It’s early in the morning here,I was awoken by a loud clap of thunder rolling over our house, a flash of lightning, then came pouring rain followed by bird song.A morning symphony of sounds. It was way better than the jangling of the alarm clock but meant I am up a bit to early.

Our boys are away at Boy Scout Camp for a full week.Their excitement to be off and away way left me frazzled and exhausted.They were like big puppy dogs frisking around the house while they packed.Lots of good-humored pushing of each other,giggles and bright smiles. And like big puppies they have not figured out how Big they are or how crazy they can be.It was good to see them so happy to be going. Now the house is quiet without them and only a toothbrush was forgotten.Let’s hope one is purchased from the camp store,I know what they will spend their money on,rifle amo and candy. One year it was socks and that was bad ,worse than bad breath for a week.

Like every year when the boys are at camp Chance and I try to find a larger garden project to work on. Last night I finally gave in and we fenced in the back garden.The garden of frustration I wrote about here.

 If you’ve read the posting you will know we have been fighting Pig Weed and a naughty Rooster. The Rooster is re-homed,ahhh the quiet.The Pig Weed we are diligently pulling on a daily bases.So far the weed has come up mostly in the path around the garden which we are hoping is a good sign.I am not even going to think we have won the Pig Weed battle,shhh,I didn’t say a word about it.

So if the rooster who destroyed the garden is gone why fence it? Our cat.Toby has decided he has a thing for sleeping anywhere I plant lettuces.First he slept on a bed in the front garden then he choose one in the back garden.I am tired of replanting because of animals,I want food growing!The garden is finally looking good and we want it to continue.

Our neighbors gave us a roll of green wire fencing and the stakes to put it up with.We were just 6 inches short of fencing the garden with it but since we needed a gate of sorts we were fine.I was worried about the look of the fence but it’s green and pulled tight so it just kind of disappears.

The Hens are happy to see the fence up.It means they can once again roam the yard in the evenings.When we let them out last night they all came running out of  the coop and into the fence,boing! Something new for them to get used to.

The other project I am hoping we get to is a new self waterer for the chicken run. We have a smaller food grade barrel and some gutter pieces to make a rain barrel out of.We want to then attach a hose or PVC pipe to the rain barrel to use as a self waterer.We need to get the water nipples for the project but we can at least get things started.We need to get the rain barrel filled before it can work anyway.

On  my To Do list for after work today is to place some Comfrey leaves over our potato bed.We have this great book “Forgotten Skills of Cooking”  which is not just about cooking but also about growing your own food.In her Herbs chapter Allen writes about Comfrey. We grow Comfrey for our chickens,they love it and its jammed packed full of good things for them.It also good to add to your compost.Since you can cut the plant back with it coming back quickly it means you can always have it around during the growing months.But back to the book, comfrey is high in potasium and so are potatoes.By laying fresh comfrey leaves over the top of your potato bed you are giving the potatoes a much needed nutriant they need.And I would think it plays into the whole mulch or green manure thing as well being good for your soil.I am going to try it.Potatoes are not hard to grow but if the comfrey shows to make a difference I will keep it on my list of good things.

If you get the chance to check out “Forgotten Skills…” do it.There so many bits of information all through the book that have given us plenty of food for thought.The only down side to note is sometimes in the recipes there seems to be some important step missing.It’s just seems like it instinctively but I could be wrong.Oh, and you have to keep in mind that Darina Allen is Irish so some of her cooking terms may be new to you but easy to figure out. We own 3 or 4 of her books so we are big fans of her.I dream of someday going to her cooking school Ballymaloe which is set on a 100 acre farm where the grow a majority of their own food.

I am hoping moving my blog was not a mistake.Did my old blog followers find me over here? Only time will tell.

Time has flown and I must be going. Have a productive day.



About Hrafinstaad Homestead

We are an Urban Homestead located in Beaverton Oregon.We are all about growing,cooking,preserving and curing our own foods. From time to time we offer various classes that interest those who are wanting to learn basic homesteading skills.

3 responses »

  1. I really need to find space for comfrey in my yard. I had heard it was good for chickens but didn’t know about potatoes! And with the number of ‘owies’ my kid gets (that I have to pretend to be able to see) it would be so much nice to wrap a leaf around it instead of using up another band aid.

    Hope you get to enjoy some of the peace and quiet – it’s such a mixed blessing!

  2. I am loving the new blog format! As always lots of great tips and enjoy the week of quiet. I tried to catch you at work the other day but you had the day off. Will try again soon 🙂

  3. One way to keep cats from using any nice loose soil for a toilet is to sprinkle red pepper on the soil. You might not want to sprinkle it ON the lettuce. I bought a jar, 6 inches high, for fifty cents at Walmart. My three hens get in my Naked Ladies in a flower bed and scratch the bulbs all over the yard. Naughty hens!

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