Sunday, June 9, 2013

'Round the Homestead

So, what's so exciting around the homestead that I haven't had time to blog?  Well, nothing really.  Except maybe for the baby goose.  Who is very, VERY needy.  It follows Rhiannon or I around the entire time it's out of the barn (where it stays when not supervised) peeping and fwapping (yes, that's a word, at least for me) it's flappy little feet around.  Over the weekend we broke out the little plastic kiddie pool and Rhiannon & the gosling splashed around.

What else?  Hmmm.  Oh, I got stung by a scorpion.  Went to feed the dogs late one night, stepped out the door and the bugger got me on my big toe.  Hurt worse than any bald faced hornet sting, and it didn't stop hurting for almost a day & a half.  Oh, and did I mention that the poison from it actually made my lips and tongue tingle & feel numb?  There's a bit of scorpion neurotoxin trivia for ya.

We (ok, Paul did most of it) worked on planting the hazelnut bushes and apple trees.  Only two mulberry trees to plant and we're done!  Paul dozed, raked and smoothed out a large area next to the future pasture for me several weeks ago and now we're going to try to make it our permaculture garden area.  I've got plans buzzing around in my head for a peace-love-everybody-gets-along style of symbiotic gardening with fruit trees, nut bushes, berry bushes, vegetable plants and maybe even a little area for a bird bath or something crazy like that.  I can dream, can't I?
Hazelnut bushes (or is it Filbert)?  Whatever.
I'm just glad we'll eventually have some nuts.
The strawberry patch is just about finished.  I'm only picking every other day now.  I've learned a lot in our first season of strawberries: 1) Mulch, mulch, MULCH if you don't want smooshy, half-rotted berries.  2) Don't make the bed too wide or you won't be able to reach all the way in for the berries OR make a space for a large stepping stone (which I will most definitely do this fall).  3) Picking strawberries is back breaking work.  4) Get strawberry recipes in order before harvest time or you'll be sorry.  5) Be prepared to pick EVERY day.  6) You CAN pick them "almost-ripe" and then let them ripen on the counter top.  BUT then you will most likely have to fight fruit flies.

I also picked three of the blueberries.  ALL three of them.  On seven bushes.  Granted, they're still small & several of them had to recuperate from last year's baby goat onslaught before the garden was fenced in.  But three stinking berries?  I gave them all to Rhiannon.

All in all, it's been a typical week/end on the homestead.  What have YOU been up to?


  1. What are you using to acid up the soil for the Blueberries?

  2. Carolyn,

    Has Rhiannon named her baby goose? Great picture of the two of them in the pool.

    Have you considered doing raised narrow beds for your strawberries next season. I caught a gardener(on youtube) one night late building raised beds with legs, this way the air passes on both sides of the bed and you don't have to worry about 4 legged critters. And your not bending over.

  3. We tried growing blueberries here. It's very difficult in our area.

  4. A scorpion? A freakin scorpion!!! I had no idea they are that far north. The most evil things we get to watch out for are copperheads, black widows and fire ants.

    I have my strawberries in raised beds and it's still butt-breaking work. I say butt-breaking cause that's where I feel it. I learned that they need more space between them for better circulation so I'll be thinning the herd this fall and transplanting them.

    I've got maybe a handful of blueberries coming on. Why do I think the birds will get them first?

  5. Growing anything is not a 'walk in the park'! I have wanted native hazelnuts for years and don't know what has stopped me. I can remember picking them as a youngster when we lived in Nixa. I don't know if there are any left in the wild now.

    I have had the wide strawberry beds too....what a nightmare.
    I am going to try very hard to keep my current row about 4 feet wide where I can pick from both sides. I did mulch it last fall. Next step is laying down straw mulch for the runners that are setting now. I have great plans to cut out the excess runners. Time will tell..............

  6. Rhiannon and the gosling are adorable!!!!!

    We have scorpions too. I'm not looking forward to them coming out. They should start tonight since the weather is getting warmer. We have seen a few but they were under things not creeping about yet. I hope I never feel the pain of a sting :p

    I moved baby chicks from their nest to the ground. Celebrated my anniversary. Planted a Hydrangea (I always wanted one of those) and some more herbs in the herb garden. Made sherbert, it was gross. And ended the weekend with the hubs company picnic at the YMCA ☺

  7. Love, love that picture of Rhiannon and little Fwappy Feet in the pool! They had some gosling at the feed store the other day and I thought of you.
    We have scorpions here in AZ (of course) but, luckily, not so much where we live. They like rocks and at our old house in Tucson, built on the side of a rocky mountain, we were infested with the nasty things. Seeing one of them makes my skin crawl worse than a spider or a snake.
    I made my garden beds 4-foot wide orginally, per the instructions in Square Foot Gardening, but found that 3 to 3-1/2 foot works better for my short little self. :)

  8. Chiggers AND scorpions? I am not coming down there. It's bad enough that we have black flies, the little blood-suckers. Love the picture of R and FF. I have lots of strawberries, but they are not close to ripe yet - and I caught the chipmunk casing the strawberry bed this morning. I may not have to worry about a harvest...

  9. I love growing fruit and nut trees. We have several apples, plums cherries, Filberts (hazel nuts), walnuts, pecans, lots of blueberries and straw berries, and just planting the Raspberries. the Walnuts and pecans are not producing yet, but we got two large handfuls of Filberts last year. This is a good fruit year, everything is loaded. We don't have bugs that bite other than flies and mosquitoes.
    Happy gardening!!!

  10. Normally the Scorpion's are toe tapping fun, but I guess not this time.

    You may find this link interesting:

  11. PP, honestly nothing as I've been too lazy to actually do a soil analysis. Guess I should do that, eh?

    Sandy, No name yet. And I'd consider making the raised beds like that....if I could convince PAUL to make them!

    Kristina, I'm hoping they'll do well in our area as the local berry farm has ACRES of them & we go there to pick every year.

    Tami, Yes we have scorpions. And copperheads. And black widows. And brown recluse. Wonderful place to live, hugh?

    gld, I made most of our raised beds 4' wide because that is what "they" said. Unfortunately, it's just a bit too wide for my obviously stubby arms so any new beds are going to be made 3'-6" wide.

    Kelly, Happy Anniversary! What a way to celebrate it with a Hydrangea! One day I'll get one of those planted here. That and a wisteria bush.

    Candy, yep, I got the stubby arms thing going here. All new beds are going to be 3'-6" wide from now on.

    Susan, have you sighted in your little pellet gun yet? I'd think with all the squirrel practice that you'd be a dead aim with the chipmunks! You can come down here and shoot scorpions for me while you're at it.

    D., we're slowly but surely working on the fruit/nut trees. Apples, pears, peaches, nectarines and this year more apples, mulberries and the hazelnuts! Can't wait for the bounty!

    Chai Chai, no fun, whatsoever. And yes, I saw that all but one charge was dropped! About time juries figured out that they can drop charges when the "laws" are unjust or unconstitutional. Wish more people were informed like that.