Weekly Farm Update 06.26.22

It's berry season here on the farm which means we have black raspberries, red raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries ripening. We were able to make considerable progress on the well house project and moved the ducks into a new part of the orchard. We even used up all the humanure compost from last year and put it around our fruit trees.


Food Production:


The berry species mentioned above are our best producers of fruit by far. We did not have to wait 3+ years (like the tree fruit) for them to start bearing and their late-blooming means they avoid even the latest frost! We are taking notes to divert our plant budget to focus on these species for this reason. Our methodology is not complicated, we keep tabs on what produces and focus our energy on that species, variety, or individual plant. I’m also tweaking my food forest design so that berries will be the dominant understory food-producing plant.


Even though I said last week that I will need to plant the veggies that were started in the seed trays, I have not had time to get them in the ground. Hopefully, by the time this is posted I will have done so LOL. I did manage to get most of the veggie rows weeded and mulched, which was sorely needed in this heat. So far, we have had some really nice soaking thunderstorms which reduce the need for us to water them. Hallelujah.


Nature:


The gallery below shows some awesome craftsmanship from an expecting orchard oriole mom (first two) and a mockingbird couple (third). Sadly on Friday afternoon, I heard a commotion coming from a bluebird box near the garden. I saw a black racer sticking its head out of the box and I ran to get the air rifle. I shot and killed the snake but I was too late to save the newborn baby bluebirds. The bastard had eaten all the babies in the nest. Horrible to see these precious little ones taken so soon. The parents are still bringing food to the nest looking for their babies. Breaks my heart and really shook me up. I am working on making snake guards for all the bird houses now. Lesson learned.



Projects:


We used the break in the heat to dig 6 holes by hand for the support posts to the well house. At the time of this writing, we have the posts in, plumb, and the "trusses" installed. We now just need to get the metal roofing so we can finish it up. This is our biggest building project (minus the tiny house) to date and we did a very good job putting it together. Our skills are finally improving! CM made excellent angled cuts on both ends. This structure will give us overhead protection from the sun and rain while we get water and will also serve as an outdoor prepping station/kitchen. The structure itself will collect rainwater and enable us to plant grapes around it for additional food production.



Chickens:


Our little men are still learning to crow. Currently, Thomas is taking on the challenge with a raspy gurgling sound. I find it so neat that they are learning how to do it instinctually as no one else is showing them how to do it. Isn't it fascinating that animals do not have identity crises like humans do? None of them are trying to figure out which genders they are or what pronouns they should be called. Every one of them is totally confident in their abilities and has a mandate from Heaven to do whatever it is they are created to do. So refreshing to see it.

Thomas chilling with us

Unfolding Beauty:


I wanted to close by showing a stunning gladiolus in bloom. We really need to get more of them because the deer leave them alone, the bees love them, and what joy they bring seeing them open up. My "mother" never allowed me to grow them growing up because they reminded her of her mother's funeral...🙄 What a wreck that woman is. Regardless, it's hella fun to grow them here, enjoy their beauty, and not be held back by little minds like that. Till next time friends!