long. Combing it out helps some, too.

For some reason this year she has more black spots on her back and neck than she used to. Before now, she had the large patch on her shoulders and some markings on her ears. Now she has many black spots up and down her back. Interesting.

Pearl is a great livestock guardian. We would recommend this breed of dog for anyone looking for a guardian. Before we bought Pearl, we got a book and read up on how to train her. Pyrenees personalities are very different from the Labs we used to raise and train. Without the guidelines we read in the book, I don’t think Pearl’s training would have been near as successful.

Her first haircut is complete. A good start before the summer heat sets in. Now, back to the garden and finishing off the school year. What chores are on your list this time of year?

Until next time – Fern 

Trouble Is Brewing

Folks, we’re all in a lot of trouble. Things are changing so quickly in our country that it’s literally impossible to keep up with everything. But there are a few things that are becoming very, very obvious. So much so, that it appears there is a planned or intentional means of upsetting the populace and putting everyone on edge, or worse yet, forcing us into a corner.

We Americans speak much of our rights. What are rights, really? Do we have a right to liberty? We believe we do, based upon the founding of our country. But that seems to be one of the things that is changing very quickly. Remember, you can now only have free speech if you can find one of those ‘free speech zones’. If there is not one near you, you may have to travel a ways before you can express yourself, or you may have to apply for a permit to set one up closer to your location. That will decrease the need to burn more evil fossil fuels and decrease your portion of the carbon footprint, which is increasing global warming. Okay, so some of that was a little sarcastic, but you get the drift.

Back to our rights. According to the foundations upon which our great country was founded, The Declaration of Independence states “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” You notice the title of that document includes the word INDEPENDENCE not DEPENDENCE. This is one of the things that appears to be fading quickly into a distant memory. There are people that couldn’t care less. There are those that embrace a full-fledged take over by a tyrannical government. There are those that only want their checks to keep coming so they can continue to talk on their free cell phone, eat chemicalized food and stare endlessly at their giant screen television and video games. Some people don’t care that others rights are being stolen like a thief in the night. They can’t even pull themselves away from staring in a zombie-like trance long enough to notice. There are even places that have made texting and walking illegal because it is such a problem. Rights come from God. I don’t remember reading anything in the Bible that says people have the right to a cell phone. People have the right to the pursuit of happiness. Pursuit is an action, it requires work on the part of the person that is doing the pursuing. They do not have the right to take away my happiness to support their happiness. We have lost the true meaning of what rights are meant to be.

Another unfortunate side effect of staring at these screens all day is buying into the mantra that anyone who disagrees with some of these government tactics is a domestic terrorist or mentally unsound in some way. We have actually heard a high school counselor say that everyone that has ever been in the military has mental problems. Every single one of them. And this person is a counselor for high school students. Unbelievable, but true. 

It appears there will come a day when these two sides will have to choose. For the mindless millions now demanding their free cell phones and giant screen televisions, it will be an easy choice. They will do whatever it takes to never work a day in their lives for all of this ‘free’ stuff. They will do whatever it takes to continue enslaving the ‘workers’ so that they can NEVER WORK A DAY IN THEIR LIVES. So even if the SHTF, they won’t know how to work anyway. Besides that, the working class folks OWE them the money anyway. It’s one of their rights…..right? We’ve all heard of the experiments of how you can get good, decent people to do utter atrocities by threatening them or their families with harm. It will be no different this time.

It’s amazing how it has now become okay for most, and unfortunately I now include most, politicians to lie, cheat and steal from the American people. If they have a microphone in front of their faces, they’re lying. If they make a promise to The People, they will break it. It doesn’t mean anymore than the hot air escaping from their lungs. Most of the political arena appears to be so deep into the pockets of major corporations or power hungry elitists, that it doesn’t matter one single iota what The People need, want or demand. Not one bit. The People have become an expendable commodity, useful only to the extent that it pleases the Masters. If birds, fish and bugs can bring thriving industries to a screeching halt, regardless of the devastating impact upon the lives and welfare of The People, then what will they stoop to next?

I really think it is a matter of control. Gramsci had it right. If you try to force control upon a population in a conflict, they will revolt. But if you gradually take control of a little bit here and a little bit there, they will acquiesce. Like the frog in the pot, slowly waiting for things to cool off while it cooks to it’s death. That’s where we are. In the midst of cooking to death. The rights and liberties of We The People are being carved away one brush stroke of the pen at a time. Edward Bulwer-Lytton (1839) was right, ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. And it’s writing us into a corner of slavery with a life devoid of freedom.

