Friday, August 22, 2014

Laundry

Laundry
What's a woman in 2014 doing wishing for a wash house? Strange, isn't it? It looks like the wash house, which was optimistically expected last year and less optimistically hoped for this year, will probably wait until next year.

When it happens, I will have a nice room in which to do my laundry, with a small wood stove to heat the room, heat water and even dry laundry if needed. We plan to design it with a dedicated solar set up, so that I won't have to worry about the lights draining the electricity I need for laundry. AND it must have a hose so that I can easily fill up the wash tub. Hauling it bucket by bucket is exhausting.

The sun is shining brightly today, charging up my batteries. Tomorrow we are expecting more sun, so I'll be spending the day washing clothes.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Planning Next Year's Garden

Oh, like I don't already have enough to do. But yes, as I look at my garden this year, I'm already planning for next year's.

We have seventeen beds dug out now, although three of them went completely wild this year. I can't say I regret that - I'm enjoying poppies, lots of yarrow, an abundance of red clover, and lambs quarters. I also have a couple of absolutely gorgeous red and purple poppies! And when all of that dies down and rots into the soil, it will only increase the fertility.

The first thing I have to keep in mind is that this soil of mine was clearly just *waiting* for a little bit of fertilizing. A bit of goat and chicken poop, a few wheelbarrows full of aged cow poop, and woosh! Step back or those growing plants will hit you in the nose.

My only real concern is wondering if I'm growing potatoes or just gorgeous potato foliage. :)

Next year, I think I won't put leeks and tomato plants in the same bed as the summer squash. The leeks and tomatoes are slowly losing that battle as the squash takes over. Perhaps I'll make a monstrous pile of barn hay, cover it with a thin layer of aged compost, and put the squash right into that.

By the end of September, I plan to have MORE beds dug out, limed and composted so that they're ready for next spring.

For those who don't know, we're doing wide bed gardening. 14 active beds, at 4x15' each, equals 840 square feet of gardening space. Planted correctly (and I'm honestly just learning, so I'm making a ton of mistakes), that should yield about 5 times as much as the same space in conventional garden rows.

I'd like to have at LEAST another 6 beds ready this summer, but 10 would be great. The fenced garden area will hold 40 beds - a total of 2400 square feet of planting space.
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