This was a fairly productive weekend, even with some rain and more threats of rain. Friday evening we worked in the herb garden, installing more stepping stones. Andrea had previously planted as much as she could in the finished area, so we need to finish placing the rock to allow her to do more planting.
On Saturday we drove to Lexington to attend the Kentucky Sheep and Fiber Festival. I was impressed with both the quantity and quality of vendors in attendance. I suspect that in a few years, when we have fiber animals, this event will be much more appealing to us. Still, though, it was nice to see what it had to offer. The only thing we bought was some fudge from The Sweet Shoppe of Hodgenville, KY. Its odd that they keep showing up at events we attend, as we first became aware of them when we ran across their store while visiting Hodgenville. While in Lexington we also stopped by one of the farmers markets, so we could stock up on seasoning blends from Herb'N Renewal, which is pretty much the only place we buy from anymore, since we try to make most of our blends at home.
This morning Andrea worked in the herb garden. At last count she has planted nineteen different plant varieties, with several more still planned. Most of what she has planted so far have been culinary herbs, with only one flower I believe. Much of what is left, though, are medicinal herbs and flowers.
While Andrea was working in the herb garden I worked in the main garden spreading mulch. I had spread leaf mulch a couple of weeks ago over part of the area where we plan to plant the tomatoes and peppers. It turns out, however, that the way I did it left half of the rows of tomatoes un-mulched, while an area that we will not use for some time is mulched. I rake up the mulch from the one area, and used it to finish mulching around the tomatoes. This is a good example of where lack of planning resulted in quite a bit of extra work. Hopefully we'll get better with that in the future.
After finishing up the mulch around the tomatoes I loaded up a couple bales of straw to use for mulching the potatoes. Rather than hilling up dirt around the potatoes as they grow we are trying mulch this year. After completing the mulching its much easier to see, at a glance, how the plants are doing. So far the Kennebecs have had the best rate of sprouting. The Yukon Gold, however, have the tallest plants. The Pontiacs are behind in both sprouting rate and height, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they will come around.
It began raining while I was mulching, but I wanted to finish the job before coming in. Because of the threat of rain I decided to work in the dry for my next project. After lunch I worked on building a rain barrel. For the most part I based my design on what I learned from the Field to Fork Festival last year. Overall the barrel went together fairly well, but I want to pick up a few things before doing the others. Most notably I need to buy a new drill bit that is closer in size to the thread cutter I am using. I also need to pick up some concrete blocks to use for setting the barrel. Once I've finished the project I'll do a post based on everything I learned.
This evening we went on another hunt for wildflowers. Andrea had explored one area a few days ago, but wasn't able to get to some others areas due to the mud. We found a couple of new plants we hadn't seen before, but there wasn't really a whole lot in bloom. Unfortunately most of what is in bloom is the invasive Rosa multiflora, which means we have some serious work to do if we want to try to get rid of it.