The recent treatment of the men and women of our armed forces is enough to bring us to tears. Then after that initial reaction, it angers and frustrates us to no end. Our once proud military is facing more downsizing; denied the opportunity to back up fellow Americans under fire; have been exposed for duties performed under orders when that exposure brought danger to their lives; mandated sensitivity training instead of spending their time training for battle and the protection of our country and assets abroad; and most unbelievably, the men and women that have signed an oath to protect us are now considered possible terrorists because of the training they have received. For the life of me I cannot comprehend the motivation behind gutting and demoralizing our military.

How many executive orders have been signed and implemented in the past, let’s say, year and a half, since January 1, 2013? According to The White House, thirty (30). And since January 1, 2012? Sixty-nine (69). Now some of these may actually be in the

best interest of all of the country, but many of them are not. This president is not the only one that has employed executive privilege to further his agenda, many in the past have done so as well. It is just during this presidency the use of such privilege has increased dramatically, circumventing the democratic process of approval by the congress. This has been just one cog in the wheel that has increased the divisiveness in our country, and thus the willingness of people to get along all across the country. We have not been so divided in many years. The sense of working together for the common good no longer appears to be within the grasp of the common man. This sense of antagonism toward those that disagree with your agenda has increased the level of stress and discontent across all cultures, economic backgrounds and locations, and it grows more and more everyday.

Where is all of this leading to? I don’t know. But I do know that it doesn’t look good. The tentacles of control have slowly but surely wormed their way into the lives and minds of us all. It’s now okay to be groped if you want to travel by air or go to a major sporting event, just to name two

venues in which TSA plies their wares. The national department of education continues to mandate the type of permissive education that teaches our children that anything is okay. Things that I will not specify here, are being taught to the youth of today that people would have been put in jail for when I was a kid. If you try to disagree or state a differing opinion you are labeled some kind of ‘phobe’ and a hate monger. We read a news story a few days ago about a 42 year old female teacher that gave a student a 4 minute lap dance for a birthday present, in the classroom, with other students video taping. It is beyond me how any adult, especially one in a supervisory capacity, would think this was an appropriate activity. Totally beyond me.

So, what do we do? How do we manage? Frank and I have talked many times about the things transpiring in our country, and what we keep coming back to is this. We need to be informed about what is happening, and with this knowledge we hope to make wise, informed decisions. Most events in this life we have no control over at all. They may bother us, or give us the courage and determination to live the best life we possibly can. But most

importantly, we can control how we react and deal with these events. We can evaluate information as it comes in, analyze the data, and determine the best choice of action for us, for our lives. That is what we are going to do. The best we can. It is all we can do. If we allow ourselves to get totally bent out of shape, we are no good for ourselves, each other, or anyone else. Some days this is a difficult feat to master, but our efforts continue to be focused in this direction. There is a scripture that says something like, after all we can do, God will help us with the rest. That is our prayer. Do all you can to maintain your honor, dignity and freedom. And remember, God is with you.

Until next time – Fern

How We Built Our Milk Stand

Hello, Frank here.

Well, we had a problem. We had goats that needed to be milked, and since a goat’s udder and teats are a lot closer to the ground than a cow’s, we needed a milk stand. We looked in all of the traditional goat catalogs, and found the vast majority of goat milking stands were of a portable type nature. Then there were those that were made for grooming show goats, which were also portable. Both of these types being portable, just did not meet our need. Even though they worked for their intended purpose, we needed something that says, “Take a licking and keep on ticking.” In other words, it needed to be hard rock durable. 

So, we started looking around at what people used for milk stands. There were a handful of articles about how to build them, but in most of the information we found, the milk stand was a secondary part of the picture. The milk goat itself was the primary part of the picture. So, Fern sat down in a chair, which was going to be her milking chair and pretended like she was milking a goat. We measured how far her hands were from the floor, then we roughly guess-timated how far a goat’s teat is from the surface it’s standing on. Now we had our elevation.

Other things to  consider. How long is a goat? That was pretty easy. How wide does the goat stand need to be? Don’t forget that when you milk a goat, you open their back legs just a little bit extra. You certainly don’t want the goat stand too narrow, but then you don’t want it too wide, because the goat will naturally move away from you. 

