Saturday, July 2, 2011

Inconsistent Weather

One day it is beautiful and the next it is cold and rainy.  Somehow, I always mess up, because I decide to do inside chores (methodically cleaning one room at a time in the house) when it looks a bit dicey in the morning, and then elect to continue even though the day turns out gorgeous. I keep thinking the next day will be just as nice, and that is when I will work outside.

Somehow, it never works out.  I am inside rushing to get done with whatever big clean is needing to be finished, looking out the window, wishing I were outside.  Today, I planned to mulch the potatoes and start getting the beds ready for the things I started in the last few weeks: cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon, kabocha pumpkin, collards, and spinach, but it is too wet and muddy to do anything.  Even if we have one dry day - it isn't enough to dry out things enough to work.  I think I will need a week of dry days to get the soil prepped.  I guess I am stuck with pots and containers.

I went to Home Depot today, and I think everyone else has the same idea, because they are decidedly low on the 5 and 7 gallon pots - I bought probably 11 or so of the former and that wiped out the supply.  There were no 7 gallon pots to be found.

The male sheep and Niele (the one surviving ewe lamb from this year) all have decided they like our front yard and nibbling on the citrus bark.  It seems like nearly every day that I need to go round them up and let them back in the pasture.  We have tried adding new wire and some steel cable we had lying around to the fencing, but it isn't working.  Trying to figure out what else to do without putting up welded wire - we don't want anything that permanent there, because the grass grows up through it and it is a pain to take out.  I swear I see Elvis sighing in resignation when I go out there with my stick and my lead rope.  I use the stick to sort of fend him off and the rope to lead him back in - everyone else follows him.  He did get me a few days ago, and my okole is still smarting.  I really need to think about selling him....

We need to drive out and get our son's car from the mechanic that lives back in the forest, and when we come back, I am going to try my hand at pasta making.  I got the attachments for the kitchen aide appliance for Christmas, but never quite got around to working with them.  It looks a bit time consuming and fiddly, but I am going to try.  I will let you know how it goes.  


Kelly said...

you have been very busy. Have you tried electric fence?
Hope your okole feels better. Whisper "rams make good chops" in his ear.

NancyDe said...

Funny, Kelly - I got so mad at him today that I told him that for two cents I would make chops out of him. He got me again - this time when I had him on the lead rope so he couldn't get a good run up.

We have electric fence, but not the netting - just string; they just push under it. Very annoying.

The pasta was a failure, so I made gnocchi. I think my dough needed more flour because it was very fragile and hole-y.

vcassie88 said...

Nancy, I am having the same problem with my goat! She will just not be contained, for some reason underneath the house looks like so much fun to stay under. My doe really needs a buddy. How well do potatoes grow here? I want to get some raised bed gardens going, but haven't quite got the extra $ to buy wood. Have you ever tried to grow garlic?

NancyDe said...

vcassie, my climate is pretty different from where you are - we're up mauka about 2400 feet in elevation and super rainy (I grew up on the Windward side of Oahu and I thought I knew rain....nope not like here). I think sweet potatoes would do well at your place. You can try both kinds of potatoes in chicken wire cages. Make a cage about 2 feet in diameter and loosen the dirt under it, maybe add some compost or soil if you have a lot of sand. Put either the slips (sweet potatoes) or the sprouting eyes (regular potatoes) - about four to each cage - on the bottom and cover with straw or other mulch. As the vines grow up, you add more mulch to cover all but a few of the top leaves. Then when you pull off the cage you have a pile of potatoes.

I have grown garlic - but again, it is much colder up here than Oahu. I bought some at the farmer's market and stuck the bulbs in the ground when they started to sprout. You could try that in containers.

I know what you mean about the wood for raised beds - my budget never stretches that far.

Goats are even harder to contain than sheep, I think. I have had both. You might try looking at Premier Farm - they have this electric mesh that works well for our ruminants.

vcassie88 said...

Thanks for the advice, the fencing looks like it would do the trick. I think I am going to order some from them, just not sure how high I should go my goat is more like a deer as far as her jumping ability goes.

There are a lot of things that I want to grow that I don't think will do really well in my climate, but it is worth a shot, I have some wire at home so I am going to try the potatoes, both sweet and regular. (-: We do have a Reuse warehouse in Honolulu that has fairly cheap lumber, used of course but that is ok with me for something that is just going to hold dirt, I just hate having to go downtown.

NancyDe said...

I wouldn't want to drive downtown, either. I miss my family and the beaches on Oahu, but NOT the traffic!. If you do try garlic - try big pots and partial shade! I bet the purple sweet potatoes would do well where you are. Try caribe "regular" potatoes - they seem like they handle more heat.