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Old 05-19-2015, 12:08 AM
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Today I planted the mulberry tree that I got a couple of days ago.
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I've been picking Boysenberries
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and Blackberries
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for the last several days.

Today I also picked the first of the Blueberries.
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The apples are getting bigger
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and I've been harvesting artichokes
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for a couple of weeks now.

There are baby grapes on the vines
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and the plums
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actually did NOT get blown off by the wind like they did last year.

We will have nectarines for the first time this year.
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The green beans are have started to sprout and grow, as well.
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The "salsa garden" is also coming along...tomatoes, cilantro, onions, and jalapenos together in one bed.
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Old 05-19-2015, 12:53 AM
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Looks great!

Our blackberries are in, too. Great time of year!
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Old 05-19-2015, 01:39 AM
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Awesome garden, gives me a kick in the butt to get outside and plant something!
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Old 05-19-2015, 11:34 PM
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I've been getting between a pint and a pint and a half each of the blackberries and boysenberries. Pretty soon, I'll be turning them into jam or pie filling. Berry cobbler is sounding better and better!
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Old 05-23-2015, 12:22 AM
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Planted a few more seedlings today...acorn squash, and spaghetti squash.
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Old 05-26-2015, 09:33 PM
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Made and canned 23 8 oz jars of Boysenberry jam today from the berries I picked from my own plants. Tomorrow I'll be working on blackberry jam (also from my own berries.
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Old 05-27-2015, 08:18 PM
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Made and canned 8 pints of blackberry preserves from berries from my own bushes.
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Old 06-08-2015, 08:00 PM
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Well, production on the berries has slowed WAY down in the last couple of days...I've gone from getting a pint to a pint and a half a day to that amount every OTHER day last week, and now just a few ounces per day. Guess the bushes are "done" due to the heat until either the monsoon rains start, or the weather cools down in the fall.

On the other hand, the chickens are busy cranking out eggs like there's no tomorrow.
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Old 06-09-2015, 09:07 AM
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Sounds like you've made good use of what you have though! I wish my berry patches were producing. I have been freezing some broccoli however, and quite early in the year too. We take what the garden gives, right?
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Old 06-09-2015, 10:51 AM
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We only get black berries for about 6 weeks of the year, from July through August or so. Is that about how long they grow for you too?

Your garden, orchard and chicken run are awesome, thanks for sharing.
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Old 06-09-2015, 11:22 PM
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We take what the garden gives, right?
Yes, we do!

Dragged my son outside this morning to get the wire up over the hoops on six of the veggie beds. Then, opened up a bunch of those 3-panel plant supports and put them around my raised beds hoping to limit the damage my daughter's dog could do the next time she made an escape from the "dog yard". Then, planted my eggplant, ancho/poblano pepper, and paprika seedlings.

After hubby got home, showed him what I had done to keep the dog from romping through the garden. He suggested I go get a second 10x10 kennel and change the configuration and put the two together so that the patio AND part of the grass area is enclosed by the fencing and we can just open the door to let the dogs go "do their business" WITHOUT the chance of escapes. Now my chickens, rabbits, and garden are safe from the marauders; tomorrow, I get to pull up the old fencing.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:40 PM
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Well, looks like I'm not going to be able to harvest ANYTHING from my garden this year, except for some carrots and such. The reason? Because we are going to be MOVING! Not far, but we found the acreage we want (18 acres), and will be closing on it in a couple of weeks! Of course, once we get out there, we will have to CLEAR several acres, put up fencing, and start building the soil on raw land. On the plus side, we will be on our OWN well, have plenty of room for orchard, garden, ponds, pasture, and CRITTERS that we don't have room for now.

I've started digging up and potting some of the plants that I want to take with us when we move, as they are plants that I can NOT get locally, so I am NOT leaving them behind.

I'll post "progress pics" of the new homestead/garden as I get them.
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Old 07-15-2015, 07:56 PM
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Congratulations!

What a wonderful turn of events
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Old 07-16-2015, 06:05 PM
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Thanks. It is all happening REALLY quickly. We went to look at a 9 acre property with a home on it with our daughter Tuesday evening of last week. While we were there, the realtor told us that the seller also had the adjacent 9 acres to the back (vacant land...nothing but weeds and LOTS of mesquite trees), and if we wanted BOTH parcels, the combined price would be 20k less than the list price of the parcels separately.

So, 18 acres, private well (the pump was just replaced last year), with a home on it (granted, it needs a little work, but still...) the front property is COMPLETELY fenced, and the back part is fenced on 2 sides. Um....OK!

The only "hitch" is that there was another couple interested in the front property only. When they found out we wanted both, they decided THEY would take both, as well. They even offered more down on the property than we could afford. So, the seller "wanted to make the best choice", and asked both parties to write up a narrative as to WHY we wanted the property. So, I did up a page and a half, outlining what I had started with here at the current house, but because we are in town, could not do more. I then outlined our plans for the property (some area in orchard and vineyard, some in vegetable and herb (both culinary and medicinal) gardens, some in pasture/hay, some in "small grains", area for livestock, some spots that I thought would be PERFECT for ponds (as it turns out, there originally HAD been ponds there!).

Long story short, the seller chose us because our plans were EXACTLY what she had originally wanted to do, and had started, but had not been able to finish.

We've already had the home inspection, well test, termite inspection, and the septic inspection will be next week. We are set to close on the 31st of THIS month (only 2 weeks away!), if not sooner. Some things are just meant to be.
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:29 PM
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Sounds like a long time of hard work ahead of you but, oh, the wonderful place you'll have!
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Old 07-16-2015, 10:39 PM
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Sounds like a long time of hard work ahead of you but, oh, the wonderful place you'll have!
Absolutely! And, when I looked up the listing for it on landwatch, I found out that we aren't getting 18 acres....we're getting just over 19! The section with the house on it is 9.45 acres, and the back section is 9.6 acres! That gives me a whole extra acre to play with!
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:16 AM
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Congratulations on the property find. Its amazing when you go from a typical residential plot to acreage out in the country. I know the feeling.

Something you may want to look into, your well. Not sure if you would have a shallow well or a deep well (not familiar with that part of the country), but look into the pressure tank. You will probably want to increase the size of the pressure tank to facilitate the irrigation of your crops. My place had a pump with a 5 gallon pressure tank. Thats piddly. I increased it to an 86 gallon pressure tank.

By increasing the tank, your pump works less, a whole lot less. Not to mention you have some stored water if the power goes out.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:03 PM
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Good advice! Thanks, FarmerChad. I think the current tank is a 20 gallon. We will DEFINITELY need to upgrade it. The water can't be TOO deep, though, as there are several mature cottonwood trees, (NOT near the well) and they are pretty shallow-rooted, and require a lot of water.

The termite check showed NO termites whatsoever--which I was pretty sure of, since I had seen NO evidence of them when I was out there. And to KEEP it that way, I'll be planting things that they HATE, just to keep them away.
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:55 PM
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And to KEEP it that way, I'll be planting things that they HATE, just to keep them away.
What do they hate? The imported Formosan Termites that we've had here for a few years now aren't bothered by cedar wood or moth balls.

Even the heavy duty chemicals (which I'd like to cut back on) drilled into the ground near the base of the house by exterminators aren't guaranteed against imported Formosan Termites.

I don't want the chemicals migrating to my veggies or fruit trees.

Any suggestions, please!
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Old 07-19-2015, 01:08 AM
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From the research I've done, Vetiver (a West Indian grass--also used for essential oils), Mint, Marigolds, and Garlic are supposed to repel termites. While an aggressive grower, mint also has the added benefit of repelling mice.
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