It has been difficult to plant this year with all the rain. Yesterday, I planted some higher beds to flint corn, peas and soybeans. These will provide some food and biomass for compost in the future. The peas will also help provide soil conditioning. I am hoping that I do not cause too many problems working such wet soil but I am really need to get the seeds in the ground before it get really hot. It rained again last night so it might be a couple of more days before I am able to plant some more. This rain is helping the new plants in the food forest and the hedge row plantings. I must admit it is nice not to have to drag a hose around to water all of them.
I worked with the two donkeys some more today. I try to spend at least 15 minutes per day at least with the hoofs and on the halter. I still need to work of getting the halter training done and the desire to run off when they see the halter. It will be a while before that happens. I have also been working on hoof care. The mother is doing better with the lifting of the hoofs but the little one is not willing to have the hoofs touched. I have worked slowly with a twisted rope to lift the little hoofs up.
It has rained almost every day the last couple of weeks. While this is great for filling the ponds, creeks, rivers, and aquifer it has made gardening difficult. It is too muddy to go out to plan and do other tasks needed including weeding. With the water-soaked soil I need to be very careful when pulling the weeds so I avoid pulling out very young plants at the same time. The old clothes hamper in the 4th picture below is how I gather the weeds as I put them out of the garden beds. Although, my garden is very weedy it was nice to see all the young vegetables today.
So you might wonder what I do with all of those nitrogen weeds large and small. If they have not gone to seed before I get to them I put them into my compost. I most do cold compost but I do have one hot bin. If you have weeds with seeds you can put them into water to make some weed tea. Why waste that nitrogen and other elements weeds have taken from your soil.
Sweet Potatoes and Vetch
Carrots and Cole Plants
Last Friday I finally go the donkey I was looking for. She will hopefully provide protection from coyotes for the sheep. She seems to leave them alone and is not showing any signs of aggression. She is halter trained but is not that willing at this time. Her daughter is almost feral. It will take a while to get her to accept a halter and even touching.
Last night it rained over 3 inches. You can see that it is very wet and muddy in areas. I am glad that I was able to plant my beets, onions, kale, peanuts, broccoli and cauliflower before the rain. I still have a lot to plant but today it is too wet to work the soil.
I have been very busy planning the last few day. I just finished the bird feeding area on the east side of the property. Here I planted three more cedars, 3 redbuds, fragrance sumac, currents. I also received my sweet potato slips and planted them yesterday. I ran out of canned sweet potatoes this year so it will be great to plant for canning in the fall. I have saved most of the dandelions for the bees but I am contemplating making a batch of jelly. It sure is good stuff. All of the flowers are helping the bees but I am still feeding them every two days with sugar-water.