Tag Archives: orchards

Homestead Update 7/2/2017

2 Jul

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Well let’s see what has been going on around here the past 3 weeks other than working 70 hours a week. These are some of the onions I harvested from my raised bed garden.

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I picked this apple from our orchard. Most of the peach trees had no fruit because a late freeze got most of the blooms. But, one of the trees bloomed later and was loaded down with peaches. Unfortunately, every peach had a hole bored into it! I haven’t sprayed our trees, I have been just letting them grow and get established. I think next Spring I will spray them, they should be ready to produce some fruit by then.

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I was out working and I noticed this garden beside the field I was checking. There was a nice, old-fashioned, scarecrow to keep the birds away.

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I also parked in front of this old, closed down storefront. You don’t see many stores like this anymore, it’s a shame it is closed. I actually have a hat I would like cleaned.

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I found this jaw bone in a field. A horse maybe?

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I found these native American artifacts in a field. I found all of them within 10 feet of each other. I have found a lot of artifacts this Spring. I’ll take some pictures and show them to you later.

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I saw this large, blooming hedge by a field I was checking. I think my bees might like this.

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Anyone know what this might be?

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I have a large pile of soil I scooped up with my front end loader when we were building our house. I finally got around to making a soil sifter to clean the gravel, glass, nails, etc. In my very first wheel barrel load I found this nice projectile point, two marbles, and an old penny. Who knows what else I might find. I’ll keep you informed. Until then, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

16 Aug

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I didn’t do much around here this week although I did pick a few grapes from the vines I planted last Spring. I’ve neglected the orchard this Summer, but hopefully everything that survives will be tough and hardy for the future. I disked up a small area in the back preparing to plant some turnip greens when we get a rain. We have 3 days with a 50% chance this week so maybe I can get the greens planted then.

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I found the first open cotton bolls of the year this week. The bolls are small and dinky because they came from a burned up sand blow area in a field, but at least they are an omen of things to come. The end of this season is near! Finally!

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As I was working, I stopped under a tree to send a text on my phone and these chickens came running out to my truck. I guess they thought I was going to feed them. Someday soon I will have chickens here on the homestead. If you look at the top of the picture you can see the sun shining through the fog that morning. We have a lot of heavy fog days in August because of the high humidity. That’s what drives the heat index values so high in the Summer. It’s cooler this week, but the prior week the heat index was nearly 115 degrees. That is way too hot!

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This is a picture of one of the Cooper’s Hawks that live here at the homestead. When I do get chickens, I don’t know if I will ever be able to let them free range because of the hawks. Do any of you have hawks bother your chickens? Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

14 Jun

I’m going to make this post short and sweet just to let everyone know we are still here. I’ve had two nice sunny, dry work weeks where I put in 70 hours each week so I didn’t do much around here except the usual mundane tasks like mowing and picking up limbs. I did manage to take several pictures of interesting things that happened the last two weeks and I will save them and post them as soon as it rains and slows my work down a little.

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I pulled into a farmer’s shop and these two adorable mutts came out to greet me. I started to bring them home with me!

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I turned on the Air Conditioner in my man-cave and wouldn’t you know it, my cats still prefer to lounge around outside in the heat!

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Most of the trees and berry vines I planted in the orchard last year are doing well, although I did have a few casualties. I picked the first blueberries of the season and ate them straight off of the vine.

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I took off early enough one evening to attend a get-together dinner for my SILs birthday and we ate at a restaurant I have not been to before. I had the blackened grilled oysters as an appetizer and they were delicious! I am going to visit that restaurant again!

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Outside the door, they had this old shipping pallet painted to resemble a flag. I have noticed some of these as I drive around on my daily routes so I guess that is the newest fad. That is a nice use of some old junk I guess, good thinking! More to come as I get more time, keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

18 Oct

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It rained nearly every day this week, we probably had a total of 5 inches total so not much was accomplished this week. You might remember I planted 4 fig bushes in the orchard last Fall, and after the hard winter we had they all froze back to the ground. Well,  3 of them came back from the roots and I eventually pulled up the 4th one, trunk and rootball together. I was going to throw it in the gully and I spotted a washout where the ground was eroding so I just dropped it in the hole. As I was throwing away some junk last week I noticed the bush was regrowing from the roots. I thought for sure it was dead! Now I have a fig bush where I definitely don’t need it to be growing. I guess I will dig it up next spring and move it somewhere else.

