State of the ‘stead

In early February we went to Orlando, courtesy of Mark’s parents. One day was spent here:

For the rest of the photos, go to

When we returned, I had a lot of planting to catch up on. Here’s the list so far:

February 13 – Onions and shallots (Copra, Red Bull, Candy, Bonilla) in greenhouse
February 22 – Broccoli (Fiesta, Thompson), cabbage (Danish Ballhead), and leeks (Giant Musselburgh) in greenhouse
March 3 – Celery (Giant Red) in greenhouse
March 9 – Tomatoes (Beaver Lodge, Cordova, Frazier’s Gem, Gill’s All Purpose, Heinz 2653, Old German, Oregon Spring, Persimmon, Sweet Million), tomatillos (Aunt Molly’s Ground Cherry, Mexican Strain), hot peppers (Early Jalapeno, Habanero, Holy Mole, Mulato Isleno, Relleno Chile, Big Jim), and lettuce (Salad Bowl) in greenhouse
March 10 – Peas (Canoe) and two rows of spinach (Spaulding) in a raised bed (had to stop due to downpour)
March 14 – The remaining rows of spinach (Spaulding) in a raised bed

Today I need to pot up the cabbage and broccoli, and snip any onions that are over three inches high.

I’m pretty sure that both Gracie and Zinnia are pregnant. Prancer is just a sweetie. All three goats have been assiduously testing the garden fences and, as a result, have been confined to their enclosure/playground until Mark and I can correct our obvious mistakes. πŸ˜‰ Not that they mind, what with the weather being so biblical lately. Madeline lets them out to browse and plays with them during the sun breaks.

Two of our ducks went missing at exactly the same time. Either a pair of predators got them, or they’ve gone to the underbrush to be broody. I will know one way or the other by the first week of April.

We bought three lovely Buff Orpington hens from a nearby acquaintance. That brings the hen total to eight. Rob likes his new ladies. πŸ˜‰

Fairies and fun

My children and I have been participating in the kinderGARDENS project over at The Inadvertent Farmer. My ten-year-old started a fairy village, while my four-year-old became my garden helper. In the beginning, it was all about building and landscaping.

Fairy village 2

I still have to ask her how long that path took to make...

Next came one more house, a post office, and some flower seeds.

Nemophila (Baby Blue Eyes)

Meanwhile, my little garden helper decided that the strawberry beds were the most important of all, and that the resident bunnies needed a cake.

No weeds in the strawberries, Mommy!

The fairy village was in a very shady location, but it began to look like something was growing.

Despite the shade in an already cool summer, my ten-year-old discovered that “If you build it, they will come”.

Tripping the slightly goat-bumped path

My four-year-old discovered that helping mommy has it’s rewards, and that good things come directly from the soil.

It's the best tomato ever, Mommy!

Look at all the potatoes, Mommy!

The fairy village didn’t see much in the way of flowers this year. However, there was an abundance of blackberries for a feast.

Plans are already afoot to expand and relocate the fairy village next year. We’re thinking alpine strawberries would be a good fairy crop. πŸ˜‰

Fairy Blackberry Feast

The weather combined with the shady location of the fairy village produced much in the way of grass and moss, but very few flowers this summer. However, a recent foray deeper into the woods brought an abundance of blackberries, so the fairies celebrated with a feast. The festivities were caught on camera by my ten-year-old.

We thought it was rather clever of the fairies to use one of the oyster shells from the beach as a berry bowl. πŸ˜‰

Weeding for a bunnycake

My four-year-old likes to help me in the garden:

No weeds in the strawberries, Mommy!

While we were pulling weeds, we got to talking, as you do, about what sort of cake the wild bunnies who thrive here would like. I told her that bunnies really like leafy weeds and parsley, so she decided to make a bunnycake:

All cakes have to have flour and sugar, Mommy!

At least she remembered the weeds and parsley… πŸ˜‰

I hope the bunnies liked it...

New song

Prancer on the log

King of the Log (until Zenyatta/Zinnia butts him off)

Prancer The Dancer
by Madeline (age 10), sung to the tune of “Joxer the Mighty”

Prancer the Dancer
Roams through the hollow
His mommy to follow
Looking for things to swallow

Drinking milk and taking naps
Sitting in his peoples’ laps
He’s Prancer, he’s Prancer the Dancer!

Prancer on Madeline's back

Inspiring the songwriter