Instead of coming home with 40 quarts like last year, we came home with 9. The dry spell last month left many berries very small. Recent rains have helped some, but many berries just weren't ready yet. Our timing was in line with when we had great success last year, but this year it was off. I'm trying not to panic when it comes to fruit this year. Our strawberries were lacking, now the blueberries. I'm holding out for a great red raspberry crop, peaches and nectarines from a local orchard and apples come fall.
We came home to a bit of a mess. There was a storm over the weekend which was strong enough to bring down two large branches from our huge black maple tree. One must have crashed onto the roof of the chicken coop (what a shocker that must have been for them) and then rolled off onto the ground between the coop and Jamey's shop.
The other fell squarely on top of the kids' play set, snapping it in two.
Not only were there high winds, there, evidently, was hail. Our garden looks mighty disheveled this morning because of it. The bell pepper leaves are tattered and everything looks a bit beaten. It appears things will be okay, although the tomatoes are looking a bit strange. I'm hoping it's not the blight that lots of folks have been dealing with around here the past couple years which we have been (so far) escaping.
I intended to take more pictures of the garden, but got distracted because there was a rooster and two hens in there having a hay day. This is what they do.
It is not allowed.
Our meat birds seemed to weather the storm okay. Did I tell you we got meat birds? Last year, we bought heritage meat birds, but this year, it was a last minute (maybe last second) decision to get some, so we bought some local, already 7 weeks old. In couple weeks, they'll be ready to be harvested. They are in the chicken tractor (along with a gimpy laying hen) because if placed in the chicken yard, they'd get chased out of the fence by the territorial laying hens. And, while chasing chickens is fun the first few times, it's really not how I prefer to spend the bulk of my days.
So, on the down side, there is a lot of clean up to do around here on top of all the laundry, the corn that's going to get picked tonight, the onions that need braiding and hanging (more on that soon), etc.
On the bright side, no limbs fell on the house or damaged any of our out buildings. The red raspberries are loaded and starting to ripen their second harvest.
The garden appears to be okay (but only time will tell) and some of our flowers started blooming. Black eyed susans...
and the sunflowers are coming!