Best laid plans of mice and men or so they say. What we plan and what actually happens are often two very different things. When life and people do not work according to plan, plans get seriously messed up! And, so it has been here at the homestead. It seems that each time I adjust the plans for the behaviors and doings of people or conditions, something or someone else comes in and twists it all up yet again. At moments, I want to just give up and go hide in my room. But, I can't do that. I have to keep trying. And, sometimes, better ideas come of it.
The Fall Garden as conceptualized in my head was quite a bit different from what actually happening. The actual Fall planting is a simple garden of mustard greens (smooth leaf, as according to everyone in these parts it's the only type worth growing), kale, spinach, and collards. They went into the ground rather late but I'm hoping we'll enjoy some greens this winter anyway. Hope was that after getting this little bit planted, we'd have time to determine a site for the perennial vegetable beds (asparagus, etc) and get those "beds" heavily mulched and doing their magic for a Spring planting. I also wanted to get some clover planted to cover all the bare soil. Did I mention that nothing is going quite to plan?
I got a call from the Backdoor Neighbor announcing that he was going to be planting 20 blueberry bushes along his border, effectively nixing my garden plans by putting conventionally raised blueberries right at our boundary. While giving me a bit of an upset, a new plan has arisen from it that will be quite beautiful. It will have to wait until the Spring after the Fall Garden is done. Then, we will create a berm-and-swale along the border with ornamental trees, bushes, and grasses along the berm. The swale will serve to hold water after a rain allowing it to be absorbed into the ground rather than run off. The berm and it's plantings will serve as an attractive barrier between his conventional gardening and my organic gardening. It also will give me an area to satisfy Mother's craving for ornamental trees and bushes. Theoretically, this all fits within the principles of Permaculture I talked about previously. Or, so I tell myself so I can feel better about this twisted dizzy road I seem to be on.
Why a tractor and why a dome? Well, with a chicken tractor, you move the chickens around on a daily or other set schedule so they have fresh graze and leave their fertilizer around instead of all piled up and stinky at the coop. It is better than true free range because the chickens are protected from predators and I get to place them where I want them rather than them just going wherever and possibly eating seedlings they shouldn't be eating. The dome is aesthetically more pleasing and being made from PVC means it is very light and easy to move around. There is a youtube video of a tractor a man built that has plastic panels enclosing one side forming a shelted roosting area. I like that much better than the tarp-over-the-top idea.
We also had a miracle come our way -- or coming our way. A retired Methodist preacher is going to build us a storage shed in exchange for the old camper. I've learned my lesson -- this time, I get the building before I give up the camper! Once burned, twice shy.