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A few weeks ago I also discovered these red pears in the grocery store. I have never tasted red pears before and I think they are delicious so I went on-line to find some trees to plant in the orchard. I ordered 4 trees from a nursery in Georgia and they shipped the trees via FedEx. Before I ordered the trees, I watched a video on their website showing how to plant the trees after they arrived. In the video, the box arrived and when it was opened up, the tree was 5 feet tall with pretty green leaves and a large rootball. Well, that wasn’t what I received!

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My box arrived looking like this! (not the nursery’s fault ) The package looked like it was run over by the truck, repeatedly!

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This is 4 trees chopped off about 3 feet tall, leafless, and with a few miserable feeder roots attached. I don’t know if they will survive or not but I planted them the day they arrived and watered them in so we shall see next Spring. Oh, on the right side of the trees you can see 3 twigs sticking out. Those are 2-year-old bearing age Muscadine vines. Not too impressive are they? I planted them as well so we shall see if they survive. I am definitely keeping my receipt and if they are dead next Spring I am going for a refund even if I have to drive all the way to Georgia to get it, I have their address!

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I also encountered this Cottonmouth Moccasin last week. He was a little sluggish from the cool weather but he was still nasty, nasty, nasty. But no one will have to worry about encountering him anymore, I beat him to a pulp! keep prepping everyone, and watch where you step!

Homestead Update

24 May

As promised, a weekly update on the happenings around here, however mundane they might be. I worked over 80 hours at my job this week so I didn’t have much spare time. But the most exciting news of all, we finally sold our former home in  town. Hallelujah! So not only do I have a nice check in hand from the proceeds of the sale, I no longer have to pay to have the lawn mowed, pay the utilities, and pay the insurance. That should help my cash flow greatly. So the first thing I did was go out and buy this for Sweet thing,,

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A brand new ZTR mower. See what a considerate husband I am? HAHA! She has already decided she loves it after only one mowing.

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Then this dump truck pulled up in the front. Why?

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Another big pile of shredded pine bark mulch, ready to be spread. It’s a good thing I have a tractor with a front end loader. It would take a long time to spread that with a wheelbarrow and shovel!

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I was out in the orchard late this evening and I noticed I had ripe raspberries! They were delicious. I guess I am now officially an orchard master! Anyway, I will try to keep you updated as I can, maybe it will rain this coming weekend like the weatherman is predicting. We are getting to the point where a rain would be welcome. Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

2 May

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After the storm we had recently, I was glad to see my tomatoes were doing OK. Those two large tomato plants I had in pots that I covered up with plastic garbage bags during the two nights of freezing weather survived, but they did have some frost damage on the upper leaves.

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While I was putting out the mulch mats around the fruit trees I stopped to admire these blooms on this golden delicious apple tree.

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I even have a small peach on this tree. I might get to pick a fresh peach this summer!

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We went to our old house in town and dug up a few plants to transplant at our new home. I am going to keep them in pots this year, I can keep them watered better that way.

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I also was forced privileged to attend my Nephew’s birthday party this past week.

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Now that’s the way to eat cake! Looks like he is really enjoying it, doesn’t it?

Keep prepping everyone!

Homestead Update

12 Apr

The weather has been really nice this week, so nice in fact, I had to do some work for my JOB this week. That real job sure does interfere with the activities on the ole homestead.

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I planted the berry vines I bought last fall. They sat in the pots all winter and they survived without any problems.

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I needed 4 more grape vines to finish out the row so I bought these at Wal-Mart. They were sprouted and growing and looked really healthy so I took a chance on them.

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The fruit trees I planted last fall are leafed out and looking good now. I have planted 30 trees and they have all survived so far. We should have an actual orchard some day with a variety of apple, pear, peach, plum, and cherry trees to go along with the grapes, blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries!

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I went by a local feed and seed store in town and picked up some tomatoes. I got two different varieties of heirloom tomatoes, Rutgers and Arkansas Traveler. I also got two hybrid bush tomatoes to plant in pots to put by the back door. Sweet Thing can just step out the door and pick one to eat whenever she wants!