I guess last is how high do you put their feed bucket? And do you use a feed bucket? With that thought in mind, do you make the feed stand adjustable? Does it need to move up and down? Well, you can see in the picture that we went with a stationary feeder and decided not to use a bucket at all.

In the world we live in now days everything is specified by it’s minimum requirements. I don’t support this concept. I think there should be a maximum requirement. You always milk from the same side of the goat all of the time, which is normally the right side. So we started building our milk stand. All of the lumber is treated, there are no nails, all screws were used. There is no building or safety reason for this, it’s just that my elbows will not drive nails anymore, so I chose to use screws. So, this is how we did it. Enjoy the pictures.

If you have any questions or comments, or you need clarification, please either put it in the comments, or send us an email. If your goats are bigger, modify the plans. If you’re milking Pygmies, I feel sorry for you. I especially feel sorry for your fingers, but each to their own. I assure you, I can stand on this milk stand and jump up and down and it is not going to budge. As I mentioned earlier about the milk stand, avoid minimum requirements in life.

We’ll talk more later. Frank

No Shampoo, One Month Later

Well, it’s been a month since I quit using shampoo. And you know what? I don’t ever plan on using it again. It seems the more I learn about all of the chemicals around us, more doors open that give me an alternative to using them. For that, I am truly grateful. Here are pictures of my progress.
 

Before


Grace, a friend that hadn’t seen me in a while, was surprised at how my hair looked. She expected it to be flatter and sort of greasy looking, but it’s not. She described it as fuller and a little ‘fly away’, but said it looks good. I do think my hair is a darker color, which is okay, even though I liked the lighter blond look. Before long, the gray will take over anyway. I am still using the same formulas: 1 tablespoon of baking soda per 2 cups of water for shampoo, and 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in 2 cups of water for conditioner/detangler. I did try the vinegar rinse on my scalp once, but it made me itch more. The only place I use the vinegar rinse is from the neck down to correct the pH of my hair.
 

One week later


Frank, the one that matters most, thinks my hair looks just fine, and so do I. Not only did I quit exposing my head to a menagerie of chemicals from the shampoo and conditioner, I have not had to use the medicine for psoriasis on my head one time in this last month. That has not been possible for about 20 years. 20 years. That is a long time. My scalp does still itch a little, but nothing like it did when I was still using shampoo and conditioner four days a week, and selenium sulfide shampoo and a prescription medication twice a week. For me, this is just amazing, and I will never go back. Another benefit from this new regimen is the savings. The baking soda and vinegar I use cost pennies compared to the other four products I was using.

One month later

I can’t wait to see what I will get to learn next. Life is good, even in the midst of the calamitous ruin of our country. Do all you can to simplify your needs and wants. Find ways to perform the necessary daily tasks that will keep you and yours living healthy, happy lives. Even when all about us is the uneasy wind of mighty change blowing our way, we can learn and thrive. Buckle up. We’re in for quite a ride.

Until next time – Fern

Radio – Wanna Be A General, Part 6

Hello, Frank here.

Hi everybody, I hope there are still a few people out there following along. Okay, this session we’re going to talk about amateur radio practices. I’m on page 38 of Romanchik. I want to remind you of a few things before we get  

started. When it comes time to take the General test, you will need to get in touch with the local ARRL club and check for when and where to take your test. There is no way around this, it’s the only way. Check the price for the test. In my area, they are normally $15.00. If you plan on taking the test more than once, then bring a couple of extra $15.00 bills. Also remember that the manual I’m using here is not the only way to study. There are some free online sites, paid online sites and the ARRL manuals that now days come with a CD so you can study with your computer. For my General I used HamTestOnline and it worked well for me. I did not use the Romanchik manual for my General, it’s just a common reference point for you and I to communicate, and it’s free. Some of this information we are about to cover is going to appear to be a little outdated. The reason being, because it is. But this is what is on the test. So, learn the answers.

Okay, so let’s talk about it some. The newer HF transceivers are pretty much plug and play. Back in the old days ham radio consisted of two different radios, one transmitter and one receiver. These were two separate beasts entirely. I don’t believe these can even be bought new. So, here is where some of this information we are about to cover comes from, it’s the old days. Also remember that not very long ago CW, or morse code, was a requirement for ham operators. That is not the case now days. Many still pursue CW, but that’s strictly by choice.

