We had been letting the youngsters free range in the morning and then putting them in the guinea shack with a screen door at mid-day at which time we let the Dots out of their pen. We discovered that the Dots are very aggressive with the small birds and they killed a baby pheasant early on so we didn't let them out at the same time. Now that the young birds are larger we let all the birds out at the same time and they seem to be coexisting nicely. The guineas seem to be working the lawn and yard for their meals. The Dots are great at getting rid of the grasshoppers & crickets directly around the house. However the Dots scratching is wrecking havoc with my flower beds around the house especially directly next to the foundation but I am forgiving since they are doing their job. I'll have to rethink my flower beds next year so we can coexist more peacefully. I'm considering putting chicken wire down and cutting holes for the individual plants then covering with mulch. hummmm. Wonder if that would work? The guineas don't scratch like chickens so they don't make a mess. None of the birds are disturbing my vegetable garden just the flowerbeds.
The country life provides opportunities to commune with nature such as finding and watching this black swallowtail butterfly staying cool in the rosebush. She is utterly beautiful, don't you think?
|We have so many lovely butterflies here -|
they really get you to stop and and
"smell the roses", (so to speak).
|luscious peeled peaches ready for jam & pie|
I put up Colorado peaches last week -2 lugs which produced 15 jars of jam, three pies and several quarts for this winter. I just bought another lug so I will be putting up more peaches this week. I'm going to try my sister Bonnie's recipes for Peach Ginger & Peach Raspberry jam and I'll include the recipes in my next blog. I think peach is our absolute favorite pie...or maybe its tied with raspberry rhubarb...or blueberry - - -maybe we don't actually have a favorite! Peach jam is definitely our favorite of all I've put up so far including cherry, mulberry, apricot, strawberry, and peach. Well, maybe mulberry is another favorite...
To keep up with the harvest, I am doing small batch canning/freezing. It allows me to keep up and not be totally frazzled by trying to do a huge harvest at one time. I'm learning. That said, I'm managing the ongoing tomato crop by doing small batches of marinara sauce and freezing whole tomatoes. I'm also experimenting with ketchup recipes so hopefully I will find one or create one that meets our palate test.
|The morning glory arbor entrance to the garden|