October 31, 2010

Wild Garden, Wild Turkeys, Wild Backyard Critters

Dawn this morning!


Guess who lives here? Yep, a badger. And, in our backyard of all places. Not long ago, I saw a badger jumping on its hind legs tossing around a Richardson's ground squirrel! Couldn't believe my eyes (nor did I have my trusty camera to click the sight). 

On our way to Twin Bridges, Montana to participate in a Master Gardening Class, we stopped in Sheridan to see the wild backyard garden of friends. We bumped into the wild turkey flock that calls this tiny town home!
The flock was scarfing up ripe crab apples from the overloaded tree. Think how wonderful it would be to eat a wild turkey who had feasted on crab apples! Of course, these wild critters know they are safe living in town.
Our friends grow in 2-3 foot high mounds! Here is the tomato mound with a fence trellis. Note the still-green fava been plants in the foreground. The mounds are built-up soil from the pathways.
The mound garden has been put to bed for the winter piled with dead veg plants. I want to visit this garden again in full abundance. I hear it is a sight to behold!
Inspired by the Sheridan mound garden, I decided to try my own in the west growing bed. I mixed topsoil, Whitehall sheep farmer's compost, with a scoop of fish fertilizer pellets and peat moss.
Normally, I cover growing beds with straw. It's a challenge to keep soil in our beds considering skunks, dogs, badgers, and wind. All have their own agendas for messing around with soil! This year I will try to keep the mound in tact by covering it with remay and pig fence.
Planted the garlic in this bed, a new location. It's covered with 4" of straw, chicken wire, and held down by rocks and logs. I am hoping that the 100 cloves planted a week ago will start sending out roots with all the water I have given them
The south bed is set for winter with fresh topsoil, compost, and fish fertilizer. It, too is covered with straw and chicken wire.
As winter approaches, my favorite view will soon be changing from hues of yellow to white. Today the potato patch must be prepared for winter but all I want to do is tuck in to read...this
Have you read it yet? Two people sent copies to me so I have one to share!

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