We've had quite a bit of rain this spring here in East Texas. That means the flowers, vegetables and weeds are all growing nicely!
Our days of snacking on sugar snap peas in the garden is quickly coming to an end, but the cucumber harvest is revving up in a big way. Dave and Abigail are having a great time pickling not only the cucumbers, but also the carrots and peppers. It's a fairly common sight to see them munching and crunching on their pickles in the kitchen.
We sold off all of the piglets except for 2 of them, which we will raise for the freezer. I don't call them Bacon Bits for nothing.
We've greatly enjoyed our dayliles and irises this year. They are slowing down in the heat, so we'll enjoy these last blooms.
Abundance of Riches
I may have been a big late in making my next blog post, eh?
O, ok- more than a bit late.
I'm sure that it is no surprise that things have been hopping here at NGA headquarters!
There's never a dull day during spring, and this year was no different. We've been renovating gardens, installing new plants, mulching, planting vegetable gardens, and discovering the new life all over the farm. We've had several calves, and 2 litters of Bacon Bits (aka: piglets) be born. We attempted to hatch out a clutch of chicks, but failed for the second time. We suspect that our rooster isn't getting the job done.
In case you missed it, Dave was interviewed by the National Wildlife Federation. You can catch some glimpses of our butterfly gardens there:
With that quick recap, I'll leave you with a couple of quick pictures.
Our harvest has begun-
Purple Beauty Peppers
Feherozon Peppers (I just call these Ozon for short- you can too)
Red Alert tomatoes
As an aside- isn't that a nice basket? You may not know that Dave is our resident basket maker!
Plus, a bonus pic of our Bacon Bits being naughty. They can still squeeze through the fence (although, barely!), and tend to wander around the property. They were busted at the back door today.
It's that time of year when our little plot of land is bursting forth, and the inhabitants are scurrying around at break-neck speed. There's much to be done!
Every year, our family holds a plant sale for heirloom vegetables for our community. This project is managed by the adults, but the children do the labor and reap the rewards of the sale income. This year, the oldest son has passed the baton to the next oldest in line. That means Katie, Abigial, and Simon will be the main workers this year. We're off to a good start. The greenhouse is filled with seedlings, and the herbs are coming along. We have scaled back a little bit this year, so we'll see how big we end up being for the year.
Dave devised a rotational chicken system for us several years ago. We have 4 chicken yards, and the hens rotate through them throughout the month. Katie is working on renovating this one for spring. She used our Hoss Tool and we were seeding in no time.
Daffodills are springing up everywhere.
Our Chineese Fringe tree is leafing out.
Trish is frantically getting the last of her roses pruned for the year. They are growing faster than she can get to them!
While we did have a few more cool nights since the last update, our coolest night forecasted for the coming week is 44.
After almost 2 weeks of warm weather and what looks to be another week of warm weather ahead, we can't help but wonder if those 4 days of frigid temps really were all of the "winter" we'll be seeing this year. Time will tell if we're running ahead, behind, or right on time with the temps!
Dave rustled up some help moving some crape myrtles that he crossed 2 years ago. These were his favorites out of the many he grew. They lined both sides of the pathway between our house and the barn. This is a well traveled path, and has housed many different projects over the years- hugelkultur beds, pumpkin patches, strawberry beds, blackberry propagation, and many other things. In an effort to simplify some of our projects on the farm, we decided to eliminate this garden area, let it return to grass and plant the trees. It sure will be a lovely walk to the barn!
Dave's seeds from the swap arrived! A few have already been sown (Pink Banana, anyone??), and the rest are sitting on the counter patiently waiting their turn.
Trish's laundry room has taken on the familiar "January Chaos Look" as one wall is housing the grow light setup and already stuffed with flats of peppers and eggplants. We'll move them out to the greenhouse as each tray is ready and more will take their place.
Speaking of Trish, she is having a very hard time resisting all of the plants that are beginning to pop up all over town. This happy looking (no name) orchid jumped right into her cart. It sure brings a spot of happy color to the bathroom and will help us get through the next few weeks until warm weather arrives for good.
Hello from NGA Headquarters!
It's the third week in January, and the Whitinger Family is creeping into action. I say "creeping" because we are off to a leisurely start :)
Here in Texas, we had 3 days of bitterly cold temperatures, and today it was 76. Since this is very normal weather for us with a wild range of temperatures, we take advantage of the warm and sunny days, but hibernate when the weather is still chilly. Since we never know what next week will look like, we aren't quite springing into action yet.
We've ordered our seeds for our 2017 vegetable garden and our annual community plant sale.
Dave participated in a big Garden.org seed swap- this year as a participant instead of a host. He had a lot of fun running to his computer every day at 6pm to call "dibs". Here, he's packaging up his bundles to send to the swap host. We are eagerly awaiting the return package! (Bonus sneak peak into Dave's office with all of our podcast equipment!)
Katie and Abigail have been helping Trish start the seeds. There are many trays to fill!
The grass is starting it grow, the birds are hopping around the trees, the bees are starting to buzz- there are sure to be many exciting things to share this year- stay tuned!