I went ahead and used the Kiddie pool in the backyard as the start of my “medicinal garden”. I drilled a few large holes for drainage and added a car tire in the middle to take up a little space as well as isolate some lavender I got today. I think the kiddie pool looks kind of cute as a raised bed and not “white trashy” at all. The round shape seems to soften all of the square raised beds so I think I will add another kiddie pool when I find one on sale. The kiddie pool is mostly for the mints that tend to spread like crazy if not contained. I added a small chamomile plant in the pool with the mint and some seeds for Feverfew to see if that will grow. I know I said I wouldn’t add anymore beds, I Lied as I see so much I want to add to get more into herbal medicines as well as take advantage of all the benefits different type gardens have to offer. I found more Nastirtiums for the front edible beds and it looks like the red russian kale prefers the sunny bed rather than the shaded side. I have a few older seed packets to use up so I added some marigolds, zinnias, Lemon balm along with planting some radishes and carrots in the shady bed. I know it is a little late in the year to start some things from seed but I think if the seeds are good I will get at least one harvest of the root veggies.
Did some garden maintenece on the front beds while I was planting. Add a bit of strawdust around all of the plants to help add organic matter as well as retain moisture. The weeds are not too bad considering how much empty space is available for them. I’m slowly filling in the empty spaces going for one of those intensive gradens where the plants I want, sort of choke out the weeds. Early days yet on this idea but I can see the potential of how the front beds can be good producers of edibles and look colorful and inviting. I did a bit of work on the front lawn and it needs it badly. I got about 1/3rd de-thathed and added some lawn food that is pet/human safe. I need to aerate the soil and I hope that in building up the soil in the plant beds will help attract good insects to migrate to the lawn and help work the soil. It might be wishful thinking but it seems I am starting to make some real progress.
One reason I worked in the front yard is I really did not want to stack wood today. Dad says this was the last load of the elm, so next week I can get to work finishing up the stacks. Just looking at what Dad tossed into the wood area I have at least 5 cords of wood and I think I’m low-balling the estimate. Still that will be more than enough wood for this winter. Elm get sort of a bad rap for firewood becuase it has a tangled grain and is brutal to cut and split but the BTU’s it puts out is comprable to Apple or Cherry wood. Some folks say that elm tends to create a lot of ash when it is burned so I will have to see how it does this winter but lots of ash means lots of poential lye for soap making so I should be able to make this elm work for me.
There are a lot of things I have done in becoming self-reliant that are not quite perfect. Often the same item offer both good and bad but if you think out of the box and don’t rely on what “some people say..” and experiment I have found there are as many positives compared to a few negatives to most everything you do to prepare. I tend to be an optomist by nature and I think it really helps me to see potential rather than just look at the downside.
Update on the “pain releif salve” : Both Mom (Fybro) and Dad slather on the salve and Mom was very impressed how fast it worked. Dad did not say much but he did a good rub down of the salve on a few of his persistant achey areas. The salve is not a panacea, you will probably still hurt a bit but it helps a lot with acute pain.