Recommended: RED Gardens

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

We are back on a gardening theme this time, but with a major difference. RED Gardens: Research Education and Development Gardens.

And WOW what a set up they have! I’ll just quote a portion from their About page (where you will also find links to their other social media and Patreon pages).

Based on the explorations and discoveries of a series of food growing spaces, located in the Cloughjordan Ecovillage, Tipperary, Ireland. This RED Gardens Project (Research, Education and Development) consists of 6 family scale gardens each one 100m2 (1000sqf) and following a different methodology, or approach, to growing vegetables. There is also a larger Black Plot, of about 1000m2 (1/4 acre) which is exploring issues and possibilities of an intermediate scale growing space.

The YouTube channel has been around since 2016. As you can imagine, there is a wealth of information available!

This early video explains the different types of gardens they are testing on, plus there is a Black Plot.

There are a number of videos about specific crops, comparing how they did in the different growing environments. One of their most extreme years was growing 54 tomatoes varieties.

No, that’s not a typo. Fifty four.

No, they don’t grow that many varieties of tomatoes anymore!

Other videos comparing things like climbing beans, pole beans, cauliflower, carrots, potatoes, eggplant and more. They even tried wheat.

Interestingly, this was a mix of wheat, not just one type. This plot produced enough to bake a surprising amount of bread. I like how he breaks down the math and calculated how much grain would need to be grown to produce enough flour to make X number of loves per week for a year. One thing I’ve never seen before is burying old, stale bread for trench composting.

And yes, bread was made with flour from this wheat.

How the bread was baked is really something to see! A multi-day process.

Their composting system has evolved quite a bit, over the years, which he explains in this video. I appreciate how he goes into dealing with their rat issues, too.

I think I’ll stick to my “just throw it on a heap” method. We end up burying our compostables in garden beds, anyhow.

Pests are another topic they cover, as well as things like different ways to water, making biochar, saving seeds, temporary microclimates, and so much more.

I like the yearly update videos.

It’s really impressive to see how things have worked out over the years, what was changed and why.

The goal at RED Gardens is to try different things, test and compare, collect and analyze the data, then make that information available to anyone who wants to grow their own food, as best they can, for their own circumstances, with the aide of the data provided. Most of us aren’t in a position to try so many varieties, or use so many different techniques. Having this data, even if growing in a different climate zone, can still be very useful.

And I admit – I kinda geek out every time I watch one of their videos.

Whether you’re a new gardener or an experienced on, I think you’ll find loads of great information at RED Gardens!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: hardening off and first sowing

You know that surreal feeling, when you feel like it’s one time of the day, but then you look at a clock and realize it’s a completely different time of day?

I just finished my “morning rounds”, so it should be morning, right?

Never mind that I spent several hours working on things that aren’t part of my usual morning routine. 😀

While heading around to put bird feed out, I spotted our new “tenant” under the stairs.

It backed into the space under the stairs, but still hung around to watch me!

Knowing that the main road was fixed, as soon as I finished my usual morning routine, I headed to town, passing a grader on the way. Very happy to see it. There’s only so much a grader an do with the current road conditions, but at least it helps. The area that was washed out was beautifully fixed up. Not even the grader could fix that torn up part closer to our intersection, though.

I picked up just a few of the fresh things we were running low on at the grocery store, then hit the post office on the way home to pick up the mail and a new bag of bird seed. Once everything was put away, I decided to take advantage of the weather, while I could. We’re supposed to get rain later, but for now it’s overcast and decently warm. What we needed to do was start hardening off our transplants.

The girls and I had spent some time trying to figure out what to use to hold the transplants when hardening them off, that will keep the outside cats and other critters away, while also being big enough to hold all the bins and trays. What we used last year is just too small for all the plants we have this year. Then we remembered that we still have the home made, twin sized bed frame that was here when we moved in, sitting in the basement. So I got that out this morning. We also found a pair of folding table legs when we cleaned out the basement, so I figured we could add those to the underside of the frame. It has 8 short legs on the support frame and is topped with plywood. The frame supporting the plywood was too narrow for the plates on the table legs, so I was going to attach it directly to the underside of the plywood, until I realized the shortest screws I have are 3/4″, and it’s 1/2″ plywood.

