I'm taking off tomorrow to see our daughters, one in Seattle and one in Alaska, and I'm very excited to meet grandbaby #3 as soon as she's born!
It's been busy, busy around here, though there's been plenty of plain old 'wait & see' as well.
We have 6 new laying hens to replace those who were lost last summer. The new girls are all Auracanas, the ones who lay the blue-green eggs. That brings our flock up to 21. There is now a driveway alarm to alert us of any other activity back there. (The baby monitors we'd tried earlier were less than satisfactory.) A couple days ago, Mike cleared out more of the tall ferns between the back fence and the chicken yard so we now have a clear view of the flock from our house. A perimeter fence around both lots is planned, and clearing has started for that, but got stalled for some reason... not quite sure why.
The piggery is still waiting for the line-up of the planets or whatever it takes to get all the approvals in order. There it sits, all cleared and graveled and waiting... It's utterly ridiculous and would be almost funny except that we could be raising food already. This'll teach us to go by the rules, huh? Frustrating is what it is. The building permit did get approved, finally... now it's the NRCS that's holding us up. They want to do a site survey to check for - get this - burial mounds, petroglyphs, and the like... under our 13x30-foot shed. If they do manage to find something of the sort though, forget pigs, we'll run a tourist attraction! Ha!
On to happier things. The new garden area is growing really well. We have two beds of taro/kalo; lots of sweet potatoes, both white & purple; starfruit, longan, and mamay sapote tree seedlings; a tamarillo, a few papaya, mugwort, purslane, tomatoes, kabocha squashes, basil, & pineapples scattered throughout.
Mike's been producing biochar from dried coconut husks. He has a little firepit in the new garden area and has got the art down pretty well now. He adds this to the IMO mixture along with chicken manure & dolomite. This combo ferments and does its thing for a week, then we use the resultant super fertilizer for top-dressing the plants or dig it into the soil for new plantings. It's fantastic stuff and we're starting to see good results - all this from creating our own fertilizer!
The experimental corn patch behind Mike's workshop has been producing lovely sweet corn for a week now. So fun to have a familiar crop, and it tastes wonderful. But the most amazing thing is that it's growing on 2-3" of soil atop a slab of solid pahoehoe lava!! Now you understand a little better why we're so excited about all this IMO stuff. ;-)
I absolutely love my new workroom! We spent a few days during a lull between guests to reconfigure the hale and increase the living space on our side by adding a door between the Sunrise Room and our bedroom. Then we put up a wall to divide the hallway, thus creating a linen closet on our side and a beautiful map wall on the hale side. As a bonus, we also gained a second bathroom. It all went so smoothly and makes me feel like I can really settle in at last, now that I can have indoor projects going, space for my sewing & craft stuff, and room to pack my suitcase in preparation for my trip!(This baby quilt was the first project in my new workroom ~ for Lori & Dave's little bambina, arriving very soon!)