Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Texas Dawn

While the Northeast grapples with a freak late snow, in Texas we've got it pretty good. The temperature dropped a few nights ago to a low of 39 F but it didn't disrupt anything. I didn't check the weather forecast ahead of time and the first I realized it was getting cold was when I woke up around 4am and had to hunt for some more wool blankets. They were at the foot of the bed and once I piled them back up around us, life was good again.

Out in the fields, the Spanish Dagger is blooming with its hanging buds and the Prickly Pear is putting forth beautiful yellow "roses". Our first fruit harvest on the new farm is coming up fast and it will be prickly pear. The harvest looks to be very bountiful. All I know how to do with that fruit is to make jam so it appears we'll be making a lot of it.

The garden is looking very puny this year. There's a lot of it, as I planted pretty heavily, but the carbon material I used for the raised beds is deficient in nitrogen and so the plants were very small and yellowish. I resorted to a chemical fertilizer (NPK for the win!) and that seems to have salvaged them, but can anything really make up for the deficiency during the early growth period? The plants are on the small side and are putting out blooms already. I tried pinching them back but they are very insistent. So the harvest may be on the small side.

We weren't really ready for the garden this first year anyway. Not in any sustainable way. We don't have the water for it this year. Until a pond is dug and filled by next winter's rain, water will continue to be a problem. The roof catchment is sufficient for our needs, but the garden requirements are almost double what we use. And a lot of the roof catchment was put in AFTER the heavy winter rains and we're now entering the dry season. So it's going to be a tough year.

Still, we yet live. Praise God.

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