We had a wonderful outdoor pizza and campfire gathering at our place with the neighbors a couple of nights ago. Their son had his last day of school and so it was a summer kick off celebration with homemade apple pie, (younger sister said Rhubarb pie was too sour), and a salad that was 5 minutes out of the garden. They brought over yummy additions to the salad from their farm which included beautiful edible flowers and garlic scapes! Of course there were s’mores to finish out the night:)
The garden is beautiful, or it is to me anyhow! For a first real attempt I am most pleased. So far we are eating Collards, Kale, a variety of salad greens, radishes, chives, and herbs. It’s so nice to reduce the amount of produce purchased at the store. It’s also incredibly less expensive seeing that I was buying organic produce, which adds up quickly! Yesterday I spent the day whittling down my list of to do’s. I got the main garden, the herb garden by the kitchen and the “viney” garden up the hill all heavily mulched. My buckets that are growing potatoes are growing like crazy, and in order to keep “hilling” them, I had to make extensions to the buckets so they can continue to grow upwards, and still have room to “hill” them with mulch. I’ve wrapped the top of the buckets in chicken wire to achieve this. I’ve had some issues with critters eating my tender young things, and so I’ve got some things covered with row cover material. It won’t keep them out, but it is less inviting!
I also got the pig yard cleaned up as well as the paddock for the Cattle. This process of raising animals for food is an awesome responsibility that will, for me, always go beyond bare needs and adequate care. To me, when raising animals for food or profit, your actions will define how they will live their lives before they give theirs for you. I want to give the best care and thoughtful attention to the quality of their lives, that I am able to achieve. I can’t make the flies go away, by cleaning their yard, but I want to do whatever I can to reduce their numbers. It’s the right thing to do. It saddens me to pass farms and see animals surrounded by excrement. When they are penned in areas in high numbers it’s because people selected for them to live that way, the animals just don’t get much say in the deal. To me, caring for livestock is part of the honor system, really. The Honor system is defined as “…by which one or both parties in an interaction are expected to honor trust granted to them by the other”.
I feel a lot of trust has been granted to us with the 18 mouths we feed…