These next few items are just ways to help you receive signals better. I seldom use these on my bottom of the line radio, but it does have them. One is a notch filter and one is an IF shift. Next we go onto RF amplifiers. You can run lots of power through a radio. This is where it’s particularly important to understand the affects of RF and how to use it properly and not fry your brain. Remember, safety. If you don’t know what you’re doing, DON’T DO IT. And if you’re going to do it anyway, do it at low power. 

Skipping on down here, other things you need to know about the operation of your radio. How to set up CW. How to operate in split mode, which you notice has a lot of questions. That means a lot of answers. Split mode basically means transmitting in one frequency and receiving in another.

I’m in the middle of page 39 now, and at the bottom it briefly mentions antenna tuners. Most modern operators use an antenna tuner and most use an automatic antenna tuner. Many radios come with them built in, but the less expensive radios, if you choose to use one, will need an antenna

tuner. I would recommend an automatic one, and I would recommend LDG. If you buy a matching tuner for your radio manufactured by LDG, it is basically plug and play. A word of wisdom here. A capable tuner will tune many frequencies, but in many cases you are losing a tremendous amount of power to do so. This is where a quality antenna is important. As stated before, your antenna is the most important part of your radio system. For most operators, a dipole antenna works great, and I would check out Alpha Delta antennas, but there are many other quality antenna manufacturers.

Okay, I’m sliding over to page 40, test equipment. Do you have to have test equipment? No. Do you want to blow your radio up? No. Here’s what I

would recommend. A decent mulitmeter, an antenna analyzer, and an appropriate frequency SWR meter. Let’s talk about these. A multimeter measures voltage and resistance. They are relatively easy to use, just ask somebody to teach you. That’s where your mentor, or Elmer, from ARRL will come in real handy. They make $10.00 multimeters and up. If you don’t know how to use one, make your first one a cheap one, because if you’re going to fry something, you’d rather fry $10.00 than $100.00. Okay? Okay.

Your antenna analyzer, not a piece of equipment that you have to have. Once your equipment is set up and running, you may not ever use it again. They cost $250.00 and up. An SWR meter is highly recommended. Normally it goes between your radio output and your antenna. Extremely high SWR will damage or kill a radio. Once it’s set up and operating,

it’ll operate for years just fine. They make meters that cover wide frequency ranges, and they make meters specific to certain frequency ranges. Some radios have built in SWR meters. Most operators still use an external meter, though. Inexpensive meters start at about $60.00. SWR is important. There are analog type meters and digital, find one that works for you. This is not a piece of equipment that you have to have, but it is highly recommended. It’s very important if you’re choosing to operate out of the ham bands on the VHF/UHF frequencies. Many of the commercial VHF radios are built to operate outside of the ham bands, but just because the radio will transmit on those frequencies does not mean that your antenna will. This is where an SWR meter comes in very handy. There are antennas made that will operate out of the ham bands, but you might have to have more than one antenna. If you choose to stay within the ham bands, then as a general rule your antennas will work fine. But you still need to check your SWR.

The stuff we just talked about, you need to read these pages and understand the answers. I’m heading on to page 42 now where we’re going to talk about interference. I’m not going to cover all of the information on pages 42 and 43, but you need to understand some very simple concepts. If you put up a ham antenna and your

neighbor is having a problem with their TV signal, and they didn’t have one before you put your antenna up, then you are probably the problem. And if you are the problem, you need to stop being the problem. It’s real simple. Your transmissions can affect television, telephone, baby monitors, heart and respiratory equipment…so you don’t want to be interfering with these signals. And it’s real simple, under the law you have to stop transmitting until the problem is fixed. No if’s, and’s, are’s or but’s. There is no point in arguing with your neighbor that your signal is clean and pure. Any questions about that? This is one of those cases where grounding your equipment well will help solve a plethora of problems.

Okay heading on to page 44, down toward the bottom of it, it talks about single side band operation. You will see a lot of this on the test, it is important and you need to understand it. One, if you understand it, it’s

a whole lot easier to figure it out. But if you are on frequency and you’re

operating on LSB or USB, then your signal extends out to the edge of your operating frequency, which in most cases is 3 KHz. If you need to get a piece of paper and draw a little signal, we all know 3 + 3 = 6. So, can you go right to the edge of a band and operate on SSB? Sure you can. If it’s the top of the band, then you can operate on LSB. If it’s the very bottom of the band, then you can operate on USB. Let that sit in your brain for a while. Get a piece of paper and a pencil and if you need to, draw it out.

