Monday, April 18, 2016

Gardens, goslings, orchards! and... Donkey udders?

The madness of hardening off is in full swing now!
The date of last frost (hopefully) has passed now it's waiting for the ground to warm up and get the seedlings prepared for life outside!
A few things already outside.. Doing well!
The buckets with squash and tomatoes have been in my greenhouse on cold nights. Planting in the wall o waters is easier than carrying buckets in at night!
First tomato blooms!!!! This is the earliest I've ever had tomato blooms so the extra effort of starting seeds super early and potting up all those times was worth it.
Already got some bush beans coming up.. Our favorite eating bean here.. Dragon Tongue 
Got the echinacea and midori soy beans in the ground too...
3 year old pear tree.... Great growth on this tree!! It's our biggest in the new orchard area. 
This tree below is in the first year orchard area,, Not as big of a tree but.... Little pears!!!!
Fruit trees have been extremely challenging! The orchard and vineyard have really been more my husbands project .. But it looks like I may have to take more charge over them. They've needed much more attention than we thought when he planted them .. Since I keep such a tight schedule on my vegetable gardens it may be easier for me just to add their management onto my lists of things to do.
I want to concentrate on pears mostly because they seem to do better than anything else so far.
And finally... A fig tree that didn't die out!
I'm actually going to have figs this year!
If I can keep the birds off them.. The figs have always been my project.
I love love love figs.. So they are a focus... Despite the babying they need in this climate to get started. 
Goslings grazing an area with fig trees..
As long as there's grass they can be allowed in this area to eat.. Once my figs leaf out and especially if the grass is down I have to close it off.. Goslings and geese will pull leaves off young trees and sometimes strip bark if they get bored. So alittle extra management for young fruit trees and geese. But that's easy enough.. Not like managing goats and fruit trees!
I've got babies all over! 
I sure love seeing them 😌😌
These were hatched by a Muscovy.
More babies.. These were incubator hatched first week of March . They grow SO fast!! The guy in the middle is out of my experimental hybrid cross.. 
Yes there is a such thing as hybrid vigor!!
He's bigger than all his incubator mates..
And this was taken at the first of last week!!! Below, Rani's little donkey udder coming in.. Which had doubled in size by the end of the week!!
I'm praying for a healthy foal.. And healthy momma... Jack or jennet I'm keeping it! We need more donkeys here for the new areas that will need to be guarded and kept trimmed down. 
I couldn't ask for a more gentle 'dairy donkey' in Rani that's certain!
Her temperament is so great.
Going to be a very busy week.. It's going to be very warm..I've got new goslings coming , hopefully a foal.,, 
Exciting time of year!!!

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