So here I am Internet, over halfway through a 10 day leave time, and finally I sit down to write a post. This time last year there was a big garage construction project going on. This year it is much quieter. My wife is off on a trip to South Carolina to visit a friend and compete in a 3-day combined driving event. I take this time off from work so that I can tend the farm, feeding the animals, cleaning up the horses’ stalls, etc. and not have to be in a rush to get to work. Oliver would have a difficult time being confined to his crate for a full day- and he cannot really be trusted to be at liberty in the house without supervision. He’s just way too nervous for that sort of thing. I don’t even want to think of what he might do if left home alone. It would be way worse than that little Macaulay Culkin kid, believe me. Or even Macaulay as an adult …
In the last day or two I finally settled in to the peaceful state that only comes from days of unplanned, unscheduled “me time”. I’m so very selfish I am. Today I took Oliver to the farm and feed store. I needed another bag of organic fertilizer, a female 5/8″ hose end, 6 brussels sprout plants, and a couple of bales of oat straw for mulch. The feed store has a stuffed fox, at least I think it’s a fox. I guess it’s some kind of cruel joke that they have the fox dressed in a hunter orange safety vest.
The photo was sort of staged. Oliver’s initial encounter with the fox was quite amusing. However, the camera was still in the car. So I went out to get it and brought him back in to the store. But I kind of had to force him to reexamine the fox so I could get a picture. Oh well, I tried. He was more interested in the other customers having already figured out that the fox was not in need of monitoring. The 2 bales of straw didn’t really fit into the trunk of my Camry, so I drove home with the trunk lid open. It’s not far, less than a mile. No worries. We made it home with all the supplies.
I continued wheeling barrow loads of aged horse manure/bedding over to the garden from the barn. It’s a big wheelbarrow, so 3 or so loads was enough to mulch over a bed with 3 or 4 inches of covering. This was done after applying the 5-3-4 fertilizer and raking it in a little.
Photos of empty garden beds are pretty unimpressive, I admit. Even with little piles of mulch on them. I got a little tire of wheeling manure around so the last couple of beds will have the straw mulch. Oat straw is a great mulch, almost no seeds and it rots into the soil in a year or so. The horse bedding and manure tends to sprout a lot of weeds, owing the inefficient equine digestive system. Oh well, weeding is just another part of the deal with gardening …
Not much of the garden is actually planted, but by tomorrow I’ll have all the beds ready for planting. The plants wait patiently in the greenhouse. I’m sure you want to see that, right?
Tomatoes, peppers, basil, marigolds, cabbages, broccoli, coleus, dill, and other stuff. They are doing well in the greenhouse. As it happens, I forgot to plan sufficient venting but the neighboring trees and general orientation of the greenhouse seem to have so far prevented it from getting too hot. Of course we’ve barely made it into the 80s yet. The plants are big enough to require checking on a couple times a day.
I have some sad news on the cairn front. On a bike ride last week I spotted an unusual “road kill”.
The roadkill turned out to be a dried out banana peel. Sort of a relief I guess, since stick figures are so gosh darn cute and are probably on the endangered species list, just like the rest of us. Anyway, this roadkill was merely a harbinger of further tragedy. The beloved cairn had been destroyed again by roving vagabonds, carnies, or some other ne’er-do-wells.
This is a sad state of affairs. Since the rocks are all gone, probably chucked into the woods, I wonder now if the state may have decided that this cairn was one of those “attractive nuisance” hazards that might distract weary travelers to Henniker, causing them to crash their cars into Lake Massasecum. Who knows? Having yet to fully respond to CuriousC’s Cairn Meme post, I knew that something had to be done. I thought and thought and thought. Finally yesterday, I piled up some stones. For revenge. At my place.
I still feel the need to do something about the destroyed Route 114 Cairn. We’ll see what I come up with. On a happier roadside note, I can report the the “I STILL LOVE YOU CHICKEN FARMER”, official town graffiti of Newbury, NH has been restored! It was actually restored before Memorial Day. A few flags were planted in the little flowerbed in front of the rocks. Thank you to the kind people who restored this lovely roadside inspiration. Would y’all mind trying to rebuild a cairn down in Bradford??