Tuesday, May 7, 2013

What's happening at Pinch Manor?

Weeeeelllll... A lot, actually.

Planting and seeding out season is still in full swing, so we're putting something else in on a daily basis and will continue to do so for the next few weeks. In the interest of full disclosure, I'm a bit behind the ball on the potatoes, didn't get the tomatoes and peppers seeded out quite as early as I had hoped, forgot most of the ornamental kale until last night, think the quinoa was largely decimated by some UFO* and have a sneaking suspicion that the buckwheat drowned, so some of  that will have to be re-seeded and some of them will go in late.

Since we are planting and seeding, we're getting truckloads of soil amendment (OK, it's horse poop from a local stable) and working them in, along with the contents of the compost heap(s). My husband actually shovels tons of poop at my behest, it must be love :D

Yes, that's a gallon bag of crushed eggshells, I save them all year long, so this is what I have at the beginning of Spring 

Sprinkling crushed eggshells over the plants to try to keep the slugs at bay. 

No, those are not rabbits, those are radishes,  they taste completely different, now go defend the territory and stop chewing radish leaves. You don't even like radishes.

With the emerging of the spring plants there comes the emerging of the pests that feed on them, so there's a bit of squishing bugs, drowning slugs and encouraging cats to kill rabbits (and stop trampling the plants) going on, too. This year we broke down and bought a live trap for the neighbours resident woodchuck. He has a trip in his future...

Last night we found the first raccoon in the tree over our back patio, the joy we feel cannot be expressed in words, but let's just say we hope this baby moves on and finds a territory elsewhere. We have chickens after all. If not, there's another future resident of the live trap and traveling varmint.

Oh, yeah, chickens: They are still living in the garage, because we have not finished their coop. As soon as we stripped the old walls off it started to rain and it simply will not stop. It's like it's Spring in the Midwest or something. That's an afternoon worth of work that needs to be done when dry because power tools.  Here's me crossing my fingers for a few nice days, soon, so we can do this without killing ourselves.

For that same reason I am sort of hampered in my laundry doing efforts. It's above freezing out, so I refuse to run the dryer for anything other than unmentionables, so it's a race when I know I have a few hours of no rain to get a load on the line to dry. And by it's a race I mean that I drop everything else I am doing and run the washing machine, then compulsively check the weather forecast while cursing a blue streak.

Throw in planning and planting the permanent edibles; two quinces, 4 hardy kiwi and 5 raspberries this year, and they have all moved a few times now, at least on paper; and we have a full plate. And to my delight (no, really, I am truly tickled about this, it makes me squee) husband, who acted like a cat getting a bath about edible landscaping at first, now wants to plant a hops hedge (there's a post there at some point) in the, get this, front yard. SQUEEEE. He finally gets it. Edible and ornamental are not mutually exclusive. I think it's the berry bushes shading the central air unit and the first two trees blooming that did the trick.

Here's to hoping that this effort starts to feed us this year, because that is kind of the goal/point. Get to where I can go grocery shopping every 3 months or so and cut the budget down to meat, dairy and some grain.

On a (sort of) related note: We looked into the freezer and that thing is WAY too full to go into harvest season, so hubbin and I decided that we will do a 'let's live out of the freezer' stretch of indeterminate duration. Possibly going to combine this with a money fast to try to re-set the budget, since there have been some changes to the finances. So look for posts on what we eat and how much we spend, because even if we go on a money fast, there will be fuel put into the cars and coffee and creamer in the pantry. Thems the rules, I can go without just about everything else if need be, but the hubbin has to get to work and we both have to have coffee, because orange isn't our colour. There certainly are worse addictions to have.

That's all I have for now,
Happy Pinching

*Unidentified Feeding Outrage


  1. Since I can't grow anything here is Happy Poison Lawn Land, saving eggshells would be stupid, right? Right?!?

    1. WEEEELLLL... actually you could wash them out, bake them and then add them to your baking or smoothies to increase your calcium intake. Or use them in your coffee grounds to absorb the bitter taste.

    2. Or sprinkle them on ant hills, they hate walking on crushed eggshells because of the sharp edges