Thursday, May 31, 2012

End of May Catchup on Shelley Hill Farm

Okay, it's been a while but life has been busy.  So we shall start with Kara.  Below are the two pictures of her in Robert's umpire gear that she used to umpire a little league girls game.  She did a fabulous job if I do say so myself and the gear didn't help either.  She did get community service hours that she needs to graduate for doing this.

And this is one of Kara's last at-bats for the season.  She got a nice hit and made it to first.  Her season is over now and she did letter.  It was great watching her and I really look forward to next year!

So now comes the tour of the plants and yard and animals again.  I started new seeds indoors after getting all the others planted outside.  These are bush and pole green beans.

These on the left are sugar pumpkins and squash, dry beans, and on the right end is more corn.  Am planning on getting all these planted this week.

Up in the garden, which is all covered with wood chips now from our free supply we got, the raspberries have really taken off.  Am very excited to see how many berries we will get this year.

These are all the strawberries and there are lots of green berries so far, none red.  Had hardly wait!!!

This would be the dill plants I started indoors and transplanted outside.  They are doing great and smell wonderful.  Hope to be able to use them for pickles this summer with the cucumbers, which I need to get going.

These would be all the tomato plants that were transplanted outside.  They are now too tall for the wonderful cover that Robert made and are growing great!  We will be putting a fence lengthwise down the middle of the row to help stand them up as they get bigger.

These are storage onions, what is left of them after one the of turkey hens got in the garden.  I am planning on starting more onions in the rows with the others to fill in the blanks.

And this is Mr. Marty at the garden fence.  Can you tell he was busy digging?  He's just too cute, had to include a picture or two!

This would be the shelling peas.  Robert made some climbing fences for them on either side of the cauliflower that is underneath.  They are climbing very well!

These are sugar snap peas with another climbing fence made by Robert, the handyman!

This would be the broccoli patch going very well!

And these are the early garlic with the scapes!  Mom will be cutting those off and using them and then we will harvest the garlic when ready!!

These are the leeks, again that survived the turkey hen moving them all around.  Again, will be filling in the holes left with more leek seeds!

We do have another broody Delaware hen.  She is sitting on 9 eggs, not sure from who, so should turn out to be colorful chicks!!!  Robert moved her from the main chicken house to the portable chicken tractor we had them in before so she has some space.

These are the second batch of chicks we hatched out of the incubator.  They will be eight weeks old tomorrow.  Out of all the chicks we have hatched out of the incubator so far, all the chicks that are colored like the one in the front, black and white feathers, are all males.  Go figure.

We have expanded the garden to behind the garage on the hill.  Nice big area for all the sprawling plants to go.  This bed is potatoes, two different kinds.

Then more potatoes.  Am reading a book right now on root cellaring so we can store this and be able to use them all winter.

And even more potatoes.  These actually are from organic yukon gold potatoes we got at Skagit Valley Co-Op in Mount Vernon that sprouted.  lol

Mom and I moved the rhubarb and separated the two plants we had into 11 plants (I gave two to Aylia).  So now hopefully we will have enough to make some rhubarb wine!

The goat house is now the chicken house and they are behind a fence so there is no more poo on the back porch.  Or should I say no more chicken poo.  Mr. Tom still manages to get over the fence (Robert clipped the turkey hens wings so they don't) and comes to visit us in the morning first thing.  He says in there during the day though and perches on the gate at night.  The small door we close at night so nothing can get in and there is one on the other side also.  The longer door on the front is where the egg/nesting boxes are.

And this would be the site I saw as I opened the door.  The ladies were doing their jobs!

Inside, Robert put in perches for everyone at night.

So, the saga of the turkeys continues.  The turkey hens recovered, Mr. Tom did his business, and now one of the turkey hens is sitting on 25 eggs, again.  She made her nest at the bottom of a big mound in the chicken/turkey pen surrounded by stinging nettles.  So, we moved one of the chicken tractors and put it over her for protection, gave her food and water and I have my fingers crossed that she will hatch some out.  If you zoom in on the picture below, you can see the hen in the dead center of the photo.