Ah, well. It would have been a good idea.

That meant using the frame from my daughters canopy tent that she got for when she used to do the art markets. Part of the frame broke in high winds, but we’re still finding ways to use it. Two long pieces of the frame that had been attached to each other with a pivot had snapped. The metal pieces are hollow, so I found a way to rejoin them using a long nail wrapped with enough duct tape to make a snug fit, tucked inside the pieces, then taping them together on the outside. They still wiggle and it certainly won’t hold much, but at least we no longer have pieces flopping around when we move the frame.

The bed platform went on top of the tent frame, with the frame opened wide enough to fit against the inside of the bed’s support pieces snuggly. The ground isn’t level, though, but nothing a couple of bricks under 2 legs couldn’t solve. Then, because the wood is unfinished, I opened the 3 pack of sturdy tarps I picked up at Costco a few months back, and covered the whole set up. Using the cords salvaged from the canopy tent I’d recently disassembled, I was able to peg the corners to the ground, then use the excess cord to lace up the ends. The long sides were still flapping in the wind a bit, so those were tied together, under the platform.

Once everything was secure, it was time to bring the plants out!

It turned out to be the exact size needed for all the bins and trays!

Not quite all the plants fit, though.

The Wonderberry and a couple of trays of onions fit onto the shelf outside the sunroom.

Look at all those Wonderberry flowers!

Since this is the first day the transplants were being hardened off, I set a time for an hour, then started working in the old kitchen garden. We had beds that were ready for planting, but I decided to use the stirrup hoe to run through the bed framed with logs and get rid of any weeds.

I’m glad I did. After a while, I gave up on the hoe and brought out the new garden fork. There were a LOT more roots than I thought.

There were SO many big, healthy worms in the soil!

When we planted here last year, we had a couple of mystery plants show up in the middle of the bed, where we’d planted kohlrabi. Once we were sure they weren’t kohlrabi, we had no idea what they were – but I found their root clusters! That’s the pile you can see at the middle, left. I hope I got all the roots out. Those things got quite large, and I wouldn’t want them choking out whatever we plant here this year.

Broken pieces from the disassembled canopy tent frame are now set up to support any row cover we use. The holes are all facing the same way, so they can be threaded with cord to keep the netting from sagging in between.

We’re still not 100% decided on what to plant here, but we do know what’s going next to it.

The poppies we planted last year really struggled in the drought and heat waves, but we were still able to harvest some dried pods for their seeds. I’d just put them into a Solo cup and left them in the sun room all winter. This morning, I broke open the pods, and these are all the seeds that were in them. Not a lot, but enough to sow. Watching the seeds as they came out of the different pods, I’ve no doubt that some of the seeds were immature and are probably not going to germinate, but there are some that look good. It should be interesting to see how they do!

This is where we’d sowed the poppies last year. Seeds had fallen and scattered there last year, but I couldn’t tell if anything was germinating. Just in case, I didn’t try to dig up the crab grass or do any weeding. I loosened the surface soil up with a rake, scattered all the seeds evenly, then used the rake again to cover them. I didn’t bother watering them, since we’re expecting rain. We did buy a different variety of bread poppy seeds for this year, which will be planted well away from this area, to avoid cross pollination.

Our very first direct sown seeds of the year! Not what I’d intended, but I’ll take it!

The timing was perfect for finishing this and putting things away, as that’s when my timer went off. All the transplants went back inside. Taking them out gave me a chance to re-arrange things, too. The seed trays that are just starting to germinate are now closest to the west window. The bins with the shortest plants all went into the plant shelf in the south window, and the mini-greenhouse frame by the other west window. As bins were being returned to the platform with the seed trays, they were arranged with the shortest plants by the seed trays, working up to the tallest at the opposite end. This way, the bin that has supports for the Canteen gourds to climb is now no longer behind the shop light!

