Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Swine and other summery things

We have officially become a farm now- two weeks ago we added two pigs to our menagerie. We're keeping them temporarily in a dog pen while we work on their larger space and feeding arrangements.  We're raising these girls for pork but we are committed to giving them a good life this summer and fall (until they reach 200!!! lbs). 

With the pigs arrival, the chickens aren't receiving as many kitchen scraps. I made sure to treat them to all the weeds I pulled in the garden this morning. 

Speaking of the garden, it's coming right along. I'm not planning to do much canning this summer because our youngest has just started walking and is proving to be like his older brothers- busy! Right now we have plenty of zucchini and squash and the cucumbers are coming along (though one type isn't doing much--to my disappointment!). The green beans have just started and we've picked about 15 okra pods--enough for supper tonight. 

I picked gallon of blackberries this morning. I'm sharing these with two friends- one who gave my boys a sack of hand-me-down clothes and the other who has worked with me at Bible school this week.  

These gladiolas are stunning!

And so are their neighbors, the blueberry bushes. 

Because this is a catch-up post, I wanted to share two other favorite things this summer- these SunPatiens Ashley planted at our front door. These are doing wonderful in the shade and hot afternoon sun. 

We also finally got around to building a bike shed on the side of the house to get the bikes off the front porch. This was a family (and neighbor) affair and we love the final product. Ashley may add a partial door to the front. He also plans to plant vines (jasmine?) to creep up the sides. 

So all in all we've had a great start to summer. I hope y'all have too. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Stink bug battle over the blackberries

Grrr.... the stink bugs are back again, bothering my blackberries. The bucket on the left has berries damaged by stink bugs. 

The chickens didn't seem to mind the taste--but goodness, I hate it! So disappointing to see a beautiful plump berry and then notice the stink bug prick. 
Luckily the vines are producing more now. This morning I picked almost a gallon of stink-bug free blackberries (but I did flick at least three stink bugs into soapy water while I was picking). 

Passing of the Peas

Our peas did a great job this spring but once the temperatures increased, they dwindled fast. The chickens got to enjoy the vines. 

Tyler wondered what happened....

Waylon and Ziggy made quick work of their snack.

Someone ate something in the garden...

Mason and Levi have been attempting to fix this garden cart that Ashley ran over by accident with the CAT skid steer. Not much success but they've had fun with it. 

Fence expansion phase 1 complete

A few weekends ago we expanded the goat's pen to include the area below the grapevines. In the past this was a weed fest that Ashley had to mow. Now we'll have natural mowers!

I'm proud of myself for learning how to wire a t-post to the fence :o)

This piece of equipment made stretching the fence possible (and even more enjoyable for our boys, especially our middle son--whose brain is shaped like a Bobcat!). 

Fence complete. Goats in their new place. Ashley and Levi outfitted the maple trees' trunks with drainage pipes to protect their bark. 

Here's the view from the upstairs. Love our land!