Rained again last night. This is really hurting the wheat farmers. My garden loves it though. My dog misses me spending time working in the garden. He doesn't understand it is too wet to work. He loves to chase things while I garden, or just lay there and admire me hoeing or watering.
Rained some again last night! And speaking of water...I was talking to a man today in Ellsworth, which is nearby. He said he'd dug a well by hand there. 10 feet of dirt, then wet sand. H dug down 25 feet, but only because he wanted to be really sure he never had to dig deeper later. So Kanopolis and Ellsworth are in the same river valley. Likely I'd have the same layer of dirt and sand. Maybe not, but it's sure worth checking. He said he dug his well with a hand twist auger. 29 years ago, I drove a well with a sand point. Not everyone knows what a sand point is. I didn't until a friend suggested using one. It is something you screw onto a 2 inch pipe, then screw a cap onto the other end of the pipe. Then you drive it into the ground with a big hammer. The ground has to be sandy, which it turned out mine wasn't when I got down a ways. But it works where the ground is sandy. The sand point has slits vertically to let water into the pipe. If the water isn't too deep, you just hook a pump to the pipe. If the water is more than 30 feet deep, a smaller pipe has to be put down inside the pipe you drove into the ground with some kind of pump on it. Well, I have a right of way to trench across my neighbor's yard and connect to city water. But besides the other hassels, city water is not cheap for irrigation. Pumping water up 20 feet is starting to look pretty good. But I do have to check whether Kanopolis strata is the same as Ellsworth strata.
Its on the edge of town, according to the map. Outside of town going by looking around for neighbors. I'll be having the water tested before I drink any. Provided I even get water. Which depends much on reading the geologic map of the area, and/or talking with people who have dug wells in Kanopolis. Tonight I leave at midnight to take my wife to Wichita airport to catch a 5 AM plane for Ghana. Helping her get ready has taken up too much of my time lately. Then I can get back to real life.
I have a family reunion coming up July 5-9. This is advertised as being our last one. Or at least our last big one where we rent a camp for a few days. A sister died last week. She was 85, so we weren't shocked. An older sister broke a hip this week. She's 87 maybe. Another sister died years ago. Two older brothers aren't healthy enough to be there. That is 5 out of 11 that won't be there, though some of their children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren may be there. I won't be home to pollinate sorghum, or to water for a few days. But I really want to be there. At least for a couple of days.
Growing in a coastal zone 7a in the Northern Hemisphere. Hot humid summers and cold snowy winters. Plenty of rain. Sandy loam topsoil over clay subsoil, whatever the glacier left behind when it made Long Island.
Yes. I'm #8. For the last 15 years or more, we have rented a camp every 2 or 3 years for a BIG family reunion. This is the last one. I have to be there. I have figured out how to get plants and dog taken care of. Having several rains in the last few days has helped a lot. Before that, I was wondering how I could take care of garden even if I stayed home. Weather this spring has been harsh. Better now, for the moment.
Yesterday I drove 40 miles to Salina, KS. I was driving past corn fields part of the way. And the corn was half burned with heat and drought. We got 2 inches of rain last night, but while it was a great help to my garden, the fields of corn were past being helped.
Some of it will be cut and fed to cattle. Some will have cattle turned out to eat it in the fields. Some will be wasted.
The sorghum and soybeans, our 2 main summer crops, aren't really hurt yet. This rain saved them, provided we get more within 3 weeks or less. They might make a small crop with no rain for a month. Half of the land here is still in native prairie, which makes sense. Cattle thrive on it, and while the worst droughts can prevent a harvest of beef from it, there is little investment lost to drought, no irrigation, no fertilizer costs, seldom insecticides, minimal herbicides, and it is beautiful! My garden is doing pretty good, though it is smaller than I wanted this year. And I didn't get any crops planted between the rows of hardy oranges. They ground was too dry to work, except in the holes where each tree was planted. I'd thought beans between the trees would do well, but it wasn't an option this year.
Last night another rainstorm. It was a loud one. I went outside to see the lightening and enjoy the thunder and rain. The rain continued until mid morning. Nice and cool. It was only a half inch, 1 cm. But the show was good, as was the cool moist air and light breeze. My dog doesn't generally mind thunder or fireworks, but he declined my invitation to go out and enjoy the show. His loss.
I have mentioned I garden in an old horse pasture. I spent a few hours out there again today, as nearly every summer day. It was what passes for nice and cool and I wasn't pressed for time so I had time to think and look around. I started gardening her 5 years ago. The first year, with the thick sod, I think I only worked about 6m x 6m. It was all put to corn, tomatoes, and peppers. The sod was hard, and I only used a spade. I turned over 15 cm cubes of sod and let them dry some, then broke them up some, and planted. Crops weren't very good. I think the decaying sod was tieing up the nitrogen.
The next year, I spaded some more area with similar results. But the ground that was in its second year of garden was much easier to work, and more productive.
Third year, I worked more ground, and put in trifoliate orange seedlings. They did well, though the weeds needed consant work, as had the previous two years. And the annuals, in the year old part did OK again. The two year old part of the garden I put to perennials, thinking I'd beat the weeds there. WRONG! The brome grass and various perennial weeds were still coming up from old roots. Its a mess now.
Fourth year, I added more trifoliate orange seedlings, on new ground, and strawberries, cherries, and a plum. I got too exited about corn and mellons, but I managed to keep more weeded.
This year I transplanted some 5 year old trifoliate orange seedling from land my wife sold, and planted them in rows 2m apart, 2m apart in the rows. Including the part I worked around the edge in case of fire, I figured it was 150 square meters of new ground this year.
So this morning I was looking around and realized I was using about 450 square meters. My first years garden is still a mess, but the rest is OK. Most important is the new planting of trifoliate oranges. It is weed free so far. It has been a hard year for weeds. The trees get watered about 5 times a week. Weeds don't get watered at all, unless nature does it. And nature hasn't come through very well this year. Tomatoes, corn, and sorghum are doing well. Cherry trees, plum, and strawberries are doing well, though only a few strawberries to eat, and still no plums or cherries.
I'm still looking for affordable land. I dread moving all the trees, if it comes to that. And other perennials will need moving, though they won't be as hard. But I had some land sold out from under me last winter, and it could happen again. At least I know I can do it if I have to, when I have to.
I just got hired back at my former job. Three nights a week, 8 hours per night. I loved retirement these last 5 years, but when my wife quit working 2 years ago, my social security didn't quite pay the bills. And my greenhouse got burned. And I need to finish aquiring my citrus breeding stock. So I'll be working part time for a few years. This is really going to cut into my time for doing things I think are useful, instead of what someone else thinks is profitable. But sometimes one has to do things. First priority will be to buy finger lime, kumquat, and Clementine. That will be good. And get caught up on bills, I guess.