Battling Rain and Time

Allow me to introduce you to a friend of mine, and in particular her gardening blog….follow this link to Marlene’s page…Fresh Food Garden!

Now let’s get down to the nitty gritty!


What gardening? It’s been raining, raining, and raining again. Each month we set a new all-time record for wetness.  Let me give you a couple facts which should tell you how dreary this winter has been.

Since October 1, over six months, we’ve had exactly three days that qualify as mild, meaning sunny and above fifty.

Since October 1, over six months, we have had a grand total of eight sunny days.  Eight!

Since October 1, it has rained 87% of the time.

My grandfather would say it feels like a cow pissing on a flat rock . . . all the time…there is no drying out.

So we finally had a dry day last Saturday, and I went out, squinted against the glare, and decided to use that day to turn over the soil and get the garden ready.


The ground is saturated.  The ground is clumpy.  The ground needs to dry out.

So now there is a sheet of plastic over the garden area, and hopefully in a week things will be better.


In the meantime I started seeds in the greenhouse, so all is not lost.

In the meantime, a part of the garden is being cultivated by the chickens. All eight of them are out there right now digging and scratching and doing all kinds of good things.

And in the meantime, I have more than enough other things to do . . . like quail!


All the babies have been born.  Add them to the adults and we now have over 200 of our little birdy friends, and any day now I expect to see some eggs. They better hurry because the farmers markets begin May 3rd.  I’m in the process now of selling males since they are fairly worthless for our needs….just like most males, right ladies?


In the meantime, the 43 chicks we raised are now almost pullets, so we will be selling those in the next few weeks.  They were finally moved out of the garage and into the aviary/greenhouse.  The final step in the process will be to turn off the heat lamps and acclimate them to the outside temperatures, which we are doing now.  After that we can safely sell them.

Did you know that the eyes of a chicken are independent of each other? One eye searches for food while the other searches for predators.  Fascinating birds, chickens!


This afternoon, as a matter of fact, I’m going to be teaching a “How To Raise Worms” class to fourteen teenagers who are spending a week on a nearby farm.  Should be fun, a way for me to return to teaching without having to grade papers, and a way for the teenagers to learn about urban farming and making compost.

And I just had an order for four jars of worm tea at $5 per jar….I love little payments coming in from different directions.   I need to mix up a new batch of worm tea and also rabbit tea and sell those as well.


And my wife is busier than a one-armed paperhanger with crabs, as my dad used to say. She is ultra-busy as the new manager of the Tumwater Farmers Market, and she also works at the local urban farm and garden center.

It’s going to be a busy season!