Progress on the Gardens

IMG_20150418_141347_239 IMG_20150418_143012_951Today I had a couple of new friends, Noah and Christopher, come visit on the farm and help me with the flock and the garden. First we corralled the goats in the barn to keep them out of trouble while we went out to feed the sheep. After last weekend’s shearing and then several “scary” visits from strangers this week most of the sheep were feeling pretty shy. Elizabeth and Larry were happy to come say hello and get treats and scratches though, as always!     After that, the guys and their mom Natalie and my friend Alicia helped me fill the raised bed boxes with sticks. I borrowed this idea from “hugelkultur“, a German method of building raised beds with wood at the core. As the wood rots, it slowly composts and feeds the gardens. Usually hugelkultur raised beds are built into mounds, not boxes, so I’m not doing “true” hugelkulture, just borrowing one component. DSC_0122 Then came the hard part– digging up piles of composted llama manure out in the pasture and hauling it back to be dumped in the boxes. Thankfully we have a new yard cart which is much easier to use than our rickety old wheelbarrow. Assembling it was our morning project. IMG_20150418_124021_278 Still, it takes a lot of shoveling. We only got a few loads done, but it was a good start. DSC_0123In between heavy lifting and water breaks, Christopher and Noah collected a jar of violets for me to make violet vinegar. Ever tried it? I haven’t but am eager to see how it turns out after sitting a few weeks! IMG_20150418_204526_933 After the boys left, Alicia and I installed a gutter on the roof of the garden shed (much harder than anticipated due to the crazy bush that kept attacking us, and the ridiculously hard wood of the roof eaves) .DSC_0124And then set up a rain barrel to collect water from the shed roof and feed it into the raised garden bed irrigation systems. DSC_0125Hopefully tomorrow I’ll get more manure moved into the beds. I’d like to have at least a few plants in the ground before the weekend is over!

2 thoughts on “Progress on the Gardens

  1. Dear Laura,
    We had a great time. Christopher told Grandmother all about it this morning, and Noah is upstairs right now reading “The Unique Sheep” — he was looking at the picture of Elizabeth standing beside him and had to run and get re-acquainted.

    Our jar of violet vinegar is swiftly darkening and gaining color. Gorgeous stuff. The Nerdy Farm Wife blog explains what you can do with it:

    Very best,


  2. I found a 40 lb bag of top soil at Lowes Food for 2.99. Thought that was a great price. Since I no longer have horses in a stall no aged horse manure.

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