Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Lessons Learned

My dear friend over at Watsourced has been making some amazing lists on her blog this past week. She inspired me to give it a try, so here goes.

Through this summer of drought and unbelievable heat, we learned many things here at the OAH:

We do not have a realistic plan for watering an acre of garden, orchard, and ornamental plants when rain is non-existent.

The rain barrel is only good if it rains at least once a month. With the slope of our roof, even a small rain will fill the barrel. Considering the addition of at least one more rain barrel.

Bunnies and chickens do not handle the heat well. We need a backup plan to keep them cool. I've heard some people suggest freezing excess squash and zucchini and putting these in as a sort of herbivore popsicle...faced with another extreme summer, we'll certainly give this a try.

Cats are a necessity around a homestead. Tex has kept our yard free of mice and rats (yes, you read that right) and he's made sure we are aware of all his hard work by leaving their remains RIGHT beside the front door. In fact, he's such a great mouser, he sometimes goes across the street to neighbors' homes to hunt there as well. Gotta love him!

Ornamental grasses are TOUGH! We planted some purple fountain grass and it is beautiful despite all that this summer has thrown at it.

While an in-ground pool is not in keeping with our steps to a more sustainable lifestyle, it is a great moralle boost during an almost unbearable summer.

With all my country girl-ness, I still cannot handle snakes. I cannot choose to respect a "good" snake...they ALL give me an instinctual reaction of fear that is overwhelming.

We need to dig out the ponds out at Willow Run. They need to be deeper to maintain water levels and keep fish alive through a drought, but this costs thousands of dollars, so that will have to wait a bit.

I am a quitter. I feel like I gave up on the garden too early and that I might have been able to save some of it if I'd just given more effort. This disappointments me more than words can say.


Gardening in Texas said...

Enjoyed reading your comments on the drought. I understand quitting. I mowed over my big vegetable garden in August. The only that would grow there was nut grass!

HermitJim said...

This Summer has been extra hard on both the gardens and the gardener! Not for the faint of heart!

Only thing I have left here in Houston is okra and peppers! They seem to love the heat!

Basic Humanity said...

don't feel like you're giving up. it's simply a tactical retreat to give you a chance to regroup, think through your options and return with avengence next time

kaiwat said...

I'm just now getting a chance to catch up on your blog, dear neighbor. You may be hundreds of miles away now, but we'll always be gardening buddies!

I felt the same way about my garden at the end of the summer last year and blamed pregnancy for not having the energy/heart to battle the heat to work in the garden.