This would be the chicken tractor over the turkey hen.

And after selling Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel, we purchased Ashley, below.  She is a full blood Boer female and hangs out with Gus, Red, and Mr. Marty.  She has managed to get out of the fence a few times, not sure how either under or over, and then just wants back in.  Wish she would make up her mind.  haha  She is getting less shy, but is definitely less needy and is more independent than the other girls were.

This would be the view of the chicken house and their fenced in area.  I believe we are going to run a fence from the back corner of the chicken house to the back corner of the fencing to cut it in half, so the chickens can be on half, and we can plant yummies for them on the other half, let it grow, and then trade the halves they are on so they are on so they get fresh ground every six months or so.

On the side of the house the artichokes are really taking off.

And the two rosemary plants are coming right along.

These are the first batch of hatched out chickens.  They were 14 weeks old yesterday so have a little bit to go before butchering time, but they are coming right along.

Down where the mangels were/are last year in front, I planted popcorn, Hopi blue flour corn, and sweet corn which is doing great!

There are still mangels growing, but may remove the rest this year.  Marty loves them!!! and the chickens love the leaves.

This is one of the cherry trees with little cherries on it.

The apple tree has a few apples starting.

This is the Asian pear tree with fruit starting to grow.

And this is the lone pear tree with a baby pear growing.  I have gotten a few books from the library on fruit trees and am trying to figure out to get these trees really going to produce more fruit for us.

This is the big tall cherry tree in the front yard.  There are a lot of cherries and a lot of blossoms that have died off too.  Also, the leaves are not looking really good, so am not sure what is happening.  Again, am going the books to find out what I can do if anything.

The kids got me a lot of plants for mother's day that we planted that morning.  Kara got me some creeping  flowering strawberry plants.

Liam got the two lupines.  The one on the right is just starting to flower!

Don't remember what this one was called, but it has lovely pink flowers!

Kara and I put together the petunias and geraniums in pots mother's day morning also.

And they are blooming now, not quite on the petunias, but almost!

This was another succulent that Liam got me for mother's day.  Has really pretty pink and white flowers when in bloom!

This would be momma hen out stretching her legs before she sits on the eggs again.

So I went back to chicken house and opened the door again, and here they are, one on top of the other, even though there are eight nest boxes, and four were empty.  Obviously both wanted the same box.  hahaha

Robert weeded the back planting area and then we covered with the free chipped wood.

Transplanted two kinds of parsley and oregano.

Mom started some radishes and transplanted some chives that grew from last year in the garden!

Two different kinds of marjoram.

And mom planted a really pretty planter with bleeding hearts and other pretty flowers.

These would be the flowering currant plants mom won at a function they went to at the senior center.  Should look great once they get going.

Below are the pictures of the newest hatchlings from the incubator, and look!  Some are blond, meaning that Bob the dorky rooster (light brahma) is doing his job.  Hopefully we will get a couple of light brahma hens out of these guys to replace hens we have lost.

This was the last guy to hatch out this morning.  And because the others are about two days older, I put him in his little isolation place until he fluffed up so he wouldn't get picked on.  He is out with everyone else now and doing fine!

These are the sweet potato "slips" we purchased to plant.  They are growing new leaves in the water and growing their roots.  Robert rototilled up a new bed and we are covering with plastic to warm up the ground.  They then will be planted under the plastic to keep them warmer.  Hope it works!!!

Last but not least, all the wood chips have finally been moved; however, we are waiting for more to be added around the fruit trees and the planter out back and the new garden beds out back also, so I am sure it's not gone for long.

Liam's baseball team is doing well.  Last night they had a game and he hit a center field home run that scored two.  It was an awesome hit!!  Liam is having a great time playing.

This weekend is the Mother Earth News Fair (MENF) in Puyallup at the fairgrounds.  We have our tickets and are going Sunday.  Will be able to hear Joel Salatin speak again and learn lots of new and different ways to garden and homestead.  Am very excited!!!

Have a good one!