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checking in

Yesterday afternoon I made my rounds, just to see how everybody was doing before leaving today. First stop, chickens. I can’t go and visit without bringing them something. Plate du jour was chopped lettuce served on a paper plate. I know they are chickens, but I don’t like them eating food off the floor. Grain okay, but something about eating food off the floor is not very nice. Must be the mothering instinct in me.

I apologize for the quality of these photos, taken with my iphone cause it’s just easier sometimes.
See how the poor little Gabor sister’s hang back, waiting for a scrap.

Next stop was the greenhouse, I had forgotten to leave the door open. When it’s sunny I sometimes leave the door open cause it can get awfully hot in there. Amazing how much passive solar heat is retained. The trees seem to be doing okay in here, despite the huge temperature swings. I added extra insulation of thermal bubblewrap from Home Depot on the north wall of the greenhouse before winter.

I love this Minimum/Maximum thermometer from Lee Valley. The blue needle shows how cold it got the night before, the red shows how hot it was today, and the black needle in the middle show the current temperature.

The rest of the windows were cover with just plain 1-inch bubblewrap. It arrived at my door (I love the internet), in a big roll, perforated in 1-foot increments. How easy is that? Just tear off what you need. It’s a terrific insulator, just spray the window surface with water and stick it on bubble side down. Works great on regular windows in your home too if you don’t mind the look. I don’t remember what the R value of it was, but all I know is it works, lets in the light, and was relatively inexpensive.

I keep checking the pots to make sure they don’t dry out and start pulling away from the sides. You shouldn’t really
be watering as the trees are suppose to be dormant, so I just add some snow every now and then.

I was surprised to find kale still alive and showing signs of new growth.
Mmmm, fried up with some pancetta and garlic!

What I’m most excited about is my fruit trees which were plant last summer (love you hubby). I was intrigued by what is called “backyard orchard culture”, and thought it would be perfect for our smaller urban setting. Trees are planted really close together, 3 to 4 trees in an 18″ diameter space. Prune heavily during summer, and you set the height to whatever you can reach. A much easier to manage little mini orchard where the top half of the tree isn’t eaten by birds or left rotting on the ground.

4-in-1 Cherries!

The fruits trees that I purchased are all multi-fruited, meaning you have different varieties grafted on the one tree. With the exception of the peach tree, all others are multi. This means instead of just fruit for a 2 week season, if this works, we’ll be able to have fresh fruit for 8 weeks or longer.

Redhaven Peach, and 4-in-1 Plums!

Apples and Pears!

Already I see lots of buds on the trees, which means dormant oil when I get back. I haven’t a clue about dormant oil, except there is a small window of time in which it should be applied…before the buds open and before the bugs lay their eggs (I think).

Okay, time to tear myself away from the laptop…I’m leaving for China!


  • Deirdre Pickford - safe trip to the whole clan – i can hardly wait to see your canning jars in the fall!! have a great time!ReplyCancel

  • Harvest Update » FreestyleFarm - […] backyard orchard which I first told you about in March did okay. Not an abundant supply of fruit, but it’s only the first year. The netting did […]ReplyCancel

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