Sunday, March 6, 2011

Garden Helpers

Besides my two sweet girlies and occasionaly Homestead Man, I have some other garden helpers I employ. Bunnies are fantastic for lightening fast composting! We give veggie peelings, roots, grass clippings, carrot tops, etc. to our bunnies and the end of the day (it seems!) there is a pile of fantastic fertilizer just waiting to be added to the garden! Here's our newest worker...we call him Stormy:

Also, if you recall, last summer I purchased two Praying Mantis egg cases online and we hatched them near our garden. It was so much fun to see all those tiny Mantis babies crawling around our garden and they eat all kinds of pesky pests, doncha know!? Anywho...I'd decided that we would order them each summer and had already searched a few websites looking for a good deal. Then, one day when we were planting peas in the garden I looked up on the pea trellises and saw THIS:

Yep, one of our mantis mamas decided that our humble garden would be a fantastic place for her babies to begin their lives! We are so excited and so flattered! We can't wait to welcome a new batch of mantis babies into our garden this summer!

Of course, our two chickens are some of the greatest garden helpers...but they deserve a post all their own! Stay tuned!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Good News and Bad News...

Well...which do you want first? The good news or the bad? Yeah, I always go for the good first, too! Well, the fruit trees are blooming like crazy here on the OAH. Check out these pictures:

The little plum tree that we planted last year is in full bloom.

Here's a shot of the pear tree where you can see all the swollen little blooms. Do these remind anyone else of pregnancy? Maybe my mind just romances those months with my girls growing in my tummy, but I always equate the excitement and joy of pregnancy with this stage of my trees...when those buds are all swollen and ready to release their flowers and new leaves at any time.

Here are the blooms on the pear tree...I think they'll be opening fully tomorrow or Saturday.

The peach trees' blooms are so pretty when they open. Here they are preparing for their debut.

The apricot tree will be blooming soon as well.

The bad news? Oh, yeah...I was enjoying the good news so much I almost forgot! Well...our last frost date is generally April 15. If we get another hard frost with the fruit trees blooming that will mean no fruit this year. I'm really trying to remember Matthew 6:34 right now!

"Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes. Matthew 6:34 (The Message)

Do you think we'll have another hard frost...or worse one of those freak spring snows? Our first fruit trees will be three years old this summer, so we'll soon have a variety of home grown fruits, but it may not be this year. Time will tell.