A Dirty Little Experiment..thought provoking..health inducing

Thought Provoking

No alarm clock is necessary, the rooster hasn’t crowed.  I am up before any notice of life. Coffee in hand, sitting at the table my mind reflects on the events of the day before and how I will move through this day.

Yesterday was great. I felt we got much accomplished. Before heading outside we made collars for both Flake and Cleo. With spring springing and new buds on the trees it is getting a bit challenging to locate them while they are foraging in the woods. Now they are wearing bright orange collars, making it a bit easier to locate them.

Taking out the food buckets and before any work, Jaime and I walked around to take notice of what is popping up in the garden and around the yard. Well, I was a bit disappointed when the newspaper I had planted in the winter did not produce any trees. I’m hoping for a good crop of green beans though.

The garden has taken a new design this year (our 3rd year).  This year, we have plowed our plots fashioned for weather and animal control.

garden design for 2012

You can click on the image for a closer look. The strawberries we left in their original space. They are doing beautifully and they enjoy the goat waste that’s deposited on the opposite side of the fence. Along the back row with the 6ft fencing is okra. The goats will leave this alone while it’s producing and they enjoy it when it is done. The okra is tall and does well in this location with rows directed east and west.

The tomatoes are being strategically placed to protect the beans from little critters. All rows are directed north and south. Tomato plants are on the east and west of the bean rows. The next patches are peas and squash. Then comes corn. The corn is strategically planted north and south direction to prevent damage from the gusting winds that sweep across the garden. The final patch for our consumption is watermelon followed by fencing for goat pasture. A cover crop has been planted in the goat yard of sunflower and peas utilizing intercropping methods. Then finally potatoes as a sacrificial crop. Last year the ants devoured our potatoes which were planted behind the corn. If the ants like them so much they can find them outside our garden.

I feel more relaxed now and on time as to what and when to plant here in beautiful Georgia. I am only planting what will grow well in this soil (regardless of my techniques and methods of fertilization).  I am only planting the types of foods we consume. We’ve just finished last years produce this past January. It has served us and our neighboring friends well.

Our pumpkin we have kept in it’s present location since it did so well there last year. This location is proving well this year.

New pumpkins 2012

Our wisteria is absolutely gorgeous this year. Last fall the goats pruned it very well and has enormous blossoms this spring. We brought this plant to the house two years ago from a cutting off the side of the road.

Wisteria in bloom 2012

Our Knockout Roses are overflowing with new growth. The original plant was purchased 3 years ago and was our first plant. We know have 3. The other two plants are cuttings off the first. I divide from the original plant after it goes dormant at the end of the year. November seems to be a good time. I divide by cutting from the original root, preferably an older section of the plant. This year both the new cuttings are doing wonderful displaying new growth.

Knockout Roses 2012

Things are springing up all over the place. These signs of life promote health in abundance.

springing up all over the place

top row left: new goat guide, new bean, lupines in their glory.

bottom row left: new bean and strawberry, okra, tomato.

Health Inducing

The main objective for yesterday was to clean out the pens and freshen with lime. The weather is getting hot and the bugs are active.  In order for us to keep track of everyone it turned into a rotation game. Flake and Cleo with their kids were allowed out to graze so that I could get in to clean the larger pen and then placing Molly and her kids in the large pen so that I could clean the smaller one. Before that activity was allowed, Jaime and I put up a fence to serve as a goat guide.

It all worked out. Jaime was getting frustrated because none of the goats would stay in one place. She assumed the perimeter fencing was to keep them inside. It was put up to slow them down a little. When I was finally done with all the cleaning Jaime and I sat in the back simply to watch them as they are enjoying all the new buds popping up everywhere. This was the time to explain to Jaime all the things I’ve learned watching our goats to put her frustrations to rest. Actually our animals are more intelligent then we are. We have a tendency to over think and over do.

As for today, Jaime is off to school, dinner is simmering in the slow-cooker, the animals are fed and the laundry is on the line. Now it’s time to head outdoors where everything is just fine.


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