There was one down side to all this outdoor work, though.

As I was putting the bins and trays back into the sun room, I saw Junk Pile cat going through the old kitchen garden, carrying a kitten. She was taking them away from the cats’ house, heading somewhere to the north side of the house.

When I went out for the next trays, I saw… Junk Pile cat… coming from the south. Which meant the cat I thought was Junk Pile was actually the other mamma using the cats’ house. Not long after, I saw Junk Pile carrying a kitten and taking it to the big branch pile in the outer yard. I was afraid of this. With all the traffic and commotion so close to the cats’ house, the kittens got moved to someplace quieter. *sigh* That’s going to make it much harder to socialize them! It’s too bad the mamas are separate now. They were always snuggled together with their babies in there. Ah, well. It is what it is.

Now that we’ve got the set up done, the transplants will go outside every day – weather willing – for about an hour longer, each time. By the time we pass our last frost date on June 2, they will be good and ready to be outside permanently.

Until then, we can keep working on getting the cool climate seeds direct sown.

It feels so good to finally be getting seeds in the ground!

The Re-Farmer

Our 2022 garden: potting up, moving things – and good news!

First, I’ll start with the good news.

While I was working on the transplants, we got a call from the pharmacy delivery driver. I headed out to meet him at the washed out road, opening the gate before starting the van and heading out.

I was backing out of the garage, when a car pulled into our driveway!

He not only got through, he had no issues at all. The washed out road has been repaired! That means we can now reach the highway and go wherever we need.

I was very happy to hear this. Tomorrow, I’m going to go get the mail! LOL

Oh, the things that are exciting when you’re old and boring. 😉

My main goal for today was to pot up the newest tomatoes, and move things to the sun room.

I started with the Yellow Pear tomatoes, which are in the image on the left. Of those, there was one seedling that I pulled out, as it was not suitable for transplanting. The Chocolate Cherry (on the right) got all seedlings potted up.

By the time it was done, we had 13 Yellow Pear tomatoes, and 12 Chocolate Cherry, ready to go to the sun room.

Before that could be done, though, the rest of the pots in the mini-greenhouse had to be taken out, and the mini-greenhouse prepped to be moved. The vinyl cover finally got removed, as did the aluminum foil lining it on three sides, to reflect as much light as possible. The foil has been saved for some other future use.

One of the sawhorses supporting the platform holding plants had to be carefully shifted over to make room for the mini-greenhouse frame.

Things got shifted around in the sun room, too. The older tomatoes were getting too tall for the plant shelf, so they got moved to the platform, as did the large bin with the kulli corn. The tomatoes were so tall, I had to adjust the shop light higher, to fit.

Once the newly transplanted tomatoes and seedlings that were in the mini-greenhouse in the living room got oved over, I filled another bin with the seedlings from the large aquarium greenhouse and brought those over, too. Everything fit, with room to spare!

I did change a couple of things after this photo was taken. That terracotta pot was put by the lamp on the bottom shelf, just to get it out of the way. It got moved out, as did the lamp, and the bin at the bottom of the mini-greenhouse was moved to where the lamp had been, so it could get more light.

The seed trays on the bottom right of the above picture are starting to explode. More cucumbers are coming up, and all four of the King Tut Purple Pea seeds that we managed to save are germinating. There is even a Red Kuri/Little Gem squash making an appearance.

These are now the only things left in the big aquarium greenhouse.

There’s still no sign of any Yakteen gourds. As for the Kakai pumpkin that looks like there is a seedling popping up, that’s actually a stem. I was watching it for a few days before I finally took a closer look. It seems it started to germinate – but then the leaves broke off the stem. The stem end is what you’re seeing in that pot! There were more planted in the pot, so I’m hoping that a bit more time on the warming mat will result in germination.

