My Edible Garden

I've been gardening for most of my life and have been a devoted fan of organic gardening the whole time. It just makes so much more sense to work in harmony with Mother Nature than to fight her. Besides which it is better for the planet and better for our bodies. Here you can see what I'm planting and harvesting, with gardening hints and resources thrown in for good measure.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

Rain Finally!


Yesterday afternoon it rained hard for a bit then slacked off to a drizzle. 

1 got 1.4”


The creek ran a little 

Then today it rained some more. Yea. All my clean clothes are still on the line. 


Today I got 1.6”. Poor Posie and Caramel were pretty wet at milking time which was delayed because of the rain. Caramel was the wettest so I’m pretty sure Posie wasn’t letting her get under the shelter. The cover came part way off the pop up that I put up for shade. I’ll have to rope it down tomorrow. 

Had a good size rattler by the front steps a couple nights ago   I think it might be the same one we saw a couple weeks ago. Trying to clean up the junk in that area so maybe it won’t feel so at home. 




A little earlier that afternoon there was a baby king snake

And earlier in the week I rescued this little rat snake that was in one of the Nankin houses and couldn’t find its way out. 

Really this is the earliest I remember seeing snakes in the yard. Usually they don’t start showing up until late July or early August. 

#appreciation
Today I appreciate the rain. The plants are just soaking it up. I hope no one has flood damage and everyone is careful. 

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Back to Sorta Normal


We were evacuated about a week. The moving stress upset some tummies so I gave all the goats some probiotic paste a couple of days and cut back their grain a bit. That helped. 

When we banded Buddy we also banded his horns. They weren’t really quite ready to come off but he managed to knock them loose. 


So my friend came and helped. His horns were just hanging by flaps of skin so we snipped them off, cleaned him up and covered everything with blue kote to prevent fly strike. His eyes were a bit swollen and his temp was elevated so a few days of antibiotics. He’s recovered now. Just to note that *usually* banded horns come off with just a small amount of blood, the rest of the horn base having healed up already. 


Flower color of the month, hot yellow to match our 110-112° temps. 


I put up a canopy in the hill pen with 90% shade cloth on two sides to give the goats more shade on hot days. 

I didn’t milk while evacuated since Posie and Caramel both were still nursing their twins. When we came home it was just too hot to put them on the hill until I got the extra shade for them. But I did resume our regular milking schedule and got about one cup of milk from each of them each evening.  Now that the temps have come down a little and there’s more shade I put them in the hill pen for the day and milk in the evening. 

Posie before milking on a 9 hour separation 


Caramel before milking on a 9 hour separation. They are both giving about half a gallon of milk a day. Caramel’s udder is still quite lopsided but beginning to even out a bit. 


We had two new fires start, again one to the east and one to the west and had several very smoky days. I think they are out now, I’ll have to check. 


Down to two cats, Tink the old lady on the left and Freya on the right. Always a standoff. They don’t like each other at all. 

I worked a bit on the hill pen this morning getting ready to set more T posts to hold a cattle panel and tin to hold back the dirt. 

I’ve been trying to resurrect an old canopy and got this far to discover a couple of the roof pieces were mangled. I’m not sure they can be fixed or not. I’ll see if my son has time to look at them. 

Aelf checking out the new girls next door. 

A dahlia opening up. 

I had pretty good success rooting some dahlia cuttings. 

Some things are struggling and some are thriving 

A leaky wading pool helps hold moisture for some potted plants


Another dahlia 

Gazelle and Chocolate 


And soon we’ll have okra 

I did evening chores with a light sprinkle. It wasn’t even enough to wet the ground but it did smell good. 




Chocolate and Gazelle are still wild and jumpy but I have found a good motivator!

In other news I set a batch of cheese, started getting my desk cleared off and unpacking my tools. (Yes I evacuated my tools!) and of course the usual chores. 

#appreciation
Today I appreciate just being able to hang out and do a few things at home. 




 






Wednesday, June 23, 2021

FIRE!


Planted out sweet potatoes and okra

Had a rattlesnake close to the front door. Haven’t seen it since.

1st egg from a fall hatched Pullet

Working on making a flat space to build a real goat shed

Dug some new potatoes 


So there I was about June 4th going about my business, trying to keep everything watered and taken care of.  When some 20 miles away, just south of Superior, AZ a brush fire started. 


By June 6 my area was on SET mode of READY, SET, GO! The fire was moving hot and fast and came over the mountains with lightening speed. 

Looking west towards my house area and the fire morning of June 7. My kids convinced me to go ahead and leave because what would happen if the GO order came in the middle of night. 

Family nearby made room and we evacuated the goats, Giotto and probably over 100 chicks, some of which I just took out of the incubator. And it was a good call because the GO order came about 4am June 7

The night glow from my safe space. This was actually one of the less exciting evenings 





On Tuesday June 8 the mountains were on fire. When it was less than a mile from my house the fire turned into the mountains. I missed work on Monday but by evening I’d done everything I could do so I went to work on Tuesday. These pictures are from the drive in.


 

I spent some time at my house dumping out piles of feed, filling water pans and turning birds loose while I watched the ridge line for any hint of flame. 





It was scary and nerve wracking 

Even more so in the dark. 

I was fortunate to be able to to the house and turn on the sprinklers. We had some days in the 105°-112°F range so I lost a lot of plants in small pots. The loose chickens mowed the oregano to the ground


And left the pepper plants with no leaves at all


I went home after a week tho the fire was still burning up the mountains my house was fairly safe. 













A few pics from hiway 60 between Miami and Superior. Still some hot spots. 


The fire burned all the way through the Pinal mountains and joined up with the other fire burning at the same time, the Mescal. Then it headed south. Many ranchers have lost all their grazing land and some families have lost their homes and everything they own. As of today, June 23, 2021 the Telegraph fire has burned 180,725 acres of land and is only 89% contained. It was a human caused fire that is still under investigation. From west to east it burned over about 45 miles in less than a week. From north to south it has burned about 15-20 miles. Our mountains will never be the same.