Monthly Archives: April 2013

Horse Boarding and Horseback Riding Lessons in Carroll County, Maryland

Beautiful Farm for Boarding Horses with Manure Available!

In the quest for manure for the garden we visited a farm that provides horse boarding, kind of like a horse hotel, and horseback riding lessons in Carroll County, Maryland. Miriam can be reached at Skyline Training Farm 410-982-4679 for information on the horse stables or lessons.  Skyline Training Farm is located in Hampstead, Maryland. Here is a picture of the horses looking out of their stalls almost as if they are saying hello!Horse Boarding Carroll County Maryland

My daughter, her friend and I went out to Skyline Training farm on a warm spring day to help out and to pick up some horse manure for composting in the garden. After a lovely drive through the country we drove up to the farm. I was struck by the beautiful farm buildings, they are modern and attractive and very clean. There is even an indoor riding arena for horseback riding lessons and training in jumping. We were originally going to clean the stable but that had already been done. Each horse stall was very clean with a pile of fresh straw for the return of the horses from the pastures.

Our job was to brush Brownie, a beautiful large brown pony, who was going to be in a horse show that Sunday. We had to get him from the pasture and his horse companion in the pasture wanted to come too, so it was a little tricky getting him out of the gate. It was satisfying work seeing how he glistened and shone when we were finished.

Horseback Riding Lessons Were a Success

It turns out that the girl riding Brownie in the horse show, got two 1st Place ribbons and a 5th place.  Her horseback riding lessons were certainly a success! She was High Point Beginner Equitation (which means she was judged on HER riding)Rider.

My daughter’s friend wanted to ride a horse but was very afraid. Miriam helped her get up and walked her around. I was impressed by Miriam’s patience, the horse who was very gentle and with my daughter’s friend who overcame her fear of horses. Miriam knows & understands horses very well and we were quite educated about what horses are all about. We really want to return to work with the horses again. It is just a good feeling to work with horses.

The next step was to fill some bags with manure. You can tell how nicely Bernie and Miriam keep their farm because the manure pile had hardly any odor to it. There was lots of straw mixed with the manure. It was a hard job digging out the manure but it will be well worth it. Just remember that horse manure burns plants so if you happen to have the good fortune to get some, make sure you compost it first. We hope to go out again to help out around the farm and of course to get some more horse manure!

Watch Out For Spring Frosts

Watch Out For Spring FrostsThe last 2 nights the temperature was 37 degrees F.  If you have any tomatoes, peppers or delicate vegetables planted you need to check the weather.   In the extended forecast for the Baltimore Metropolitan area it appears that we are safe from now on.  But you never can tell so you need to watch the weather to see if we are going to have any more spring frosts.  If you live a little to the north be doubly careful because the nights could be colder. Happy Spring!

Protection from Spring Frosts

See above picture for one of my creative ways of protection for a spring frost.  It’s important to remove the cover the next morning because the seedling might bake in there depending on the temperature! Check out this blog post for a creative way to protect tomatoes from a frost! You have to read down a bit to get to the very cool part when there is actually a frost.

http://haphazardgardener.blogspot.com/2013/04/for-love-of-tomatoes.html

Very Old Seed Germinates

Sometimes Old Seeds Do Germinate!

In contrast to my last post on seeds not germinating here is a story of how a very old seed germinates! You just can’t ever tell if a seed will germinate!

In 2005, a date palm seed that was over 2,000 years old germinated on a kibbutz in Israel. It was carbon-14 dated to be from 155 BCE to 64 AD.  The seed was found in King Herod’s palace on Masada in Israel.  In 2011 it was 2.5 meters tall and it flowered.  It is a male tree so it needs to be bred with a female tree to form dates.  It might be crossbred with a close relative because  there is no female tree of this type. For more information see Judean Date Palm and Oldest Viable Seed on Wikipedia.