Today’s progress

I managed to get a few things at least partially accomplished today.

It’s been put off for way too long, for various reasons, but we really needed to get a burn done. The burn barrel is getting to the point that we won’t be able to use it for much longer; it’s simply disintegrating on one side. So the wood pellet cat litter is being put into the metal fire ring I set up near it, to burn the things that wouldn’t fit in the burn barrel. It was getting too full.

Doing a burn in what turned out to be 26C/79F – not even the hottest part of the day – was not going to be fun. Some time ago, while cleaning out the sun room and the old kitchen, we found the parts of a beach umbrella.

They were not together when we found them. 🤨

So I grabbed the pencil tip iron bar I found somewhere else (I can’t even remember, anymore) and used it to make a hole for the umbrella post. The iron bar is only a couple of feet long, but the ground in the outer yard is a lot softer than the inner yard, so it worked rather well. It wasn’t much, but it at least gave me some shade to duck into in between tending the fires in both the barrel and the fire ring.

When it got to the point where I could cover them and leave them to smolder, I puttered around with a few other things. Some of the Chocolate Cherry tomatoes at the chain link fence needed some supports added to them. Then I set the bench I made on the saw horses to clean off the roughest edges with the wood shaver and sand paper, and took a scrub brush to get the dirt off the bottoms of the legs. I went through two sanding sponges in the process. They got torn to shreds, but at least things are smooth enough not to cause injury, even after being painted.

The bench then got hosed down and is now sitting upside down on the saw horses to dry, before it gets its first coat of paint. The underside probably won’t get more than one coat, except for where it will come in contact with the ground.

That done, I moved on to the Yellow Pear tomato bed. Some of them were getting tall enough to add more support there, too.

After that, I moved on to the main garden area.

Three of the four apple gourds are getting pretty tall and starting to climb the poles next to them. I attached pairs of bamboo poles as cross pieces between the three poles, so they’ll have horizontal support as they grow bigger. Only one of the apple gourds is tall enough to actually benefit from the new support, but the other two should be there, soon. As for the fourth plant, it is so small, it’s barely visible over the cardboard mulch!

That done, I decided to water the squash patch – then ended up watering the whole area. For the first time this year, I set up a sprinkler to water the garden. Usually, I just water it myself, but I wanted to work on something else at the same time.

I did find a lovely surprise that wasn’t there this morning!

Our very first tomato that is starting to turn red!

There is one other that has just the lightest blush on it. Both are Sophie’s Choice tomatoes.

Woo hoo!

While the garden was being watered, I started scything nearby.

This is as far as I got. We’d reached our high of 28C/82F by then, and it was just too hot. On top of that, there is a lot of alfalfa in the first couple of swathes, and that stuff does not cut as easily. It also tends to get hung up on the blade. When scything, the cut grass gets pulled along with the blade and deposited in windrows – if all goes well. It did not go well! I found myself dragging cut material back again, and it just did not want to let go! Also, the ground is so rough, I couldn’t slide the blade smoothly across. I had to hold it higher up. All of which made the job a lot more difficult. Which I would have been okay with, if it weren’t for the heat!

So I moved on to another job.

I started using the loppers on the trees by the garden plots. I started cleaning up these trees from the other end… last spring? The spring before? *sigh* I’m losing track of time! 😆 In the above photo, I’d cleared some branches away from the end. This will make it easier to get under there and scythe later one. However, as I kept moving the sprinkler down the garden beds, I was able to work on an area that needed pruning more. You can just barely see the grow bags in the photo. There were some fairly large, bushy branches above them that I wanted to clear out. I did enough to clear the space above the grow bags before stopping. While the sprinkler was set up over the last beds in this area, I watered where the trellises are from the rain barrel with a watering can. The water was quite warm! Then I got a bit more pruning done while refilling the barrel with the hose.

It was a bit all over the place, but it still managed to be a productive day, even with the heat.

Our forecasts have been all over the place. First, I was seeing thunderstorm warnings for Tuesday (today is Saturday). Then for Monday. Then for tomorrow morning! Meanwhile, another app is saying we’re going to get light rain tonight and tomorrow. Looking at the weather radar, however, it looks like the system is going to pass to the north of us. We’ll see if we get any rain at all! At least it will cool things down and if things work out, I’ll try scything after it rains. From what I’ve looked up, scythes cut better when the grass is wet, but I haven’t had the opportunity to test that, yet.

We shall see what tomorrow brings us.

Oh, my goodness! Is that thunder I hear? Why, yes. Yes it is.

So much for the weather radar being accurate!

The Re-Farmer

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