Monday, June 25, 2012

Peaches, Plums, Strawberries...Oh, MY!

The trees are laden with fruit...too much fruit.  This is the first year they are bearing fruit and we neglected to prune them this past winter.  Nor did we exercise the recommended removal of fruits so that no two fruits were closer than 2 inches.  Nor were we proactively diligent about treating the trees to ensure no pests would attack their leaves and fruit....and yet, despite all of this, we have plenty of fruit.  Today I picked 36 peaches and 24 plums.  There are MANY more yet to pick.  Now, if the chickens will quit pecking at the fruit on the branches that are so heavily laden they are literally lying on the ground, I will be most appreciative!  Oh, and the bloomin' Japanese beetles can take a hike too!  Little worms? Well, I guess you can have your share, but leave plenty for me, please!  Next winter we WILL prune on time, we WILL be more diligent with the protecting the trees from the pests...(well, I THINK we will anyway...)

Gathering first peaches of 2012
Early afternoon Japanese beetle capture
Chickens enjoy Japanese beetle snacks

The strawberries keep on giving.  I have frozen plenty for the rest of the year, and I am now making 6-8 half pints of freezer jam a week with the fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries and cherries. This stuff tastes better than any I have ever consumed from the grocery store shelves! Of course, particularly with the blackberries and the cherries, I have to compete with the birds to get my share! As I am diligently performing my morning fruit picking, I hear the birds, impatiently awaiting my departure, so they can return to feast on my almost ripe crops.  Yesterday we watched a cardinal slip through the 2X4 fencing to eat the cherries off the cherry bushes! So much for fencing the berry patch.

Bee pollinating strawberries
The grape vines are heavy with bunches of grapes.  Of course, the good old Japanese beetles and the deer would very much like to eat the vines before the fruits ripen...and I have sneaking suspicion the birds are just biding their time before they move from the cherries to the grapes....

Grapes, grapes, grapes
Peaches, peaches, peaches

I was late getting my vegetables into their beds this year.  Nevertheless, I did pick my first three (cherry) tomatoes today.  I have several types of squash on the vines and the potatoes are flowering.  The bell peppers are getting big and the melon vines are, well, running everywhere, determined to fill every open space... how about some melons, please? Patience, patience....  I planted sweet potatoes this year for the first time, and I honestly have no idea how/when to harvest...I'll need to do some reading on that...  the vines are abundant and healthy, so, if nothing else, I will be able to console myself that I grow great sweet potato vines.   I think the asparagus have about run their course for the season and I am letting them do their ferny thing.  We sure enjoyed daily helpings of asparagus for the past couple of months.

More gardens

Well, what about the old farmhouse?  What's with that? Any progress, already?  Actually, yes, we have made some progress.  Almost all of the drywall has been hung and only the finishing touches are needed before we are able to prime the walls. The downstairs bathroom has been almost completely overhauled (after originally thinking it was the ONE room that could be left "un-rehabbed", in the end, we decided it needed an overhaul too.) The "service deck" is underway. Once the service deck is completed, a window from the master bedroom will be replaced with a door to access it.  And yesterday we started hanging kitchen cabinets...yes, it really IS going to happen.. we WILL be in the house one day...hopefully, this year!

Service deck underway

Bathroom floor revamp

Bathroom drywall - first mudding

Judy helps hang cabinets

Carpenter? Ballerina?

Other than that....well, we've mowed the lawn about a bazillion times and the grass just keeps growing like there is no tomorrow. We've "bush-hogged" undergrowth of the woods (again -- that stuff seems DETERMINED to grow back!) and we've weeded a million feet of, really, we HAVE weeded... no matter HOW it appears!

From the woods...undergrowth cleared for the moment

We had a visitor in the chicken coop a couple of times.  The first time we spied him we let him go...the second time...well, Mr. BIG Black've outworn your welcome!  He was six feet long and he had a belly full of eggs when we terminated his reign.  Love the black snakes, but don't want them eating the eggs!


Er...what WAS Mr. BIG

All in all, I guess it would be safe to say, we have been working hard, and being rewarded for our efforts.  This place is really getting closer and closer to the way we dreamed it would be....little by little, but closer every day. Unfortunately, since the summer solstice has passed, we are losing minutes of valuable daylight every day now...never enough time to get everything done!

Worker...preparing to dig hole

Worker Digging

Worker ... really getting into it!

Butterfly bush





Sunday, June 24, 2012


I received a note from my brother this morning, letting me know that for the past two days when he tried to access my blog. he could not get to it. 

Today, he also received a message that said, "This web page is a known fraudulent web page. It is recommended that you do NOT visit this page."

He used the direct link to my blog,

I just tried the same link and did not get any message/warning, whatever.

I'd appreciate if others would let me know if they are experiencing the same issues, and I will try to track down the problem.

Other than that, I guess I need to sit down long enough to actually WRITE a new post!