The orchard suffered the most from our leap into the 90s. The blossoms dropped on all of the early and mid-season varieties. That means no pears and precious few apples. On the upside, it gives the trees a year off from production and puts the energy into growth and root system. We did manage 12 ounces of tart cherries from one tree, but I'm afraid that's it for the orchard this year.
The garden is back up and running full swing. I opted for a new gardening method that is based on the composting in place method I used on the garden when we first moved here. That garden now being under several feet of new barn floor. This method is from a new book Raised Row Gardening. (not affiliated, nor do I profit from)
The garden walking spaces are a deep layer of mulch material, while the growing zones are mulching/composting in place. The growing rows are then planted with a cover crop after harvest and allowed to over-winter. The new season planting are then planted directly into the mowed cover crop, and then mulched again, providing moisture control and more organic material. So far, so good. The garden is going gang-busters, although due to the early heat, things were slow to get going as the ground went to cold to blazing hot and dry, and then hot and very wet.
I planted a sacrificial patch of dill to spare the tomato plants from horn worms and swallowtails. So far it is working, which doesn't mean I won't be vigilant on my hunt for those voracious plant munchers.
The BIG news is the DONKEYS ARE HERE! Once I finished the barn, Poppy and Tulip arrived in a big silver stock trailer. From the get-go, they were snuggly and loving giant puppies. They love to be groomed and pet. They love their giant green pasture and their fresh straw. (Yes, they eat straw, not hay.) When the weather turned to scalding, we made the command decision to shear them down for the summer. It was my first lesson in clipper or shearer purchasing, and I learned a LOT.
Not only is it a fast shear, but clean.
|Poppy is always looking for a cookie.|
|such a ham|
|New solitary bee houses in the orchard.|
|Princess has decided that the straw bales are HER spot to make nests.|
Art-wise I am still producing photographic art and watercolors.
I also purchased a spinning wheel and am learning to spin fleece. Hey, if you're going to have alpaca running around.... LOL.
I am also learning Norwegian. So far, it's going well. So wish me luck on that one. Takk!
In June I earned my NRA Range Safety Officer Credentials.
And in two weeks we have the annual CornHusker Game competition.
So, as you can see the ranch is just as crazy as normal! Thanks for visiting!