Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Tonight I had decided would be laundry night, clean and re-org the kitchen to make room for my new juicer. So in otherwords....low key and light work.

Then I heard a strange sound in my back yard. Somewhere near where I put up my new fence yesterday. I looked out all the windows...then walked out front and what in the world did I find?

He is not a happy camper. Kind of hope I don't find his owner though. That is a lot of standing hamburger.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


It's here!!! My new Jack La Lanne's Power Juicer! wooohoooo Now I will read the recipe books that came with it and plan my garden accordingly. I want to be able to walk out my back door, pick fresh veggies, walk inside, wash it and stick it in the juicer. What amazingly alive juice that will be.

When I got home I changed clothes, got my work gloves, wire cutters and tools and staples and headed to the new chicken yard. Tonight I put up the wire fence and finished the chicken yard. Tomorrow my chickens will be able to go outside into the new yard. Lets see if they are still in the yard when I come home. Let's face it though. I am as bad at fencing as I am at painting.

I think the best part of the evening right when the sun got close to the horizon. One thing my dad did for me this weekend was to put up my two bird houses. They are both mounted in the chicken yard next to the rear garden. He said that the blue birds would like to be near my garden.

Here they are and guess what flew out of the western style house!!! A male eastern blue bird and the Mrs was on the fence next to the house. This is so totally wonderful.

It was an amazing evening. I wore shorts and a t shirt for the first time in months. I was leaning on the hot tub watching a huge variety of bird flying playing and eating in my front yard. It was very cool.

I waterd the muscadines and the thompson seedless. But didn't have any more energy to finish planting the rest of the grapes. Maybe tomorrow.

Come on Aleve!!!

Monday, March 29, 2010


I went to my favorite little nursery very close to work.....just to get 2...only 2 flowers to plant in the cedar box next to the sweet bay tree.

It didn't work. When I pulled up there was a huge pallet full of large fruit and nut trees and grapes marked 50% off!!! I did a quick calculation and thought about the fact that it is the wrong time of year to plant trees in TX and then went and talked to the manager. I asked him if I buy the hole lot, will he give me more off. Yes he would and gave me an additional 10%!

So here is what my truck looked like after this trip!

I called John and he did most of the labor intensive work because I am not fully recovered from this weekend. Most were root bound and starting to bud and one was in full leaf.

I got 3 very large pecan trees, 2 persimmons, 1 muscadine, 1 thompson seedless, and 10 (forget the name) something like english black. It is a large sweet dark purple grape.

I feel as if I hit the lottery!

Bull felt as if he could help John by giving kisses and staring at him.

Now I really do have an orchard. As there are many levels of plants (very tall pecans and walnuts, full sized granny smiths, semi dwarf Arkansas Black apples, Persimmons and then down lower grapes, I have begun not only my orchard but layers of permaculture. I am also adding trees that will be productive for years or even decades.

In the far front...where the 3 large black buckets are is where I planted the pecans. I know I took a better picture than this but I can't find it.

Granny Smiths in the middle surrounded by arkansas black apples on the right and asian pears on the left (next year)

The muscadine went on one of the front yard fences and the thompson seedless which was over 6 foot tall, went on the east side of the garden fencing.

And yes I had an egg eater.

80 degrees F tomorrow!

This gives me spring fever bad. I am going to Home Depot at lunch today and getting the 3 t posts I need to finish the chicken yard, and I might pick up the lumber to do one more bed...a 2x10 foot bed along the fence that I will be planting cucumbers in. I have enough dirt to fill it left over.

After work what I hope to accomplish is to unload the remaining bags of mulch and spread them, build the box and fill it. Fill the additional cedar planter and one clay pot and get them ready for planting. I hope I have enough light.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Ok lets see what I did not accomplish:

9. Mount my new hose holders
11. Cross fingers when starting the tractor
12. With tractor and trailer move the rest of the fire wood and stack by the chicken house
13. with tractor pick up all the winter debris that needs to go on the burn pile
14. Mow?
17. clean off front porch and make it pretty
18. mount my western tool thingys out front

But here is what it looks like right now. Still a major work in progress. I know if you do plastic it should be black but this is what I have so I am using it to help control weeds initially. I know it will deteriorate and I will continue to use mulch.

The tomatos are planted with rock phosphate that is sprayed with molassas to promote root and blossum growth. Everything is watered with compost tea.

See the little cedar planter? I found that today at a great little nursery for half off! So I bought 2 and might go tomorrow at lunch and by the rest. I can always use these. This one is planted with a Sweet Bay...the tree/bush that gives you bay leaves! I am very excited about this as I use many bay leaves to keep weevils out of flour and rice.

I still have 10 bags of mulch to unload from the truck as well as 3 bags of compost mix. But I just don't have anything left. I can't wait though to get the rest of the mulch down.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Well last night I spent 2 hours at Wally World stocking up the pantry shelves. I don't know why the concept of "store what you eat and eat what you store" is so abrasive to me. Maybe because I hate to cook?