The LED shop light that was used at the mini-greenhouse is now available to be moved to the sun room, but I haven’t figure out how I want it set up yet.

Funny. The living room suddenly feels much bigger, without the mini-greenhouse tied to a chair in front of the couch, anymore. 😀

The Re-Farmer

Road conditions

While doing my morning rounds, I saw a gravel truck going by several times. We’ve been seeing them regularly for quite some time, now. There must be some major road damage to the west of us, for so many loads to be going by.

When switching out the memory card in the sign cam, I noticed we had a new sign on the road, too.

The “flood waters” sign is gone, and our road is now officially closed.

The “local traffic” is basically us, and maybe someone needed to get into a field. All other homes are on the other side of where the road is washed out.

It was road conditions much closer that had me going through the fence, though.

This is the main road, just before our intersection. This area typically gets soft when there’s a lot of moisture, but with everything so saturated, the weight of the gravel trucks going through is just tearing the road apart!

Smaller vehicles can still drive around it, though. Which is important. My husband phoned in his insulin refills to be delivered today. I was a bit surprised he did that. It seems he didn’t quite get that we really are cut off. Larger trucks may be able to get through the washed out area by the bison ranch, but small cars like the one the pharmacy delivery driver has, isn’t going to make it. He does always phone us ahead of time, before entering our cell phone dead zone, so when he does, I’ll tell him I’ll meet him at the washout. I’ll have to make sure I’m wearing my rubber boots, so I can cross the washout and get the prescription. Thankfully, my husband doesn’t have to sign anything for his insulin, like he does for his bubble packs. Otherwise, he’d have to come with me!

With the big gravel trucks driving through the washout, though, I’m very curious as to it’s like there.

I wasn’t about to walk the distance to find out, nor waste the gas to drive the distance, but I did walk over to check the washout to the south of us. This time, I was able to walk across it.

The road has eroded all the way across now. Walking through, I could feel myself sinking in the gravel and clay. As you can see, some people are still driving through it, though I don’t know how old these tracks are. I wasn’t able to get to this side when I checked the area last night.

The water levels have continued to drop, and today the speed of the water flowing across has also reduced since I looked at it yesterday.

Do you see that line of debris in between the two washed out areas?

It was looking rather different than before, so I made sure to take a closer look. This is what it’s made up of.

I’m not sure what these are, but it’s amazing that something with such deep roots got washed out and deposited here. The field next to the road has been planted with grain, nothing like this, so wherever it came from, it traveled quite a distance before being dropped off here!

The other washed out area has also eroded all the way across. Until now, the shallower water that I would walk across had been on the west side of the road (on the right of the above photo), but now that it’s washed out all the way, the shallower water is now on the east side, along the edge of the ditche, where the gravel is being deposited. It’s all pretty soft, though, and even walking where the grass has managed to hold on, I could feel myself sinking.

It will likely still be a while before they can start fixing this area. I suppose it’s possible they’ve fixed the washed out area on the main road; that road gets so much traffic, it would be a high priority. With now fast the water is still flowing here, however, I suspect they still can’t do much on the main road, yet, either. I’ll find out today, when I meet the pharmacy delivery driver.

Meanwhile, the weather forecast has changed again. The rain that wasn’t supposed to start until tomorrow, is now expected to start today, albeit as scattered showers. We’re now supposed to get rain for the next three days, too, with 2-3cm (under 1 1/2 inches) expected tomorrow. Looking at the 14 day forecast, after 3 days with rain, we’ll have 4 days without, then another 3 days of rain, a couple days without, then a couple more days of rain again. Hopefully, those days without will be enough for the ground to be able to absorb the moisture. Even now, as I went around the property, I could see standing water in only the lowest areas, like the area behind the garage, and even those are much, much better than they were yesterday.

We continue to have overland flooding alerts. The south of the province continues to be the most at risk, but the alerts extend north of our area, too.

