The gardens are productive and colorful. Interestingly, the Frost Peach tree only bore one perfect peach. The first season (last year) it was full of yummy peaches. All of the Pear Trees (Bartlett and Asian) have gone crazy this year. I took a canning class this summer and preserved some of our bounty for the first time. I really enjoy learning new skills and saving the harvest for those days when tasty tomatoes are hard to come by.
We had a sad event occur this past January – two of our little chickens were eaten by a predator. We think it was one of the two beautiful white owls that live in the trees to the south of our house. We spot them often at dusk flying really low over Torrey’s orchard across the street. They really are a sight to see. We had been letting the girls free-range while we were not home and even worse, it happened when our house-sitter was here. Needless to say, we only let them free-range when we are out in the yard now. They seem happy enough.
In early May, we picked up two more hens – a Barred Rock hen and a Black Sex-Link hen. One of the Cochins (Rochelle Rochelle) had been broody so the Chicken-Man offered to give me some fertilized eggs for her to hatch. I thought that might be a fun adventure. So, I brought home Sue Ellen Mishke, Dolores and eight fertilized eggs. Sure enough, 21 days later on Memorial Day weekend, three little chicks were hatched! What fun to watch them grow. Unfortunately, the little blond one was too adventurous and got lost in the little space in our back fence and the two gorgeous black ones turned out to be roosters. We ended up giving them to a friend of ours that owns a vineyard up in Mendocino and they settled in just fine.