FIELDS OF GOLD
TAKE THIS VAMPIRES!
Our first night here we slept in a bedroom in the basement, but tomorrow, Guy's (Carolyn's husband) sister is visiting from England for vacation and she will be sleeping in that bedroom. So we got "evicted" and are now sleeping in the forest house, which is way better anyway. It is an octagonal structure built from salvaged wood with lots of windows and an incredible woodsy aroma. It has electricity, but no other amenities. It is reminiscent of the shelters we lived in on Moore Farms in AL and Green Angel Gardens in WA, but this cabin is more spacious than both of those.
We spent this morning building a path around our cabin and planting some native plants along it, including a hazelnut tree. It wasn't as easy as just putting plants in the ground, because the area along the path is forest. With the help of Kristen, a German wwoofer, we first had to pull out large brush and fallen debris. Second we raked out the smaller brush and debris to clear out bed areas. Next we loosened the clay soil with pitchforks and pulled out large rocks embedded in the ground. Some rocks weighed well over 100 lbs and it was a strenuous task moving them. With the rocks cleared, we brought in wheelbarrows full of manure and mixed it thoroughly. After that was done, we dug holes and filled them with water before planting; by allowing the water to absorb, we created a more suitable environment for the transplants. Once the water had penetrated the dry clay soil, we threw a few handfuls of rock phosphate in order to help root development. With manure, water, and rock phosphate in place, we finally transplanted. Hopefully the plants will like their new shady home and will flourish, making pretty flowers next spring and summer...and one day edible nuts. Beautifying of the trail: check.
After lunch, we headed into the vegetable garden to harvest garlic. Due to the wet, cold spring and early summer, the garlic fell victim to rust. Just like rust on metal, rust on plants is due to excess water and is an airborne spore disease. Normally after harvest, you can braid the garlic stems and leaves and hang the bulbs upside down to dry out. However, because the leaves and stems were covered in rust, we had to cut the bulbs off and peel back the rusted layers. Luckily the rust only affected the leaves, and the bulbs look great and are perfectly edible. The shot stemmed bulbs minus the leaves are now resting upside down drying in the greenhouse, where they will stay there for 4-6 weeks. Once they are cured, they should last all year long. This activity was one of the finest smelling activities we've participated in on this adventure.