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Certified organic poultry farmer in SE Mass

Life in COVID-19
Massachusetts is opening the door just a crack..Phase I is now being implemented. The numbers of sick in this state is still high. Masks are required to enter any business. People are going back to work but no students will attend classes. Beaches and campgrounds are opening with restrictions. Hopefully, people will be careful and we may have some semblance of normalcy. But I fear we will have this virus around for a long time.

My garden is finally waking up! Sugar snap peas are blooming now. I bought and applied some organic fertilizer mix and hope it will green up the spinach since two side dressings of blood meal didn't do the trick. We had some rain, not enough, so I watered well after fertilizing. A few days ago, there was a huge swarming of flying ants coming out of the wood sides of the raised beds...mine and the one next to me. I filmed it, it was incredible! I bought some organic treatment for termites & ants, I hope to apply it soon, but it's toxic to bees, so I will apply after sunset. Not that there are any bees here in the city anymore. When walking in the park when the trees were blooming (apple, cherry), I saw NO BEES of any kind on the blooms. Sad.

It has been in my mind to create a business card to use for my organic knowledge. I will have to design a new business card. That means I will have to re-learn how to use that program! Trial and error till I get it right. Ideas are needed...and suggestions welcome.

As of yesterday, this building is virus free. I'm glad for that, but with all the kids out of school and so many coming in and out of this building, I am wondering how long that will last. Once the virus has come to us, we will be shut down to any visitors except for essential workers and health aids.

After a very wet start to the growing season, we are now in a period of less rain and the heat has started to ramp up. I put off flaming at my client's for several days due to high winds. I loose a lot of flame heat in the wind. I went on Saturday and flamed a large area of weeds that have invaded the lawn. Two weeks ago, Sam helped to re-seed the front yard but the seed is slow germinating. The client is watering regularly, the second area we seeded is showing germination...so I'm wondering what is going on.

I have suggested to my client that her lawn needs aeration, lime and over seeding. We will wait till fall to do this and hope for a better lawn next season.

It seems that the Tick Tubes we have put out in her yard are working. I have had no ticks on me the last two times I have worked in her yard. Before the tubes were put out, starting last spring, I would find many ticks on my clothes and body. If the tubes are the answer, that would be wonderful!!!

I'm off to start this day. I hope everyone had a good weekend.
Life in general
Here I am...well and not having any issues with the shelter at home...I'm a loner anyway. As of yesterday, there is no virus in our apartment complex. Everyone is careful, wearing masks, gloves and keeping the "social distances". But the kids are going stir crazy without school to take up their time. Many kids will admit they hate school...but they can't wait to go back!

My tiny garden, planted in early March, has started to grow. I have discovered termites eating the radishes! I hope to control these little buggers with an organic soil drench. This drench may help with the ants that live in the wood sides of the raised bed. The ants herd aphids, in this case, root aphids. I can't get rid of the root aphids unless I eliminate the ants! Ants will take aphid eggs back to their home, winter them and then take the eggs to the plant roots where they hatch and suck the life out of the plant. Gross!

The Sugar Ann peas are a 60+ day till fruit seed. However, it has been long past 60+ days and no blooms. It was a cool March, April & May, at least so far. The spinach is still yellowish, even tho' I have added two doses of blood meal. So, something is going on under the soil..and it has been cool.

Dill reseeded itself and I have a lot of new dill plants. The radishes are toast since the termites are eating all of them under ground. the Borage is doing nicely, self sowing in the garden. Last year, the Painted Lady butterflies laid eggs and I had their caterpillars in the Borage. I can only hope for the same this season. Seems the lavender didn't make it and neither did the parsley. The horseradish is going to bloom soon, it should be lovely. Johny-Jump-Ups are thriving and in full bloom.

I wish I could say I am making progress with posting things on eBay to sell, but I can't! The volume of stuff is overwhelming. I consider calling an auction company to take it off my hands, but don't seem to be able to do that, either! Stuck with this project.

