07 August 2016

Planting notes, 7 Aug

So, hubby took my camera out the other evening while I was milking and grumping about getting hardly any pics in focus, and he took a bunch of pictures of all the goats (from all angles, as well).  I did try to pull those pics off the digicam, but apparently the computer and cam are not talking to each other today.  So, you'll get a text update.

First, our chicken thief returned last night.  This time it got a Silkie hen who was setting a nest, and almost everything in the nest as well.  I discovered it quite early this morning, when I heard a chick cheeping LOUDLY.  Along with the missing hen, I also found a dead hen - the last black one.  She has no marks on her, so either internal injuries or she literally died of fright.  I am guessing the wet smell of chicks hatching is what attracted it.  We still don't know what is preying on our chickens, but we did learn what the problem was the other evening: the pulser in the fence charger died.  Tomorrow afternoon, the big brown truck will bring us not only a new pulser, but new poultry netting as well - this one 48 inches tall.  Let's see if it can get over that.  Of course, if it does then we are dealing with something not only big enough to carry Feyd off the other night, but something that can climb the trees well enough to bypass the fence ... the only thing I can think of that could do that would be a Florida panther.  (Yes, they are real.)  Recap: good news/bad news first thing this morning.  One hen missing, one hen dead, one new (really loud) chick.

I managed to accomplish the task I wanted to do today a little after lunch: spreading forage and clover seed in the goat pasture.  The goats followed me around as I tossed the seed, trying to figure out if I had treats, then getting annoyed that they couldn't find the grain seeds.  I tried to tell them, "Curiosity killed the cat, ya know," but the look I got basically said, "What does our crazy little cousin have to do with this?"

Talking to Lynn afterwards, I asked if she starts any seeds this early.  She not only said yes, but she meant to tell me the other day that August and September were the months to start tomatoes and peppers as well as herbs.  So, I plan to start some seed trays tomorrow - parsley first as it takes just-about-forever to sprout.  One of the herb gardening books poetically puts it, "Parsley must go to the Devil and back seven times before it will sprout."  It may sound silly, but it sticks in my memory.  Speaking of memory, I read rosemary is good for memory, and students in ancient Greece used to wear crowns of rosemary for tests.  Again, odd visual ... and it stays in my memory.  My rosemary is still alive, but still not yet big enough to start harvesting.

In case anyone is wondering, I am also trying to learn a bit of basic herbalism to go with the culinary uses.  I'll have to get a picture of all my herb books: growing/gardening, medicinal uses, and of course magical properties as well.  Those of y'all who don't believe in magic can just think of it as learning the old folklore associated with herbs.  If y'all want to take it a step further, plant herbs when the moon is in Libra (by the astrological chart, not astronomical one).  Same with pasture and field grains and grasses.  If it takes magic (or folklore, if you prefer) to overcome my black thumb, then magic it shall be.

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