The Larch (But Not Really)

The puppy and I spent the last week at my best friend’s house, hanging with her and her husband, making wedding plans and being lazy. It was a “farm hiatus,” the only one I’ll get for quite a while. So many awesome purchases and plans for our little wedding soirée that I can hardly stand how cool we are.

A week away from the farm with the partner in charge (who works more than full time) went okay. Nobody died. However, SO MANY WEEDS. But honestly, our seeds/seedlings are so new that it’s only been in the past week that we can tell the difference between them and weeds. The YAY thing is that the seeds I thought had failed AGAIN have germinated and are thriving, both in the big garden and the potager. We have:

  • Corn
  • Beans (purple and green pole)
  • Squash
  • Broccoli Raab
  • Carrots
  • Six different types of tomatoes
  • Four different types of hot peppers
  • Beets
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Scallions, chives, onions
  • Cabbage
  • Cilantro, lavender, rosemary, thyme, basil

Still to go in (late): garlic, peas.  We got some weeding done yesterday and installed home-made tomato cages. We also got some herbs and extra tomato and pepper varieties installed. This week, I’m building bean teepees out of saplings and twigs, weeding, mulching, and cleaning out the chicken yard.

THE NETTLE IS DEAD!!! But to be honest, I don’t think me and my vinegar jihad made any difference (I don’t think the vinegar was strong enough). I think nettle is just super stupid and committed suicide. Either way, I’m clearing that crap out of the chickens’ yard this week, because it’s almost time to introduce the new chickens! They’re almost fully feathered out and will have a little get-to-know-you week, segregated behind a defensive line of chicken wire. Then it’s on! Give me some eggs you ingrates!!!

No longer "The Mysterious Larch"'s actually a Mulberry.

The berries will stain your life purple.

The most exciting news is this: What I though was just a really pretty tree in our yard (of indeterminate lineage) turns out to be a Mulberry! I went out there to hang a birdhouse yesterday, and BLAMMO, 500 kajillion Mulberries!!! So we laid out plastic sheeting, whacked the crap out of that sucker and we now have about two gallons of the things, ready for me to clean this morning and throw into freezer bags.  How cool is that?? I’ve never eaten one, and it turns out they taste just like sweet tea! Weird and fantastic. I’m looking forward to peach/mulberry pie, mulberry ice cream, mulberry preserves. I learned how to make freezer jam, so that’s happening. We ought to have about six gallons before this thing runs its course. Yay team!

Also, I’m going on another full-blown rant later today. Gird your loins.

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8 thoughts on “The Larch (But Not Really)

  1. Bana Elzein says:

    I don’t know if it was because it was a mulberry tree or just because, but our mulberry played host to the annual cicada eruption. Every year for about 2-3 weeks cicada bugs would climb out of the ground, up the tree and do their thing where they chyrsalise and turn into flying bugs. They never bothered anything cuz it all happened at night and all we’d see were the skins clinging to bark of the branches. I always thought it was pretty cool.
    Have the chickens come out of their coop yet? What are you feeding them? What’s their routine like? Just wondering why they haven’t started laying yet. Some breeds don’t lay as many eggs/year as other breeds so they may have not entered their egg laying cycle yet. Heritage breeds often only lay between 100-200/year where as other commercial breeds will lay over 300/year. I know our chickens never laid in the winter but I don’t remember when they started up again. I do remember that the first few eggs of each season could be some weird shapes and sizes before they got their egg-laying muscles warmed up right. 🙂

    • Cicadas completely oog me out. Nothing will squick me out quicker than one of those weird, prehistoric beasts flying into my hair.

      As for the chickens, I don’t know what the hell. I open up the coop every day and leave treats out the door so they’ll go out there. They do a little, but mostly not. I fling feed out there, and talk to them every day. They have a super-safe coop (that I close them into every night) with nesting boxes, and they’ve only cursorily checked them out. They roost at night and hang out on the dirt floor during the day. They’re getting layer feed, oyster shell, grit, and treats (a bagged seed assortment), all the water they want and even a patch of diatemaceous earth to roll around in. They are a golden-laced Wyandotte and a Plymouth barred rock. I know they’re old enough to lay. ADVICE, PLEASE.

  2. Bana Elzein says:

    oh also.. if you have any other unidentified trees on your property, send me some pictures. I was fairly decent with tree ID at school.

  3. The very idea of you and A beating a tree with a stick and berries raining down on a sheet while you yell THESE TASTE LIKE SWEET TEA with expletives thrown in here and there make me wish I were your neighbour.

    Also, nettles. F U. Please commit suicide like these ones. I walked on one in my grass. WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE? My chickens do not love you.

  4. feastfromtheland says:

    new goal: learn to make freezer jam.

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