Welcome to the Highlander Studios blog.

I won't promise any earth shattering revelations here. What I will be trying to do is post some new products as I release them, share some thoughts on gaming and show some pics of games and other stuff that I enjoy. So come in and make yourselves at home.

Friday, June 30, 2017

Bone Weary

     Well, I finally understand why my grandfather would fall asleep watching the evening news and only wake up when it was time to go to bed. This farming stuff is exhausting.

     Last Fall I made an agreement with the owner of the vacant lot across the street. Her lawn guy is really lazy and just rides around on his machine and never does the trim work. The property ends up looking ragged and the owner gets nastygrams from the township regarding the state of things. I suggested that I could do the trim and clear limbs that fell during storms in return for some flat space to garden. I also keep the driveways clear in the winter and can harvest any apples, pears and other forage I find. That's all well and good, but keeping up with just the trim on an acre and a half is a lot of work. I'm also gardening several areas of my own property and maintaining it. Add building a 700 square foot garden within a 1200 square foot enclosure from the ground up and I now have a deep empathy for those who feel bone weary.

   Honestly, this is not a complaint and I have every intention of extending the contract until the property sells or we buy it ourselves. I've managed to drop almost 20 pounds, the blood pressure is almost under control and I'm more content than any time I can remember in my life. But it has caused a work imbalance with my sculpting. It's almost July and the bulk of the planting is done. I have a little space to develop for a few late crops and a couple of large building projects for the yard, but those are no longer time sensitive. I have managed to get a few projects done and to the mold maker. A couple of other commissions are nearing completion and should be wrapped up shortly. So the balance is returning.

     Until I get some photos of new stuff I thought I'd share pics of what has been going on. Starting with my yard.

     Last year's 2' x 3' garlic bed became the home for some transplanted mustard greens.

     This is a 3' x 4' bed of Jerusalem artichokes with mystery beans growing up around them. To the right there is a horseradish plant. I've found that this soil under the pines is really great for growing  things. I went a bit overboard on the artichokes, but all of the plants seem to be in good health and they top six feet already.

     I took the stupid wisteria out last Fall. In it's place I put a decorative three sisters planting. Actually, it's two sisters right now as only the corn and beans are there. I'll add tomatoes this weekend. The the electric pole behind has sunflowers planted around it.

     This was the first terrace I built last year. The garlic grows well here as do the basil and cilantro. I'm having a rough time with lettuce and onions, though.

     The lower hugelkultur has more corn and beans, carrots, beets and a butt-ton of volunteer potato plants. Yeah I planted a few on the left, but 13 more came up all through the bed.

     I reclaimed about 150 square feet at the bottom of my yard. I'm preparing a new terrace for the bee hives next year. One benefit of the lawn guy across the street being lazy is that I can rake up a lot of easily digestible biomass to build the soil up. I'm planning to plant paw paws over the edge.

     Across the street is the main garden.

     Everything here is experimental. All right, everything I'm doing as far as gardening is experimental at this point. I've built different styles of beds out of whatever wood and bamboo I had available. We replaced our deck boards when we moved in and I've been saving the old decking to use in various projects. We have critters. So there is a double 4 ' fence that works well to keep the deer out and a 2' mesh around the inside area to keep smaller animals out. That combined with Repelsall crystals and spray has kept things fairly well intact.

 Tomatoes, basil and cilantro are right inside the gate. There are more sunflowers out of frame to the right.

     Having no clue about the space watermelons needed when I started them from seed, I went overboard. All of the seeds germinated and I ended up with 15 here and 3 in our yard.

     I like squash. This bed has the zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers in it. I'll try training it up the bamboo poles, but I may need to add cross bars as a trellis.

     Parsnips are in the log cabin. Bush beans are growing to the right. Brussel sprouts are in the rear bed. Again, not knowing about Brussel spouts, I went overboard in the planting. luckily we all like them.

     Susan wanted some interesting potatoes. I found a box of purple majesty seed at a lawn place. I'm growing them as towers. This picture was taken a few days ago after I had covered the first growth. I'll need to cover another 4 inches and build more container this weekend.

     Hot and sweet peppers . I'm not sure how they are growing. they seem to be small for this time in the season.

     More three sisters planting. There is blue corn, yard long beans, Kentucky wonder beans and more yellow squash here. Shoulder high by the fourth of July, right?

     This last bed has the 9' bean poles. More Kentucky wonder and yard long beans. I had space so there is still more yellow squash around the edges. Did I mention I like squash?

     I've found that I really enjoy this farmer stuff. I like talking about it, too. So if you want to throw some ideas back and forth, please don't hesitate.

     Now back to the paying work.


Jay said...

Sir, JME has unanimously voted to award you the Green Thumb of the Year! Congratulations!

Capt. Zeelow

daveb said...

Looks fantastic. I've been doing extensive landscaping on a regular urban lot to convert lawn to planted beds and an edible food forest and it's been exhausting. I can only guess what an acreage would entail. I keep having hopes I'll reach the 'maintenance' phase instead of the 'new project' phase each year. It might happen eventually...