Well, we’ll see how it goes, and deal with what we get.

The Re-Farmer

Morning kitties, and critter damage

I headed out a bit late this morning, and this time, I had lots of kitties waiting for their kibble!

Potato Beetle and Rosencrantz were chill, but Toesencrantz did not like me being so close!

So he joined the party at the kibble house. 🙂

Altogether, I think I counted 10 cats, and saw more running towards the house as I continued my rounds.

While putting the bird seed out, I had a surprise.

It looks like a groundhog tried to dig under the steps again! That plastic had been wrapped around the mock orange to hold the branches back last year, when trying to make it so they wouldn’t dig here again. It did work – until now!

All these rocks and broken pieces of bricks had been used to fill the hole, with pieces of insulation slid between the steps and the basement wall.

Much to my surprise, when I cleared the pieces out of the hole, with the intention of putting all the smaller rocks in, I actually saw movement! I think the grog may actually have been stuck there, with the heavier pieces falling over the opening after it dug through.

In trying to fix this last year, it was a relief to find the digging did not go far. The concrete steps are hollow. In the past, cats have had their kittens under there. I am less concerned now, knowing they’re not digging deep against the basement wall. Unfortunately, they’re also digging up the roots of the mock orange. Mind you, I do want to transplant it to a better location. It’s too close to the house, and gets really dried out.

So I think this time, we will leave the grog to it’s hidey hole under the steps.

I saw another one, later, going under the old garden shed, which makes three spots with dens under them.

I did find another burrow, of a sort.

The wheelbarrow leaning on the bale had start all around it, with just a small opening leading under the barrow. This morning, it was very open, with the straw knocked down and flattened. Taking a closer look, I could see something had burrowed under the loose, fallen straw, around the rest of the bale. I don’t see any dirt, so whatever made this may have a nest deeper in the straw.

I was much more dismayed by this damage.

A bunch of tulips have been eaten!

Not all of them; mostly around one edge. Still, quite a few seem to be just gone; eaten all the way to ground level. They’re not dug up at all, which makes me think it was a deer, rather than a skunk or a racoon.

I don’t think groundhogs eat tulips.

Do they?

Anyhow, I grabbed one of the rolls of chicken wire we’d used to try and protect the Crespo squash last year and set it up as far as it could go.

There’s a second, smaller piece that I hope is long enough to cover the rest of the space. It won’t stop any digging creatures, but hopefully it will be enough of a deterrent that critters in general won’t bother, and go for easier food elsewhere.

Along with the usual morning routine, I also checked out the road conditions, which will be in my next post.

The Re-Farmer

Road status, and first cucumbers!

What a difference a few hours makes!

It’s been a beautifully warm day. At 19C/66F, even the relatively high winds aren’t cooling things down much. The standing water in and around the yard has reduced significantly since this morning.

I decided to take the walk over to where the road is washed out to the south of us, and see what the status was – this time without Rolando Moon following me!

The waters have gone down a LOT, but the two washed out areas are not in good shape. The flow of water going across is very fast, aided by the wind coming from the northwest.

The wider, shallower area has eroded across even more. Where you can see a darker line is a ridge of clay that hasn’t been washed out yet; everything to the left of that would be very soft. As you can see by the rut on the far left, it’s not going to support the weight of a vehicle much. Still, if we had to, I think we could drive through this part.

The other part, however…

I wasn’t wearing my rubber boots, so I wasn’t going to cross to take a closer look. That further area looks quite a bit deeper than the last time I checked it out. This is where the road was already washed out down to the foundation rocks. There is no why our van can handle driving over that.

I haven’t checked out any of the other washed out areas. If this is still flowing as fast as it is, the others wouldn’t be much different.

Which means we still aren’t going anywhere for a while. :-/

While I was out, I checked a few other areas, including the tulip patch. I swear, they great at least 2 inches since I saw them this morning.

