The Weekly Digs #72

by Becky

Our current homestead is officially up for sale! It has been such a crazy week of preparing. On Wednesday afternoon we had a friend who has a 30 cubic yard capacity trailer bring us a full load of chipped wood mulch. 

We planned on putting the house up for sale on Friday so we needed to get the entire pile spread in the garden in 36 hours. I spread mulch in my garden every year but usually it is before the season starts. This year was different because Covid-19 shut down my resource for affordable mulch. They finally reopened so we got our mulch.

Here is the garden last week
And after adding mulch this week! Much better!

The kicker was that both Wednesday and Thursday were 95ºF with a 105º heat index. I considered paying someone to help me get it all in and done but then I got to thinking that I already had help at home! I told my kids I would pay them for each wheelbarrow load they filled dumped in the garden and then spread. 

With the fourth of July just around the corner and my boys love of fireworks, it was perfect motivation for them to work hard for some extra money. The boys set up two fans at the mulch pile and I turned the sprinkler on in the garden so we could all stay cool while we worked. 

I started to weed everything before the boys dumped mulch in each area. Once I finished weeding we all took turns dumping mulch. Cam helped where he could but he was at work both those days. So Thursday night, after working in the garden ALL day I collapsed into bed and Cam finished up the rest. 

It looks beautiful and fulfilled the goal of making the garden look much easier to manage. Our realtor was a bit worried that the large garden would be a hindrance for some people so we wanted to make it look beautiful and easy 🙂

The truth is when you don’t till your garden and have enough mulch on top, it is super easy because the weed seeds never see the light of day.

We spent the weekend camping at our land while we let people look at our house. The farm garden is looking good and growing a ton! Corn is big enough now that we started to take the nets off. We harvested a Cherokee Purple tomato and it was to die for! So good!

In other news, we may get cows faster than we anticipated. We have a friend from church who says he has too many cows to keep over winter on his land. He gave us a good price for 5 cows- two moms, two calves, and a bull. 

The type of cow is Dexter. We went to look at them and they are so much smaller than I imagined but I think it will be great to start out and great for our kids. They are also really nice and the kids walked right up to them. The bull has no horns and is very friendly.

I am really excited about it but we still need to set up fencing because we will be doing rotational grazing. The perimeter of our land is fenced with 3 strands of barb wire but our friend said we may need more than that because he has had his cows get their head stuck in something similar. 

We plan on doing electric fencing for the interior fence so it can be mobile and our friend said that works really for them. 

I figure getting cows is kind of like having your first child. We have no idea what we are doing and no amount of reading up on it is going to prepare us enough for the reality 🙂 At some point you just need to jump in and get started! 

Just to be clear though, we are reading up how to take care of them and asking our friend lots of questions but I still feel pretty clueless. The cows will stay on a friends land until we can get our fencing set up.

In the home garden:

  • Harvesting tomatoes, cucumbers (pickling and slicing types), green and yellow beans, bulb onions, and herbs
  • We also harvested all our potatoes. This is the one harvest the kids beg me to let them do. It’s way too fun to search for buried treasure. 

In the farm garden:

  • Harvesting tomatoes- cherokee purple
  • Peppers are green and huge but I’m waiting for them to turn red since it’s my preference.

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