It's another gorgeous morning.
I'm sure anyone reading this will fall off of their chair in shock, but the list from yesterday was not completed.
We got to go get straw bales right away yesterday morning, after a call to see if they were available at the barns. The man who owns the farm met us. What a lovely old man of 80. He said, "Follow me!" and proceeded to lead us to the place we needed to load at approximately .097 miles per hour. It was a great day for a drive!
He was so sweet, and had tons of stories. As one of the best ways you can bless someone is to listen to them, we did. For about an hour in one of the hay barns we heard about his family, his farm, his business dealings, his children. It was a real treat to listen to him and I don't regret a moment of it.
We arrived back home and I immediately got to work on the list, but after distributing the bales at their various sites, mulching the gooseberries, repairing the barbed wire fence, harvesting cow manure from the pastures, and a hiccup start on mulching the strawberries - the raspberries arrived.
These were such a good deal, ordered before I knew the car needed repair. "Strange how that happens," she said dryly. I got 36 Heritage and Black Jewel raspberries for a dollar each. But now I had to get them in the ground. Michael was able to help me by then, and we have such a good time working outside.
So the rest of the day was spent doing all but 9 of them before we had to do chores and leave for office cleaning. We were really pleased at the condition of the soil. When we had planted raspberries in that location 8 years ago, the soil had not been very good. But I think the Lord waved his hand, because we had brown soil there.
Each rootling got a hole, a plop of black gold on each side, and a six inch dressing of straw. These went in a row, about 2.5 feet apart, under a wire trellis system that was already there from before. We are hoping for summer raspberries next year.
So today I need to finish the raspberries, and then work on the figs, the greenhouse, and figure out the strawberries.
I've never actually mulched strawberries before. But I think that one reason they did not do so well in this last planting was that I had black fabric down that they were planted through. We had a very warm summer, and they may have simply been too hot. So I wanted to try mulching with straw.
Makes sense, straw-berries, right? Not so much. Everywhere you go, people are blogging about how they mulch their berries with straw. But no one still has green berry plants when they mulch them. As a matter of fact, if I recall correctly, my berries never actually completely stop being green in winter. So I am thinking that if I cover a bunch of green plants with straw, the inevitable is going to happen, right? Green plants, cover with material, dead plants. I do this with weeds all year.
So I tried mulching around them. Well, I have these tiny little newbie plants that are so small and too close together for that to be done with any success at all. I am currently stumped on how to approach this one, so that will be last on my list today.
I made yesterday what Michael judged to be my best 100% whole wheat loaf yet. It was my third attempt this week. I am determined to not buy another loaf until I figure out how to make our own. Personal goal. Still only four inches high. Actually, with the braided top, this one made it to about 5.5 inches. But they taste utterly fantastic.
This one used potato flakes or flour. I'm thinking, "I always have a box of potato flakes in my pantry." I often get a craving for quickie mashed potatoes. Nope, no flakes. So I juiced a potato in my juicer and used some of it for the required starch the recipe wanted from the potato flakes.
All this in the middle of outdoor work, means I've still got potato in my juicer. Blech.
Time for KP duty.