Today we picked the first berries of the season. We only had 2 lbs. of raspberries and we picked 2 lbs of blueberries. There were still a few more blueberries but we thought we'd leave them a bit longer. The raspberries will be a few days before there are any more ripe. This season everything seems to be behind a couple of weeks. We are going to have our blackberries and raspberries tested by a lab next week to see what is causing some of them to die and the blackberry canes seem to have died back halfway down the canes. Ours are not the only ones that seem to be suffering and hopefully we can nip the problem in the bud before we lose our plants. We planted a test plot of strawberries and they seem to be doing ok . I am hoping that next year we can add strawberries to our list of berries that we have available. We are going to hopefully make a trip to Michigan and see how they grow them in pots on posts and learn more from a commercial grower up there.
Our critterws are all doing well. We have a new rooster named road runner who seems to enjoy being petted but not really held. He came to us from a family that hand raised him and showed him lots of love. We also purchased a couple of paint boer goats from Kansas that make a wonderful addition to our farm. Three of our young bucklings are going to go to Oklahoma the end of June to compete in the buck forage test which identifies bucklings that have a good average daily gain, good parasite resistance, and a loin eye that grows above the other competitors. This is our first year to send any bucklings and we are hoping they do well. We currently have 31 goats, 2 calves that are just over a year old, 4 ducks, 13 chickens (although more to come since we have 3 hens setting on the nest), 1 horse ( we sold Kiowe the app mare), and 8 dogs. Our turkey, peep peep, has gotten very protectve of me and so we have to keep an eye on him when we have visitors. He likes me to kiss the top of his head and everyone else he seems to want to flog or peck.
Other exciting news is our neighbor Jeff has moved his horse back riding business to just across the road from us so if any of you like to ride horses then when you come bring some jeans and plan a day where you can not only pick berries but go for a nice trail ride. Jeff charges $ 20/45 minute ride. His horses are very gentle so even kids can enjoy a beautiful ride. We look forward to seeing you all this season and hope you can make our festival. I think we may push it back to September though after we have cut the last cutting of hay so watch for any updates on this page and the events page.