While I was at work last week, Chareva was busy expanding the orchard, digging and planting for hours. They don’t look like much yet, but those four saplings in the picture below will someday be supplying us with fresh fruit. The sapling closest to the front in the picture is (or will be) a Honeycrisp apple tree. There’s also an Enterprise apple tree and two cherry trees in the picture.
She also dug holes in the front pasture (no easy task in the rocky soil of Tennessee) and planted eight blueberry bushes. Again, they’re not much to look at yet, but here’s a picture of one anyway.
From what Chareva tells me, we shouldn’t expect to get decent apples, cherries or blueberries for a couple of years, so this is a long-term investment of her time and labor.
She bought six different varieties of blueberries, mostly because they ripen at different times of the year. As we discovered with the pears, there’s no point in being overwhelmed with a ton of ripe fruit all in one week. (The plan for next year is to convert the oversupply of pears into pear cider or wine.)
On the chicken front … well, we tried to save the rooster who got hung up in the net, but he clearly wasn’t getting any better. So he became part of Friday night’s dinner. We had a neighbor over for dinner, so Chareva also bought a chicken at the store. We all did a taste test. The unanimous decision: the store-bought chicken was bigger, but our little rooster tasted a whole lot better.
Even with another rooster down, we still have 21 chickens in the chicken yard, and some of the new hens are already laying eggs. Pretty soon, we should be able to skip the store-bought eggs entirely.
The big rooster is still a pain in the ass, and he may yet find himself drizzled in butter and baking in the oven. In the shot below, you may notice he looks slightly airborne (he’s closest to the center.) That’s because as I snapped the picture, he was just about to touch down after being airlifted by Chareva’s boot.
Trust me, rooster: don’t let her nice demeanor fool you. If you know what’s good for you, you won’t beat that lady’s legs with your wings again.