End of summer summary

Well, our summer here does not really end until late September, but for most of my friends around the country, Back to School means Summer End.

A quick summary of learnings to share with both highlights and lowlights.


  • Successful brooding of next batch of laying chickens. All 25 Golden Comets survived and transferred well to our Andy Lee style of day ranging chicken tractors.
  • Very high production continued for berries as well as many of the vegetables.
  • Learned why our 30+ blueberry bushes were just doing mediocre (surrounding strawberries too healthy and grabbing all the nutrients at the same shallow soil level) and how to fix it (transplant strawberries down to food forest and surround each blueberry bush with aged sawdust, which I can get for free).
  • Fruit trees bore a decent amount of fruit for the first time. That taste on some of these like the cherries and asian pears is amazing compared to store bought (even organic + local). The ability to wait until the exact day of full ripeness makes an enormous difference in the taste.
  • Surprising crop of volunteer potatoes. For planting zero seed potatoes this past year, we’ve got enough of a crop of volunteers to last us several months.
  • A monster amount of tomatillos and tomatoes are coming in, which combined with our cilantro and hot peppers, is making for some awesome salsa.
  • Bumper crop of peppers, both sweet and hot. Not much makes me happier than cayenne and habanero peppers.


  • Lost another bird to an eagle attack, despite the ceiling. Found the hole that the eagle did after the fact to close it up. Bummer.
  • Forgot to switch from my rainwater harvesting cisterns over to the well water at the beginning of the irrigation season, and promptly drained my backup water in just three weeks. Won’t get to refill them until the rains return in force this fall.
  • Another year of multiple failed carrot plantings. I lose some to wild rabbits, some to potato bugs, and some to I-don’t-know-what. Top of mind to fix for next year. Trying a different type of carrot for overwintering this year.
  • On the alternative transportation front, finally broke down and bought a replacement battery for my electric bike after I toasted my old battery. $450…ouch! But love being back on my bike, especially in these sunny months.