Timberrrrr!

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The new sign went out at the of the drive which meant a spot had to be cleared. That became a three step process. First the weeds and shrubs were cut using the string trimmer with a brush blade. Next the clearing was mowed. Lastly a few trees were removed. That involved the chain saw something new for the hired hand!). This time it was watch and learn.

Once safety rules and practices were explained there was lots of chain saw work to do. Some of the trees were dead and on the ground but needed cutting and stacking.
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And some just needed to be cut down for the new orchard area.

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Regardless of the need “Timberrr” was heard often on the Homestead

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Working, Teaching, Learning

Hard to believe that Summer is approaching its end in just a few weeks. Already the day has been shortened by over an hour!Ah but so goes the cycling of Seasons – one leading into another.

For several days this Summer, a friend “lent” his great nephew to work a bit around the Homestead. The extra hands and youthful energy were a true blessing. One of the most interesting parts was this teen was 100% city slicker! That meant time had to be spent teaching and learning before work could be productive. In the end it was enjoyable (and profitable) for both. Matt put in about three weeks of hard labor five hours each workday – anytime the weather didn’t interfere. What he lacked in experience he more than made up with enthusiasm and determination.

His first task was construction, erecting, and landscaping the Homestead sign featured in the last post. The next few posts will present some of the other work that got done thanks to his presence this Summer on the Homestead.

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(Sort of ) Officially

Recently there was some help on the homestead, so it was time to get the offical Fluffy Bottom sign up along the roadside.
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While the sign is up, there`s still work to get done like landscaping, shrubs, and flowers. Of course everything will need to be deer-proof!

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Po Tay toe, pa ta toe, To May Toe, to ma toe

Here it is the last week of June and both the tomatoes and potatoes have started to bloom. Hill the potatoes and caging the tomatoes is extra work but worth the effort.
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And the garlic planted last Fall is beginning its end as the hard neck varieties have begun to set scrapes which will be harvested for cooking and salads.image

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Golden Peas

A newer hybrid pea grown this year is a golden pod variety.
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Not only are the pods attractive, but so are the blossoms! Taste testing will happen once there’s enough to harvest.
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First Crops

Before the cool weather of Spring leaves for the year, the early season crop harvest goes on in full swing. The earliest harvest are the lettuce mixes. There are seven different lettuces planted in their own row. The first harvest is just cut from the plants and the second sees the plants pulled to make room for beans.
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The next harvest includes both the green and red pal choi which was transplanted last month. Because they bolt in warmer weather all must be harvested before the end of June.
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Once the pak choi comes out the successive cucumbers take over that bed.
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The last big Spring harvest is the Napa Cabbage. This year’s crop has done well with the cooler nights and bed irrigation.
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Transplants

Once the weather stabilizes, all the seedlings from the greenhouse can go into the garden beds. While not everything needs the added protection most everything goes into coldframes in case the overnight temperature dips into the danger zone.

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Slowly almost all the beds are getting ground level irrigation installed. These are just PVC pipes with small holes. When the waters on this provides a good soaking for each bed. The beds have separate valves so the different needs can be met in each bed. Open beds still get either hose water or the last of the old soaker hoses.

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Garden Helpers

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Whenever work is being done in the garden there’s always more work than hands. If the egg hens are out they’re always ready to lend a hand, errrr foot to help. Sometimes that’s good, sometimes that’s bad!

Lucky is usually more interested in supervising greenhouse work.

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Spring Seedlings

It may not seem to be logical to start peas and lettuce ahead of time, but getting them started early negates and poorvSpringbwearher. Back in late March and early April these lettuce were started.
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When the middle to end of April rolls around these went into the garden in one of the cold frames. At the same time the first seeding directly into the coldframevtakes place. Once the covers come off, a second seeding takes place so that by the end of May, the first cutting of the transplants is ready to harvest.

These peas were started at the same time. Because the germination can be dicey for directly sown seeds early in the Spring, these can be use to fill in any gaps. They don’t mature any faster but it’s easier than reseeding and having the harvest spread out due to the separate planting dates.
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It Really is Nice to have a Greenhouse

Having the greenhouse makes getting a jump on Spring so much better than starting seeds indoors. While it may get chilly at night still, the heat of the day getsbeverything off to a good start. Because there’s lots of natural light, leggings is not an issue.
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