Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Welcome to Legal Tender Farm

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Beautiful Moth

I'm seeing a lot of these this year.  I don't remember seeing them around here before.  Don't know what they are, but when I get time, I'll look it up.  I think the chickens might be eating them up beause I've seen a wing here and there, too.

Cannas Anyone?

I thinned out my yellow cannas this week, separated and potted them up.  If you live nearby and want some for free, come and get 'em.  They are supposed to be a dwarf variety, so said the label, and only get about four feet high, but they actually grow to at least six feet high.

They are beautiful, but beware, they spread like crazy.

In June of 2010, I planted this sparse row.

By August, they looked like this.  In the summer of 2011, they doubled and pretty much took over the whole bed so that the dwarf ruellia (the pink row of flowers) could hardly be seen. 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sad Pony

About a week after we got Pony, I had the farrier come to trim her hooves.  He told me that she was close to foundering and I should take her off all feed and just let her eat the grass in the pasture, which I did.

A couple of days, she foundered anyway.  I called the vet and he told me that miniature horses were prone to foundering.  Turns out our pastures are just too rich for her and she's gorging herself on all kinds of goodies.  He told me to put her in a stall and give her only hay, which I did.  She got better right away, but she absolutely hated being in the barn by herself.  I only left her in there about two days, then moved her out to the pasture that had been grazed down the most. 

She was fine for a while, but after a couple of weeks, I could tell her feet were getting sore again.  So, back into the barn she went.

This picture isn't out of focus, but it looks like it is because Pony has paced round and round stirring up dust.  The dust has caused a deep cough. 

 "Let me out!"

After about four days in exhile, she was much, much better.  I put her out in the round pen for about an hour on the second day, then a couple of hours the next day, then I had Tom mow the pasture as short as possible.  Back outside she went.  Mustn't have her coughing.  She was running around kicking up her heels and tossing her head, so happy to be back outside.

If keeping the pasture trimmed short doesn't keep her from foundering, I don't know what we're going to do to get through spring and all the new growth.  I read up on miniature horse websites and they recommend not letting them graze until about July when the grass isn't as rich.  I really can't imagine how we could manage that.  I  just can't keep her in the barn.  The only thing I can think of to do is to make a smaller pen within the pasture to keep her in and let it go just about bare.

Oh, and she lost all that extra weight she was carrying around.  Looks much better.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Straw Bale Gardening

I'm experimenting with something new in the garden this year.  I heard about straw bale gardening a few months ago and thought it sounded great.  We have a bunch of bales of old hay, our first cutting from our first year here, that I've been wanting to use up.  This seemed like a perfect way to do it.

Of course, straw and hay are not the same thing, but I did some reading on it and hay will work as well as straw.  The problem with hay is that it will have more seeds in it that may sprout lots of weeds.  Theoretically, straw has already had most of the seeds threshed out of it.  But, there is a benefit to using hay and that is, that it has more nutrients in it.

I liked the idea because it gets the garden plants up off the ground like a raised bed. With that, the benefits of keeping the weeds from encroaching and not having to bend over so much to reach the plants.  Of course, if my hay sprouts a bunch of weeds, then my weed problem may be worse than it is gardening the conventional way.  I may totally regret this, but I thought I'd give it try.  Besides, I really like the look of it, the neatness, and I get great satisfaction in making things look neat and orderly...and beautiful, if possible.

This gives me great pleasure to prepare and look at.

I'm only doing three rows

And the raised bed that Tom built last year (not so much pleasure looking at this because I need to get out there with the weed whacker).

I've had the bales set out for a few weeks now and have been watering them.  I plan to start planting in them in about 10 days or so.  For more information on straw bale gardening, you can google it and lots of sites will pop up.

I'm supposed to be able to put potted plants directly into the bales.  To plant seeds, I have to spread a thin layer of soil over the tops.  The plants are supposed to get all of the nutrients they need from the hay or straw because the watering has caused them to start to compost.  Eventually, the hay will completely disintegrate.

One can also create raised beds with the bales but using them as "walls".  Just line up the bales to create an enclosure, then fill the enclosure up with soil.  The bales hold the soil in place and bring the garden up to non-back-breaking level.  Googling brings up some very nice pictures of straw bale gardening and raised beds.

Wish me luck.  I might end up with a great pile of weeds and no veggies. 

Barn Workshop Cabinets

Tom has been planning a workshop area in the barn ever since we got it built.  He needs a place for all his tools and projects.  So, since our nephew is here, we're taking advantage of his considerable talents.  I think that was Tom's ulterior motive in getting him here anyway.  *wink*

Yesterday, this wall looked like this.

This morning, it looked like this...

Wow!  he is fast.

This is going to be far nicer than I envisioned.  Those cabinets have a quartz top...free.  I was at an antique/junk shop several months ago and this big slab of quartz counterop was leaning up against the wall.  The shop owner asked if I knew anyone who would want that slab.  She just wanted to get rid of it and was giving it away.  I didn't want it, but I mentioned it to Tom when I got home.  He went and got it, had it cut in half and ended up with two six foot lengths.