Just Chugging Along

Roman Chamomile seedlings

The past week has been very slow for things at the homestead.  I finally started some of the last seeds I have: the chamomile and lavender.  Today, the chamomile is starting to send up some small seedlings.  Only the lavender has yet to make an appearance.

Most of this past week, I’ve spent my time either waiting for plants to do something, or cutting up a bush that was cut down as it outgrew its area and was growing thru a fence.

Wood cutting area with unprocessed branches to the left and a stack of wood on the right.

All I’ve really been doing with the wood is cutting up the thicker sections of the wood and putting it on the wood pile, or binding the branches together with twine.  The latter is the more interesting of the two.

To make bundles of sticks, I take a 5 gallon plastic bucket and just start cramming it full of branches that I cut off at the rim of the bucket.  I tie it together with some twine to keep it from falling apart.  The result is a nice bundle of sticks that can be used later as fuel.  I don’t have a wood burning stove yet, so for now, I will just be using the wood for making charcoal.

Bundles of sticks.

I can make about two or three in a day before my hands get sore from the hand pruners I use.  I have lots of wood that will end up going into the bundles, so I am in no hurry to get it all done.  There are still at 4 more bushes that are overgrown and I haven’t been able to fully process a single bush in a week.

My garden plot is soaked.

The past few days have really put a damper on my ability to work outside.  We have been getting storms here as part of the sever storm outbreak across the midwest US.  This has soaked my yard to the point that I sink into the ground a bit when I walk.  The garden plot is no exception.  There is standing water in the normal corner as well as another  spot that doesn’t usually get it.  A few of the plants got done in with the runoff, but most survived just fine.  I lost a couple of tomato plants, most of the strawberry plants, and possibly a cabbage plant.

Plants ready to go into the ground.

I have more tomatoes and cabbages ready to go into the ground as soon as it dries out a bit so that I can work the soil.  In addition, the first batch of pinto beans are ready as well as the remainder of my zucchini starts.  Unless I have a massive loss of tomato plants, I will not start any more tomato seeds for the garden this year.  If all the plants I put in the ground produce, I’m going to have more tomatoes that I will be able to eat or preserve for later use.

Peaches. My hand shown for scale.

The plants and trees have been making decent progress during the last week. I am fairly certain that I will be thinning out the peach tree in the next week, weather permitting.  Some of the fruits are almost 2 inches in their smallest measurement.

The swarm I pulled out of the peach tree is still in the box I put it in. My brother-in-law, David, ordered a new set of hive bodies for the hive, which I will transfer the bees into once they arrive.

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