Welcome to our 1864 farmhouse…life is good!

Sunday, August 23

4 farmhouse fallacies...(don't you love alliteration?!)

Like so many of you, our days on the farm are full...trimming, mowing, tilling, watering, harvesting, only to fall in bed at night "bone tired" as the saying goes. And the next morning we get up and do it all again. During summertime especially, I am grateful Sunday is set aside as a day of rest...it's much needed.

A couple of weeks ago, while I was working in the garden, it dawned on me that I had some myths to debunk. "Wisdom" that was shared with me that I've found, well, just isn't so wise after all.

1-don't mulch with hay...it's full of seeds and your garden will be full of weeds.

NOT true! We always seem to have some hay at the bottom of our stacks that turns a bit moldy. While definitely not good for the goats, it's perfect for mulching garden plants. I pull apart the flakes and put them around all my plants. Not only does it do a terrific job of keeping the weeds at bay, it does NOT sprout seeds and cause new weeds.

2 - potatoes that have sprouted in your kitchen will not grow in your garden.

Hog Wash...each spring I have potato sprouts that I plant in the garden, and each year we dig up oodles of potatoes. They will grow and they're delicious!

3 - don't plant volunteers that have survived over winter, they won't produce in your garden.

Each spring, before tilling the garden, I stumble upon a volunteer or two...this year it was pumpkins and gourds, tenacious little seeds that survived and then thrived. Won't produce? Look at this photo!

4 - Now, while not a garden myth, this may be one of the most important myths to expose of all.

Pit bull dog breeds are bad.

Now, hear me out...because I was wary of them at one point. Yes...stories in the news do carry powerful influence. 

Several weeks ago we discovered a dog sleeping in our barn. At the sight of us, she would run as fast and as far as she could to get away. And yet, each morning we'd find her back in the hay, curled up. We began looking on lost animal websites and in the paper thinking surely someone had lost their family pet. But in the backs of our minds, we knew...it's happened before; we live in a spot that's just right for dropping off dogs unseen.

Weeks went by as we tried to gain her trust. The running away slowed and in time, she began to trust us, but would still hang her head and flinch at unexpected noises. Slowly, we did gain her trust...and I'm here to tell you, she is the sweetest dog and we've named her Bailey. 

While most likely a mix, she has the main markings of an American Staffordshire Terrier. She is stocky and muscular with wide-set, dark round eyes. People will say, oh she's related to Pit Bulls; however Pit Bull isn't a breed, it's a catch-all for several breeds descended from Bulldogs.

There are a lot of stigmas that surround theses dogs and they face a lot of discrimination. The Bulldog breeds were originally bred as working dogs, while, sadly, in later years because of their strength and muscular build, were bred to fight. They are not inherently aggressive, but gentle, intelligent, and affectionate. All dogs are products of their environment as well as genetics. 

Because we don't know her background, we're still getting to know Bailey...as we would do with any dog breed. But when I see her soaking up the sunshine peacefully alongside the barn cats and watch her snuggle up to each of us for affection, I think a gem has found her way to our home.



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