Friday, April 26, 2024

Homestead Happenings

Hey there!
Welcome back to Homestead Happenings,
where we share what's going on 
here on our Piedmont homestead.
It's been a busy couple of weeks.

Our first rudbeckia of the season has bloomed!

One of the bigger projects this week,
was to get our tall Birdie's beds filled for planting.
As with the hugelkultur method,
logs, branches and twigs are added to the bed,
to reduce the amount of soil needed to fill it.
Everything added will decompose over time.

Shredded leaves from our autumn collecting
makes up the next layer of the bed.
These deep beds take a lot of material,
and it's great having everything on hand.

Woodchips make up the last layer before soil.
It fills up any gaps in the bed,
and will break down over time
to enrich the planting medium.

A variety of beets, kale, leeks, 
lettuce and onions fill this bed.
A topping of shredded leaves allows for
moisture retention and weed supression.
It's so gratifying to see veg out there,
knowing it will feed me well.

Succession seedlings await their turn.

We are still harvesting asparagus once or twice a week.
The lettuce that I've been eating off of for the last few months
is starting to bolt, so the new starts will be stepping in.
Since they are still small,
I'll enjoy some baby greens in my salads for a while.
The succession planting idea keeps food coming in
throughout the season.

The irrigation was completed this week,
so the veg garden can be put on a timer
and water itself.
There is still some work needed on our southmost beds,
which contain pollinator plants and garlic.
The flower beds will also get a thorough testing,
to make sure that the drip is working well.
Might as well do everything now,
while the weather is still cool.

The update on the skunk
is that s/he seems to have found somewhere else 
to look for food.
Since adding the hardware cloth around the perimeter
of both runs, there haven't been any signs of digging under.
I did find this lil' guy when I was spreading woodchips.

I added a couple of impromptu fences to areas of the garden.
This area next to our A/C unit has what looks like
cover crops that have come up.
It's been so long, I'm not sure what I planted there!
I like the kind of wild, carefree way it's growing,
but I wanted to keep it off of the pathway in front of the bed,
so I added this brick we had laying around.

Then, next to the two chook runs,
there is a strip of canna lilies coming up.
For some reason, our naughty girls like to eat the leaves.
I decided to add another length of hardware cloth
bordered by more of that brick.
Let's hope they make it!

Speaking of chooks,
our little girls seem to be doing fine.
Here they are enjoying some supervised outdoor time,
getting used to grass, the sunshine
and the strange noises all around them.
They are 4 weeks old this week.
If the weather stays warm,
they should be heading out into their own coop
in about 2 or 3 weeks.
After their size matches the gals we have,
they will be introduced to the flock.

The rest of the birdhouses were hung on trees
instead of using the conduit as in past years.
Another job that will make it easier for me in the future.

Our next-door neighbor's holly 
is loaded with berries!
No doubt the birds will have a feast,
and I'll have some beautiful branches to bring inside.

The loofah has been planted at the base of the gazebo frame.
This will add some shade to the chook run,
as well as provide loofah for anyone who would like some.
Once harvested, it is offered up on a local trading site for free.

Loofah support

The canna lilies are starting to shoot up 
in the front porch bed.

The flower beds are really starting to fill in.
This week, I noticed how the daisies, coneflowers,
rudbeckia and this rue have taken off.
Rue is one of the host plants for the
black swallowtail caterpillars,
so we hope to have many visitors.
Let me know if you want seeds.

With the irrigation project under control,
it's nice to be able to focus on adding to the flowerbeds,
seed sowing and enjoying our flock.

What's going on at your place?


  1. That was interesting seeing that little snake on your bed. Today, our naughty hen that gets out got a small snake in the shade bed near the house. Lots getting done at your place! It sounds like your loofah project is a win in several ways. Enjoy this beautiful weekend!

    1. Hasn't it just been glorious? I find myself having difficulty staying indoors. Have a peaceful weekend.

  2. Things look great - I love how you filled the beds - mine are sinking a bit so I’ll follow your ideas. Snakes - ewww gotta say it. And you’re a mind reader - I was thinking a few weeks ago wouldn’t it be nice to swap seeds with blogger friends who garden - we could all create a friendship garden!

    1. Yes, the intention is to top the beds off each spring with our own compost. Things tend to settle after a good rain.
      I love the idea of a friendship garden! Let me know if I can send you any seeds you might like.

  3. The birdhouses are so sweet! Love the colors. Oh, those silly chickens. Sometimes I think the focus of their day is seeing what kind of trouble they can get into. I love to see what they come up with though! Everything is looking great. I can't wait until we get asparagus - should be a few more weeks!

    1. I wish I could send you some asparagus! I'm enthusiastic at the beginning of harvest, but after 2 months, not so much. ;0P
      Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Wow, so many cool developments in your garden! I love the birdhouses and the new brick borders around your beds. How fun to have new chickens! Oh, and the gazebo is so pretty--it's going to be really neat with the loofahs growing on it. I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank you for all of your kind words. I'm so glad that you enjoy "visiting" my garden. It's wonderful to have you here. Continued blessings...


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