March 9, 2009

Planting Potatoes at the Farm

Here's my little buddy, Angus, my Rat Terrier mix.  Angus loves gardening season.  He is my little garden shadow following me around, napping nearby, watching with interest as I dig and bury things in the soil.   When you think about it, gardening is something a dog would totally get - digging and burying.

We had the most lovely day for planting, it was sunny and warm - the perfect day.  It was also Dan's birthday and the first year he has planted potatoes on his birthday.  It is a little risky to plant potatoes before mid March, but the day was too beautiful not to be outside gardening.

Early Spring planting is limited to white and red potatoes, red onions, radish, carrots, and beets.  We plant the non fussy crops at the farm and the more high maintenance crops in the city where we spend most of our time so that we can watch over them like lettuce, spinach, peas and broccoli.

We also planted four grapevines, adding them to the arbor and planning for a second arbor on the next visit.  We will also be transplanting black raspberries this Spring and planting more fruit trees.

The existing fruit trees are in poor condition.  They have borers and haven't been pruned in years.  I gave them a severe pruning, opening up the middle of the trees and lopping off cross branches and vertical branches.  I will sacrifice fruit production this year for better yields next year.  

We picked rock again, the freeze and thaw of Winter heaves the rocks to the surface of the soil and picking rock is part of the garden preparation process each year.  We filled 12 five gallon buckets with rock which I am using for a rock garden.  

After all that work , Molly, my Jack Russell, is ready for a break - stretching out in the warm and soft soil - I think it's time for a little nap.  

Life with dogs or cats - what a blessing.  Except when Molly drops her ball on the seeds you are planting so that you will have to pick it up and toss it out of the way - again and again.  She doesn't care how much you fuss at her or yell at her to knock it off.  She just wags her tail and waits for the ball to be tossed away.

Sweet Angus, he is the sweetest dog EVER.  He loves everyone, especially other bubber hounds.  He knows no strangers and is always eager to make new friends.  He's the calmer of the two, more friendly than Molly and a brilliant little dog.  He is so easy to train - I highly recommend Rat and Fox Terriers.  They are great pets.  I always caution against, Jack Russells like Molly - they are a hand full, willful, and tenacious - they require a firm hand and loads of exercise.  Otherwise, they will destroy your house and garden.

Red onion sets for the garden - my favorite.  I use them alot in cooking adding them to salads, chili, cheese steaks, italian dishes and they are especially good on cheeseburgers.  Is it lunchtime?

The little white shed in the background is my future chicken house.  We will rennovate it this Spring it needs a new roof, paint, new windows, door, etc.  We are considering adding a red roof in honor of Dan's grandparents who had white buildings and red roofs when he was growing up.  
We love organic brown eggs and purchase them from local suppliers when available.  The shells are thick and the yolks the brightest orange - they taste buttery - delicious.  I am so anxious to have a ready supply of eggs and pest control in the garden.  Chickens are great at keeping the garden free of bugs.

Seed potatoes ready to be quartered leaving several eyes per wedge.  We planted the three varieties of potatoes this year and will have loads of potatoes to share with family and friends.

It was a glorious day, spent in the sunshine with a gentle breeze, birds singing, tiny frogs creaking and cows mooing in the distance.  I wish you could have been there with me...


Bonnie / Graybonnie said...

Making me wish for spring and digging in the dirt. Cute doggies :)

Domestic Diva said...

When we were looking to get a dog - I was looking at the Rat Terrier and someone told me that they're like Jack Russell's with "off buttons"! That's what sold me!

They can be totally active like Jack's but they seem to know when to relax!

Your doggies are adorable!!

Lee W - The Way I See It said...

You arem yh ero- I want to do all of these things. We had a hgue garden when I was a kid- but it went by the wayside as the horses and ponies took over. I am dying to have a garden- but with moving on the horizon, and about a million deer here- not happening. I, too, am dying for chickens. CHris said I can have whatever I want when we move. With all the AMish around here, farm fresh eggs are easy to come by.