Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Rain, Grillo repairs, Fruit trees and a Fresh Egg

We have been busy, it has been an odd spring starting with the fruit trees from last fall blooming in March, way to early and despite blankets we lost the chance of fruit from them. They are doing very well though and have all leaved out. The Keiffer pears are lovely, after looking very tall and spindly, then looking cut off too short after pruning, they now have great leaves and are showing signs of the pretty trees they will become.

The broad beans are up and looking like they are quite happy where we put them, in the house garden, in the area where the corn was last year, the gravel does not seem to bother them.[The old road bed goes through  section of the garden].
 The Blue potatoes we planted out in the west garden are up and look great, we also have a mystery row of potatoes from last year when we simply lost the potatoes to rain and insane weed growth. The scallions will be making their way into omelette's this week and we have just planted all sorts of collards, broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower.

All this was delayed by a trip to Earthtool to get a problem with the Kohler diesel engine on the two wheeled tractor dealt with. The most frustrating thing we have had to go through. The Grillo now is wearing a 13 horsepower gas motor, a Honda. Sadly the kohler diesel with its perfect torque and superb power is not suited to field work. Stationary power sources yes, as in a pump or generator. The dust from farming was playing havoc with the motor. Ralph has found the change good in some ways and frustrating in others. The gas is a very good engine but it simply does not have the torque and power for running the flail mower. The flail mower is a heavy implement and we cut a lot of brush with it. The diesel made light work of it, the gas has to work harder. It does a good job but not quite the same.

The west garden was tilled and furrowed with ease and now it is full of all sorts of things.
FRUIT bushes and canes...we are so excited. Raspberries, Blackberries, Aronia, Goji berries, Gooseberries, Fig trees, Logan Berries, Jostaberries, Strawberries and Blueberries.

The odd shaped corner of field next to the west garden, by the utility building is now sporting the start of our new home orchard.
Bartlett Pears, Montmorency Cherries, Dwarf North Star Cherries, Majestic Peach, Reliance Peach, Red Haven Peach, Yellow Delicious Apples, Red Delicious Apple, Cortland Apple, Honey Crisp, and Jona Mac Apples.
Byron Gold Plums, AU Rosa Plums and I am sure I have forgotten someone.

It is so exciting to walk through the young trees and see our very first potential peaches and plums. There are bees from somewhere and butterflies are flitting about them. The ducks already like laying in the grass around the trees. I have to mow the grass and am looking at a grass mix that will make a uniform pasture to have under our trees.

The Austrian peas Ralph seeded as cover crop are doing amazing things, they have continued to grow and the poultry is still browsing through them. We are leaving them to grow and fix nitrogen along the north section of the west garden, this area will become our fall garden after we work the peas into the soil.

Today we are getting much needed rain, the newly seeded plants will enjoy the cooler temperatures. The poultry is not so happy and as I type I see disgruntled hens staring out of the door of the trophy room. They want to be out gathering bugs and bits!

I should say not all hens are disgruntled. I have a very busy little gold hen at my feet. The House chicks are on their own, they live in the old apple orchard and happily put themslves to bed at night, in their box, in the trophy room. LLFP came home and has started to lay her daily egg in her chair. She rules the house as before and feels relieved to be her own boss.

Now thats about it for our news, all is well and we are looking forward to the next stages of the garden and projects here.

God bless all of you and Have all the blessings at Easter.