*crickets*

So, I’ve not really been in the mood to write for a while. I’m not sure why. Life has continued to trundle along. We’re trying to adopt, so that takes some significant chunk of my brain power. I’m also working for Transport Evolved for actual money these days which means that I’m worrying about my friend not wasting money paying me. Which means I work on stuff…some more than perhaps I should.

I read somewhere an unhealthy team building tip – saying only employ people with massive imposter syndrome, and they’ll always work way too hard.

I feel seen.

The main thing we’ve been sort of working on is the garden. We’ve done some maintenance and planted asparagus! I love Asparagus! Apparently, they’re super picky. And I wish we’d planted them right at the beginning – because we could be eating them now. They take about 3 years to mature to being pickable, if you didn’t know. Also, we’re meant to keep their area weed free :-/

For future reference, in our next house, as soon as we get it we’re planting fruit trees and bushes, rhubarb and asparagus before we do anything else.

Anyhow, this year we tried to be really together. We made a spreadsheet with when we needed to plant stuff. We got it in to pots pretty much on time. We got LED growlamps to try and overcome the problem we had last year with our plants getting super leggy. We used a suggestion from an old homesteading book about using egg-cartons to put plants in.

…and it’s gone pretty terribly.

While nearly all of them have come up, the beans and peas got wildly out of control and we ended up putting them out without really hardening them out – because the weather was so hot that putting them out to harden out they wilted… and they were so tall they kept breaking so they couldn’t come in-and-out to harden…

The other stuff – some of it’s just been really slow to grow. Really slow. The tomatoes – they’re still only 6cm tall or so, and mostly still on their first leaves despite having been in more than a month. Quite a few of the other things have just died.

I think part of it is the cartons – I suspect they work fine if you use them in a greenhouse, or if you live in a coldish homestead in the early 1970s. But in a warm, modern, fairly dry house and filling them with modern potting compost they swing wildly between arid and sodden, which is not ideal for plant-growth.

This is somewhat disappointing after last year’s successes. Anyhow, this weekend we’re going to plant out a bunch more seeds and hopefully we can get a bit more success with those. We were hoping to use the chicken coop products for fertilizing the beds, but I suspect that isn’t going to happen – because we need a trailer to fetch them fresh bedding.

Anyhow, in other news – we picked up a trailer! We got it second hand and it’s very nice. Can’t use it, obvs.

Washington’s “ownership in doubt” title process involves you waiting – three years – which is fine. I mean, it’s not ideal. But it’s tolerable. But that clock starts, I think, when you submit the magic form – which would be all very well – but I have to wait for them to get back to me with a list of previous owners and send them a letter that says “please indicate you no longer have interest in this trailer”.

The previous owner did sign a bill of sale… but with no title or registration, and no licence plate, and no serial number. It’s kinda tricky.

One thing – back to the garden – that is really interesting and astonishing is the difference the chickens have made to our lawn. And presumably to some extent the garden beds.

They’ve been roaming through the winter eating and pooing their way around the back garden and it is astonishing the change in just a year. It’s most noticeable in our grass – because we do nothing to treat our grass. But the grass in the chicken-wandering-zone is lush, thick and green. The grass where they’ve not been is thin and a bit yellow. Now, you might say ‘ah, yes, but you also threw down a ton of compost in the beds and maybe it’s leached into the soil’. And I had wondered that – except that I was out mowing the grass, and the the line is pretty absolute.

At the chicken-zone boundary, cut off by the fence, you can see the grass change.

So, well done to our chickens. They rock :)

We’ve also been progressing, slowly, on the trim. We’re down to a couple of windows needing top/bottom trim, the bathroom window (which is special and weird) and four door frames. That is a huge amount of progress… but I’m hoping that we can get the trailer so I can get all the remaining bits of wood in one trip. I mean, if they have it in stock. I’d also like to get the wood for the kitchen shelves so we can get those up, too.

What would make that easier would be a trailer…

Ah well, we’ll see what happens.