Quiet Sunrise

There is nothing better than a summer morning, just as the sun rises and being in the garden!  The sound of business only come from the birds chirping and the occasional crow from our little rooster.  The air is still cool and calm.  Bliss!

First stop is the goats. Getting their morning ration of hay, grain and giving Ivy a check, which is due to kid any day now.  She is nice and round, but no signs that she will be giving birth today.  The anticipation of new little kids hopping around keeps me going to the barn several times a day with excitement.

Watering chores are done early before the heat to arrives.  My favorite tool is a watering wand, the gentle flow of water is soothing to me and with the many potted plants around the garden, a little joy in a chore never hurts.

Checking the potato crop, I noticed the purple blooms. So a little digging around in the deep mulch layer found a handful of new potatoes for dinner tonight.   These are my favorite type of potatoes.  While the potato crop grows, I continue to mulch with compost around the plant, piling higher and higher until the compost reaches about a foot thick, making a perfect bed for new potatoes and a super easy harvest.  New potatoes are so succulent and tender, they melt in your mouth.  Their little skin just falls right off with the slightest rub.  Cut into fourths, tossed with some fresh herbs and olive oil, grilled or  baked makes a great easy side dish for a summer supper.  Fresh!  Luckily we will harvest new potatoes for the new several weeks until the foliage starts to die back, then it’s time for the main harvest.

Boysenberries are in full swing now and picking daily is a must!  Purple hands are a dead give away where I has hiding out this morning.  Morning is the best time to pick most crops, as they are usually sweeter and juicier.   A rustic berry tart is on the dessert menu tonight!  They get an extra drink of water while they are fruiting.  We are looking forward to the Triple Crown Blackberry harvest coming up shortly.  They are loaded with green berries and white blossoms. I planted a Triple Crown Blackberry on our back patio winding around one of the pillars.  What a fun focal point. And, you can eat it too!  A toss of some acidic rich fertilizer for the last time this year and a layer of compost over the top gives them a boost and promotes healthy new growth for next years berries as well.

My two garden helpers, Casper and Mabes are on the prowl lurking around the bushes

as we go from spot to spot making sure they don’t miss out on anything.  Casper is getting up there in years, but still enjoys the garden. While we adopted Mabes, a six-year-old active cat about two months ago, hoping for a mouser, when in deed, again, another cats whose only interest is in the delectable food easy captured in her bowl, but chasing butterflies seem to be a favorite. As well as Casper, Mabes has keen typing skills (computer terrors) as well. She has been a fun addition to the little farm.

The last of the peas were harvested this morning.  Hot temperatures slowed up the crops enough to warrant a new crop in their place.  Pickling cucumbers will replace their spot after a good amendment of compost goes in.  In six weeks time we will be adding to the  pantry, dilly pickles, bread and butter pickles and some sweet gherkins.

Light pruning, weeding and harvesting every morning keep things under control and while these could be daunting at times if not kept under control, a little work in the morning goes a long way and brings peace to the soul.

5 Comments

Filed under Casper the Cat, Fruits from the orchard, Gardening, Goats, Life on the Farm

5 responses to “Quiet Sunrise

  1. Owl Canyon Gardens

    I’m curious to know where are you located that you have such early produce? Southeast US? California?

    • Ali

      Southern Utah! We are in this little micro climate here. Although our winter can be cold, not as cold as 15 miles north. Our temp have been a high of 108 as of yesterday! Garlic is done and pulled, Apricots are turning and figs are sizing up. We have pick tomatoes almost everyday now for the past two weeks. Peaches are great here!

  2. Deb

    Ali, I’ve been reading your articles and viewing some of your youtube vid’s and I’m so happy to have found it! It’s inspiring to see a young girl with an interest in gardening. I am going to be 60 in August this year, but there are things about gardening and plants that I still don’t know. I’ve read your section on rock dust and azomite and greensand, etc., and am wondering if you can give me a tip about rose bushes. When we moved into the house where we now reside, there were two rose bushes here already. One is up along a fence and is easy to deal with, but the other is planted alongside the house (cedar siding) and the previous owners filled in all around the foundation of this house with rocks and those roundish boards/timbers which are supposedly pre-treated but are, of course, rotting. My question is, this: even though I would love to get rid of those dang rocks, it’s just too much work for my DH and I at our age. So, would it work for me to dissolve some rock dust or greensand (or which do you think would be best?) so as to make sort of a tea with it, to use around the rose bush which is embedded in those awful rocks?? Or could I just spread the loose dust and mist over it with my sprayer on the hose and get it down to the roots to help with nourishment? I hesitate to dig around too much in this area because we also have quite a few snakes (which is why I hate the rocks).

    If you could explain to me what would be the best way to dissolve it, or otherwise use it, and how often to apply it that would be great. Since I didn’t plant these roses I have no idea what kind they are. We live in the Black Hills of South Dakota and have some very cold winter temps but these roses don’t seem to be bothered at all. They are both in full sun all summer.

    Any help you can give would be appreciated.

    • Ali

      That’s easy! If you want to use an Azomite or greensand, just sprinkle the powder around those rocks and water in. The micronized azomite is faster acting then the slow-release powder. I have lilacs on the south side of my driveway that have rocks all around them, making it hard to fertilize and mulch/compost, so I just give those guys a couple of handfuls of Azomite in the early spring, but it doesn’t matter when you do it! Once a year is all they will need. Hope this helps you! Thanks for the “Young Girl” comment!

  3. Deb

    Thanks so much for the information. I haven’t been to the local nursery yet to see what they have available as far as greensand, etc., but I’m going this weekend. We have 13 lilac bushes around the perimeter of our yard and two honeysuckles. They are beautiful right now, but we had a hard rain last night and they’re looking a little droopy today and are about done blooming for the season.

    I also have another quick question. I want to put an “in-ground” compost pile/pit (like what is shown in one of your vid’s) but I’m curious how you keep critters out of yours. We have huge pine trees in our yard and the squirrels are just thick, and we’ve even had some cottontail rabbits showing up lately. I probably wouldn’t care if they get into it after it’s done making compost, but I wouldn’t want them messing around in there while it’s brewing. Can squirrel poop be used in compost? We have tons of that! Also, my countertop composter with kitchen scraps sometimes gets kinda stinky and liquidy before I can get it added to a pile – it is still ok to use it when it gets that way? I’ve ordered the Bokashi to add, as well, because the area where I want to put the pile gets morning to mid-day sun, but not much afternoon or evening sun, so I want to get it fermenting quickly. What about winter? Should I just shut down compost production for the winter if I make an in-ground pit?

    Thanks again for any help.

    P.S. Have you seen the ideas by Ruth Stout about No Work Gardening? I would love to be able to use her method but we have a growing season that would be way too short for that method. Might be something you could use, though. Here’s the link to an article about it: http://www.motherearthnews.com/organic-gardening/ruth-stouts-system.aspx

    The only thing I disagree with is using cottonseed or soy meal. Both of those crops are now almost wholly GMO. I would find some other material to use for fertilizer. Maybe the Bokashi would work?

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