Bumbling along

Bean beetles in the potatoes, forgotten plants in the greenhouse, a hydrangea that’s been replaced twice and still isn’t growing. Irritating, but probably not major problems. The plants that were forgotten died, of course, but some of them have been replanted and others will have to wait for the fall garden. That was the worst screw-up, but those things happen when you’re trying to do six things for every minute of time.

Raintree had a big sale, which resulted in my buying five Aurora late-season blueberries and a pair of black currant plants. Haven’t decided for sure where I’m going to put them, but I’ll need to decide in roughly the next 24 hours. As freebies, I also got a couple of primocane blackberry plants. I’d never have purchased blackberries, considering how many grow here wild. But for free, heck, yes.

The wild blackberries are just about to ripen, and it looks like this is going to be a good year for them. There have been plenty of flowers in the past few years, but poor pollination. I haven’t seen any more bees or other pollinators this year, but almost all the berries are completely filled out. Hard to say whether our very late and very cold winter had anything to do with that or not, but it’s certainly more typical of the berry production from years back when cold winters were more typical.

I’ve been eating blueberries off the early season bushes for a week now, and the Top Hat bush is bearing so heavily I could probably have gotten a couple of pints from that one bush alone, but I’ve been eating them out of hand right there in the garden. The other two varieties are bearing well, but nowhere near as heavily.

I thought the potatoes were doing really well until I discovered one plant almost defoliated and covered with Mexican bean beetles. Haven’t done anything about that yet, but I will have to start picking them off, and checking for egg clusters. The beans were covered with the beetles last year, though it didn’t seem to hurt the crop much. But they’re really going to town on the potatoes.

The goats are giving almost two gallons of milk a day, which means I MUST get back into cheese production very soon, and also must get the herdshare arrangements set up very soon. I have no more freezer space for milk. The dogs have been getting a lot of it, and my grandson has taken some, but that’s nowhere near enough consumption to keep up with them.  The goats have also been a huge pain lately, after I began separating the kids at night. Trying to get mamas in one pasture and kids in another one has been a three-ring circus. It worked one night to get the does’ evening feed ready in the barn, and carefully let one of them in at a time. But the second time I tried that, Laurence leaped right over the bottom door of the barn, and by the time I had him in tow, everyone was inside. Tonight I will try feeding the bucks first, and then taking a half bucket of alfalfa pellets into the middle pasture. They’ll all follow me in there, and then I can boot the does out one at a time. Laurence bellows like a huge baby when he’s separated from mama–you’d think someone was beating him. “Waaaaaahhhhh! Waaaaaaahhhhhhhh!” I’m going to have to sell him soon, I’m afraid. I’d have kept him as a wether, but when I waited too long to band him, that meant he can’t stay here–I don’t need three bucks.

Off to do other computer work…