Sunday Homestead Update

Another blessed week on the homestead!

Garden

Our garden has been coming along nicely, albeit behind our normal schedule due to the cold weather and late spring.

We have been enjoying the asparagus and rhubarb harvests, eating the asparagus fresh and baking the rhubarb into Rhubarb Struesel Bread a few times a week.

The strawberries have put on flowers and the grape vines are putting out their leaves and buds now as well.

It looks like one of our new apple trees survived the winter as it has leaves on now. Still no flowers yet: will it have time to make apples before our first frost in the fall? Time will tell. The other tree has no leaves at all except around the base of the trunk. We don’t know what to do for that one. We need to buy a book about raising fruit trees and bushes. Anyone have any book suggestions?

The peas and carrots have tiny seedlings coming up and the beans are just beginning to sprout. The lettuce, cabbage, spinach, radishes, and beets are all doing well. Sunshine’s herbs are coming along, though the perennial ones in the garden are just barely starting to send out their green sprouts now since it has been so cold.

The big bummer is the tomatoes. They were doing beautifully and some had outgrown their WOWs so I removed them and caged them since the weather said we were not supposed to get another frost. Well, the weather was wrong, and Sunday night, June 8, we got a frost. I should have covered them, but I didn’t think it would frost. Big mistake. We were left with a tomato graveyard.

The tomatoes still in their WOWs were fine. But the rest…not fine.  A few years ago our tomatoes were stripped bare by hail early in the season.  We were shocked that they were able to come back from that strong and produce beautifully despite the early damage.  So we are going to try to bring these back.  Not sure if it will work.  We cut all the dead leaves off and put the stems back into WOWs for the extra warmth and protection.  We are hopeful they are not totally dead.  Time will tell.  If they are not starting to come back in a week or so we will pull them up and plant beans where they are.  It is too late in the season to put anything else in except lettuce, radishes, beets, and spinach and we already have enough of those in the garden.

Sheep

The ewes and lambs are all doing very well. It was a rough start with the twins but they are going strong now. We are still supplementing them with a bottle once a day just to be safe.

Watching the lambs antics is a favorite part of each day now. They are so adorable and fun.  All three of them play together and nap together, though occasionally Avalanche will choose to lay next to his mom instead of with the twins.

Fergus has settled into life as a bachelor in the back pen alone. He still gets a lot of interactions through the fence and can see the flerd clearly at all times. He will get to live with them all again once breeding season starts in November through lambing next year.  When we built that pen we built a cattle panel into the fence to be a feeder eventually.  This week we added the wood to hold the hay so now Fergus can have his hay up off the ground.

LGD

Our Livestock Guardian Dog, Anya, is doing excellent with the lambs. She has shown no signs at all of being interested in them in a dangerous way, and that is a huge blessing. It feels great to have everyone living together in their appropriate pens again. Ewes, lambs, goat, Anya, and chickens in the front pen. Ram in the back pen.

Chickens

We butchered several cockerels two weekends ago and several more this weekend.  We also separated off the pullets that are for sale.  Hopefully they will sell quickly so we can rearrange all the pens and make more space.

Heritage Arts

I finished the hat that I was making out of some alpaca yarn Mtn Man made.  He has a special way of blending the fiber to make it speckle and variegate.  I really love this yarn!  And the hat is super warm and cozy.

Last weekend was the Wool Market, which is our absolute favorite fiber event of the year.  I had egg money saved up and was able to splurge a bit and buy myself this awesome shawl kit from Greenwood Fiberworks.

The pattern is Nightshift by Drea Renee Knits.  And the yarn is the Yakkity Yak base from Greenwood Fiberworks.  I started knitting it up and am loving it!

 

6 thoughts on “Sunday Homestead Update

  1. Always love reading up on your adventures in farming. I would love to have a little farm of goats, rabbits and chickens. We have chickens here in the city but we would love to have some land to do a big garden and have more animals. Our tomatoes are still producing but they are tiny little cherry tomatoes. They taste so good. Love the yarn colors you picked and can’t wait to see your finished items. Have a great Sunday.

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  2. D > It’s likely that the apple tree with leaves round the base is a grafted tree. Quite possibly the productive tree, above the graft, has died, but the rootstock is trying to survive. Do the leafy shoots come from below the graft? Has the graft inadvertently been buried, or become covered. Ideally the graft should be 4-6 inches above the soil.

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    • Yes the leafy part is below the graft. The graft is about 12 inches above ground. The leaves are coming out just right at ground level. So we need to replace the tree because the graft is dead?

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      • D > This does happen. If the tree above the graft is dead, but the rootstock is alive, then it will realize it’s not getting any feed from photosynthesis, and will try and put out leaves of its own. The problem is that rootstock trees are bred for vigorous growth, not production of fruit (that’s the job of the tree that’s been grafted on, which are bred to be not vigorous, but or flower and fruit instead). Moreover, the rootstocks are, conventionally, non dwarf trees, but rather full height trees, and produce small hard fruit. Alas, if the upper tree is dead, then you really need a new tree.

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  3. Dang! Seriously?! Frost in June! That really is a total bummer!
    With all the craziness here, I did not even plant tomatoes. Our season starts much earlier of course, and continues so late that I might still plant some tomorrow or next Tuesday. I don’t expect much, but I would expect it to be worth the bother. A few plants are still available in the nursery, so perhaps I am not the only one to put them in so late.

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