We have been struck with illness the last couple of days. Mine is acting like a flu (fever, body aches, swollen glands) while Elijah’s is acting more like a severe cold (congestion, cough). I am praying that it stops with us, but bracing myself for a rough week.
In the groggy places between naps I am supposed to be getting the bare root berries ordered. We are pushing it again. (I hope some day we will be organized enough not to do this anymore….) I have talked myself out of trying to plant 100 or so more strawberry plants in addition to 400 feet of cane berries and grapes. Besides the planting, more strawberries would require more raised beds. Since we’re planning to put in at least 1000 (it may be a lot more than that…I was really foggy-brained last night when we ran the numbers) square feet of raised beds for the vegetable garden this year, I imagine this particular activity is not going to be at the top of anyone’s want-to-do list in the near future. Next year will be fine. I’m even considering skipping putting in blueberries and “blueberries” (serviceberries, honeyberries and other substitutes that might do better here) this year. That one is harder to talk myself out of.
As I look out of my back windows onto a yard taken over by poultry, I am also talking myself out of getting more hens when we order our meat flock. I am having to resist the siren song of Golden Laced Wyandottes (oooh, pretty feathers) and Black Copper Marans (oooh, pretty eggs) and Olive Eggers (more pretty eggs). Let this be a warning to all—buying chickens can become an addiction.
We have been looking into buying an old treadle sewing machine for a while. I like the fact that they were built before planned obsolescence became a thing and that the treadle can provide power to a sewing machine or to other machines with a bit of rigging. I have a couple I am looking at and came across this site with a series of step-by-step questions to help identify Singer models. Nifty. This one’s also pretty good, as this was exactly what I was trying to do. And then this was good in helping me to decide which ones were worth pursuing. Although, honestly, probably any of these models, in good condition, would be many times better than the one I’ve got now—and I like my machine, I could just do without all the plastic parts.
In my craigslist searches I’ve had to talk myself out of a pretty awesome 10-treadle loom that popped up under “treadle”. The seven hours of drive time significantly hacked into its appeal. Not to mention the untold hours of learning to use it, acquire or make fiber to weave, etc. Maybe if we had super-long, non-gardening winters here. Not now, not now, not now…
Our neighbor with full-size construction equipment came out and did an initial rough-level of the area where we are going to put in the beds. He confirmed that that area was nearly dirt-less and that we’d made a good choice not trying to rehabilitate the (lack of) soil into garden plots. My husband’s initial estimates put concrete block beds slightly less expensive than wood. Fine, but I wish that blocks were also slightly less heavy. I need to find someone that will deliver them by the pallet.
After a satisfyingly soggy December, our January has been entirely rainless. We keep having little flickers of 10%-chance-of-rain off five days in the future that evaporates before we get there. Bad for us and bad for everyone else as California is the source of much of the country’s food. Join us in prayer.