Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Our Homestead in Pictures, Mid-April Edition

The scent of this Korean Lilac bush is the best thing I have ever smelled 

A neighbor gave a tiny potted lilac bush to me after the tragic death of my sister in a car accident. I planted it the following spring and it has grown to be enormous. Its heavenly scent reminds me that I will indeed see my sister again in Heaven someday. 

Baby cherries

Since I am attempting to nurse the cherry tree to back to health, I did some of the holistic sprays of spring during its bloom. The oils in the spray prevent blossoms from setting so any cherries we get will be especially appreciated. I thought the loss of the cherries was a small price to saving the entire tree. 

"Chester" blackberry blossom

Our "Chester" blackberries are blooming and the "Triple Crown"s are full of buds. I really hope we don't get a frost that will truly nip our blackberry harvest in the bud.

These are the berries that developed from these blossoms

The strawberries are developing quickly. I can't wait to taste that first berry. It is crazy just how much better homegrown strawberries taste than their counterparts from the store.

The strawberry plants we planted last month all appear to have survived. You can see them in the photo below (right side of the pic). They are all growing and some have even tried to put out flowers. We pinch them off since the baby plants need to focus on growth.

A shot of the north half of the garden

Compare this photo to the one taken  of the same view just two weeks earlier. Massive growth.

"GoldRush" apple tree in foreground, "Enterprise" in rear. The orange flag marks
the spot for our row of blueberries.

All of the apple trees are leafing out. I guess that sunny and windy day we planted them on didn't harm them too much. You can see that we put down some mulch around the trees. We used a particular kind of mulch and did it in a specific way. I know that sounds cryptic and I'll hopefully be able to post about it soon. I have to get my blueberries planted first, though.

Fishing line and bird scare tape will hopefully deter hawks

Our chicks are now five weeks old and are full-fledged little chickens. It is time to start giving them excursions into the great outdoors. First, however, we needed to do something to deter birds of prey. I often see hawks flying above our homestead and I do not want my chickens to become casualties. The chicken moat is supposed to be narrow enough that hawks won't want to risk snagging a chicken there. The main run, on the other hand, is a different story. Hubby Dear and I strung 50 lb. test fishing line back and forth over the run. Then I attached strips of bird scare tape to flap and flash in the sunlight.

This Salmon Faverolle is curious but cautious

The chickens themselves are a bit suspicious of this whole outside business. I suppose that's only natural since they have always been confined in one way or another. If we want them to go outside, it involves catching all the chickens and chucking them out the door. You don't even want to imagine what it takes to get them all back IN the coop after their outing. 

Chicken taming is a work in progress, that's for sure.  


  1. So nice to see! We are sold our house with our fruit trees so we had to start all over. But so exciting to have more land to work with! We are going to put a moat in for our ducks I had never heard of it until I saw it on your site even though I subscribed to MEN for years! Best wishes on your farming endeavors!

  2. I am so jealous of your gardens! They look great!!! All nicely organized and planned.