Something new that wasn’t there this morning, though, were these…

The very first cucumbers are sprouting! Seeing these, I took the “dome” off the tray. The transplants we’ve got in the sun room are doing quite well. Even the tomato that was broken at the stem, which got buried back into the pot, looks like it’s recovering.

I think that tomorrow will be the day to move the mini-greenhouse into the sun room, along with most, if not all, the seedlings still in the living room. The Chocolate Cherry and Yellow Pear tomatoes are still tiny, but they can be divided and potted up before being moved to the sun room. The Yakteen gourd have not sprouted yet, but at this point, the sun room is warmer than the living room. Even with them being on the warming mat now, they would probably do better in the sun room. Everything will do better in than in the enclosed spaces they are in right now, I think. We’ll also be able to move the second LED shop light and set it up in the sun room, too, if necessary.

It’ll be good to not have to worry about the cats getting at the seedlings anymore!

The Re-Farmer

Still saturated, but going down

While we still have standing water and saturated soil all over, it had gotten better by morning, compared to before I went to bed last night. It was still raining a bit then, but once it stopped, things started to improve.

The outside cats are much more laid back these days, when I bring the kibble out. For the past few months, I’d have a crowd of cats outside the sunroom door, meowing plaintively. These days, when they here the kibble hitting the trays, they just saunter over. By the time I finished putting food out for them and the birds, there were 8 cats milling about, and I saw a couple of others show up some time later. Though we still see skunks in the kibble house, they, too, are not desperate for food anymore, and we’re needing to put food out just once a day now. We’re even seeing the deer far less; I’m catching them on the trail cams more often than actually seeing them myself.

Some areas are still filled with water, of course. I don’t remember ever seeing standing water like this, in this area, before. Not even when I was a kid.

The boards covering this path are 3 layers deep.

They are floating. The other path has sand and gravel on top of the boards that were laid their, and it’s quite mushy.

I was going to go and check the washed out road, but Rolando Moon started to follow me. Her coat isn’t much different from the colour of the road, so I decided to lead her back home. She even let me carry her for short distances, without trying to claw my face off. 😀

The water in the ditch to the left is an area that, as children, we generously referred to as “the three ponds.” Right now, they actually are full enough to be ponds!

While checking out different areas around the outer yard, I suddenly realized I was being watched!

Sad Face was watching me through the lilacs. 😀 The only thing that moved was his face, as he watched me walking around him. I did spot him at the kibble trays later on, while tending plants in the sun room. The Distinguished Guest wasn’t around, which is good, because he usually attacks Sad Face when they’re both around.

Today is supposed to be a nice, mainly sunny, warm day. That will help quite a bit with the water levels. Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit cooler, but also mostly sunny.

Then we’re supposed to get another 2-3cm (up to about 1 1/2 inches) of rain. *sigh* Yes, we’re still getting flooding related weather alerts.

Well, at least our water table should be mostly recovered. That should be a big help in the gardens over the summer, and for all the ponds and dugouts that provide water for cattle and wildlife.

The Re-Farmer

Recommended: Lost in the Pond

Welcome to my second “Recommended” series. Here, you’ll find various sites and channels that I’ve been enjoying and wanted to share with you. With so many people currently looking to find ways to be more self sufficient or prepared for emergencies, that will be the focus for most of these, but I’ll also be adding a few that are just plain fun. Please feel free to leave a comment or make your own recommendation. I hope you enjoy these!

Today, let’s go for something fun; Lost in the Pond; America’s Finest British Import. Lawrence Brown moved to the US from Britain, and has turned his culture shock into some fantastic and hilarious YouTube videos, in his “…quest to uncover all of the memos that Britain and America Lost in the Pond!” He also has a presence on the usual social media, a website and a Patreon page.

Some of his earlier videos were so popular, they have gone on to become series.

Such as his videos on American Things Britain Doesn’t Even Have a Word For.

He’s also been working his way across the US with videos on how to pronounce different US place names.

