Growing the Food Forest

A while back I got it into my head that I needed to try propagating the grape vine.
Right around the time I spotted clusters of grapes growing on her.
Y’see, this vine came from a friend’s place, where they decided that they no longer wanted it, and I was looking for a good cold hardy grape to add to our food forest.
So when she asked if I wanted it, I said “absolutely!!”
Then it took a bit to get the vine here, and it’s been 3 years (this is her 3rd summer in our garden) and this year she took off like crazy.
So I cut a short piece, made some smaller pieces, used some rooting hormone and started some cuttings.
4 have taken and have massive roots.
2 softwood, 2 hard wood.
This fall when she gets pruned, I’ll start a whole bunch more.
Because growing food is always a good thing.
🙂

The other day tho…
My brain said “Hey!! The grapes are expanding, why not try the black currants?”
So I did:

I’ll just start with the 2 cuttings (right now, after fall leaf drop I may cut a few more) and see how it goes.

Also…
Since we cleaned out the muscovy hens mass of sat upon but only 4 hatched eggs, they’ve begun laying again.
And I know the eggs are fertile.
Muscovy drakes are whores.
😂😂😂
We’re getting 10 or so eggs a day.
And normally, at this time of year, we’d sell them for people who like eating duck eggs, or feed them back to the hens. I personally don’t care for muscovy eggs, I find they have a fishy taste to them, no matter what we’re feeding.
So, I thought I should put a bunch in the incubator.
Why?
Well, chicken and turkey eggs are easy as pie to hatch in an incubator.
I’ve never had a successful duckling hatch.
So, with eggs that are extras, this is the perfect time for me to see if I can get them to hatch.
Then, once I get that perfected, in spring I can run an incubator load while the hens get ready to sit their nests. And I can take whatever pekin eggs we have to incubate too…
That way, in the fall, when we go to cull back to our breeding flock, (the theory is) we should have ample freezer birds.
So that’s where we’re at.
Always planning on growing more food as much as we can.
Some days, it’s all my poor little brain can think about.
😂😂😂
Oh and since I last posted, I turned 50 (on Sunday) and the Farm turned 9 (on Tuesday)
So, woohoo for that.

Hot and Sweaty

July.
Amirite??
😂😂😂

So it’s hot.
Hotter than normal.
But one of the side effects of hotter than normal, is that we’ve had some good downpours.
YAY.
We sure did need them!

So this week I’m back to cutting hay.
Not ’til Friday though, because we have a couple more days of rain in the forecast for mid-week.
My small hay “fields” look good though…I’ll know more once I get cutting, but I think we’ll do okay with my work this year.
*fingers crossed*
I still have 2 bales put up from last year for the Merry Mares, and I made sure our Hay Guy knew with our last delivery last year…”Let’s just get this out of the way now…yup, I’m gonna need hay next year.”
LOL!!
But there’ll be no horse shopping for me this year…I don’t anticipate any extra hay over what I typically order, because so far the year hasn’t been great.
I had been hoping to bring my herd back up to 4, even if it was only a mini, but that’s just not in the cards for this year.
Oh, there’s plenty of equines out there to be had, but I ain’t taking on another if I can’t feed ’em.
That’s just how it is.

As for the rest of the Farm…

Garden has been loving the rain.
Weeds are huge.
In among the weeds my beans are starting to flower.
I found some strawberry plants on sale at the local grocery store.
$1.94 each and they were huge already!

Holy cheap berries to add to the garden!!

I seriously couldn’t pass them up, it was too good of a deal.
So since my asshole chickens 😉 got to the others, I snapped up 4 of them. Planted them ASAP, mulched heavily, and so far, so good.
They’re inside the garden fence, so chickens can’t get to ’em.

Added a new apple tree to the Farm, in honour of a good friend who lost her last battle with cancer over the winter.
She was an avid gardener, so a tree just seemed right.

Also bought 2 black currant bushes on sale…
We love the end of season clear out on fruit trees/bushes, I tell ya!!
🙂

My honeyberry cuttings!!
We. Have. Roots!

Loooooook!!!
Roots!

Okay, so only 2 cuttings of the 15 I took ended up rooting…but that’s okay! 2 is better than none, and they’re good strong rootings.
Since berries are done for the season, I popped out and cut another 1/2 dozen. We’ll see if I can get any of those to take.
Any that do will spend the winter inside being babied, until the spring thaw, when they’ll go out to expand the Food Forest.

And finally, we’re into the home stretch with the meat chickens.
Whew!
In the next couple of weeks we’ll be looking at sending them to Freezer Camp. That’ll take 43 beaks off the feed bill.
And it will add a whole lot of meals to the freezer/shelves for winter.
Then in the Fall all we’ll have for poultry is whatever roosters I hatched out.

So, in short…
Life is busy.
Hot.
Sweaty.
But we’re getting things done, and it all looks like things are going according to plan (may it stay so…).
🙂