Thursday, December 9, 2010

Saying Goodbye to Tessa

My dear dear goose Tessa died not too long ago. She was the sweetest goose ever. I would step outside and yell "Tessa!" and she would always answer me with a "HONK! HONK!" I found her in the pond and she appeared to be injured. I had noticed that she did not come out of the pond the day before with the other geese so I had Dan come up to the pond with me and we got her to come to the edge of the pond and then I caught her and placed her into our spare room in the barn where we often keep sick or injured animals. I couldn't find anything wrong with her and Dan couldn't either. We gave her a thick bed of straw and some food and fresh water. The next morning my son went out to let the chickens out and he yelled to me "what's wrong with Tessa?" I yelled back that she was injured but when he told me that she was not moving I grabbed my shoes and ran out to the barn. She had died. I was in total shock. I did not want to believe it. Immediately I started sobbing. I cried for a long time and I cried really hard. I kept petting her not wanting to believe it, hoping that somehow she would come back to life. I must have sat in there for at least half an hour. I finally composed myself long enough to go in the house and I asked my oldest son to go out and cut a feather from her for me. I spent much of the day in tears. I will miss the times that she would come to the door, or onto the porch looking for a treat from me. I would sit on the stairs with bread and she would come up to me and eat out of my hand. She would honk and honk every time I talked to her. She will always remain in my heart. Goodbye, Tessa. I miss you every day. The farm just isn't the same now that you are gone.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

No More Tilling For Me

After tilling my garden a few times my clay soil was so bad last year that I hardly got any food from my garden. I was quite distressed to see that the soil was cracked and hard and I began to worry. Yes, I know it sounds strange to some of you but I would lay awake at night worrying about my soil and how I would produce food for my family. I decided that I would do as others have done, and I began to cover my soil with all the leaves from my yard. I made paths of mulch and covered the rest of the garden with straw. When I need to plant I push aside the straw and plant the plants that I want to, then I cover it back up with straw. No tilling doesn't mean no digging. I still have to dig deep holes for my tomatoes and other plants but I am not tilling the entire garden. I am already seeing the results. When I went to put in plants my soil is full of earthworms. Last year that wasn't the case. I know it will take a few years, but I can wait and in the meantime I add composted manure and humus to the areas that I am planting to help things along. Do you till? Maybe you should try a small speck of your garden without tilling and compare the results.
I suggest reading:
Lasagna Gardening

Square Foot Gardening

Organic Gardening The Natural No Dig Way