Ha! Someone should do videos like with with Canadian place names, too. 😀

My favourites, though, highlight the differences in ordinary things.

Like kitchens…

… refrigerators…

… bedrooms…

Okay, I didn’t know the US had so many HUGE bed sizes.

Then there’s ordinary household objects.

To me, the faucet is the part the water runs from. The tap is the knob or lever you turn to make the water flow.

There’s also the differences in hotels.

He would get a laugh out of some of the elevators I’ve been in, that have things like M for Mezzanine, G1 or G2 for different ground floors, and buttons for the front or the back doors of the elevator. I once lived in an apartment building where my 3rd floor apartment was on the ground floor at the street level main lobby, while the 1st floor, ground level was two floors down, but opened out to a courtyard near a lagoon. It also had two underground parking levels, the side lane entrance to which was under my 3rd floor, street level apartment.

I really enjoyed this one.

After our second daughter was born, I got a cookbook that covered how to make meals that could be adapted for adults/older kids, toddlers and baby food, all from the same recipe. It turned out to be a British cookbook. It took me forever to figure out what courgettes and aubergine were!

Also, what they’re calling as either a gyro or a … donna kabab? Is that what he’s saying?

We know them as Donairs. That’s a Canadian thing.

Oh, how I miss a real Donair.

Gotta love the winter related ones.

Being Canadian, some of the laughs I get is because we are such a mix of both the US and Britain in our everyday lives! 😀

At the time I’m writing this, there are 6 years of videos to enjoy, and I do hope you have a chance to go through many of them. They’re a hoot! Well worth recommending.

The Re-Farmer

Saturated

My daughters went for a walk in the rain, and one of them got photos and video. I decided it was easiest to just put them together in a video.

I went through most of these areas less than a week ago. What a difference!

Closer to the house, the inner and outer yards are getting thoroughly saturated, with standing water in places I’ve never seen water collecting in.

Thankfully, the old basement doesn’t seem to be getting any more water seeping into it, though I can see through the floor drain that water flowing from the weeping tile under the new basement has increased. I moved the big blower fan to a different spot, and the window has been switched to the summer screen window, with the plastic cover still leaning over it, so no rain can go directly into the window. The improved air circulation might be helping keep the damp from spreading too much.

Our provincial government has announced they’re giving $15 million dollars to the municipalities for road repairs. I figure that’ll run out in about a week. :-/ After spending billions of tax dollars on things like phone apps for the Vid, I expect they’ll be crying poverty, now that the funds are needed for what they were intended for.

Forgive me if I sound a bit cynical. We continue to be okay where we are, but I know many others will be struggling not to lose their homes and farms to the flooding. Even our short range weather forecast has changed. Instead of 2 days without rain, followed by 2 days with light rain, now we’re supposed to have 1 day without rain followed by 3 days of rain, with the heaviest rain on the second day.

We shall see how things work out.

The Re-Farmer

Budding

I was so distracted by a conference call I had to make this morning, I completely forgot to schedule today’s Recommended post! I will post it tomorrow and be back to Mondays and Fridays after that.

I did make sure to feed the critters before the conference call, since I had no idea how long it would be.

The cats are much more laid back out the food and take their time coming out, even though the kibble trays were empty. Clearly, they are no longer as hungry as they were when it was still cold out. I only saw 8 cats in total this morning, which means we are “missing” about 10 cats. I know some, like Potato Beetle and Broccoli, will come by later, but others have not been seen in weeks.

After the conference call was done, I went back out to do the rest of my morning rounds. One of the fun things now on the list is checking on the tulip patch. Look what showed up overnight!

Whole bunches of them now have flower buds!

We will have to keep a close eye on them. This is the stage last year, when something ate all the flower buds. We still have some rope barriers and distractions, like bells and spinny, sparkly things, around it that seems to be keeping the deer away (I can see their hoof prints in the mud, going past it), but there’s nothing to stop any small critters.

