Thursday, May 5, 2011
Crazy Oregon Spring: A May 5th Animal and Vegetable Report
I've come to the conclusion recently that we (everyone and everything that lives here on this particular piece of property) are all nut jobs. Something about the onset of spring here on Critter Farm has brought out all kinds of whack-a-doo behavior.
The goats are bellowing almost non-stop:
Reggie won't stop head-butting Pete. Then he flaps his tongue at him. Neither one wants to eat anything except trillium flowers and the choicest of spring growth. They're hungry only for the greenery they see that is where ever they aren't. Which means, they're refusing their hay and are always bellowing about something:
The chickens have been flat out ornery:
They've permanently and viciously ousted a coop-mate (more on this tomorrow) and they've significantly widened their free-range territory, now appearing in my flower beds:
and on my kitchen deck:
The cats are sproinging into the air randomly and flying up tree trunks with claws extended for no apparent reason.
There's also more than the usual amount of chicken-stalking going on:
The donkeys, who really don't bray except briefly at mealtimes, are braying regularly now. They clearly have a lot to say. Or, a lot is not up to their satisfaction and they feel they need me (and the neighborhood) to know about it. The only time they don't want to tell me about it is when they're allowed to mow the lawn:
IN THE GARDEN:
Why, oh, why can't we just have a simple and straight forward Pacific Northwest growing season? According to the experts, this year is going to be another cool and wet one, very similar to last year. This is really terrible news for a lot of our crops, but especially the tomatoes and blueberries.
But, because I don't want to sound too negative about our (crap and crazy) weather, I'll start with the positive. So, here's what's doing well in my garden currently:
The strong strawberry growth makes me very happy because I just brought up my last jar of strawberry jam from the pantry. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for another bumper crop like last year:
Garlic. It really likes to grow in my part of Oregon:
Random Douglas Fir trees. This one is happily growing right behind a potato marker:
The size of these leaves make me laugh:
And all the little seedlings in my indoor greenhouse:
Our last frost date isn't until May 19th, so these babies have at least another 2 weeks of indoor-time:
Here's what's doing so-so in the garden:
(This means a crop isn't strongly established yet; it has been delayed by the cold and lack of sun, but growth is evident and I'm hopeful):
Potatoes (can you see the eensy little green heads poking through?):
And, finally - sigh - now is the time to ask...
What's doing poorly in my garden?:
In one word - Peas. These here look lovely, right?:
Well, what about now. Do you see that there are only about 12 of them in an area that should hold about 80?:
The rains and the slugs gave my pea babies the old one-two punch, either drowning them or, if they managed to sprout, eating them just as they popped up:
This is really bad news for us because shelling peas are our number one favorite crop. We live for, and do a count-down to, the first pea-harvest day here. We eat them raw, straight from the vine, and are transported into a state of pure bliss.
Bliss may have to wait a bit this year.
Sorry this post was so long. I'll show you fruits and flowers in a different post. After I tell you about the ousted and shunned chicken.