Country Wisdom & Know How - an excellent source of information. (Corey Bullock file)

Country Wisdom & Know How - an excellent source of information. (Corey Bullock file)

Farm life: splendid spring

As I write this, I am sitting on my deck in the sunshine and enjoying a cup of tea. My dogs are outside with me, in their dog run, sleeping in the shade. I can hear the turkeys gobbling and the birds chirping. The buzz of a nearby bee. It’s absolutely splendid outside.

These lovely little things help with the feelings of uncertainty in the world right now.

Looking ahead to the summer, I cannot imagine nights without live music in the park and bustling farmers’ markets and kids playing together at the lake. No post-work beers on the patio of a favourite restaurant or ice cream in the Platzl with friends. No sporting events or races or arts festivals.

Does anyone else get excited to go to the grocery store once every 10 days or so, but then as soon as you pull into the parking lot you become filled with anxiety? My family and I were talking about this over the weekend (over Zoom chat) and it’s so strange.

I think I can speak for everyone when I say how truly, very strange things are right now. But the best thing I can do is to stay informed, stay positive, and do my part. In the famous words of Bob Marley, every little thing is going to be alright.

Over the weekend my hubby and I built some potato boxes. He did some research and found that this method is an effective way to grow a lot of potatoes in a small space. We have enough space to plant the spuds in the ground but the potato boxes seemed like a really neat experiment, so here we are.

It’s a bit difficult to explain, but it’s essentially the process of growing potatoes vertically rather than in rows in the garden. The potatoes are planted in layers, and sides are added to the box as the plants and potatoes grow. You then remove the bottom boards to harvest the potatoes that are ready.

A quick google search was all we needed to build one, along with some lumber that we had lying around. Two bags of potato tubers and voila.

I also found some interesting information on growing potatoes in my old country ‘Bible’ as I call it. It’s a book that E’s parents gave to us for Christmas one year called ‘Country Wisdom & Know-How’.

It has information on animals, cooking, crafts, gardening, health and well-being and everything around the house from sewing patterns to information on how to build fences. It’s a remarkable book with way too much information in it and I find it absolutely fascinating. I highly recommend this book if you want to have something to physically refer to. Or perhaps you have a little extra time on your hands right now to start some new projects.

Perhaps you fancy a recipe for pickled pumpkin pieces. Six whole pages dedicated to squash. And did you know that woodpeckers are thought to listen for insects and that owls rely on sound when hunting their pray? I even found instructions for how to weave a rug. Want to know how to build yourself a cold box? Or a root cellar? Some great ideas to get through the next few months if you ask me.

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Potato boxes, phase one. We will continue adding layers and boards to grow the potatoes vertically. (Corey Bullock file)

Potato boxes, phase one. We will continue adding layers and boards to grow the potatoes vertically. (Corey Bullock file)