Sunday, February 12, 2012

The Country Garden Showcase- Week 7

Farmgirl Heidi strikes black gold...
If you look hard amid the mess left behind by a recent series of strong winds, you might be able to see that my veggie garden boxes could use a few inches of good organic compost mixed into the soil to rejuvenate it for the next growing season.   You can also see that the day I took this picture was unseasonably warm.  It was 65 degrees and a perfect day to get out into the dirt and work.

We live in a small rural area of our county.  It's almost an hour in any direction to shopping, and if our few local businesses don't have what you need- then it's down the mountain you go...

I've been on a list for almost two weeks, hoping for a miracle shipment of bagged organic compost that has not arrived...  Granted, it is winter here.  It should be freezing outside.  There should be the occasional snow or ice storm to worry about so I can't really get upset with my local nurserymen, but I was killing daylight and getting nothing done so I called my friends at Old Towne Nursery.  

They don't carry bags of certified organic compost, but they DO carry something almost as good and MUCH less expensive.  Bulk OMRI CERTIFIED organic compost! The best part of all, they offer SAME DAY DELIVERY!
Wow!  Isn't it beautiful?  To a gardener this is black gold.  Keep in mind that compost like this is too "hot" to plant into immediately unless it's mixed 50/50 with soil.   Otherwise it would burn my plants. 
Say Hi to Willy.  This nice, helpful young man scooped up several loads  of this great organic compost into the nursery's vehicle and DELIVERED it right away.   THANK YOU!
 While I was there waiting for my compost, I couldn't help but look across the nursery admiring their great cultural practices.  It's so clean.  What a great environment to raise healthy plants in.  Those boxes in the picture above are full of new bareroot fruit trees.
They stock a great variety and they're all grafted to hearty rootstocks specialized for our heavy clay soil.
Even though my small fruit orchard is FULL, I may have to pick up a few new apple trees on my next trip...

That's when I am going back to buy my bareroot red and black raspberry, boysenberry, blueberry, and thornless blackberry vines.  By then I should have worked in all my compost and be ready for another job.  The Hubby should have constructed my berry fence by then too.
 Look at these lovely blossoms.  These are Gala apples.  
Keep in mind, we had 20 mph wind gusts Monday/Tuesday overnight and near freezing conditions over the last weekend.  That these delicate blossoms are still here amazes me.  This has been yet another confusing season for plants and wildlife.
Here's the heavy duty dump truck that brought my treasured compost and here's my little pile...
It's got to go from that pile by my hand, a shovel, and a wheelbarrow up a steep hill and into THOSE boxes.  I better stop talking and get to work.  I'll be at this for a few days...
Did I mention, this is the job that I was doing when I had my little accident?  Yeah, I didn't get a good enough run up that small but steep hill from the dirt drive into my garden.  The wheelbarrow fell back onto my foot, breaking two toes.  Don't feel too sorry for me though.  My hubby would have moved all the dirt for me had I just given him a few days to get to it, but I wanted it done now.  That's what happens when I rush something; it actually ends up taking longer to get it done...  

I am almost done spreading the compost and hand mixing with a rake and shovel to a depth of 6".  I am adding 3" of compost, so I am doubling that depth to mix it 50/50 with existing soil.  That way there is no burn risk for my eventual seedlings.

Check out my new MJF Farmgirl sisterhood bumper sticker.  I think it's pretty cool.

This is Oliver, our adopted barncat and mouser in chief.   I think there's still a piece of someone stuck between his teeth.  

Oliver belongs to the neighbors but LIVES here.  Papa is Oliver's pet human.  Oh, and did I mention that Oliver is a girl.  Go figure.  

Here's my February Progress List.  I made a little progress, in spite of myself.
February Garden Plan: 
mix up compost for in ground garden beds, lay it into beds ~ DONE
finish compost mix in the last raised beds ~ Progress made
sow a row per/crop each week of winter veggies ~ DONE for the week
put up hoop house over the winter veggie bed, once seeded- not until seeding is complete
start seedlings for a few veggies indoors- this project begins 2/25

Please share what you've been working on this week.  There is nothing as motivating to me as seeing what my friends are working on in their gardens and farms.
~May you have an inspired week~


  1. OHHHHH MY!! i LOVE Oliver!! ;)
    Newest Linky Follower!! PLEASE come follow me!!

  2. Welcome Randy! I am going over to follow you now. Thanks for stopping by to say hi. Oliver is the best cast never.

  3. Heidi, I will get a post together and link in a day or so! Thanks again!

  4. Oh, your sweet kitty Oliver is a cute cat :) :)Love and hugs from the ocean shores of California, Heather :)

  5. Heather, You are one busy girl! Getting 2012 growing season off to a wonderful start. I Guess I need to copy you and get something done in the garden...

  6. Your garden is amazing. Oliver looks like he has attitude kinda like my cat, Babe.

  7. Wonderful post. I wish I had the space for boxes like those. We do have a small garden, but it didn't do very well the last couple years. Not sure what we're going to do this year with it. Visiting from Elegant Economies Linky blog hop.

    Hugs, LisaKay
    Belles Roses Romantiques

  8. I'm a new Linky Follower! I hope that you'll follow me back. Be sure to enter my giveaway if you check out my blog.

    Thank you! :-)

  9. that is a clean place! great blog. new linky follower. please stop by when you can. Not Your Ordinary Recipes
    Not Your Ordinary Agent

  10. Heidi,

    You're my hero!! Nice camera, made it look like the tractor has actually been washed in 10 years. What's that called? Airbrushing?! It even made Willy look good too :)

    Glad we were able to help in your desperation...looks like it got there just before the snow ;)

  11. Heidi, great post! I love Old Town Nursery! Tim is extremely helpful. And one of those bare riot fruit trees has my name on it - an Honey Crisp apple! I'm waiting to pick it up at the end of the week for when their cherry trees are in.

    Your garden boxes are looking good!! I'm still waiting in wood chips but I'm going to add two more garden boxes as well in the meantime. Lots to do in the winter garden!

  12. Thanks Tim. I'll be stopping by again for my berry vines. See ya soon.

  13. Thanks Amy,
    I can hardly wait to see your Back to Eden garden. Those fruit trees DO look fabulous at OTN. I don't know if you have the space, but they've got a bunch of new berry vines too. Have a GREAT week.