Saturday, July 16, 2011

Good Bye Mr. Meanie!

Mr. Meanie in solitary confinement.

The "Big Kids" checking to see if he's really secure in there. Or maybe taunting him!

Not very pretty, but effective mulch on the cucmbers.

The bush beans and green peppers mulched and thriving!
It's been a good week up here on our hill, despite vehicle troubles and one mean rooster! Again we were surprised with another rooster in the run, but we weren't in any hurry to find him a new home. We had (finally!) named him Midnight before we knew it was a him, but the name could belong to a bot just as nicely as a girl. Then he showed his true colors- grabbing a hold of the girls heads, jumping on them, pecking for no reason. He seemed to single out Princess (the hen, not my daughter!) for his, er, amorous attention , but it seemed really mean to me. Not that I have a clue as to the amorous habits of chickens, but he was biting the back of her head and pecking at her. Last night was the last straw when he picked on poor Stella. Wheels, Princess (my daughter, not the hen!), and I chased him around the yard with the net, until he jumped into the coop and I nabbed him! I put him into the cage that the "big kids" had been in, and there he shall remain until we can find him a new home.

Last Saturday the kiddos and I weeded and mulched the veggie garden with the help of my mother in law. There was some early grumbling from Teddy Bear, but I took a page from the Good Book and told him that if he didn't work, he didn't eat. This was the first time I had ever had a massive project in the garden (except for planting) where all the kids helped out all at once. It was lots of work, but completely worth it. We weeded between the rows and plants in the bush beans and the green peppers, then laid down a thick layer of newspapers to be covered with a layer of bark mulch. I would have used hay, but my darling husband brought home mulch from work at the saw mill. I was also able to get the cukes done as well.

I had read about using newspaper to mulch with in Mother Earth News, and thought it sounded like I should give it a try. We've had a garden every year since living in the house, but we had never mulched it. With my back problems, a hard working husband, 3 kiddos and chickens, I felt that mulching for weed suppression (at the very least of benefits) was smart. I had done the pumpkins and zukes about 2 weeks earlier, and they had really taken off! The best part is, the mulch was all free. Actually, it paid to mulch! My husband got newspapers at the recycling center at our local dump and as we were laying down the papers, I found stacks of coupons! I pulled out the ones that hadn't expired yet and set them aside to go through at night. It was one of those win-win situations.

This week I also put the herb garden to work for more than culinary purposes. After having my pastor (who is an avid gardener) tell me that you can make tea out of catnip, I did some research on line Then last night my baby girl was complaining of an upset tummy, so out to the herb garden i went for some peppermint leaves. I made her some tea, which she was quite impressed was and hailed me as the best Mom ever! (She is soooooo good for my self-esteem!) I did feel pretty awesome about being able to make my daughter something that helped her feel better, naturally.

Last night I was also able to make a batch of homemade liquid dish soap, which I had meant to make all week long, but couldn't make because I couldn't find a bar of darn castile soap! My mother (bless her!) brought one to me yesterday afternoon, and I was so thrilled! Out came the grater and soap pot! I'll share more about it early next week, but I can tell you that I'm pleased with the results.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. My baking is done, and there are some plants that need to be put in the ground, so I'm off to the salt mines!


  1. My friend uses newspaper as mulch for his tomatoes with great success! :) Your cucumber plants look great!

  2. Dear Kelly,

    I am in the process of making my own dish liquid soap also! I am purchasing castile soap in liquid form already. This way it will last a bit longer.

    The cucumbers are going in this week coming. I want to can them, so I will be ready to harvest them by early September...way before the fall frost.

    Excellent idea on the peppermint tea - I dried all my mint and keep it just for this use.

    Blessings to your day,