It's Spring 2012 and All I Got Was a Frozen Shoulder

Pic: almond blossoms
Spring has come early this year, along with a case of "frozen shoulder" for myself. It has made working on the property a challenge. Never fear, determination (sometimes also expressed as "stupidity") is my strong suit, so I will do everything I can to work around the issue and get this place in shape. On the agenda...

1. Permaculture: had a consultant come out and look over the land. At first glance, looks like we're gonna need to truck in a couple tons of soil, and rent big equipment to move it into berms and swales. Living on the side of a hill often means that rainwater runs off before soaking in, so berms & swales will help hold and retain more moisture for our orchard and pasture needs. He's drawing up some plans, and I'm looking forward to further ideas on what we can do here.

2. Pasture development: since finances will dictate when & how much soil we can move around, it may be a few months or more before we can develop those berms & swales. In the meantime, this Spring the orchard areas will be developed to grow pasture grasses, despite the strong possibility that it will all get torn up & re-arranged later. It will involve raking back the bulkier layers of cedar mulch, spraying the ground with a soil "activator", then fertilizing, then planting a grazing mix of grasses (mostly pasture bermuda with a handful of other grasses). Over the Winter the poultry and waterfowl have kept the front & side grasses clipped/eaten golf-course short, and we need to expand, like, NOW.

pic: needs more logs, seriously
3. Raised 4x4 Terraced Garden Beds: I've two beds ready to go, and am filling the bottom & deeper parts with old log pieces in a small-scale hugulkultur experiment. It'll be great if the experiment helps the beds to retain more moisture, which is always a challenge during the dry months. If all else fails, it will take up some of the space that would normally be filled with soil, saving us on soil/compost fill needs. I also need to get the remaining beds built, as we've got...

Pic: Tomatoes. Lots of 'em.
4. Tomato seedlings: a boatload of 'em. 57 to be exact. Many to be given away, I'm sure. A small handful of tomatillo, and the rest a combination of open-pollinated paste, slicing, and cherry tomatoes. There's some from saved seed, some from seed catalogs, and two from a local shop that is a looong story, but the seeds are from a once-thought-abandoned line of tomatoes. We'll see how well they do here.

5. Gathering Native Cuttings: a former co-worker and friend has a humungous female native mulberry from which she's generously allowing me to take cuttings this year. The native mustang grapes are also starting to bud, which means I need to hit the backroads and get some cuttings from the roadside fences. Both provide fruit which will be a welcome addition to our poultry forage needs, and for human consumption as well.

6. Get That @#$!! Rainwater Collection Installed on the Coop! *sigh*... self explanatory.


  1. Watching live on RFDtv... Monty's Plantfood. They're pushing the Agrihance (soil conditioner). Have you checked out their products? We're waiting on soil analysis results before deciding on trying any of the products. But it looks like Hubs wants to hit the hay field with the AgrihanceV, already.

  2. Deb. I've got so many Mustang grape vines on my place its incredible. When the grapes are on the vine, my horses have purple spots on them from getting at the grapes. Pretty funny, even the purple mouths.

    Now do you guys eat them or make a jam/jelly?

    1. I plan to make some jellies, but mostly use the grapes as shade cover over the eastern wall of the chicken coop, and let the birds have at the fruit. I'll eventually introduce more vines over some of the fenceline as well.

  3. Awww. what's a little frozen shoulder when there are tomato starts to be started? ;-) Take care. You have miles to go yet, so pace yourself.

    1. Thanks kindly. This frozen shoulder situ sucks rocks.


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