Thursday, September 15, 2011

Autumn is bringing welcome changes

It is a little less hot and humid after a record-breaking summer, and for the first time I am looking forward to winter here in Tampa. Today I planted nasturtium seeds ( I got a POUND for $13 from Applewood Seeds in Golden, Colorado!) in my NE bed out by the street....a tad early but I feel they will take off once the October cool-down arrives. The slow economy has hurt the long time restaurant in my neighborhood whose scraps feed my chickens and ducks...they HOPE to keep the doors open by cancelling lunches. Thus the amount of food for my poultry has plunged...time to man up and finally kill my first Muscovy duck...after much thought I will try my high power pellet rifle I got for $20 at a yard sale some years back as their necks are SO substantial I think that my machete would inflict a tortuous end. I am a reluctant omnivore and I want the beasts I eat to die QUICKLY and if possible, with little or no warning to avoid fear being their last emotion.

The rains have stopped, the air has dried out, so time to make more Water Wise Container Gardens from 5 gallon buckets as I plan on growing MANY more tomatoes this winter for salads and robust garlicy marinaras. Growing them this way vs. in this chronically dry sand has done wonders both for my water bill and the vigor of the plants for three winters now.

Tomorrow I will take a few Muscovy ducks from their pen, clip their flight feathers, and move them into my center Food Forest garden and let them feast on the bidens 'Spanish Needle' that is my nemesis. The whole flock should be in my west bed by the end of the month to eat the weeds there too. Weeds- into -meat for my diet and good lives for the feathered dinosaurs I hatch and raise are my goals. I am so thankful to farmer Joel Salatin for turning me onto selective grazing, in part for weed control vs. herbicides


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