The Weekly Digs #98

by Becky

Yesterday, I drove up on our land and was met with a surprise. As I crested the hill at first I thought the cows were out but there was no mistaking about two hundred yards in front of me was a horse! We don’t own any horses so it was very unexpected to see it casually grazing our land.

As I pulled up closer, I found there was not just one horse but five! Many thoughts ran through my head at this point, mostly how am I supposed to find the owner? I did a quick google search for if there was any animal services that I could call for lost horses.

Living in the country is fun and funny! I sent a video to Cameron and said, “Who do I call?” He is smart and said let’s call our neighbor first, if they aren’t his, he would know who would own some nearby that we could ask. 

So he called our neighbor and about five minutes later Cam called me back and said well they are his! This is the same neighbor who baled our hay this year. The reaction I expected from our neighbor was something like, “I’ve been looking for them!” or “I’ll be right over!”. Instead, our neighbor told Cameron he was in the middle of a project and couldn’t make it over until tomorrow. I wish I felt that calm and not worried about my animals or life in general. 

After work Cam joined me in person to see if we could find where the weak spot in the fence adjoining our properties was. It didn’t take long to find it.

Several months ago, Cameron chopped down a dead tree that looked like it was hazardous and could fall at any minute. When the tree fell it dropped right on top of the barb wire fence and sliced right through the wires. 

Cameron mended the fence right away but about a month ago the kids set out to build forts over in that area. Turns out one of our children, who will remain nameless, took apart the fence that had been mended in that spot to “Go explore the trails on the other side of the fence.” That child left it wide open for animals to pass through.

Once we discovered it was one of our children that accidentally assisted in letting the neighbors’ horses escape, we went and got the kids who were playing at a friends house, and had them help to guide the horses back over to our neighbors property. 

These horses weren’t very friendly, kind of skittish in behavior so it wasn’t the easiest task but with the six of us herding them they made it bad to our neighbors property in less than twenty minutes.

It was quite an adventure. We got the fence all fixed up so we shouldn’t have visits from our neighbors horses anytime soon. 

In the Garden:

It’s been cold and dreary so not too much has happened outside other than a small 10 foot section of green onion sets I planted. They are multiplier onions and I have saved the “seed” for five years now. It’s actually just the little bulbs I save and replant every year. Pretty much the easiest seed saving ever!

Cameron made me some more trays for my soil blocks so I could make more. I ran out of trays fast this year and also found myself wishing I had more indoor light space. 

I planted another batch of onions indoors because of my first batch, my favorite variety, the Valencia Onions had about half of them die from damping off (a soil-borne fungal disease that affects seedlings). Damping off is super common for onions, every year I lose a little bit of onions to damping off but this year it was more extreme.

It was all contained to just the one variety which makes me think the Valencia variety must be much more susceptible to it. All my other onions hardly had any die.

I use a soil free seed starting mix and also sterilize all my trays in between uses so I was a bit surprised to have that happen. 

But it turns out I did something that triggered it, or at least I think so. I didn’t realize damping off happens often when the soil is cool and moist. Our temperatures during the day have been in the 50’s and I was taking all my seedlings outside to get sun everyday. 

From what I read on a cooperative extension website, taking them outside is fine if they are big enough.  But when they are small it makes them more susceptible to the damping off. Oh well. I learn something new every year!  

I sowed two new large trays of onions and will keep them inside with a fan on them and a heating mat underneath and see if that makes a difference. Onions need a lot of time to mature so hopefully this new batch sprouts quickly and grows fast 🙂

House Progress:

Sheetrock finished last week and nothing happened between then and now. On the day they finished we were told we needed to get heat going in the house so they could mud. Our wood boiler which will be our primary heat source, isn’t hooked up yet.

Instead we are going to hook up a propane tank for heat right now. Propane is our backup source of heat and will be easier to put in at the moment.

They started to do the siding last week and this week the workers didn’t show up even though the weather was fine. Cameron is getting frustrated at the lack of work ethic among a few of our subcontractors. Mostly because every day that someone doesn’t come it means another day of delay in finishing. Hopefully they will come Monday to continue working on it.

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