April 23, 2011

Chores, Chores, Chores

Mother Nature has blessed us with the first over-70-degree day of the season! Many chores have gone undone during the longest, coldest, wettest spring in memory (and I'm including memory of the "old timers"). It is hard to bring oneself to clean the chicken coop in the driving rain. Or to trim blackberries when it's 45 outside. Plus, I'm just plain lazy when it's chilly and raining and there is a fire in the fireplace.

Today I woke up ready to go! The sun was shining, it was already warm enough to forgo a sweatshirt and the sheep were calling for breakfast oats.

Chore 1: Get the potatoes in the ground. Usually, the garden would have been tilled in March and the potatoes planted in early April. But we couldn't till the muddy, goo that was our garden until 2 weeks ago. Plus I'm sure the potato trenches we dig would just fill up with with water and drown the potatoes, if that's possible. The potato seeds have been in a box waiting and sprouting. They are now happily installed in two two-by-eight trenches.

Chore 2: Plant some broccoli and lettuce. It's right on time for those two crops. I'm trying a new floating row cover this season and will let everyone know how it goes.

Chore 3: Clean the chicken coop. Wow - disgusting!! Not only was there a pile up of poo, but there was an extra special surprise in the drawer. They way we constructed the coop was with two drawer below the wire floor so that much of the poop falls through. The drawers can be removed and emptied into the compost. It works well. I pulled out the first drawer and emptied it. Then I pulled out the second drawer and noticed something long and fuzzy, like a tail. I grabbed it and lifted. It was attached to a dead, decomposing rat half buried in the poo. As I peeled it up, it exposed the underside which was wriggling with maggots. Blahhh! It got tossed in the shrubs - out of sight, out of mind! The rest of the coop cleaning was uneventful, thankfully.

Chore 4: Drinking wine on the back deck. Ok, that's not a chore. But it is a requirement on a lovely afternoon, post working, to sit back and enjoy the land. Let us never forget how lucky we are to live here!

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