Okay, on to page 45. I do not recommend mobile HF operation for new operators. For the most part the antennas are very expensive and they don’t operate particularly well. Again, if you’re using a 100 watt transceiver, then you need to connect directly to your battery and make sure it is fused correctly. Your cigarette lighter plug as a general rule, will not provide enough power to operate 100 watts. Remember, P = E x I. Go ahead and read page 45 and 46 because you will see it on the test.

We should have about three more lessons, three, at the most four, for your General. I hope you’re enjoying this particular teaching style. What I’m trying to do is get a few people set up for emergency communications when things shut down. If you

choose to pursue other routes, wonderful. Amateur radio has a place for just about everybody. An example. Some guys still like to build their own radios. Some of these guys have a tremendous amount of knowledge. Others like to contest and there is a large arena for these folks. My goal is to help get people in the door using the least amount of equipment possible and doing it safely. The equipment I recommend is the equipment I use, and this is just one man’s opinion. But if you see a need for communications, then you need to get started. There are lots of ways to communicate in ham radio and outside of ham radio. In the section called Frank’s Radio Communications there are articles about CB’s, GMRS, scanners and lots of other good, solid information. You might want to skim these areas. Remember, a CB is an HF transceiver that operates between 10 meter and 12 meter, and has the ability in some cases to operate on SSB. 

There’s an old saying around, “I’d rather be a day early, than a minute late.” and if you’re reading this, then you know what I’m talking about. Today the stores are open, the internet is working and the electricity is on. No guarantees about tomorrow. If you’re a fence sitter, then get it done.

We’ll talk more later. 73, Frank

Kefir, A Regular Part of Our Diet

We introduced kefir into our diets about four months ago. If you want to look back at that link, kefir has a very interesting history. One of the reasons I was drawn to kefir to begin with was the positive health affects it can have on the digestive tract. Has it lived up to my expectations? Yes, it has. I think I am healthier from ingesting kefir everyday. I have had to use over the counter products to maintain regular digestive health for many years, but since I have started using the kefir, I have been able to decrease these products quite a bit and look forward to eliminating them altogether.

Kefir has become part of our everyday routine. Each evening I strain the grains and ‘feed’ it new milk. Just a reminder, kefir doesn’t do well with metal, so we use glass jars with plastic lids. I also use a glass bowl and a plastic strainer when I work with the grains.

There were some things to learn along the way. I was surprised at how quickly the grains grow. If there are more grains in the jar than the milk will feed in a 24 hour period, the milk will start to separate into whey and curds, of a sort. It’s not quite like cheese curds, but I have read that you can hang these curds in cheese cloth just like other curds and have a spread or cheese. I haven’t tried anything like that. So if the grains begin to get too large, they need to be separated and part of them discarded or stored in the frig. I feed our extras to the chickens.

The kefir will thicken and culture the milk more evenly if it is shaken several times throughout the day. The lids we use don’t seal very well, and sometimes let some of the milk run down the side of the jar, so we keep it on a plate to contain the runoff.

 
I use about a tablespoon of grains and 2 1/2 cups goat milk. Any milk will do, we have used whole store bought milk as well. We have found that leaving the kefir out on the counter for 24 hours gives us the flavor and consistency we like.  Well, Frank doesn’t really care for the taste, but he drinks some anyway. We like to add a little maple syrup to offset the tartness of the kefir. I have read many different things people do with kefir, but this is all we do. We drink this amount each evening sometime after dinner. Kefir has a different kind of taste and not everyone likes it. We don’t know anyone else that drinks it, so it must not be for everyone.


The Kefir Lady has a lot of information on her website about how to care for kefir and she also sells grains. This is not where I got mine, so I can’t comment one way or the other on the quality of her products, but I do like her website and the information she provides. I received my grains from a friend who chooses to remain anonymous.


This is just one more way we are trying to eliminate some items from our bodies and replace them with something more natural. We feel in the long run it will make a difference. It feels good to be able to make an informed decision to care for our physical well-being with non-chemicalized, homegrown products. 

Until next time – Fern

What’s Growin’ In the Garden?

