Thursday, May 1, 2008

Old timer wisdom

The other day someone told me that they were told by an old-timer to be sure and get up on the first day of May at dawn, to speak to no one, and to plant squash and cucumbers. Apparently this is a sure recipe to have plenty of squash and cukes with minimal bug damage. Hmmm.

Lots of other old-timer wisdom has proven itself to be true, so last night the kids and I made great plans. We set out our seed packets. Agreed to get up extra early. Agreed to keep quiet. Agreed that those old farmers knew an awful lot about gardening and we wanted to experiment.

We got up extra early. Maggie and I silently headed to the barn to milk. It was dreadful not speaking to Coco upon entering the barn. I nodded to her. Then the naughty goats who are not supposed to be milked started to get in the way of the ones who were supposed to be milked. I silently directed them out the barn door with a big frown on the face, hoping they would get the message. I pulled the big barn door shut. I slipped on a big fresh pile of steaming manure. All the world went into slow motion as I fell bottom first into the manure. At that point, old-timer wisdom went out the window. It is too hard to be silent when there are Grrrs to be said.

Maggie had a hard time milking goats without talking to them, too. Patrick, on the other hand, was out the door, straight to the garden, and without a word, planted his pumpkins. Maggie and I did our garden planting later on in the day, and thanked God for garden grace! After a good morning of indoor school work we all headed to the garden and planted lots more green beans, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, cucumbers and a few watermelons, sunflowers, cosmos and martin house gourds. Thomas and Philip tilled. Philip put up mesh for peas to climb up. Patrick, Maggie, Rose and I weeded.

We can't wait to see whose squash comes out better. The silently planted at dawn ones, or the "at least we got them in the ground" ones. Maybe next year Maggie and I will plant before milking. Wish we had a couple of old-timers who wanted to help out in the garden.

By the way, Rose and Maggie worked all on their own getting Priscilla (Rose's heifer) into the milking stanchion. Rose wants to work on taming Priscilla now, so when it is time for her to be milked we won't have so much work. They did a great job. The girls loved on Priscilla and fed her treats. I never would have been able to be so patient. What great little milk maids.

Speaking of milking, better hit the sack. I think the old-timers must have gone to bed a few hours ago.

1 comment:

Debbie Millman said...

this is good stuff. glad you're making time to write...and plant stuff.