Monday, October 20, 2014

Yearly Catch-up

 Time to play yearly catch-up. With more than enough projects to keep us busy, blogging doesn't happen much, but I thought I would post some highlights of the last 13 or so months...
We finally renovated both bathrooms-out of necessity at their 40 year old grossness...but I'll save the decor photos for another day. We did put in a bathtub, which is a great luxury and a needed thing for creaky joints in winter, all water going to graywater sites with useful plants in them.

All of our food plants and trees are getting visibly bigger now. The Burmuda grass continues to spread. We can thank or curse Ganesha-as apparently it's his favorite herb and a useful medicine as well...The pear tree got a hit of blight and needed extreme pruning but my efforts to have a tiny bit of lawn under it manifested as giant JUICY pears, so win-win!
Glass Gem Corn 2014 harvest
Cherokee Purple corn 2013 harvest (with a
bit of pollination from the neighbor's feed corn we think...)


We had a surprising bit of snow in early December last year, which actually snowed us in for a day or so. Here's Hobbit wondering where to pee in all that white stuff.


 Various visitors to the site include our resident hawk who we think was a baby a few years ago is now a very LARGE adult. He wheels overhead almost daily, sometimes catching the updrafts over our creek along with all the turkey vultures...one of whom likes to stand on the top of a nearby phone pole every morning and stretch out his wings-it's weird...
The wild pigs did quite a nice job of digging a pretty
wide firebreak along the fence (left)-too bad they
didn't do the entire length! The chickens did the same with scratching on the right side.

 


This guy got one of our chickens about four o'clock one afternoon. Alder chased him, and got the chicken back, LOL. Needless to say we had chicken stew that night, and the next day, the coyote was back in broad daylight, looking for a dinner invite.






Alder's grain crop kicked down a good bit, enough for him to start baking his own wheat/acorn bread weekly. So he has farm grown, freshly milled grain. (Me, I can't eat wheat or corn.)









 The potato harvest from one of the three raised beds was huge-and the wire mesh at the bottom of the beds keeps the gophers, moles, voles and other ground critters out.
Here's the raised beds, holding carrots, sweet potatoes and okra, late summer 2014.  The two solar cookers see daily use. 


























Late summer harvest
Spring buds on the nectarine
 














The fruit trees have really grown, and after three years started giving out some amazing fruit. We had "Canning quantities" of apricots (jam), nectarines (sauce) and plums (jam and wine) from new trees, as well as a few nibbles of almonds and one precious apple! 


We created a "nibble garden" right outside  the front door. It serves two functions-lazy greens collection when your in your slippers and also as a fire-break. One of our main goals has been to create either pavers, gravel, bare soil or greenery all the way around the house as a fire-break, since fire is such a huge concern here.





The annual gardens are becoming perennial ones-with the addition of things like blueberries and asparagus as well as plants that have perennialized like onions, kale, chard, leaf celery, horseradish, etc. The fruit trees are interspersed and will eventually provide a bit of shade in the heat of the summer.

And my favorite view-what I see from my living room...It never gets old, and it is constantly changing. Watching the seasons or the morning sun reflected in those mountains, watching the sunsets and the place of setting varying with the seasons and the moon settings too...I never tire of that view. (Mule fat in the foreground not withstanding-once we have sheep it will be coppice for animals).

Life is slow on the farm, but never dull...and we are blessed.