I know I’ve been woefully quiet over here. Lambing officially ended with the birth of our last lamb last week (more on that soon! I promise!), and then I slept for days.
Since then I’ve been preoccupied with the garden, and I am very late getting it all established this year. It’s now a mad rush to get everything into the ground right now in an effort to catch up.
We also were dealing with lambcam having been hit by lightning, causing it to be down for about a week.
On top of it all, Neve, my super – helpful shepherd apprentice, turned 11 this week.
She’s a dynamo with the sheep and goats. She helped deliver nearly all the lambs this year, and got to check “getting a lap-full of amniotic fluid and blood” off of her “life experiences” list. Grossness aside, she’s loved every moment of it.
But back to the garden.
Lots of lettuce is growing out front, along with radishes, beets, carrots, peas and beans. Even the broccoli still looks to be doing great, and I’ve never had much luck with it before.
My quinoa sprouts are getting bigger by the day, and the leeks seem to be doing really well also.
The rose bush next to the beehives looks amazing this year. I’m sure the bees like it, too!
This crazy jungle is actually my raspberry plant. I got it as a small, single cane plant two years ago, and it has gone wild with growth.
It is just now starting to flower, so I am hoping for a bountiful harvest in the coming weeks. Even so, we have discovered that our entire property is just filthy with wild black raspberries. For the first several years we were here we thought they were just prickery weeds and pulled them out wherever we found them. Happily, that hasn’t put even a dent in the amount of them all over. They are currently in flower (lovely drifts of white amongst dark green leaves everywhere!), and soon we will have more berries than we can eat. There are also plans to add a terraced bed alongside the back garden for strawberries. If we get them into the ground this fall, we should see plenty of fruit next spring!
The other thing taking over? Honeysuckle. It has created a natural wall all around the front chicken yard, and when the wind blows it carries the sweetest scent. This may be one of my favorite things right now.
Speaking of chickens…..my awesome friend Lisa gave me two new chickens – these will lay blue eggs. We’ve named them Petal and Posy.
Next to the back vegetable garden I’ve started a small flower garden around this lovely twig bench. I love this spot because it’s about halfway between the house and the pasture, and on nice days you can sit and watch the sheep. It doesn’t look like much now (except that we need to get the weed whacker out!) but we’ve surrounded it with lovely white quartz rocks we’ve found all over the farm, and there are three peony bushes starting to spread along with a few dahlia plants and some alysum. I’d like to get some lavender in there as well, but we’ll see. The area directly behind the bench will soon be planted with cherry trees that we hope will fruit abundantly in a few years.
In the back vegetable garden I’ve left the volunteer sunflowers where they’ve sprouted. I think they will be nice among the squashes and corn.
The cucumbers are sprouting! I planted three different kinds: one large variety for eating out of hand and chopping into salads, and two pickling types. I’ve got trellises for them this year, as well as for all of the other large vining squashes. I don’t have a lot of square footage for them right now, but there’s plenty of room to go UP. Everything except for the big watermelons and pumpkins will be trellised.
Sadly, this is what all of my tomato plants look like. They are still rather small, due to my very late start. I may try to find some bigger plants to put in with them so we are not waiting until August to see fruit!
BUT, I at least got my basil planted at the appropriate time. It would be a crime not to have fresh pesto this summer!
I have planted several of these all around the gardens, along with lemon thyme and rosemary. I’ve been reading up on what I need to do to try and keep them going through the winter so I don’t need to buy new each year. I’d like for the lavender at least to grow and spread out a bit.
I’m pretty excited about the direction the property is going. We are learning that there is a lot here already that is wonderful, and we are doing what we can to improve the soil and plant growth. It’s very slow, but it’s going to be so worth it.