This is one of those eclectic postings, lots of thoughts and stories all rolled into one.
Sorta like a jumbled post… you’ve been warned.
An easy up and salvaged canvas curtains protect the last two beds of tomatoes. Looks like a circus tent!
Protecting the crops with tarps and row covers
The storm blew out late Wednesday night leaving SoCal washed clean of the grim and filth that accumulates during the summer months.
Thursday was a beautiful day – everything was fresh. Animals and people were basking in the suns warm rays and I was marveling at the puffy cloud formations (clouds are rare here in SoCal). From the urban homestead we could see that the San Gabriel’s got a good couple inches of snow. Yep there’s snow on them der mountains and what a beautiful sight that is.
Coming back from our friend party (the tea sandwiches, as always, were a huge hit) as we crossed over the Colorado Bridge the glorious mountains were a glow ,basked in the purple light of the sunset and below the lower Arroyo Seco there was a ribbon of yellow colored trees. So pretty and majestic was the scene. It’s not often we get to see such a spectacular sight. Makes you think back to a time before the smog and the concrete and the cars….
Of course the storm blowing out meant that our cloud cover was gone. Meaning it was going to be a cold one. Cold night that is. Justin and Farmer D had already anticipated the onslaught of winter and put up the row covers over practically all 50 raised beds.
When I got back from the party Justin had the ingenuity to use the Easy Up (that thing’s been pretty handy lately) as a cover over the two remaining tomato beds. These two beds have over a dozen tomatoes that are about 4plus feet high.
Temperatures started to dip fast as the sun set. While Jordanne & I were putting up the animals at about 5pm Justin reported that it was already 42 degrees. Brrrr.
It’s an icy 26 degrees this morning. Justin was up early checking on the plants seeing if any needed to be hosed down before the sun came up.
Though a bit frosty everything looks OK.
As for the tomatoes, I am happy report that they survived the night, thanks to the Easy Up and salvaged canvas “circus curtains,” and will live another day.
Trying to clean up after the rains but it’s still wet and muddy – kinda hard to do anything really with everything’s so soaked. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to dry out before the next storm blows in next week.
Hey So Cal gardeners, how’s everyone’s gardens doing. Care to report?
On the rainy Wednesday Farmer D and Justin when shopping for plants at one of our local nurseries. They needed to fill in a few empty spots in the front yard with some perennial edibles.
I haven’t had a chance to see all that they got but from their conversations I overheard Bush Cherry and Honeybush.
All I know that it is excellent transplant weather – the soil is nice and moist so it’s time to move or plant what needs to be done in the garden.
Working with and edible front yard is challenging because it needs to not only productive but beautiful. Why? Because we don’t live in the boondocks somewhere. We live in a neighbor in the city and we need to be responsible citizens and keep our garden looking well maintained.
Every year the front yard garden goes through revision after revision. Plants are getting bigger or somethings just don’t grow where we plant it.
Every year we are growing along with our landscape.
Also yesterday Farmer D accepted a pretty big speaking engagement to conference. I will post details soon, but like I said 2009 is shaping up to be another interesting year as our outreach work expands.
Oh yeah, and we have to like leave to Nevada City in early January. We have a “to do list” two pages long. It’s not easy to just pick up and leave it’s like a strategic military invasion or something. No, seriously.
We rarely ever buy new clothes/shoes but some of our clothing had been getting pretty old and ratty and we did need a few things. So Justin has increased his shoe collection to TWO pairs of shoes. Yep, he got himself a pair of boots. He normally runs around in sandals but I don’t think sandals would be too good of an idea in the Sierra Nevadas in January.
I also have some other interesting news which I can post about and will get to that hopefully early next week.
One of the Hard Truths About Backyard Farm Animals
Oh and another thing which is good to note. Jordanne received a call from a new goat owner who was beside herself that her one of her goats gave birth to a stillborn and hadn’t expelled the placenta. Poor goat was shaking – probably in shock. Don’t know if the poor creature is OK, but we hope so.
This situation, we are finding, is becoming more and more common. People get are getting caught up in getting backyard farm animals without researching where their nearest vet is or how to treat the animals on their own. Jordanne knows that she can’t depend on local vets to treat poultry or even livestock and has built up a little arsenal of medications and remedies that we have on hand “just in case.”
Farm animals are cute and all but they do get sick, diseases and some do even die. That’s the not so cute part about raising poultry and livestock. When you decide to raise these animals you got to know how to treat them when the fall ill or mishaps happen. That’s the ugly truth some people don’t face and go over before they rush out and get these animals because it’s now a fad to keep backyard chickens or even goats.
It’s a serious matter keeping animals and thus you need to read, read, read some more and research, research and research some more. These animals aren’t some objects to have just because it’s fashionable now to keep them. They need to be cared for on a daily basis. Yep, daily basis — for years and years.
So before you rush out a get that cute little chick or kid, think on this — will you be able to have the guts and stomach to treat it when it falls ill? You won’t – I can tell you – be dealing with pretty situations and you gotta to have the stomach to treat your own animals if no one else in your area will.
That’s something that newbie urban homesteaders and small stock holders have consider and be prepared to deal with. This new “backyard animal” movement shouldn’t be plagued with dead, sick and dying animals.
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