We moved to this home a bit over 4 years ago and while I've added some soil amendments in some areas, we're really on a rock with a high water table. This means that root crops need more soil than I may have, so a visit to a friend's garden has me thinking about planting sweet potatoes in buckets. He's planting them in containers because rats ate his ground planted sweet potatoes in prior years attempts.
Well, soil prices are up, so my decision will have to be ground planting! Just doesn't make financial sense to me to purchase unknown 'organic' soil in a bag. Perhaps its justified if one has no soil or too wet a ground, or contaminated soil, but I'm thinking if I simply tuck these slips in areas that have had some building up mulch, we should get some good sweet potatoes.
One of the other fiber farms (owned by a water gardening expert) really impressed me by how each livestock tank had water plants and fish in it. Last year we began implementing this at our place by simply adding cheap goldfish ($6.52 lb at our local baitshop) to each waterer.
I never managed to get any water plants besides one with water hyacinths and minnows, yet the goldfish survived on just mosquito larva. In the fall, I didn't think ahead enough to bring them inside and we lost them. This year I plan to bring the fish into the hoophouse for overwintering!
http://www.pondplantsdirect.com/ sent me beautiful water lettuce, a giant sensitive, and a water hyacinth lickaty split last week, so I have 2 1/2 barrells in the garden now with a few goldfish and plants in each. I'm thinking I will buy 3 larger livestock waterers for easiest management over this summer (I had smaller waterers last summer and that was difficult) as we've completed the interior fencing for rotational grazing which means I need to not have to worry about moving the waters where the sheep are.
Last month I did several demonstration classes showing people how to make soap from basic fats, lye, and water. These batches of soap I didn't have time to properly turn out and slice into bars, and one of them ended up very lopsided from the trip home!
So today I milled them into pretty bars and boy, I've missed this relaxing process.
This is Thunder, my Navajo-Churro Ram, who threw predominantly black lambs this year. So happy to get the sheep shearing done, we've had some hot afternoons and with them NOT getting sheared in the fall, a few of the fleeces were felted.
My favorite online knitting supplier these days is by far Knitpicks.com Not only do I love working with their pink corded circular needles, before Christmas my dd#2 and I bought each colorway of their Sipalu bag kit. An amazing value, for about $50 including shipping, we got supplies for 4 bags, each kit came with more than enough yarn to knit two complete alternate colorway bags. I decided I didn't like the pattern's strap and wove one on my inkle loom.
This past year has been a whirlwind of activity and the funniest thing started happening this fall...I've been busy with anointing with oils and playing taxi mom with one in vo-tech not driving by herself yet. My husband was working way too many hours in town and out of town and sometimes out of state.
We kept getting water in the basement and it wasn't raining. Hot water tank cracked, so replaced that, only ruining one shopvac before realizing we were overfilling it before dumping. Dry floor for about a week, then the washing machine seal went, so we were back to sucking up water till we figured out the problem and then hit the laundromat for several weeks. At some point the dishwasher that's fairly new quit working first. Then the garage door opener refused to work. Then we noticed we couldn't shut the sliding glass door on the sunporch anymore. Turns out the whole porch settled an inch due to a 1/2 eaten by termites board that needs replaced.
Last year I heard about this book titled something like "My Car, Myself" in which the guy lists what health problems in the driver result in which car problems -- the gist of the book is that if your cars keep having the same kind of trouble, it might be the driver, not the car. I haven't read the book, just heard a book report about it. So when the house started fallin' apart I had to laugh because my husband is Mr. Fix-it man and it was like the house was saying it was done staying in order without him.
One of my friend says that computers will function IF her husband is home and that they can act up all day long and as soon as he's home, they suddenly work fine again.
Just as people can taste the difference in food made with love, I think our house knows I don't want to live in it anymore. I do however want functioning appliances and to make a home for my family wherever we live, so I'll endeavor to be sure my house doesn't take my wanting to move elsewhere personally. Dani Johnson has a story on one of her CD's about being a good steward and thankful for her smaller downsized home before she was able to move on again to a different home. I'm going to be more consciously thankful for the warmth and shelter my house provides us. Handwashing dishes still and the sunporch will get fixed soon, new hot water tank and new washing machine working well and the garage door is fixed...