Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Garden blues

Our vegetable garden is just not off to a very successful start this year.  When we first started planting from seed, the chickens were accessing the garden, munching to their hearts' content.  We brought home starts for the greenhouse, but the door wasn't latching properly, so they got in and ate all of the cucumbers, eggplant, and broccoli.  We replaced the starts, fixed the door, reseeded the outside beds, and kept going.

The peas tried to come up, but something has been eating them.  For some reason, the beets just won't grow.  Our weather has been unseasonably cold and rainy (payback for the mild winter and early spring, resulting in a major slug invasion), which might explain why so many of my seeded veggies are still little stumpy sprouts.

We have planted the greenhouse, and we should at least have lots of tomatoes and basil.  They are doing well.  But our broccoli hopes have dwindled each week as one after another animal has busted into the garden and eaten every last one of them.  We thought we were safe when we constructed a chicken fortress, entirely enclosed by chicken wire (which will also allow us to stay out past dusk on occasion without fear of raccoon massacre.)  But, the goats have pried fencing apart 3 times now, devastating anything remotely yummy.

We love our goats, but milking was abandoned years ago out of frustration.  Now, they are pets that live in the barn.  During the winter, I feed them in the morning and at night, but that is all.  I can't keep up with vaccinations or hoof trimming, so I just feel guilty for being a bad goat mom.  They are so sweet and affectionate, and, for the most part, they have a great life here, but I think they could do better than us.  So, I'm considering finding them some greener pastures.  It really is about time we did something to make our lives easier instead of harder.  But, the yard will be so lonely without goats...

I plan to replant today for the 3rd time, but we'll have only a few broccoli plants, no corn at all, and the sunflowers and nasturtiums that usually line the edge of the garden will be missing.

The good news is that our broody chicken hatched a baby turkey, and it seems to be doing well. I have hopes that a few more of the eggs she is sitting on will hatch so that we take one small step toward breeding our own turkeys.

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