Hope of Harvest

Summer is here in full force,

and we are beginning to anticipate the harvest.

I walk through my gardens in hope,

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enjoying the promise

garden

and anticipating the rush

of putting up.

Take a photo tour of a few of the plants with me.

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As a result of the kids’ interest in the American Indian custom of the Three Sisters,

we planted corn, beans and squash (or melon in our case) together.

This is the Long Thai Purple Podded Yard bean.

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Fisher’s Earliest Sweet Corn

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Kabouli Black Garbanzo

amaranth

The taller plants are Titan sunflowers.  In front are Red Calaoo and Love Lies Bleeding amaranth.

cabbage broccoli

Red Cabbage and Broccoli

cucumber potatoes

Cucumber Mexican Sour Gherkin and Potato

radish

Beet

tomflower roma

Beefsteak bloom and Roma babies

grapes apples

I had nothing to do with the wild grapes and apples, but I have plenty of plans for them.

This coming week is supposed to be full of sun and warmth,

so I’m looking forward to seeing everything take off.

beauty

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Robins

We have some robins who made a nest in the eaves of the pigs’ portable shade hut.

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A baby hatched.

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And the fledgling left the nest.

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I didn’t have the heart to photograph the mama cat snatching it for her kitten

or the parents trying to persuade the cat to let it go.

To The Butcher

Some of our pigs go off to a USDA inspected facility to be butchered, and this past week we sent four away.  Our regular butcher slaughters on farm, so we don’t usually need to bother with transporting pigs.  When we do, we like to have the process go as smoothly as possible.

After several (not so) humorous and time-consuming loads, Dave built a loading system that seems too easy now. He brings the trailer into position and lifts the ramp into the side door.

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With a bucket of grain, we lure the chosen, and a few others, into a holding pen where we run them through a chute with a sorting gate we can open or close, depending on whether or not the right pig is coming up.

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Once the pig is through the gate, Dave comes behind with a simple panel to block the pig from retreating.

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The pig walks up the ramp and into the trailer

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where he finds a hinged door that opens in front and closes behind and a bit of grain to munch while the rest are loaded.

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Simple.

Apple Blossoms

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from the old apple trees

The Orchard

Like all the other old homes in the area, our place has an old apple orchard.

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I am surprised our trees produce fruit since they have hollow cores. How many generations of the previous owners enjoyed apples from these trees I can only guess.

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While I like apples, I want to expand our fruit options.

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We received some babies in the mail this week.

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The kids were enthusiastic at first.

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AJ stuck with it.

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We now have

two Cherry trees,

two Peaches,

three Plums,

four Elderberries,

two Blackberries

and three Kiwis.

orchardview

Maybe by my 4oth birthday, we’ll be harvesting fruit!