Getting Ready for Kindling

The daffodils are out. Now I’m just waiting on the tulips and the forsythia. Actually, I think I saw about 3 little blossoms starting to open on the forsythia today. I’ve even seen bees. I’ve seen bumble bees and mason bees and even one honey bee. They are as eager for spring as I am.

We are doing several of the last minute things to prepare for kindling this coming weekend. Well, I say we. I mean my husband and son more than me, as I managed to pull something in my back. I’ve been having pretty bad muscle spasms. I hope they go away soon as the husband leaves tomorrow night for a couple of weeks and I need to be able to move.

Anyway, the nesting boxes were scrubbed this weekend and given 48 hours to fully dry (the boards had to be disinfected). I will do them up and give them to the pregnant does tomorrow. I like to use about 2 inches of kiln-dried pine shavings in the bottom and then a couple inches of straw on top and then a couple more inches of hay on top of that. The does will be pretty happy to receive them, or at least Luna Blue will be. She’s been nest building in the corner of her cage for over a week. She was the only one I wasn’t sure even took so it is good to see all this activity from her.

The last set of urine guards still needs to be installed on Persephone’s cage. I hate pulling her out of her cage this late in the pregnancy, but they need to be put on before she gives birth as that cage does not have baby saver wire.

I’ve been planning my garden. I will end up with about 90 square feet of growing space this year on the dirt. I won’t be able to use the garage pad again for a hay bale garden, so will just be doing dirt (and rabbit poop) gardening. We will be building raised beds to help protect my back and knees. This does not count the growing space that will be dedicated to corn and potatoes. I will be using 16 square feet for strawberries, so the other 74 feet will be dedicated to tomatoes, green beans, snap peas, kale, zucchini, squash, chard, broccoli, lettuce, onions, herbs, carrots, maybe a couple watermelon plants (hope springs eternal), and kohlrabi. Maybe cukes again, but I just don’t know. They didn’t do well last year, but that might have been the growing medium.

Varieties I’ve settled on so far:

Kentucky Wonder pole beans
Maxibel Haricot Vert Bush Bean
Cascadia snap peas
Opalka tomatoes
Constoluto Genevese tomatoes
Sheboygan tomatoes
Little Finger carrots
Black Tuscan Kale
Red Russian Kale
Golden Chard
Rainbow Chard
Hyper Red Rumpled Wave Loose Leaf lettuce
Flashy Trout’s Back Romaine lettuce
Sweet Meat squash

I will use whatever type of broccoli, zucchini, and kohlrabi they have as starts at Joe’s Garden this year. Probably the same for the strawberries and cukes if I decide to grow them.

Then in the gutter garden I will grow:

Evergreen Hardy Bunching Onions
Cherrybelle radishes

And of course the garlic that is already growing there.

I already have the seeds for most of these. I just need to buy some more Kentucky Wonder pole bean seeds and the Opalka and Constoluto Genevese tomato seeds and I am good. Well, also I am going to go in halfsies with Mom on corn seed. We will be getting Yukon Chief (55 days) and Sunrise (75 days), both organic, open-pollinated, heirloom corns. And seglinde and Yukon gold seed potatoes. So that is set. I will probably be ordering seed this week.

Hopefully the raised beds will be easily moved when we move. We certainly are not building them as a permanent structure. But we want to have something this year and since the hay bales won’t really work this is what we are going to do.

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