Today I spent most of the day starting to plant in my pots and containers on the deck, with my faithful helpers.
I have nearly 100 pepper plants. I am growing twenty different varieties this year from sweets, to Thai chilies, and I even have a few of the super hots... I've got the 7 pot Douglah often considered the worlds second hottest pepper, and the ghost chili, the Bhut Jolokia, which was the hottest pepper in the world. I heard the Trinidad Scorpion surpassed it but I'm not positive and either way, looking at it will probably burn you. I like to live on the edge... If anything, they'll get made into some hot sauce I'll keep around in case someone I don't particularly like comes over to dinner...
I've got 20 different types of herbs, I am so excited I have found lemon grass and Stevia this year, and also Aloe Vera, to add to my herb family. It's so much easier for me to work with the containers than in the big garden because of my pain issues, bending, lifting, all gets to me... you can grow just about anything in containers and I've expanded my deck operation, but I think I am also going to need to expand the deck! When everything I have planted starts to actually grow, I'll be running out of room! I have 35 tomato plants, Tomatillos, Heirlooms, Cherries... I've got Kale, Collards, 3 types of lettuces, spinach, squashes, Okra, and a dozen other vegetables also growing on the deck, along with strawberries and some flowers mixed in.
In the big garden Kevin has planted the onions, and he will also plant the corn, and we'll plant the carrots, beets, celery, pumpkins, winter squashes, etc in there once it's ready for planting. I'm hoping once we get my two raised beds in there (which are not very raised mind you) recovered from not being used, I'll be able to tend them this summer as well. As long as I keep up with it, hopefully I can manage. I worked pretty well within my limitations today. I cannot tolerate the sun long because of medication and I get tired easily and swell from lifting and bending, so I did quite a lot but took some breaks in between and paced myself. And once I knew it was enough, I quit for the day even though I would have loved to just keep going. I find it so calming working with plants, which is remarkable because it's something new to me - although you might not have expected it. Oh sure, I've been gardening for years, and I love the fresh produce, but I've always found it a lot of work - which it is, and nothing more. But now I find it exciting, calming, rewarding, and I spend hours learning about the medicinal uses of herbs and also their "roots" so to speak, in history. It's fasinating. And now in the past couple of years I have fallen in love with peppers. I could spend all day everyday just tending to the plants.
Kevin is also planting a garlic patch this year, and we are hoping that it goes quite well. We have some interest in the garlic and also seed garlic, so if all goes well, we'll expand what we are growing.
It has barely stopped raining for more than a couple of hours but at least we have seen the sun! The fields however are so wet, it's starting to become a little bit alarming. The farmers are struggling to get things planted and the hay fields are flooding. I appreciate the rain, I just hope we don't loose anything because of it. I've got my heart (and a lot of goats have their bellies) set on a good year for haying.
It's hard to take a picture of the deck, since I can only get parts of it, but I got about 40 or so pots planted.
I'm not even finished planting peppers and running out of room!
The girls were out there with me, supervising. They love being outside now that it's warm again. My poor sweet Nervous Nelly is getting ready to leave us though, which will leave only Olive as the last Prairie dog of Cedar Bridge Farm. It's hard to think about. For the past 8 years we have been lucky enough to have 7 Prairie dogs as part of our family. It's been a great blessing, and joy to have them in our lives. These girls are both 15 years old. Olive is still very healthy, and active. All of them, when it was there time to go, went down hill fairly suddenly though and it's hard on them when they are left alone, they are family animals. I will my absolute best to make sure Olive lacks no attention or love as always but it's not the same without another PD to snuggle in bed with.
I am enjoying the days I have with them.
We also had a visitor at lunch...
The geese have been bringing their babies into the yard too - and I'm working on a good picture of them. The Red Winged Blackbird that lives in that tree is always chasing them out of the yard.
The goats broke into one of their pastures the other day (thanks to Henrietta) and we let them spend a little time there although it's not ready and I didn't want them in there yet. Their other pasture will be ready in early June, and while they enjoy the grass there, this one will have more time to recover hopefully. But they enjoyed the time they had in there, filling their faces.
And standing under their favorite tree.
The apple blossoms finally came out too! I am waiting anxiously for the fireflies to return now...
One of the chickens laid an egg this past week almost the size of our turkey eggs! It was of course a double yolker... I used it in a cake with my first rhubarb of the season!
The boys are exhausted, it's hard work helping me garden.
I hope to plant more peppers tomorrow. Monday Norman & Rollie go back to the Vet for their lyme boosters and my big job this week is tackling Flavious - he needs MAJOR grooming for summer. I do not shave the Pyrenees because their coats actually act as insulation to keep them cooler in the summer, and their white fur protects them from the sun. But he mats because he rolls in stuff constantly - so he needs to be trimmed all over, and I do shave his bum, not all the way down but enough he doesn't make a mess of himself.
I hope you all have a nice productive but also relaxing weekend. And if you ever want some wicked hot sauce, you know who to ask! :)