Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Grouse Creek Growth Update: Gardens, Trees and More!

Well, the garden is mainly in. Now we just have to water, weed and see if my thumb is turning green yet!

The kids helped me finish fencing it, and Bryan rehung the gate. Now the chickens and deer can't help themselves to our produce. 

Thanks to my mom, many of our veggies went in as started plants instead of seeds. It's nice to know for sure that those aren't weeds. Last time I tried a garden, I think I plucked out several dozen good plants in my over zealous weeding. I think I've learned a thing or two since then...hopefully! 

Since this is the location of our previous chicken coop, the soil should be pretty good. It's loaded with creepy crawlies which I know is a good sign. We will throw some cow manure/straw into it at the end of the season and it should be even better next year. 

You can see the nice dark soil in this picture. It's pretty good! 

In addition to the garden, we have containers of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and green onion sitting on our porch. Those require a bit of shooing the birds away, but it's so nice to have salad fixings close. 

Other things are growing here at the farm as well. The cherry tree is looking amazing this year. Last year a huge wind storm blew most of the blossoms off and it never really recovered. I'm thankful to see the green cherries and realize I will be able to put some pie filling up for winter! 

The plum trees are also loaded. I hope to dry more plums this year. Those were a delicious treat in February this year, andI want  to have more. The trick is in not eating them all right away...they taste so good!

Our service berries are just about ripe. Looking forward to more jam! 

You know what I love about the fruit trees? I don't have to do a thing to them and they keep producing each year. No weeding. no watering (well the sprinkler might occasionally hit them, but its not methodical...) So much easier than a garden! 

That's a great thing about eating weeds too. The dandelions, plantain and cattails keep coming back and are prolific! Now I just need to get better at using all of the great food The Lord has provided. We did try sautéed cattails the other day. I will be making them again. 

Our barley hay is looking decent. The rain last week was a definite blessing. I'm so thankful that we have hand lines though. Being able to irrigate has made a big difference in crop quality. 

Lets see. A growing update wouldn't be complete without our growing animals. The chickens have three weeks left to get fat. 

They are getting there! We like to see at least five pounds after butchering, and I think we are on track. 

The pigs are also packing on the pounds thanks in part to the rich milk they get each day. I thought a cougar was going to take off with them the other night, but I think Cinders scared it off with his barking. Or maybe it was Bryan with the gun...

One of the downsides to raising animals and living in the country are the predators. But praise the Lord--all three pigs are still around! 

So we should have plenty of food to put away for winter for both us and the cows. Even if my garden doesn't grow like I hope it will.  That's a pretty good situation to be in!  We are definitely blessed! 

How is your garden growing this year? 

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