Over the past few years we’ve moved from posts with significantly less text to posts with significantly more photos. That’s likely due to me putting more writing effort into a related book. We’re going to continue down this more visually-oriented path over at Instagram. Please join us there!
This month we began a new experiment in the greenhouse: a fodder system sprouting wheat into chicken food. We are turning a $13 bag of wheat (50 lbs) into weeks worth of nutritious greens for the birds. Next month we’ll try barley. Although the birds free-range on pasture each day, they still love this concentration of vitamins.
Thank goodness we had a WWOOFER this month to help with the harvesting and preservation! It’s amazing just how much food the food forest can pump out when the fruit trees are adding their bounty to the usual mix of veggies and herbs that our hugel beds create. Our evenings are spent slicing up the fruit for the freezer, dehydrator and (thanks to my creative wife) making pies.
It’s a good life.
Berries and early fruit are rolling in heavy this year…
I kneel in the raspberry rows, pulling rebar from the ground to protect children’s bare feet, their original purpose of holding stairs long past.
Ten thousand bees surround me, exploring the new blooms. They each stop to say hello. Are you a flower? Can you feed me? Are you useful?
A sudden cry of delight from my daughter above. An eagle soars past, so close to her she can her the wind passing over its wings. “Daddy, it’s singing! The wings are singing!”
Hugelkultur bed learning #49: I have created literally the perfect clubhouse for rats and mice. Woe to those whose hugel bed is right next to a pasture full of curious rodents. The full on war with the rats has begun. This month it’s traps; next month the outdoor hunting cats arrive. We shall give them epic Big Huntress type names.
Starting our annual “seedling shuffle” between the grow lights, the greenhouse, and the food forest beds.
Also excited to install our FLOW hive which you may have heard about via their crazy-successful IndieGoGo campaign. New bees arrive in a few weeks.
Highlight: tens of thousands of new buds on the fruit trees and berry bushes, all emerging at the same time. The food forest’s vibe has transitioned from its winter “retrenching” perspective to an open “come here” invitation with tiny spots of color throughout its branches.
Lowlight: coming back from travels to find 13 chickens gone in a single night via a coyote pack.
Always surprised by random giant heads of cauliflower poking out of the hugel beds. Still doing lots of fermentation experiments, from my wife’s amazing sourdough bread to crazy-flavored batches of kombucha. Her creativity extended to gift-giving, too, with each of us receiving a harvest bag made from our own discarded jeans.