May 16, 2022

Spring Planting & Growing: Late Edition

Spring's last anticipated frost date divides my planting season into early and late. If the weather turns warm early, I'm always tempted to take a chance and plant early. Last year I did that and we had a late frost. This year I waited. I'm glad I did because we had another late frost this year! We're on the other side of that now, so we're busy planting and transplanting warm weather veggies and crops.

Warm season seeds planted so far:
  • cantaloupe (Hales' Best)
  • cowpeas (Ozark Razorback)
  • okra (Clemson spineless)
  • peanuts (a Virginia type, I think)
  • my landrace cucumbers (F1)
  • calendula
  • sunflowers
  • corn (Painted Mountain)
  • winter squash (Sweet Potato)
  • summer squash (White Scallop)
  • Swiss chard
    • Fordhook
    • Rugy
    • Rainbow blend
  • sunflowers (Russian Mammoth)
  • dill
  • marigolds
  • scarlet runner beans

Plants planted or transplanted:
  • asparagus roots
  • sweet potato slips (Georgia Jet)
  • tomato plants
    • Matt's Wild Cherry (volunteers)
    • Better Boy
  • table grape (green seedless)
  • olive tree (Arbequina, supposedly okay for my growing zone)
  • redbud seedlings

Working on:
  • pasture

Still to plant:
  • green beans (Cornfield, when the corn is about 6" tall)
  • more summer squash & cukes (for extended harvesting)
  • more herbs (hopefully)
  • purple sweet potato slips

Purple sweet potato sprouts for slips

 I got the purple sweet potatoes from Misfits Market. They were excellent keepers and very tasty, so I saved one to sprout for slips. It's been slow, I reckon because it's been a fairly cool spring. Eventually I'll get them in the ground to grow my own.

Harvesting:

Snowpeas

Asparagus

Garlic

Lettuce

Strawberries

Red raspberry leaves to dry for tea

Mizuna

Peppermint for tea

Oregano for seasoning

Waiting to harvest:

Potatoes

Wheat

Multiplier onions

And of course, we're waiting on everything else! The challenge, now, is getting enough rain. We had a very rainy spring but no rain since our last frost, except for an occasional drizzle. Without moisture, things don't germinate or grow, so I'm doing a lot of watering of transplants and baby plants. We're really enjoying the lettuce and snow peas, and I'm hoping with plenty of watering they'll continue to produce. But I hesitate to water newly planted seeds, wondering if it isn't better to wait until it rains for nature to take it's course.

The transition from rainy to not-so-much rain pretty much marks our transition from spring to summer. That, and the days are getting hot. Those days are upon us, so it's definitely time to finish planting and shift seasonal gears.

May 14, 2022

Progress On the Comment Problem

I finally think I've figured something out! Apparently, the sign-in problem for embedded comments occurs only with Google's own browser Chrome. So, some Chrome or chrome based browsers (such as Chromium or Brave) are the problem. Other browsers work, however, and was actually able to sign in when I clicked "Sign in with Google." 

I had success with Firefox and Vivaldi. Firefox is Mozilla, and while Vivaldi is chromium based, the developers apparently got something right.

What I find ironic about this is that several years ago there were numerous problems with Google products, and they would only function properly with Chrome. Of course, it seemed like a typical big business monopolizing move, but I like Chrome and have been happy to use it for all things Google. Looks like I'm going to have to change that now.

I'm guessing they may be phasing Chrome out at some point anyway, since the question I found in their help community didn't have an answer and the thread had been locked. I suspect that means no fix is forthcoming.

Anyway, I hope this helps those of you out there that are still having problems leaving comments on some of your favorite blogs.

May 12, 2022

Last But Not Least

About 30 minutes old.

River kidded on Monday morning - a single baby boy! So that winds up spring kidding with four bucks. I've never had all bucks! I've been fortunate that I usually have mostly girls, but there's no guarantees, so that's that.

3 hours old

He's certainly flashy, with his white and grey spots. Kids' spots often change color as they get older, so I suspect he'll become quite colorful. 

A day and a half.

2 days old

For their first day or two, newborns take lots of naps. At about day two, they start to become more active and more fun!


He's had a chance to meet the other kids through the kidding pen, so next was mingling with the rest of the herd.


River is a very good mother and won't let the bigger kids pick on him. I suspect he'll be tearing around with the rest of them in no time.


May 8, 2022

Expanding Our Solar

A couple of years ago we got our freezer and secondary fridge on solar. At the time, we only used three of the five solar panels we bought off Craigslist. That's left two panels that we've wanted to put to use. One of our miscellaneous spring projects was to make a start on getting those up and running. While the project isn't completed, we've made progress!

Solar panels on the roof and concrete
pad for the battery bank on the ground.

For the battery bank, what we've decided to do is to use the bank we originally set up for the freezer and fridge. At 705 amp-hours, it just isn't enough when we have a dark, cloudy spell. But it will be perfect for this system, where we plan to use it to power radios and computers, and for emergency auxiliary lighting if the power goes out. For the freezer and fridge, we will install a new, larger amp-hour batter bank.

For now, the project is on hold because "food first." We hope to make more progress as soon as planting season is over.