by Matt on November 6, 2013
It’s been a busy week down on the Ashram. Construction of the lotus pond has been put on hold as we worked on finishing up our fall winterization projects. The raised beds have been placed in the new front yard garden. These beds will take the place of our corn field next year. I spent five hours this last Sunday filling them with goat muck/compost and they are read to be topped off with 3-4 inches of dirt.
The wheat field has been planted. This is our first experience with winter wheat and I already see a few sprouts. I am hoping to be able to alternate wheat and barley in the small front field and so get two grain crops each year. We planted our wheat little late, October 20. I am hoping there are enough growing degree days to get a good root system established before our first hard freeze. There is a stretch of warm weather predicted for the next week, so luck may be on our side.
Jen and I spent just under four hours last Saturday mucking out the goat pen. We cleaned out all of the old straw and manure. Partly because of the wet conditions last spring, a good portion of the bottom layer had already fully composted. The goats have been set up with a new row of straw bales around the perimeter of their pen, this will act as insulation and a wind block. We also put straw down on half the pen to give them a warm place to sleep. After that we wrapped the pen in 8 mil plastic sheeting to keep out drafts. Last year we had a problem with the goats eating down the plastic in the corners. We are trying a couple new wrapping techniques this year to see if anything will discourage them from a repeat plastic meal.
This week at work someone was trying to find a home for their daughter’s two yearling ducks. Jen volunteered a home for them and so they have joined our flock in the back yard. They appear to be a boy and a girl. Hopefully they get along with our boy and two girls already in the poultry run.
Looking forward there are a number of things we need to get done before our first hard freeze:
• Clear out the dead vegetation from the terrace garden
• Wrap and winterize the bee hive
• Dig and set the posts for the grape arbor
• Plant the garlic patch
• Fill the garden beds with dirt
• Mulch some leaves and cover the flower/blueberry beds
• Clean the front yard and hang the Christmas lights
• Install the back dividing fence
• Clean up the back yard
• Finish the lotus pond
So much to do, but soon it will be cold, dark, and snowy; so better to get it done now.