A very cool, overcast and windy morning. I visited a farm auction this morning. Over in the Amish settlement, the widow and family was selling a lot of the farm stuff. The father/farmer had been quite a collector of farm related items. In fact, he was the neighborhood go-to guy when it came to tools, handles, hardware, harness and other repair items. There was a LOT of farm stuff!!! Wagon loads of hand tools and handles. Set after set of harness. Nails, screws, bolts, and other fasteners. Gas lanterns, stoves, and clothes irons. Furniture of all kinds and a dozen or more old treadle sewing machine cabinets. There was really too much to list!! I called my brother and he came to see as well. We agreed that our Dad would really have liked the sale and all the ‘junk boxes’ (they were his specialty and his weakness!). Things were going a little high, due in part to the many grandchildren present who wanted to get some of grandpa’s stuff. It was a good sale and I think the family did well on it.
This evening, I scrambled to find some coverings for the tomato plants I put out yesterday! I don’t think it will frost tonight (maybe tomorrow night), but I didn’t want to take a chance. So now I have a row of buckets and boxes covering the new plantings. In our area, May 10 is the average frost free date, but the early spring has everyone gardening early. I had waited until I thought the danger might be past, but…here we go!
After yesterday’s successful program an Vincennes University Jasper Center, I came home and worked on our garden for this year. I first headed over to the home of an Amish friend who had said I could have all the horse manure and bedding I wanted to shovel! I took him up on it and soon had the better part of a pick up load. His sister also showed me the new colt of one of their driving horses. Back at home, I scattered the manure-straw mixture around my blackberries, blueberries, and raspberries. I also put a bit as mulch around a small plum tree.
Most of the plain manure went on the garden. I then hopped in the jeep and went over to the nearby greenhouse, also run by some Amish friends, to pickup my tomato and pepper plants.
Back in the garden, I ran the tiller through a couple of times to mix in the manure. Then, I measured off and made holes with the hoe for each of the eighteen tomato plants. A dozen are Celebrity and a half dozen are Viva Italia paste-type tomatoes. These should give us all the tomatoes we need for canning, juicing, and salsa.
I also added eighteen hills of pole beans, sowed five to the hill. I used a variety called Kentucky Blue, a cross between the old standby Kentucky Wonder and the popular Blue Lake (which I was not able to locate seed for). I will head over to our Martin County acres to cut some sassafras poles to use as bean poles.
Four sweet pepper plants and a trio of Jalepeno completed the day’s plantings.
All in all, it was a good day for ‘homesteading’!!
In addition to the program given at VUJC, I recently made a guest appearance on the Backwoods Home Radio program. To reach the podcast, just go to the Backwoods Home Magazine website ( http://www.backwoodshome.com) and click on the BHM Radio Show icon. My portion is on the 07 April program. I came on at about the 82:30 point in the broadcast,
The presentation on “The Self Reliant Homestead” at the Vincennes University Jasper Campus’ Eco Club went great! There was a nice group ranging from students to citizens who had heard the program advertised on the local radio. I hope that I gave them all some inspiration to get going on their own place. The talk went for almost an hour, followed by some good Q&A. The presentation meshed well with VUJC’s Earth Week activities. After all, what is more natural and eco-friendly than a small farm or homestead? I also sold a few copies of The Self-Reliant Homestead. I enjoy selling books on site at an event. It gives me a chance to sign and personalize the book for the buyer.
On Thursday, 19 April, I will be doing a presentation on “The Self Reliant Homestead” at the Vincennes University Jasper Campus (VUJC) in Jasper, Indiana. I hope to introduce some young attendees to the world of homesteading and generally informing them about some DIY information for the smallholder. The program will begin at 12:00 Noon in the New Classroom Building Lecture Hall. The presentation will fit nicely with VUJC’s Earth Week activities. I will also have copies of TSRH available for purchase there.
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