Well, its been a long and very hot summer here in Montana

September 26, 2012

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Our little bit of paradise in the Helena Valley

May 20, 2012

Google Maps has kindly published an updated satellite photo so you can see what we have done to our property since we purchased it two years ago.  We took down lots of rotted fencing, recycled what we could, made a shelter for the horses from the north so they are now sheltered from both north and west, and if you zoom in you can see them in the front corral!  This was taken we think in the middle of last summer judging by what was planted in the veggie garden.  Mike’s truck is out there, and the blank spot in the garden is where we had to plant beans THREE TIMES because it rained so much they just rotted.  Since climate change has been really obvious in Montana we are at least six weeks ahead of normal, and we are putting up heavy duty posts and rails with major electrical accessories to keep the drafties out of the garden once and for all.  Mike doubled the size of the greenhouse, and the last screw was barely in before the new part was as full as the original!  We have been selling heirloom tomatoes and peppers like crazy – two weeks at the Farmers Market have been really profitable, and the local health food store is carrying our plants as well.  This all pays for my gardening addiction, and we are hoping for a bumper crop of everything this year.

Rezoning battle

April 22, 2012

As a lot of you know, we were faced with an application to rezone our entire subdivision so that our neighbor across the lane could sell his 25 acres to an evangelical megachurch. So we got busy with petitions and multiple attendances at Planning & Zoning Board and County Commission meetings, and in the end we prevailed and they denied the application.

19 of the 21 property owners (obviously one of the ones not on the petition was the applicant) expressed their desire to keep the zoning, which is rural single family 10 acres or more, intact and we finally prevailed at a Commission meeting last week.

The 270 odd acres in this subdivision which is only a mile north of the new interchange with Interstate 15 would have commercial developers drooling if the zoning was changed, so this was a huge win. YEAH – DEMOCRACY RULES!!

Now we can hope that our little bit of paradise with the horses, deer and wildlife will remain as it is, and anyone trying to do this again will realize the weight of the grass roots will be pitted against them.Image

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

April 2, 2012

Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts

They are hardy enough to start living outside, so Mike put some plastic around the raised bed. They looked a little weeney this morning but no doubt will thrive.

Peppers and Tomatoes

April 2, 2012

Peppers and Tomatoes

And some of the peppers are already producing fruit – think summer!!

Greenhouse bursting at the seams

April 2, 2012

Greenhouse bursting at the seams

Lonely Mama Carmen

April 2, 2012

Lonely Mama carmen

Sunday afternoon

April 2, 2012

And Carmen is feeling sorry for herself being away from her herd but we do need to get Othello weaned and her to gain weight.

The greenhouse is full of peppers and tomatoes and the broccoli and brussels sprouts which I planted out into coir pots and put on one of the raised beds yesterday, nicely surrounded by Mike with 3′ high plastic to keep the wind off were OMG what DID you do to us.  No worries, brassicas do fine in colder weather and they survived the night just fine.

This weekend we were working on fixing up the veggie garden – the fencing was trashed by you-know-who followed by his compatriots, and have decided that sturdy poles with solid rails and a lot of electricity is the answer, so that will be the next couple of weekends.  In the meantime they are welcome to eat the grass and grass roots in the garden which have been dogging us for the last two years, and then we will get the fencing up to keep them out.

Once spring sprungs around here there is so much to do its not surprising we have no social life 🙂

We spent the afternoon getting the electric tape back into place around the paddock, arena and the front part of the pasture – the solar charger didn’t live up to its expectations the last few months because of the awful overcast weather we had this winter, but now it is working fine and young Sr. Othello is getting a few surprises.

Anyone who doesn’t believe in climate change should come and visit us here in Montana.  We had two sandhill cranes alight in the pasture this morning, several couples of Canada geese, and we have about a dozen mallards on the pond. It rained last night, the sun shone today and you can see the grass growing by the hour.  This is all two months ahead of schedule.  Go figure…..
 

Now we will be busy every weekend and probably every afternoon.  We have several chickies who are headed for the freezer so that is our task for tomorrow afternoon – love those long evenings.  Then we will get another 15 chickies from the Cackle Hatchery in MO who will arrive in the mail in the early hours of the morning, and start the cycle all over again.  We  have suffered with a serious deterioration in egg laying over the last few  months so look forward to new eggers.

We think we will win our zoning battle – next meeting is next Wednesday at 530 and we have lots of support, so hope it will all go away.

Think SPRING!!!

 

 

Afternoon naps

April 1, 2012

Carmen is shut in the front corral since we couldn’t stop Othello from nursing and she was losing weight alarmingly.  He is so big he can probably suck out a gallon in half a minute.  Everyone is pissed, but this afternoon they all took a neighborly nap and it was Tosca’s turn to stand guard over the herd.

Lazy horses on a spring afternoon

April 1, 2012

Lazy horses on a spring afternoon