Monday, June 16, 2014
Today was a beautiful day to be in the garden. We took in a few successes and a few failures. Finn lay on a blanket and watched the light through the trees and April gave the chickens her own special kind of love. Our little chicks aren't so little anymore. The biggest one has just started laying and hopefully a few more long days will encourage the rest to give laying a try. The older hens, the wyandottes, are nearing the end of their laying. I think they may be bound for the soup pot once all the chicks are laying regularly. Such is life on our little farm.
This year we have come to realize that our peach tree is a goner. It got no leaves this year so it will be dug out this fall. I would love to replace it with a fig tree. The apple tree and large pear tree are both heavy with fruit. I'm looking forward to a good apple harvest this year after such a disappointing lot last year. The grape vine is also doing very well after a good pruning. Jon has been carefully knocking a few bunches off to give the remaining ones the best chance of becoming full, red bunches. The cherry tree has grown more than I would have expected. It did have a fair number of cherries but the birds got to them before we did.
The birds have been quite the overwhelming pest this year. The ate my entire quinoa crop, did significant damage to our beets and seem to be after our strawberries. We ended up covering the beets and the chard and they did so well. I haven't had a good chard crop since we moved in. The crop this year looks glorious. Birds of another variety completely devoured our broccoli and cabbage. Our chickens escaped their pen one day while we were out and spent many happy hours feasting on our garden. The damage to the kale and chard was minimal but the cabbage and broccoli were gone, completely gone.
As always, we are continuing to learn new things about cultivating food. This year we tried new varieties, new spacing, new fertilizers and we are taking advantage of lessons learned in previous years. Hope you all have had success in your gardens and are enjoying the lovely weather.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
The hummingbirds returned this year. I was concerned that the chaos of a toddler running and screaming under their nest would make them not want return but they did. It's always magical to come across this sweet, tiny nest with those perfect little eggs. The mother is so vigilant, even if she finds us in her way much of the time.
The have hatched already and they are so small. I can hardly believe they will soon be fledglings. Each one of us looks forward to checking on the family of hummingbirds everyday. I hope I can snap some picture of the fluffy babies before they leave the nest. In the meantime we are all in wonder at this little miracle happening in our backyard.