BB the dog is well, but seemingly has not been doing so well since he was attacked in the park in April, 2019. He lost some weight and all of his top teeth. I believe they were fractured when he was attacked. He lost one upper canine tooth right away, then the second one came off about two months later. When he visited the vet in March, she told me he has no more top teeth. Poor boy! He got a clip job yesterday and will get a bath later today or tomorrow.

I hope to get out to Rochester today and flame weed at my client's. Weeds have overtaken some of her lawn...mostly annual weeds. I flamed an area 10 days ago to see how the weeds reacted. My client says they are all gone...but there is more to flame. And then seed with grass to fill in. It will be interesting to see how things grow back.

Time to walk BB the dog, who is snug in his bed right now.

As we are in this first spring/summer holiday, I think of our soldiers who gave all...and thank them.
Life with Coronavirus in the world
It's all over the news!!! Coronavirus hits hard! Blah Blah Blah! So, after recovering from my (corona) virus/cold that had me in it's thrall for over 14 days, we are looking at a virus crisis! I've heard the virus may have originated with bats! OMG! More bad press for bats! So silly! Like the Bird Flu that hit China back in the mid-2000's. The truth of that outbreak was never published on world news. I know the true story of that outbreak, hidden by press and health officials. Ask me and I will tell all.

Today, there was a residents meeting. Only few attended, always the same women, men seldom come. I guess the men want to go outside and complain to each other. If you don't speak out, no one will hear your concerns. Our building manager was called to a staff meeting, so she wasn't present. Dorothy ran the meeting. I noticed she didn't bring any writing material to take notes. Just her personal hand sanitizer! It was a pointless meeting but many confirmed cancellations for our regular classes here at the complex. No yoga, possibly no breakfast on Wednesday.

I gave some suggestions regarding use of different agents to clean off surfaces with. White vinegar spray, followed with hydrogen peroxide sprayed on any hard surface will kill most anything. This is an alternative to using bleach, so hard on our environment. Plus, it's possible that, like toilet paper and hand sanitizer, bleach will be unavailable soon. The two previous mentioned agents are organically accepted ways to sterilize disease. I have used it in my hen houses between older flocks and bringing in day-old chicks. It worked extremely well rather than bleach. You can look it up on the internet...and find many answers to this question...does it work?

One of the residents said something about Chinese in one of our counties that has the most outbreaks of the coronavirus. I objected and she raised her voice...said I pissed her off! She has been known to have her own problems with different races. But I stood my ground and told her she shouldn't be raising her voice to me. She later apologized to Dorothy but not me.

In response to this easily spread virus, I will stay at home, clean my apartment and binge watch shows on TV. Basically, that is the best move (or non-move) anyone can make.

Changing subjects, I saw some radishes peeking up in my garden yesterday. Rain expected tomorrow, so I am hoping for more seeds to pop up after the rain. I expect to see the peas soon! Netting will go up as soon as the peas are all up. Then I hope to plant some lettuce seeds!

I hope everyone is staying well...and thanks for reading!
Apartment Life
I've been sick with a bad cold for the past 12 days. Strange cold, no fever or joint pain, loads of congestion in my sinus. I went through a box and a half of tissues blowing my nose, which was very sore and is now peeling. I may be over it, but I have heard this is a boomerang cold, goes away but comes back in a few days. So, I have been eating a lot of home made chicken soup, drinking a lot of fresh ginger root tea, Netti Pot several times a day, onion sandwiches and resting. But mostly blowing my nose and coughing up mucus. Taking care of this illness has made me tired!

And now this stupid time change! I do wish the "powers that be", the government, would STOP it!!! The only ones who benefit are the golfers! I believe it is the golf lobby that controls this time change. It takes me over a month to adapt to the spring ahead, most of the winter months to adapt to the fall behind time! Studies have shown more heart attacks happen the day after the time changes, most likely due to people rushing to catch up!

