We have had a cold wet week here in the mountains. Last night we got down to 34…eeek! Today we have a fire going to keep the house warm. I don’t ever remember having a fire this late in the summer before.
The lambs tails fell off. I could tell we were getting close on Wednesday when I was surveying the livestock. They get this strange stiffness to them right before they fall off.
We saw they were gone the next morning, except for Stormy’s. Hers took a couple extra days.
We had an incident with our Livestock Guardian Dog this week. I was out near the barnyard and thought I saw her go for a chicken out of the corner of my eye. But when I turned and looked fully it looked like she was just sniffing towards one of the hens that had just been put out with the flock that morning when we were shuffling birds around to make space. A few minutes later I saw the other one that had just been put out that morning and I clearly saw Anya go after it, aiming for a full two front foot pounce right on it. Thankfully, she missed, and I yelled “no” at her and she tucked tail and came to me submissively.
She has been living with the chickens for 7 months now without any issues. We weren’t sure why she was all of a sudden going after them. It seemed notable that she was going after the two that had just been added into the barnyard flock that morning. I don’t doubt she knows each chicken and knew they were new. But why try to pounce on them? Just to be safe, we decided to close the flock into their enclosed exterior pen for a few days and not allow them to free range in the barnyard. We were hoping that maybe after a couple of days living with the flock those two wouldn’t be so obviously different to her for whatever reason. We let them all back out to the barnyard two days later and so far everything seems fine with her and them.
We have more chicken shuffling around to do in the coming weeks as the pullets mature, so we will keep a close eye on her through the changes.
Yes, indeed, one of our apple trees did not survive the winter. Bummer. Since we only have two, that means that we will not have apples this year as the other one doesn’t have a cross-pollinator. We will be buying another replacement tree this year, and hopefully they will both make it through. Our climate is questionable on apple trees. There are a sparse few that I know of that have survived in our area. We are hopeful to be able to get at least two successful trees going on our property.
The kids got Mtn Man The Fruit Gardener’s Bible for Father’s Day. He has been pouring over it and learning all sorts of good things about our fruit trees and bushes. It makes us excited as we dream and plan about ways we want to expand our fruit production in the future.
Our area had the coldest May on record in over a century and we have had three times as much moisture in the first 6 months of this year as we had in the first 6 moths of last year. So it has indeed been a very cold, wet spring.
My garden is a solid 3 weeks behind where it was this time last year, but overall it is doing well.
Last week we put WOWs back over the frosted tomato stems in hopes that some might come back to life. Some did!
And some did not.
Overall we are down 7 tomato plants out of 25. So we have 18 left. I am somewhat bummed about losing so many, but at the same time I do see a good side to it. We save our own seeds, so the seeds we save this year will be from plants that were able to survive a frost and therefore will make for more frost hardy plants in the future. So its a selective breeding through natural selection.
We are enjoying delicious lettuce and spinach from the garden. The plants out in the garden are coming along pretty well. The beans are just up and seem to have some bugs working on them, which is not good. But the garlic and onion patch is growing wonderfully. We are winding down on rhubarb and asparagus harvest.
One of the most exciting things is that we are in our second year of trying to get the medicinal herb garden going and we are seeing more and more little sprouts out there. We have valerian, thyme, and mint all established from last year. We now have new chamomile, lemon balm, and echinacea. Still cant get the red clover nor the desert parsley to go, but at least we are making some progress.
I finished the second sleeve of my cabled cardigan. Now back to the main body again.