Friday, June 21, 2024


This morning began with baking 2 loaves of sourdough. I continue to play with fresh ground sourdough starters and rounds.... obviously there are benefits to using bread flour instead of fresh ground whole wheat. 
left = bread flour, right = freshly ground whole wheat - 100%

Allie kept busy with her 2nd full day of training at her new job!

I had a counseling appointment today. Stacia went into town to run some errands. We met up and did a quick run through the Friday Fling.  She continues to look for employment and so I am making the most of our times together before that happens. 

We got home to discover Michael and Cory attacking the back meadow. Michael has several piles to be burned...when it begins to rain, he'll get a permit and burn some brush back there. The devil's club is TERRIBLE. As we pondered WHY it's taking over when the woods were originally so nice to walk through (a selling point for the property even) ...we realize the HORSES made the difference. They kept the weeds down. I can't seem to talk anyone into the idea of a horse. Goats are hard to contain - at least that's what I've observed. I'm not sure what other animal options we may have. I've thought of renting someone's goats for the summer.  ANYWAY....the guys tackled this corner...the devils club has taken over the woods and are advancing on our yard. We've tried everything suggested to us. One expert told us he doesn't understand why folks try to get rid of it. In his view it provides "color." Ye'gads...and it stings and hurts if you bump into it!!! Maybe he was a city summer hire.  This meadow has so much potential - if we can get the devil's club under control. They made great progress - the clubs were taller were taller than me. 

One pile of devil's club 

Unfortunately, I'm writing from four days later and Michael is STILL covered in angry, red welts from the devil's club. 

I jumped into the garden, determined to get a row of potatoes and 2 beds weeded, and the beets thinned out. I also enjoyed some refreshing tears in the garden. I'm learning some of the best gardeners actually do enjoy tears and tea in their gardens. This may be the missing ingredient from past attempts at growing gardens. 

I'm still not 100% sure if I have ANY potatoes poking through, but I can weed the green around the rows and edges as I know that is not where the starts should appear. 
2 rows down

Time to thin out the baby beets

There is a LOT of grass in a couple of the beds. I think it's because I was doing the lasagna method and used a lot of hay in them. Did YOU know straw and hay are not the same? Hay can result in lots of grass in your garden.  This bed has two chocolate spearmint plants at the top left, our lone zucchini plant, I direct sowed all the beet seeds I had left from 2022, I started the swirly beets in the foreground inside and transplanted them, and two Brussel sprouts round out the bed. 

I know this seems like crowded spacing, but I grew two beds of beets in 2022 using this method. I use the spacing from square foot gardening. 
More room to grow 

The chickens get 1/2 a Rubbermaid tub of weeds a day! They also have planters filled with grass to enjoy. 

I picked up Papa Murphys while we were in town, so dinner was easy. Allie got home with fun tales from work. We were all ready for a restful evening after the outside work. 

The weather continues to be unbelievably gorgeous, and I love being OUT in it. With Michael's health being what it is just now, and Dad not loving being out....I am not getting out for walks, bike rides, hikes, walks around the lakes or to the swimming hole...but I AM still making the most of the weather...soaking up Vitamin D and it's great. 

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