Saturday, June 30, 2012

Moving the Hen-a-bago II

Hen-a-bago II attached to the tractor
You might have read about our newest Hen-a-bago II being built and then moved out to pasture. We relocate  Hen-a-bago II once or twice per week to a new section of pasture.  Changing pastures often improves the health of our chickens by giving them new grasses in which to forage for insects as well as "salad" greens.  Rotation also is a form of parasite control as it disrupts the life cycle of many naturally occurring yet undesirable organisms seeking to find a host site in the guts of our chickens.
Chickens riding in Hen-a-bago II

Friday, June 22, 2012


Cleaned up suckered base of the tomato plants, keeping fruit up and leaves off of the ground
We are firm believers in suckering tomato plants. Some people are not so prone to the practice. In observing plants that have been suckered and those that have not been suckered we have come to find that suckering keeps limbs from touching the soil, which keeps the leaves from contracting soil bacteria and other things that harm the tomato plants. It also keeps our tomatoes from forming low on the plant where it has the likelihood of resting on the ground as it develops, which could lead to rot, or allow a ground insect to devour it.
This is what suckering gets rid of, yellowed leaves and contact  with the ground
Tying up the tomato plants keeps them from falling over and turning into gangly out of control messes. Here's to hoping for a good crop of tomatoes!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Little Luck

We have a friend who visits us from time to time.  He's a dear soul and one of those people who has the good fortune to find four-leaf clovers.  During a recent visit he even found a 5-leaf clover!  We are blessed not only by his friendship and his help during visits but also by the luck he finds growing freely on our land.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Bitty Figs and Bitty Grapes

Small figs growing on the tree
Our monstrous fig tree has begun to produce little bitty figs! They are very sweet looking and we are sure they will produce sweet little fruits this summer!
Small figs growing on the tree
The grapevines have also begun to produce small bitty bunches of grapes. It is always amazing to watch plants develop and create fruit and vegetables.
Small grapes
This time of year I become very hungry for home-grown fruit so these figs and grapes beginning to grow are very exciting developments!

Friday, June 8, 2012


"Here's looking at you!" Spider in the iris
The warm weather this spring has given us some early blooming, beautiful irises in our flowerbeds. The previous owner of our farm planted beautiful flowers all around the property.

We have many varieties and colors of irises. With some cooler mornings and a few days of rain here and there, the petals have been really beautiful to capture beads of water in the morning!

Here are some more photos of our irises:

The irises have finished for the season and the gardenia are now blooming.  About time I published this blog post!  Memories of cooler days and a season that will come again.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Phoebe Babies

Baby phoebe birds waiting for mama

A pair of phoebe flycatchers made a nest on our porch this spring. Much like the swallow, the phoebe makes its nest with mud and other materials, adhering the nest to the side of something, like the siding on our porch! We had to move the porch chairs because the parents-to-be made a mess on everything flying over with slews of drippy, muddy nest materials!  And then the poop from the babies started dropping . . .lucky we'd moved the porch chairs.
The phoebe nest above the shutter on our porch
Since taking these photos, the 1st clutch of baby phoebes fledged.  You can click on this link to learn more about the phoebe flycatcher bird and to hear their call.

Apparently, after working so hard to construct this nest phoebes want to get a lot of use from it in a season.  A second clutch of eggs has recently hatched and the parents are busily flying back and forth feeding the babies.  Wonder if they'll do this again before fall comes?

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Green tomatoes!

Green tomatoes on the vine

It is not yet officially summer and the early tomatoes are already bearing green fruit! Our plants in the upper garden are doing really well and a few of them are rather large! We may be inundated with tomatoes this summer! How exciting!

Large tomato plants in the garden

We are growing 15 varieties of heirloom tomatoes in a variety of sizes, types and colors.  Look for the first green ones of one of the early varieties at the Wings of Dawn booth at the Burlington Downtown Farmer's Market this Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon.