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Heirloom blueberry, spraying peach trees for fungal health, and supersizing spring squash transplants

Hey hey, it’s been a beautiful spring weekend here on the urban homestead and we got a lot done to ready us for summer growth. As you may have noticed this blog post is going out VERY late in the week; it’s been hectic at work and not much time in the evenings besides keeping up with the indoor grow tents. 🙂
Here’s what we worked on this past weekend:

  • Road trip to see Gram’s house for the last time and pickup family heirloom hand-tools
  • Taking a family Heirloom blueberry home to the urban homestead
  • Transplanted cherry tomato and squash seedlings
  • Fungal treatment: spraying peach trees with compost tea (and maybe some neem oil)
  • Indoor and outdoor videos of the week
  • Backyard panorama photos

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The great Garden Box blowout…and kitchen vent hood explosion…what next!?

Hi Everyone, we’ll we had a few liiiiittttle mishaps on the urban homestead this week. On Tuesday of Paula called me at work and thought a tree had fallen in the backyard. But it wasn’t a tree, it was a garden box dropping it’s load on the lower deck. This has been a really wet spring and I think that put too much load on the existing cross-bracing structures of the raised boxes. As part of the rebuild I went to homedepot to pickup some 4″x4″ hanger brackets. BUT when I got home I saw that our glass cooktop vent hood had exploded all over the kitchen!. Continue reading

Saying goodbye to a long-time member of the homestead family

Hi Everyone, this is one of the hardest blog posts I’ve had to write. This week on Friday, April 6th 2018 we had to take our Labrador Retriever “PJ” to the veterinarians office to have him put down. I want to make sure I communicate this isn’t a sad post, but one of expressing the joy our family has had with our beloved friend over the past 15 and a half years we shared together.

Over the last year-and-a-half PJ has been enduring ever increasing difficulties. From urinary incontinence (which he’s worn a belly band diaper) all the way up to the current situation today where he’s become increasingly unstable walking (not able to get up without assistance). Lately he’s been falling down in the house and defecating where he cannot get up (and ends up covered in feces). This was of little consequence (or bother) to Paula and I as this is part of what a responsible pet owner takes on when they welcome an animal into their home. What finally brought us to the current reality that’s it’s time to put Pj down is that he’s been expressing ever increasing (in the last month) levels/symptoms of pain with whines and yelps when walking, sitting, or even just laying in his bed.

So, after some long-night discussions Paula and I decided that it would be unfair to drug Pj (on ever increasingly higher doses of pain medication) just to spare ourselves the emotional burden of dealing with his eventual demise. We’ve always treated our pets as family members and this is the best way we know how to show him the respect he all deserves for all his years of uncompromising loyalty to our family and allow him to die with dignity.

Now that PJ has passed there is a overwhelming feeling of calm within Paula and I knowing as our last act of kindness our best friend is no longer suffering through any pain just to please us (as we all know Labrador retrievers will do for their owners). But now it’s time to share with all of you the joy we had for 15 and a half years with PJ. Below is a link to the remembrance video I’ve put together, don’t worry this isn’t a sad tribute, but one with appropriate music expressing the fun loving dog we’ve had the pleasure of sharing our family with.

We know that wherever your indelible spirit resides Pj you’re chasing squirrels and having the best walks, so until we meet again mom and I just wanted to say “we love you”.

Cover crops and hog fuel, 2018 garden seedlings progress, backyard panorama

Hi Everyone, it’s been a busy few weeks since my last blog post, so lets get to it and talk about what we’ve been working on…

This weekend I spread 8 yards of hogfuel mulch around our urban homestead. Paula was working on our Easter dinner plans, so I was told to vacate the house. When I get told by Mrs Mann to “go outside” I take full advantage of my dirt-time. 🙂
We use hodfuel as mulch on our backyard trails for the dogs and people to walk on. The advantage of this “hard wood” mulch is that it takes years to breakdown; the last time we mulched was 4 years ago when we really started converting our backyard into an urban homestead food production system. You’ll see what this mulch looks like in the photos at the end of this blog post.

Pj guarding the cover crops in our garden boxes

Pj guarding the cover crops in our garden boxes

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