Politics have been a hot topic lately. One of my friends is a great Warren fan and went into mourning when she dropped out of the race! To make it worse, Warren said she wasn't serious about running! And then there is Mitt Romney, the only republican to vote to impeach the donald. I think he is setting himself up to run against our sitting "president". The only question is: should the donald loose, how do we get him out of the White House? He has said he won't go! Meanwhile, he is threatening to change Medicare and AHCA. And cut benefits to low income people. Then there is the coronavirus issue! And the WALL! I wonder how much the Great Wall of China cost? And did it work?

I did get my sugar snap pea seeds, spinach and radishes into the ground on Friday. The we had some snow come, but it is all melted now. I am hoping the peas will be ready by May 1. Spinach and radishes will be ready sooner. I did  have good harvest of cucumbers and lettuce, but the Scarlet Runner Beans didn't do much, no bees to pollinate! I did have many Black Swallowtail butterfly caterpillars in my parsley and some Painted Lady butterfly caterpillars in my Borage. Root aphids really impacted the kale and beans. So, I bought and added some lobster meal to the soil recently. I hope this will help.

It is almost noon with this time change...so time for me to go. Thanks for reading!
February 2020
Lately, I have been getting little done in my apartment. Seems I have no interest in dusting all the pictures, furniture here. But I did just tear my bed down, doing what I call BEDBUG PREVENTION. Since bedbugs live in this complex, diligence is necessary to keep the little suckers OUT of my apartment. So, every 60-90 days, I pull my bedding off, examine the mattress for any signs of bugs, remove all the sealed totes from under the bed, vacuum under the bed, the totes, the mattress and mattress cover and look for signs of any bugs. I spray the carpet under the bed with Zodiac flea & tick spray for upholstery. Clean sheets and pillowcases finish the job. I spray my doorway, door door trim and outside my door with Zodiac. It takes several hours to do this job.

After I moved into this apartment, I had several bug bites and discovered a bedbug on my bedding. The "bug man" came to my apartment to examine my bedding. When I moved in, I was NOT going to buy a new mattress till I was sure there weren't any bugs in my place. Well, it seems the policy is not spraying between tenants...and the last tenant probably had bedbugs. The bug man pronounced my bedding clean (same mattress I had been sleeping on for four years in the camper)...but wanted to spray my apartment. I am chemically sensitive and declined. The bug man was wearing boots, gloves and a mask. I should live in the pesticide? And my little dog, so close to the carpet should have to be in that bad stuff? I didn't think so!

I went on a vengeful attack in my apartment, taking off the outlet and light switch covers, vacuuming inside them and spraying with DEET. I had some outlet and light switch insulating additions and sprayed them and installed them with the switch plate covers. I then laid down a narrow layer of diatomaceous earth along every baseboard and on each threshold of every room. The bug man gave me some sticky traps for scouting for any invaders. Since then, I have had no signs of bugs. But diligence is the answer!

One gal has had bedbugs twice, been sprayed twice. I did tell her about diatomaceous earth, she bought some and followed my procedure.  But foolishly, she vacuumed up the DE in a month or two. Then she got more bugs! How foolish can you be!

My order for crab meal came yesterday. I will work in the garden and turn the soil and apply the crab meal. I hope this will effect the root aphids that infected many of my plants last summer. I have some snap pea seeds coming also and hope to put them in on St. Patrick's day. Last late fall, I harvested my kale but left the roots in hopes that springtime would bring kale from last season's plants. But I did have some plant aphids (not to be confused with root aphids) on several plants. If the aphids have survived the winter, I shall pull the plants and put in new seeds.

The apartment complex did NOT schedule me for a gardening class in March, even tho' I requested that at January's residents meeting. I have requested to be scheduled on April 1 or 2. Possibly my pea seeds will have emerged by then. I hope some of the residents will attend this class, but I feel most of the gardeners here think they know all there is to know about gardening. We shall see if the April schedule includes my class. And how many bother to attend.

Today, I will walk BB at the bike path. We love to walk there! A lot of p-mail to read, many replies...to the point that BB has no pee left! And he is tired and well-exercised as am I.

Today, it feels like March...warmer and sunny. So we will enjoy this day for I am sure rain will come soon.