Tag Archives: Mulberry

Narrow Crotches and Slime

My Mulberries are trying to be bushes when they are supposed to be trees, so this week I performed corrective surgery and amputated the extra trunk on each of my two largest trees.Mulberry #1 Mulberry Tree #1

Two different views of the first Mulberry Tree I planted in my orchard last spring. In the lower picture you can clearly see where I cut out the second leader.

Mulberry #2 Mulberry Tree #2

This Mulberry was planted mid-summer of 2012 and has done very well, again in the lower picture you can see where the second leader was removed. All 4 of the Mulberry trees I have are Pakistani Mulberries. I probably harvested 4 quarts of long, dark, very sweet fruit from the trees pictured above. There is still fruit on all 4 of my trees that look like they should be ripening over the next couple of weeks. We are really looking forward to next years production seeing as how even after cutting half of the tree off they are still over double the size they were last fall.

Butter Lettuce Bok Choy

Fodder production has been highly variable lately due to low germination rates and slime. I think the heat is finally interfering with my setup (we officially hit 100 F for the first time this year monday) and I am pretty sure my sweety Karen wouldn’t tolerate my dripping trays inside the house so it’s back to alternative foraging from my favorite oriental restaurant. The manager is super cool and even personally delivered this batch of greens for my gals. Fermenting though is really cooking in this heat, cranking out a good sour-smelling mash in 2 days easy. The flock is swelling again and I really do need to cull but aint quite ready yet…. I’ll get there though. Maybe when it officially hits 110 f for the first time this year?  Nahhhh probably not.

 

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Progress, Obsession, or Therapy?

Thanks in large part to the moderation of the weather I have been getting more hours in at The Fruity Chicken on the weekends. I like to think I am making steady progress on my goal of making my 1/4th of 1/2 of an acre as productive and interconnected a Chicken Ranch/Orchard/Garden as possible. To that end I have been making major changes to my Chicken Run.

Chicken Yard

A panoramic view of the Chicken Yard at The Fruity Chicken

Their are no big changes in philosophy in the management of the chicken run this year, just minor refinements.

Chicken Yard

The Juvenile Pen

Brian and I moved the Juvenile Pen from it’s former place against the block wall out to the wire fence that separates the Orchard Area from the Chicken Run. This change moves what had become a bit of a stinky area further away from the neighbors and also gives access to the pen without opening the gate to the Chicken Run.

Forage Area

The Forage Area

On the opposite (West) end from the Juvenile Pen a third of the Chicken Run has been fenced off to create a forage/pasture area. This area has been tilled and seeded with Scratch, Pigeon Feed, Buckwheat, and Dry-land Pasture mix. The Scratch has milo. sorghum, and corn seed; the Pigeon Feed has various field peas, oats, wheat, millet, and safflower; the buckwheat is pretty much buckwheat; and I have no idea what is in the Dry-land pasture mix but it sounded good.

Run

The open area where the Juvenile Pen used to be

Originally I had planned on running a wire fence from the corner of the Juvenile Pen to the block wall separating the run into 3 roughly equal sections. The central area, containing the coop, would be occupied all of the time while the flock would have access to one of the side areas at a time on a rotational basis. That plan is still under review. Currently I am leaning towards leaving the infrastructure as is and only giving the chickens access to the pasture area for short (1 or 2 hours) a couple times a week while leaving the West end behind the Juvenile Pen open. In that area I would like build and place some breeding pens like Barbara’s over at The Crowing Hen. For some reason certain members of my family, co-workers, and friends think that this is turning into a bit of an obsession.

 

 

Over in the Orchard Area things are focused on cleaning up so that I can rework the planting sites for the trees I lost this year.

Clean Up

Pumpkins left over after removing the vines

The Comfrey  I planted this year are doing well.

Bocking 14

One of my Bocking #4 Comfrey Plants

Comfrey

Comfrey Plant I got from the Korean Nursery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The plant above on the left is one of the one year old plants I got from Coe’s Comfrey which is a Bocking #4 variety while he one on the right was purchased at a Korean Nursery in Pomona CA. It is pretty obvious they are different varieties, the Bocking #4 grows much faster and has larger leaves.

The Mulberry trees are doing great as well.

Mulberry

Mulberry Tree just outside of the Chicken Run

Mulberry

The Mulberry to the West of the Orchard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of these trees came from the same Korean Nursery as the unknown variety of Comfrey shown above. They are growing fantastically, there are two others Mulberry Trees from another source in the Chicken Run that are growing well but don’t quite compare to these two. It is great getting back into full swing working on this project and as I’ll post about soon all of this is about to get both easier and harder at the same time.

While some may see my focus on progressing this project as an obsession I like to think of it as my Sweety does, Karen says that “Chicken Therapy” is the best thing that has happened to me in a long time.

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