It’s a chilly and overcast day today, and the crocus flowers are mostly closed, but I was seeing more of the purple ones again.

The first wonderberry in the sun room has started blooming again, and the younger two are covered in clusters of buds. I gave up pinching off the buds; there were just too many to keep up with! We still haven’t even found a spot for them, yet. As they readily self seed, it has to be someplace they can be treated as perennials.

I did try to peak into the cats’ house to see the babies. What I saw were two adult cats so wrapped around each other that, aside from their heads, I couldn’t tell one from the other. It did seem that both were nursing kittens, but I couldn’t really tell. I’d love to be able to get those windows cleaned on the insides; they are quite smeared from the cats rubbing up against them all winter, but we aren’t going to open that roof right now.

As for the conference call, it was to set a new trial date for our vandal’s vexatious litigation against me. It turns out the previous date was cancelled because the judge got sick. When it was cancelled, we received an email with alternate dates; three early ones, two in May, one in June, all in the city, or three late ones, one in November, two in December, at where we have been going for my retraining order application against our vandal. The only time we had to go to court in the city was for court mediation. I left something like an hour earlier than necessary, and still ended up late. The area is a disaster to navigate. Meanwhile, our vandal didn’t even show up. Just his lawyer was there.

He doesn’t seem to have any lawyer for this one. He has no case, so I doubt any civil lawyer would take it, though when it came up during court mediation, his criminal lawyer did say he’d be willing to represent, if asked, but he hadn’t been asked.

These conference calls run through a docket and, in the past it has taken a while, but this time we were the first ones called. After clarifying that we were there to set a new trial date, and asking if we wanted to attend in person or by video call (which neither of us can do), the clerk spent some time searching and found one date in August. After clarifying that it was at our usual location, I said I was good with any date at that location. Our vandal, as I expected, jumped in and asked if it could be done in the city, and brought up the date he’d chosen before – which he knew I couldn’t do. He said he just wanted to get it over with. Ha!

Anyhow.

The clerk told him it had be be where the “cause of action” was taken, and couldn’t be done in the city unless one of us lived there, or if we both agreed to it. He said he hadn’t known that. Then she said that the August date was the ONLY one that had an open slot we could take. So he had no choice but to accept the date the court gave us. Which is pretty much what I’d suggested be done when I tried to take the November date in the original email exchange, because I knew he’d never accept any date I chose. For me, it wasn’t so much about the date, but the location, so of course our vandal tried to choose the other location! With so many files being delayed over and over, the next available date likely would have been next year.

The main thing is, it’s done and we have a new date. Barring more crazy stuff happening, as it has since all this started back in late 2020, I look forward to a judge throwing it his case out in August.

At this point, even if we were able to do a May date more locally, I still wouldn’t be sure if I could make it. Our vandal may have vehicles that can get through the washouts, but we don’t, and those washouts might just get worse. The predicted rain started while I was writing this, and was coming down pretty hard for a while. We’re still getting weather alerts, and now they’re saying we might be getting 3.5 – 5.5cm (about 1 1/2 – 2 inches) at times. The Overland Flow Flood warning now reads:

High amounts of rainfall occurring in a short period could create overland flooding in these areas which may impact low lying areas, roads, and properties. As the ground is extremely saturated, a sudden rise in water levels could occur in some waterways and creeks Residents along these areas are cautioned about the potential sudden rise of water levels. Follow all directions by local authorities. Listen for updates and take all necessary precautions to stay safe.

We aren’t near any waterways, unless you count the municipal drainage ditches, but the washouts we already have will likely get worse. We’re supposed to get a couple of warm sunny days next, then two more days of light rain again. At least now, the 14 day forecast shows a week of sun before we are supposed to get rain again. For us, around the house and the inner and outer yards, that mostly just means more mud. The areas low enough to collect water are not a threat to any buildings we’re actually using. We are okay. I’m concerned about some of our neighbours, though. 😦

The Re-Farmer