Spring is here!

Our new gardenFinally it looks like spring has conquered the remnants of Winter, here in North Carolina. The weekend was gorgeous: sunny, warm (70*F/22*C), and dry. We finished planting our garden and Laura and Julia took the horses out to Hill Forest Sunday morning.

I did some logging, got a bad case of poison ivy and I also started on my newest project: fungi. I got a big bottle of Mycogrow, as well as two bags of mushroom plugs from Fungi Perfecti. I mixed in 16 tablespoons of Mycorrhizal Fungi spores into the little garden plot I made (plus a yard of biodiesel-waste/manure compost). The rest of the Mycorrhizal Fungi spores goes into an experimental compost piles where I will try to compost vegetable oil waste and glycerol.  The mushroom plugs I plan to use to inoculate several hardwood logs in order to grow edible mushrooms – shitake and lion’s mane, to be specific. If all goes well, well have some tasty, homegrown mushrooms in a couple of months.

our new garden

The last couple of weekends I cut down several trees – a dead one, one that was in the way, one for mushroom logs and a cedar tree in the pasture because I wanted the cedar wood for the border of the garden. The cedar had a huge vine growing on it, which I cut up and hauled off with the branches. Interestingly, the horses grabbed a couple of pieces of the vine and stripped and ate the bark. The next day, I had a pretty nasty rash on my forearms and Monday I called the doctor for an appointment, because my forearms were so swollen that my fingertips were tingly from the restricted circulation.

Turns out that the vine was poison ivy (toxicodendron radicans) and I did not recognize it because it had no leaves, yet. The prickly cedar branches had made small cuts and scrapes on my forearms and when I carried a couple arms full of the poison ivy vines, I got the sap all over my scraped forearms. Ouch! I have been on Cortisol for a week now, and the rash is pretty much gone and only lightly itchy.

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