I promised pictures from Virginia. Above is one of a tractor. You can find more at Doveland Farm. Hint: If you love animals, it's worth taking a peek.
We had a great time and feel indebted to our host, Sandra, who barely made us raise a finger. She housed us, cooked for us, showed us around the area, and even taught us the ancient mystical art of buying stuff at auction and flipping it. We got a 40s era radio and record player for forty bucks and are commissioning our engineer buddy to turn it into an MP3 player. I'll put pictures up when it's done so you can bask in its vintage elegance and get in touch if you're interested... though I'll tell you right now it may challenge my husband to part with it when the time comes.
On to more food-related matters!
Here in FL we have to solarize our soil to keep nematodes from latching onto our veggies' roots and sucking their little veggie lives away. For months I've been meaning to start a small herb patch that wouldn't need such extravagant treatment. On Monday, I finally got around to planting some parsley and chives. Hooray!
I've been reading up on home permaculture, and the number one point every author makes is that nothing will look like you think it should. There are no nice, neat little rows in this type of gardening. If your yard looks like a forest, you're doing it right.
So, am I doing it right? In the picture below, do my parsley and chives look planned, or like they just sprung up?
I know I promised to update you on the mystery project taking place in our yard. All I can tell you is that the site of said project has moved- it will now be located nearer the house. We'll probably get started on that tonight when my husband gets home from work. Exciiiiiiiiiiiiiiiitedddddddddd.
In the meantime, we dug a few beds at the old site of the mystery project. Like my herb garden, there will be no discernible rows, just lots and lots of symbiotic foods growing close together. We are currently solarizing the beds:
Solarization involves turning the earth a bit, then laying sheets of opaque plastic over the exposed soil and weighing it down to keep weeds from creeping in at the edges. As you can see, my husband and I can't afford to visit Home Depot right now, so we cut up garbage bags and weighed them down with everything from scavenged planks to beer bottles. That fence you see in the background? Yup, you'd better believe our neighbors just put it up today. The instant we have enough mature veggies to fill a gift basket, they're getting one on their doorstep. Thanks for not demanding that we clean up our hillbilly mess, neighbors!!
One last update: we're spending this weekend at Green Flamingo. Probably fishing and barbequing, in addition to volunteering on the farm. I get to eat fish again! (As mentioned previously, I seldom buy fish at the grocery store.) It's gonna be sweeeeeeet. Will have pics Monday.
Beat the eggs. Whip the cream. Show no mercy.