Saturday, May 31, 2008

Gardening day

The vulture is still on the drawing table, but I like to take little breaks in between and play with other sketches like this sad eyed hound. These sketches start out with me drawing eyes. I love drawing eyes. Sometimes it expands past the eyes, sometimes not.

TToday I've been coming to grips with the garden. A new vegetable garden has been ploughed and today was rock picking day. Newfoundland isn't known for its agriculture as the soil is poor and there are more rocks than you could ever imagine to pick out before the soil can be amended with compost or manure and ready for planting. So I spent a few hours harvesting rocks of all sizes and clearing broken sod from the ploughed ground before aged manure could be tilled into the earth.

Work like that gives you a real respect for those who came before and who had to clear land without the aid of tractors and who had to dig out endless rocks and hand till the ground to put in vital crops to see them through the winter. Its quite amazing what we take for granted now in terms of availability of food when all we have to do is provide money and we get what we want. Many years ago, physically hard work and planning as well as luck with the weather was what it took to feed a family and a bad year would mean a very lean winter.

Rising costs of fuel will drive up food costs, especially here, as everything is flown or trucked in. It would not take much in terms of shortages, trucker strikes or climate change to make a huge impact on availability of fresh food. So my aim this year is to become as self sufficient as possible and grow as much as I can which I can then process, bottle, freeze etc. Besides making economic sense, I also know just what I am eating and how it was grown. I grow organically wherever possible and am convinced that many of today's health problems are related to the processed foods that are eaten, chemicals sprayed on crops and genetic tinkering to botanical species.

I'm also getting a new little greenhouse to put some of my more tender heritage vegetables in. Its framed up and now needs shelving and the greenhouse plastic on it. The new vegetable garden is beyond the greenhouse on the edge of the meadow. Today was windy so it was pointless to even consider wrestling with huge sheets of plastic. I probably would have ended up parasailing my way to Ireland!

I ended up taking a number of photos today as I wandered around the property, seeing what plants had survived the winter. Yes has been a long time coming this year and even now things are at least two weeks late.


"JeanneG" said...

I love looking at photos of your place. But I can appreciate the quiet and the beauty of it. I learned a long time ago I'm not made for manual labor. I would have starved and as I've said before I don't like to meet what I eat.

I was in Oregon in the country with timber at my back door for four years. Bears feeding on our apples at night. Our landlady was wondering if we would survive.

I really like the dog. I am contemplating the same one, but the ears scare me.

"JeanneG" said...

ARTMUTT in WC uploaded some more great photos of her gorgeous bassett hound. I have done one picture of her (Penelope) and saved most of the new ones.

Jeanette said...

Well I can't say I love manual labour, but I do a bit when I have to. Next will be a barrier to keep rabbits out of the new veggie garden.

Yes those ears are something else aren't they?

I'll have a look at those basset photos. Thanks.

Jan said...

Having Paulette's Yahoo Pipes on my blog has really been a good thing as I've never altered them from her settings! Of course, I would have had your blog set there anyway but it's such fun to see all the new posts slide-show by. I said all of that just to tell you that I can always spot your new posts. You have such a soft, yet clean and distinctive style that's immediately recognizable!

I like this dog too and you're doing beautifully with it.

Terry Banderas said...

Your land looks beautiful to me. Hard to get going after a long, hard winter---right? It's probably so good to get out in the warmth that any depression you may have had all disappear!!! Love your photo journal posts.

Robyn said...

That hound is so touching, Jeanette. Gorgeous.
And it must be so tempting to turn that little greenhouse into a studio! You could gaze out over your veg. patch. Perfect.

I've missed so many posts and each one a gem. I'm going to have to come back tomorrow.