Thursday, June 9, 2016

Chicken Dining, Cherry Picking, and Handmade Seesaws {phfr}

{pretty}

I was pretty adamant about getting herbs started in the late summer/ early fall so that the perennials could get established, and the ones that didn't get dug up by the dog or killed by the cold are doing ridiculously well! I let the sage flower because those sweet little purple blooms are just so darned pretty and make me happy.


{happy}

Despite the amount of work and the fact that it probably ends up costing more than grocery store produce, growing our own food makes me *so* happy! We're still pretty small scale, but we were lucky enough to find a house with a few mature fruit trees, and the kids are having a blast now that the sour cherries are almost ripe. 


I don't even *like* cherries, but I told them that we can make preserves when they get ripe enough to pick. For now they're just eating as many as they can reach straight off the branches, especially Peter who shows no discrimination between ripe, unripe, pecked by birds, misshapen with bug holes... "Choo-woo!" He's in heaven, although he's picked almost all the ones he can actually reach.


Parts of the garden are producing a bounty crop of lamb's quarters, which are technically a weed but they're edible, the kids (and my mom) love to eat them, and they add nutrients to the soil so we're just leaving most of them for now!


A puny stalk from the garlic fell over, so I dug up the head, expecting practically nothing. I was pleasantly surprised by the nice fat cloves! We've got 50-some more of these to dig up once they're ready - I'm looking forward to not having to buy garlic anymore!


We were proooobably supposed to pinch off all the flowers of the blueberry bushes that my mom planted in the fall, but never got around to it. I'm guessing we'll get *maybe* a pint total off of all 8 bushes (assuming Mary Claire doesn't just get to them first), but we're going to get more bushes to plant in the fall, and eventually we'll have a good crop!


Baby tomatoes! We'll ignore the fact that they were starting to get *ripe* this time last year... This spring was not a good one for planting.

{funny}

Andrew cut down the wimpy little Bradford Pear tree that was growing in our side yard (they're horribly unstable and cross-pollinate with ALL pear species, which leads to nasty thorny pear trees growing all over any land that isn't getting cleared regularly, so we cut it down) and Cecilia made a "playground" out of the stump and a scrap of the trunk.


All the kids are pretty pleased with their teeny tiny homemade seesaw. It's hilarious.


And only lasts for a few seconds before it falls off the stump.


But look at that commitment!

{real}

We set the table outdoors for dinner the other night, only to find the (newly free-ranging, sometimes) chickens had hopped up onto the bench and were about to chow down! 

We're being more careful now, but it's pretty hilarious to watch them hop on the bench expecting to be served something.


None of the names for them have stuck, partially because nobody can tell any of the Rhode Island Reds apart. The two Speckled Sussex, though, have very distinct features. They're apparently the prince and princess, and the other ten birds are all the maids.


This one has been named Prince Featherbooty, despite the fact that she is most likely a girl. 


They're enjoying their new territory, even if it's only for a few hours each night!


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