Saturday, April 18, 2015

Quite Contrary

"Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
How does your garden grow?
With silver bells and cockle-shells,
And pretty maids all in a row."
  Yesterday was beyond beautiful here on the Shawhan farm! Oh! I almost forgot to let everyone know...we now live in a "gated" community! (Or at least that's what my family has started calling our place.) A few weeks ago we had our front yard fenced in so we no longer have to worry about a certain little boy (who LOVES to be outside) running out into the road. I have to admit that I would fight a certain level of anxiety when I'd take Carl outside with me before the fence was put up. All I felt like I could do was follow him around and try to get things accomplished in the two minute intervals he would give me to get something done. Now thanks to our new fence and gates that can close across the driveway, I can actually turn my back and not have to worry about the fleets of logging trucks that drive by on a daily basis. (I feel like we live on a trucking route now and it literally breaks my heart.)
 So anyhoo, thanks to mass amounts of time that can now be spent outdoors, the mulching is complete (time to make sure no chickens get out!), the bushes around the house have been trimmed and my new raised vegetable bed has been cleaned of grass chunks and rocks.
  This particular new addition to the Shawhan farm is one of Carl's new favorite places to play. Last year when we re-did the steer lot and fencing, we made the fence come square off the barn. This left us with a long and pretty wide strip of "lot" that was no longer part of the steer lot. Dan is going to put rock down on part of it so he can drive the feed mixer up along the fence and fill the stuffer for the steers even if the ground is soft, but we were still left with half of this barren strip and nothing to do with it. We came up with the idea of putting a raised bed on it so that a place can be specially dedicated to strawberries, asparagus and sometimes carrots.
  I am super excited about it's location...and isn't that important when it comes to any kind of real-estate?  Location, location, location...
  Weeding this sucker is going to be snap! Since it's neighbor is the steer lot, I plan on tossing all weeds and grasses right over the fence...the steers and chickens will take care of the rest. Chickens are pretty good at consuming anything green, and the steers are like goats and will eat almost anything...and if not it will all get stomped into the ground and disappear anyway. Yesterday was a preview to how nice this is going to work out for me (I'm rubbing my hands with greed now!) since like I said, Carl and I tossed over grass chunks and rocks that were in the fill dirt, er fill manure/dirt that Dan dumped in the bed a week ago with the skid loader.
 It didn't take us long to get some visitors...
  As much as Carl understands the concept of putting things in the basket, he's also good at emptying the basket...whether you want him to or not!
  So I really didn't know what my next blog post was going to be all know about the chicks and the increase in egg production...thankfully that annoying reporter guy hasn't been here because of a gruesome murder (or two or three). But I needed something to write about. This was an important post because the next one I write will my 200th!!! and I have a special idea planned for that one (I'm already patting myself on the back for my reference to the Clinton administration, and how appropriate is that considering Hillary will be running for office??) But anyway, thankfully my time outside and among all the critters come through for me once again and gave me a burst of inspiration.
  It never fails really.
"Chicken Lady, Chicken Lady,
How does your garden grow?
With garden gloves and lots of love,
And feathered butts all in a row!"
The Real Mothergoose. Checkerboard Press. Yellow Husky Book. New York. Carl's Library.

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