Evening in the Barn Garden

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The onions appear to be doing well.

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One of the elderberry bushes.

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Not many blueberries on our bushes. We need to look into why that is.

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A butternut squash seedling.

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I think this is an okra seedling. At least that is what I remember taking a photo of.  Somehow this doesn’t look like what I remember. Will have to check tomorrow. I think we need more sun and heat for these to really take off. Same for the sweet potatoes. June 1 (June already!) – yes, the above is a beautiful little okra seedling – can’t wait to eat some freshly harvested okra sauteed in lard with some freshly harvested onion.

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Our volunteer marigolds. I’ve never had them volunteer before. I’m thinking it is due to the very mild winter we just had. Or maybe it was seed from a special plant. We’ve been growing and saving seed from a french heirloom variety (Naughty Marietta) for a few years now.

Green Pastures

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We planted an osage orange tree along the pasture fence. We traded two hens for it.

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The chestnut oak we planted near the barn last fall.

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And the black locust planted at the same time as the oak.

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our garlic harvest

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Oh, Frida!

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A friend gave me this native wisteria the year we moved in. That was three years ago and now it is blooming. It is down near the spring house.

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Chicks

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We added eight chicks to our flock. They hatched among three hens. Luckily, no other hens have gone broody and if they do we will break them of it. We have a couple people interested in taking some of our chicks. Hopefully, they will follow through with taking them soon.

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Here are a few of the older chicks. It’s hard to tell yet if they are pullets or cockerels. I think the best way to tell is that the cockerels are more upright and the pullets hold themselves lower to the ground.

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This african violet doesn’t want to stop blooming.

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The cuttings I took from my mom’s philodendron are taking root. I read they like bright, indirect light so it should like this corner in the sun room.

More Spring Flowers

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The peonies were beautiful this year. We enjoyed the blooms for a week before heavy rains caused them to droop.

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We have a lone poppy.

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The bees love the sage.

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Climbing roses and deutzia.

Spring Flowers

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The bleeding hearts around this stone are so lush.

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The redbud tree.

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Dogwood

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Though we didn’t have a lot of lilac blooms, the ones we did have were gorgeous. It was so strange. I saw a bloom on the ground and thought it had somehow dropped from the bush. But no, it was growing directing out of the ground without a stem. Never heard of such a thing and didn’t find anything about it online as to why that would happen.

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A ladybug on a peony bud.

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Sweet William

We had a true spring this year – lots of rain and cool temps. Today and tomorrow are in the 80’s  and then we go back to the 70’s for several days. So nice to be outside!

Chicks and More Chicks

 

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At the end of March, Bonnie and Emmylou co parented seven chicks. They did this last year, too. It’s funny to see them each try to get the attention of the chicks – to come snuggle under them for warmth or to come eat the goodies they have unearthed.

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Above, Bonnie and Emmylou share one side of the brooder box with all seven chicks.

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A week later, Dixie hatched two chicks.

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Above, Nastasha awaits her turn to be a mother hen.

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Poppa comes along.

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And the following week Nastasha hatches ten!

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A couple of the hens laid their eggs on this stack of straw. But this is our rooster. A bit confused? Or maybe just a place to get away from it all!

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The chickens did a great job of keeping down the winter weeds in the barn garden.

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One of Nastasha’s chicks was injured. I found it peeping under one of the elderberry bushes in the barn garden. She had left it out of necessity.  With nine other chicks to feed she can’t do anything for the injured one.

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We had fun with him for a week and then he disappeared on Easter Sunday when we were in Charlottesville for the day. We had left him in the chicken tractor in the backyard. Our guess is he squeezed out from under it and one of the cats got him. Too bad, but it really wasn’t a sustainable situation. Little chicks are very demanding of food – constantly! A few days later I noticed Nastasha was down to eight chicks. I’m not sure if any others were lost – with so many chicks running around it is hard to tell!

We traded two of our one year old hens for an osage orange tree. We planted it on the property line in the pasture. It is good for a hedge and great for firewood.

Once we can tell the roosters from the hens, we will try to sell, trade or give away some of the chicks. I think we have a total of 30 birds and that is really too many. I’m sure we will end up processing roosters once they are big enough to make it worth while.

Catching Up on Early Spring

There was so much going on in the garden and on the farm this spring. I took a bunch of photos and downloaded them onto the computer two weeks ago and then did nothing. It seemed overwhelming. So I’m taking the opportunity of this hot afternoon to finally post some updates.

Starting here with these silly photos of our fur babies.

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Len was hogging the large dog bed which is really Duke’s bed.

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So Duke curled up into Len’s bed. He doesn’t quite fit, does he? Duke had just been groomed; hence the kerchief.