Ok the sky is beginning to turn pink and I have eaten toast(made with my new toaster) and am drinking coffee planning my day. So much to do an so little time.

WITH UPDATES************
1. Lightly pick up the house (mom might come over...yikes)KIND OF DONE
2. Put the bunnies outside as soon as it is warm enough and clean their cages DONE
3. Put up the chicken yard gate and wire
4. Fill the chicken water and food DONE
5. Put in the kitchen garden posts DONE
6. Fill the garden beds with soil and plant all my bedding plants FILLING DONE
7. Put up the kitchen garden wire 3/4 DONE


8. Add bags of mulch to my "to buy" list for today DONE AND PURCHASED..STILL IN THE TRUCK THOUGH
9. Mount my new hose holders
10. Inflate the tractor tire DONE
11. Cross fingers when starting the tractor
12. With tractor and trailer move the rest of the fire wood and stack by the chicken house
13. with tractor pick up all the winter debris that needs to go on the burn pile
14. Mow?
15. Organic Gardening class at 2pm
16. feed horses and while at the barn get my antique dresser and put it in the truck (TOO MANY SPIDERS AND FORGOT MY GLOVES)
17. clean off front porch and make it pretty
18. mount my western tool thingys out front
19. drink a glass of red wine on my swing and watch the sun go down (DR PEPPER WILL HAVE TO DO BECAUSE I AM NOT MOVING)


Saturday, March 20, 2010


Spring is such a tease. Here it was 60-70 degrees F for two weeks and now it is blowing hard outside and the radar shows a strip of ice and snow moving like a freight train into the DFW metroplex. It has been such a winter. Maybe this will be the last blow?

I don't have to be to work altogether early tomorrow so everyone got fed as soon as I got home, I am not snuggled up with a kitty smelling the most amazing coffee brewing in the kitchen.

A wonderful co-worker brought me a jar of honey from hives that his father has on his land. Look at how rich and dark this honey is. The taste is amazing...nothing like around here. The local honey is good but ....."weak"?

The left is local...the right is the new honey..This honey is rich and very robust. I need to find out what he grows so that I can make sure I have it here when I decide to invest in a hive.

Stay warm to all...and dream of warm dirt and growing things

Thursday, March 18, 2010


Dad came over today and built 2 new garden gates. Only had enough hinges to put up one though. I will pick up two more tomorrow.

I got home just before dark after a 12 hour day plus the two hour commute. But I got to see them in the light. They are made of cedar. I love them.

I think I might make the kitchen garden yard out of cedar pickets also. We will see.

PS!! I signed up for a free oranic gardening class on Saturday at 2 and guess what? They have a huge "vat" of compost tea "steeping" and told us to bring a jug as they are going to be giving us a gallon free!

PSS! Dinner was vermicelli alfredo, left over collards and beets

PSSS! Guess what I bought at a nursery by my work? Do you like cooking with bay leaves? I use them all the time plus they keep weevils out of your flour. I bought a Sweet Bay tree!!! And two yellow banana pepper plants and a pablano pepper plant.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Dad came over with the help of John and set my new posts in concrete. These are the corners of the new fencing and new gates and this is making me very excited.

If you look at these photos you can see the tiny white star shaped flowers growing
in the grass. So springy

New chicken yard gate posts:

Here I am standing at the back left corner of the new chicken yard.

Here I am standing at the corner post of the new chicken yard looking at the chicken house. The two posts by the pink flag are the posts for the new gate that dad is building tomorrow.

Here are my new garden raised beds. I have them place near my back door.

I feel that being right by the back door, I will be able to work it even after dark as I will replace the flood light here, and it is convenient.

Here is a side view. The post on the right is the corner. The two posts behind the trash can are the posts for the new garden gate that dad is building tomorrow. The hot tub is the corner of the kitchen garden. So beds will be run the whole rear of the house down. The cedar tree is going away.

I will be looking for people who have torn down old fences and will be using the old pickets to make the kitchen garden fence. I will be planting some kind of vining flowering plant on these posts. It will attract beneficial insects.

While I was out surveying my multiple projects, I decided to go check out the rear garden. I have been so busy I hadn't looked at it all weekend and wow. Remember these were planted right before out 12 inches of snow so they as new plants were covered. This is what they loved I guess. Because they are thriving. I picked a whole grocery sack full of fresh collard greens.

I brought them in and washed them:

I chopped them and added them to my wok with a little hot oil and fresh garlic and at the end added a little soy sauce. Oh my goodness this is wonderful and I enough for two more meals.

Before all of this I finally started my fire ant experiment. I had steeped vermi comost tea for a couple of weeks and then mixed in molassas and home made orange oil. I flagged a large ant hill and drenched the ants with this.

The theory is that the orange oil damages their exoskeleton, the compost tea brings in bacteria that will attack the ants through this damage and the molassas feeds the beneficial bacteria.

I will keep you up to date as I check and see if this works.