I wake each morning full of energy and with many ideas of things I would like to achieve in the day. Sometimes I even find myself outside in my nightie and slippers before I know what's happened! The timing of the talks was serendipitous too. Why? This is the time of year for work. The weather conditions for plants, the comfort levels of working and the amount of time available are all better at this time.
The summer heat has gone, it's even raining regularly at the moment. Cool days and a gentle soaking means everything planted stands a chance of becoming established before next summer arrives.
The temperature is perfect for work too. The days are chilly so I don a jacket, hat and scarf when I head out but I can manage some serious physical work on these cool days. It doesn't take long before shoveling out a trailer of manure has me stripping down to a t-shirt. In summer, I would only last five minutes before giving up.
Autumn is also more generous with allowing me time. Spring in the garden means soil preparation, planting, fertilising; summer is for watering and heat management and extra attention for the animals. Late summer is a crazy time of year because so many fruits and veggies are ready and need to be dealt with. As I learn more about preserving, each summer I am busier in the kitchen. Now, with my shelves as ready as they will be and only the promise of a day of picking a friend's olives ahead of me, I'm out working.
Daily we drop in to the post office in the hopes that our electric netting fence, that we ordered online, will be there. When it arrives, we can put our chooks out in the paddock to do their best work. They can scratch and peck at the moist dirt, spreading the aforementioned manure as they go. With a bit of luck and a little management, the dirt may transition to become a layer of actual soil in the next season or so! Last year, I laid branches across one of the paddocks on the contours and I can already see they are beginning to hold the soil and create flatter, more grassy spots. The addition of some fertility should make a good improvement.
Our does have been to visit a local buck. He's a bit of a stud actually so I wait with baited breath now, hoping that they don't cycle again. We're hopeful for some lovely baby goats in about five months time....
I have planted tagasaste for forage and put in some apricot seeds. These were saved from apricots we ate. I put the seeds in the fridge to plant out later in the year. They were starting to sprout in the fridge however, so I've sown them and made little plastic covers in the hopes of seeing them through winter. So far, so good. They have shot up out of the ground and look great. I will use these as forage for the goats as well.
I've planted elder-flowers, jerusalem artichokes, and a wormwood grown from a cutting. The wormwood is next to the chook shed as an insect repellent. I'm hoping all my new systems are more established by next summer and that life will be easier and more comfortable for us and the animals alike. I'm deliberately planting chook plants near the chooks and goat plants near the goats to make our work flow.
|Daisy overseeing the construction|
Do you find that each year follows a pattern (or rythym..... I love the peaceful sound of that term) and are you working harder than usual now?