Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Billy and Lily and planting strawberries

It sure has felt like not only has Fall arrived, but Winter is well on her way in. I think we got our first light frost last night, which killed the morning glory living under my clothesline, but most of the tomatoes are still hanging in there.

Richard has been crazy busy with the new yard for the chicken coop, the corral in the llama pen, planting some fall crops in the greenhouse and meeting with the Canon Co-op  about their greenhouse. It is a busy Fall indeed. Richard spent Tuesday at the Javernick Family Farm CSA food pick up, trying to sell goat cheese, and procured the use of Beki's young Billy to breed to our female dairy goats. Wonderful! But with Billy comes Lily, his female goat companion, who he can't mate with because they are too closely related. It will be a fun-filled few weeks with more goats and the bonus of trying to separate one female, and keep the billy out of sight from the neighborhood covenant police (whomever they are). Can't wait.

The battle with the deer continues. Richard and I strung a piece of fence in the biggest opening between the trees to try to keep the cute little guys out of next year's garden space. This is the east side of our property, just north of our llama pasture and south of our driveway. We'd like to build a permanent Earthship style greenhouse in this area, and we have been working on laying out where the garden will sit around the mythical greenhouse. Richard built a wonderfully big raised bed and the deer have been using it as a running takeoff strip to launch themselves over the two strand electric fence we put up to keep them out. It's all part of the intricately designed wildlife obstacle course we are creating to amuse the neighbors.

I planted some strawberry starts in the flower bed in front of the house today. It is on the north side of the house, protected from the harsh desert, summer sun. I think if the strawberries make it, it will be a great place for them, mixed among the lilies, echinaceas, and irises. It's all part of that Permaculture idea of building guilds of plants to support each other. The strawberries will act as a living mulch for the flowers and bushes, but best of all, this planting also incorporates the idea of an edible landscape, where the whole yard becomes part of the farm. Wonderful stuff.

I can't help but believe that our little farm, this one little farm, can be artful and creative, a haven for the enlightened and the wildlife, a meditation garden in its entirety, a food producing and profitable oasis that helps restore and preserve the environment, and an example of how fun and attractive it can be to grow your own vegies along with those heirloom roses. Let's feed ourselves and take back our food!

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