As I went out this morning to begin working in the garden I found a new ornament laying on the freshly tilled soil. Now isn’t that a happy dog?

Some days I feel like I am behind in my gardening, even though we had freezing weather as late as last week. I don’t have everything planted yet, but I wanted to give you an update. I had a brand new experience yesterday. I tilled the parts of the garden that weren’t already planted with

 the tractor. Frank has always done this before, but his back isn’t cooperating right now, so it was time for me to learn. He was right out there with me giving me a lesson, and directions along the way. At one point Frank told me to push down on the accelerator so the tractor would go faster. I realized then that going very slow was just fine for me. It reminded me of learning to drive a car, there were just too many things to pay attention to at once. Most importantly was where the bucket was so I didn’t tear anything up with it. Then there was the tiller and the PTO (power take off) raising it not too high and lowering it all the way and when to do each. Next was the obstacles of a large bale of hay, the house, the storage buildings and just stuff. I know to Frank it seemed like I was doing everything in slow motion, and compared to him I was. But you know what? I did it! And now I know I can do it again.

I mentioned the recent freezing weather, right? Our potatoes were looking wonderful…..until a few days ago. I didn’t think it had gotten cold enough to kill the vegetation, but it did.

 

When you look close, though, they are already starting to sprout new leaves, so we should still have plenty of potatoes.

The grass and weeds are happily growing beside the potatoes so it’s time to till them and hill the potatoes again. I got the tilling done with the Mantis, but not the hilling, maybe tomorrow.

 
The beets and onions are growing slowly, but they are growing. I think the late frosts have slowed them down.

The same is true for the peas. I figured we would be picking peas by now, but they are growing very slowly. Some of the plants are bushing out from the ground, like they are starting over. It’s interesting, but not productive. I have yet to see one bloom.

In the meantime, I have planted the tomatoes on the other side of the pea trellis, which was my plan all along. I figured the peas would have been producing. I guess now they will have to share the trellis for a while. We will see how that goes.

The carrots are slowly growing alongside this pea/tomato trellis. They are making very slow progress, but are still alive, so that is a plus.

 Next to the carrots in this corner area, I planted my pepper seedlings. We are only growing a sweet pepper and jalapenos this summer. I tend to want to grow about six different types of peppers, even though we don’t eat near that many. We like pickled jalapenos and eat more of them than anything. 

 

Before I did the planting, I tilled up this area again with my little Mantis tiller. It works very well for small areas that just need to be touched up. It’s much faster than hoeing and because of that I can get a lot more done.

I planted cabbage and broccoli, but my seedlings are very, very small. I’m not sure if they will make it or not, we will see. This whole area with beets, onions, cabbage and broccoli will turn into winter squash about July 1st.

We put in the trellises for the green beans in this newly tilled ground. It is very, very rocky soil. I chose to plant green beans here since they are a nitrogen fixing plant and don’t really like a very rich soil. 

I will bring the ‘used’ hay from the barn to use as a mulch and add a little fertilizer to this area. As a new back saving measure this year we decided to try putting the t-posts in with the bucket on the tractor. 

We need all the back saving ideas we can get these days and this proved to be another one. It didn’t get them quite as deep as we would like, but this soil is hard and rocky.

The trellises are up but the beans will have to wait until tomorrow or Monday since I ran out of steam before getting them in the ground.

I tilled around these trellises with the Mantis to try and give the green beans a fighting chance. The rocks are just amazing, but this little tiller will kick them back out of the way or bounce off most of them. It was kind of like an obstacle course, but now it’s ready to plant.

I got the okra seeds planted. Don’t they look great? Sorry, I couldn’t resist. We use these stakes to mark off planted areas until the crop grows large enough to be easily seen, otherwise they will get stepped on or pulled up.

 

I planted my spinach in the strawberry bed. I have wanted to try this for a couple of years since they are supposed to be good companion plants. This will be interesting to see.

I had hoped to get much more planted today, but time and energy ran out before I got it all done. There is always tomorrow…..I hope. I feel a sense of urgency this year to get our food crops well underway. We want to put up as much as we can against the uncertainty the future holds, so there is much to do. If you don’t hear from us quite as often as you have in the past, we haven’t forgotten you, we’re just busy. We’ll keep sharing along the way and hope to continue to learn from your input, it is very appreciated.

We are grateful for the renewal of spring and the hope it brings. May you have a blessed Easter.

Until next time – Fern