Digging, Harvesting, Rats, and Wool

berry row_geverettstudio

garden boxes_geverettstudio

This has been a busy week and my body is complaining about everything tackled.

Digging:  We’ve been having a touch of cooler weather and rain which makes for perfect gardening sessions. I’ve finally gathered up enough energy to get out and start tackling both boxes this season. The herbs (rosemary, sage, cat mint, and chives) all survived the mild winter. The cat mint went insane this year! More on that in just a bit. Anyway, the front box received a topping and mixing of more compost plus combining some of the straw mulch from last fall. The far box (which wasn’t used last year) required work to stabilize the bottom board with metal rod supports. Now it’s getting turned and waiting for additional soil to be delivered. Tomatoes and squash will occupy the far box. Peppers, cukes, carrots, kale, and peas will be added  to the front box. Runner beans are waiting for a new location.

Persimmon tree flowering
oxalis blooms_geverettstudio
Oxalis blooming

The mini orchard has survived the deer so far. I still have yet to fence them in. The only tree I’m allowing to set fruit is the persimmon. Maybe I’ll thin it out in a few weeks. The trees were planted back in March of this year.

The Harvest:  The cat mint received its very first trimming today!

Cut nip1_geverettstudio

I took off the top 2 feet of growth.

hanging nip2_geverettstudio

I hadn’t expected such a strong growth on this one plant, but I’ll take it! Years ago I had wanted to start growing/harvesting my own nip to sell via some outlet. Maybe this is finally coming true? Time will tell. I can say that all 3 of my cats sure enjoy this particular plant! We have several nip plants around the property but this is the one that is most loved.

Rats:  Last year I had mentioned that rats had shown up in our backyard. Not too surprising once I looked at our situation: dense juniper shrubs + feeding seed to wild birds. Yes, a perfect combination for a rat hotel and buffet! The dogs have been trying to catch the vermin, but no luck yet. Today, I witnessed a momma rat and numerous babies out grazing under the seed station! ARGH! This really disturbed me and now I realize we need big snap traps to work on the problem. I don’t need them in my house, getting into the walls, creating more havoc. The dogs do spend a bunch of time hunting something in the junipers (often at 3am). I wish they would hunt them a bit harder. Maybe I need to gather my friends who do Barn Hunts? Get the professional terriers on the job? We shall see…

Wool:  Yes, I went out this morning to the misty foothills of the Oregon coast range and picked up MORE WOOL! I must be insane! fleece pen_geverettstudio

fleece pen2_geverettstudio

I took about 6 fleece, which was half the pile. At least I think I took half the pile? The above photo is what’s left. The heavy duty construction grade bags I took were stuffed full.


And that’s been my week. Productive to a certain degree. We did just get word that Dave will be working from home until a viable vaccine is created to treat COVID-19. Maybe it’s time for an external studio to be created!



Published by paperstew

I'm an artist in Albany Oregon focusing on paper and natural objects for inspiration.

4 thoughts on “Digging, Harvesting, Rats, and Wool

  1. I am exhausted thinking of all that work, and the wool is going to take so much more. Pace yourself.
    Getting the terriers on the rats is probably a good idea, gotta do something . Live traps?
    Peace, Jean

    1. I appreciate live traps but you then have to do something else with them. If it was a native species, then yes to live traps! Rats are not native so we’re going to snap trap like crazy. My dad live trapped rats out at the coast and then gave them swimming lessons. They all failed to survive the river. I can’t do anything like that.

    1. The cats are indoors only. I’m trying to keep the wildlife population from being decimated by the cats. Of course, this is one situation that I would approve of them killing.
      Hazel, our crazy terrier, does have interest but seems to prefer larger quarry like foxes, possums and rabbits. Go figure!

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