Mid-summer update

Planting soil blocks with daughter

As we finish “Junuary” and hope to see the sun more in July, here’s a quick mid-summer update:


  • We have 25 new Golden Comets in the brooder. Should be ready to head outside before winter weather sets in.
  • Most of the transplants from our new greenhouse are now surviving – including typically tough ones like corn – as I’m learning how to do soil blocks better.
  • We’ve got very heavy berry production this year (thanks bees!), including some first-timers like honey berries. With my wife’s diligent harvesting, we’re putting 1-2 gallon bags of berries in the chest freezer per day, and still have plenty to share. I’m seeing the direct benefit of berry management techniques like pruning and directing.
  • We’re seeing excellent growth on the kiwis (hard and fuzzy) and grapes (table and raisin). We’re adding trellis structures to guide and support, as well as learning grape management techniques. And seeing our first clusters this year!

A single day’s harvest of strawberries


  • Experienced my first bee colony collapse, which was puzzling and frustrating as it was the “strong” hive that made it through the winter, but other two new hives are thriving.
  • I learned painful lesson of what happens when a farmer gets lazy. I knew the grass under the electronet was too high and likely shorting out the electricity protecting the chickens from raccoon and coyote attack. Two raccoons killed three chickens and mortally wounded two others before I got down there. Very upset with myself that our birds suffered the brunt of my lesson learned about laziness.
  • Cracked my primary scythe blade went hitting an unknown piece of rebar in 3′ high pasture grass. Purchased two replacements that are more appropriate sizes, both of which are awesome.

Hope your summer is going well!