Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A month of weather woes

Surely we must have broken records for lack of sunshine in May. I think I remember one and a half days when it wasn't raining, foggy, drizzley or cloudy. And the slugs loved it. And they multiplied and multiplied, so my early morning ritual became don the rubber gloves and saunter thru the gardens doing slug patrol. Into a pail with salt water they went, by the dozens and dozens. I started prowling about at 11 at night with a flashlight and my trusty pail. Horrible nasty creatures, so vile even the laying hens wont eat them.
May had its good points however, like a Mother's Day visit to Corn Hill Nursery for a great lunch of real food, and a trunkful of plants, hardy roses, raspberries, black currants, and coming home, a terrific roadside sale of perennial flower plants dirt cheap.
Our next wwoofers, Armandine and Richard from France joined us and we tackled loads of garden chores, setting out tomatoes in the greenhouse when it rained,
setting out plants outside when it stopped..
Everything was covered immediately before it could be chomped on by the slugs.
A family with a 4 year old came by to visit. The little boy was impressed with all the ice cream buckets in the garden and asked wide eyed, "Wow! Are you growing ice creams?"
The little meat king chicks arrived and Freckles loved them immediately. 21 days before pickup day at the feed store we borrowed some fertilized eggs from the farm next door and put them under Freckles who had been broody for a week or more. On day 21 several were beginning to hatch and make peeping sounds, which causes a hormonal shift in the hen to change her from setting mode to mothering mode.. They all went with us in a box to the feed store where we picked up 8 chicks, a day old, and slipped them into the box. Freckles thought, "Great! Instant family!" and pushed them all under her wings. The neighbor got his hatchlings back and Freckles was none the wiser. One of the best things about meat kings is that they will eat slugs.
And now we have our last wwoofer for the spring season, Konstantin from Germany. A wonderful lad who cheerily tackles any job that comes along.

He was exceedingly cheery when we put his very first lobster in front of him! I think we enjoyed watching him figure out how to eat it as as much as he did chowing it down.

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