What a week… Huz had spring break last week starting on March 31st running thru April 5th and while we hung out at home on a “stay-cation” it felt much more like a “work-cation” but we were able to accomplish a lot … check out the progress around the farm!
1) We visited the greenhouse and started 12 varieties of tomatoes for the garden, we usually plant around 285 tomatoes for canning! We also transplanted 10 hot pepper varieties and checked on the flowers we have started… below is a picture of Dianne’s greenhouse 1.5 miles down the dirt road were all of our seeds get their spring start.
2) I learned how to bench graft apple trees from my friend and Schwalliers Country Basket donut partner in crime, Robbi. Rather… I learned the concept and practiced whittling with some scrap scion wood. While teaching me she was bench grafting through her pile of 1600 honey crisp for a local fruit farmer. We had bad bunny damage on our fruit trees this past winter so I picked Robbi’s brain and we decided on a new approach which requires new trees. The plan is to start them pots this year, get them established, then plant in the garden next spring and use different protection to guard against bunny munches. Robbi was able to help me graft 14 apple tree root-stock for our garden, since it took me about 45 minutes to get 2 of my 14 trees grafted she assisted with the other 12 to move things along. I will be working with her later this spring in the orchards around West Michigan to help her with her grafting business. Looking forward to the challenge of learning this new skill. Below is a picture of the 14 grafted apple trees, they need to stay dormant and undisturbed for about a month, this helps the graft to heal and take. Will keep you posted on our new orchards progress!
3) Of course we found time to brew beer! We brewed an Altbier, Altbier is a German style brown ale, the ”alt” literally translates to “old” in German. It will be a good month or so until this beer is ready to try! We also bottled our Oatmeal Stout and Roggenbier (a German rye ale) on Easter Sunday evening after we got home from a celebration, so we were up a bit late but it is worth it for good beer! Below is our bottled Oatmeal Stout and our freshly brewed Altbier.
4) Last but not least the main event, we built our deck, it has been my dream for years to have a large deck off our back slider. It was a huge undertaking for the week, but we were on a mission. Saturday to Saturday, I ran the chop saw & Huz ran the screw gun, we leveled and leveled and measured and measured piece by piece… and the hard work has paid off. It was darn cold a few days early in the week but the weather held and we had no rain delays… Below is a quick film strip of the deck going up, it turned out awesome!
Believe it or not between all of this we were each also able to find down time to start and finish a Jack Reacher novel written by Lee Child, Huz read Die Trying and I tackled Tripwire. We also enjoyed a wonderful lunch with Huz’s Grandma and the Jeep got a new U-Joint. Phew! Huz is back to school today and thankful for the decking break!
Please let me know if you have any comments or questions! Enjoy ~ Megan
PS: We have a chicken going “broody” meaning it is nesting on eggs, we think there are about 8 in there now, and it is working its way to 13. We are going to let it nest and maybe sometime in late spring we will have more baby chicks. Will keep you posted on this experiment!