This week was full of surprises! On Thursday evening we got two inches of rain, which we badly needed. Usually forecasts say it might rain, and then our hopes are dashed and the ground remains parched, but this time we got some! The ground has been so hard this summer that it's been difficult to get the posts in the ground when we move the chickens tractors, but the rain gave us some soft earth and the opportunity to set up some new chicken areas. We keep them in one of our empty circles for a few weeks while they eat bugs and fertilize, and then we move them to a new circle.
We were dismayed to see that about half of the tomatoes in one of our tomato rows were decimated by the tomato hornworm. These little devils get huge, up to four inches long, and will eat every single leaf off the plant. If plants are young when hornworms attack, they can usually bounce back, but if they are already pretty big when they're stripped of their leaves, they often die. This is one reason why we are glad we have several patches of each type of veggie, so that pests and diseases (hopefully) don't spread to all of our plants. The silver lining to a hornworm attack is the frenzied excitement of our chickens dining on the pests.
Finally, we were excited to see that our huckleberries are ripening up! We had seen a few here and there for the last week or so, but now there is enough for some of you to try them! Huckleberries are in the same family as tomatoes and peppers, and are originally from Central America. They have a light, sweet flavor, and are great on top of cereal, in salads, fruit salads, smoothies, pancakes, muffins, or just eaten by themselves. This is a new crop for us, and we were happy to see them thriving.
As Holly's due date draws closer, we are working on getting everything weeded and mulched, and getting the last few stragglers out of the greenhouse and into the ground! Stay tuned for updates on the new Rosy Buck Baby.