It’s supposed to rain Friday through Tuesday. And as this is the first rain we’ve had for days, we sure want to get planted ahead of it. After all, two of our big gardens are on white clay that gets so sticky I’ll swear you can’t walk on it even if you just sweat on it.

Will’s busy today on the tractor, getting fields ready for planting oats and I’m seeding in squash, pumpkins, and more beans. Last night it got down to 29° F so we had everything covered but the emerging corn. The corn didn’t get frozen and everything else came through pretty well, although we did have a couple of tomatoes covered with hay that had blown off a bit, get frozen. Luckily, I still have back-up plants in the house.

Here’s the Central garden where I planted yesterday.

Yesterday while I was planting beans in the Central garden, a mama killdeer started doing her “help, I’ve got a broken wing, no two broken wings” act so I knew she had a nest close by. After looking very carefully, I finally spotted it just ahead of me. I broke off a leafy seedling poplar tree and shoved it in the ground a couple feet from the nest so we wouldn’t step on it by accident. There were only three eggs in it so I know she’ll soon make it an even four. Those eggs are so camouflaged you can hardly see them in her non-nest. We love watching those tiny chicks hatch and run about, looking like miniature adults. I didn’t need that extra four feet of bean row anyway!

Mother killdeers try to lure you away from their nest by pretending to be injured.
It’s hard to see a killdeer’s nest and eggs.

— Jackie


  1. She now has four eggs and is setting on them. Before long, we’ll have those cute babies!! Hey, they can eat whatever they want. We’ve got lots.

  2. Glad you’re getting your planting done. We struggle with clay soil here too. It’s improved a little over time & having paper tilled in to it. Wish we had access to some good farm manure but we don’t.

    • Yep, that poo poo really helps. I’ve had good luck in the past using green manure in the form of clover and oats or peas and oats, cut at mid-maturity and tilled in a couple times a summer. It’s amazing at how much difference it makes!

  3. Kudos for giving mama and her nest some space. You’ll be rewarded when she and her chicks eat those beetles, grasshoppers, and other bugs. Be nice if they left the earthworms but we can’t have everything! My garden is not as large as yours – replanted a yellow squash and zuke today. Strawberries are turning red in droves and the potatoes are thriving.

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