Summer Growing Season: Life Is Good

Reader Contribution by Lori Dunn
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Things have been very busy here in our neck of the woods!

My little darlings, as I like to call them, are now permanent residents outside. Of course I am referring to the three baby squirrels that we rescued earlier this year when I found them fallen from their nest. They are looking for food on their own, but we still spoil them with corn and sunflower seeds.

On some days they greet us on the porch in the morning, and will still come running up my leg, or jump onto my shoulder. My husband, Jim, built a couple more squirrel boxes and hung them in trees near our house. The babies are all staying in one of those boxes overnight. They have been a great success, and it is a joy to have them around!

Our garden is growing beautifully! I have already picked sugar peas three times, and I have gotten quite a few Eight Ball zucchinis!

Our green beans are in blossom, and our potatoes just started to blossom.

Our cabbages seem to put size on every day, and my carrot tops are beautifully frilly!

The onions are big enough to start harvesting some to eat, and there are little green tomatoes hanging from the vine!

My peppers haven’t started to blossom yet, but I was a bit late getting them in the ground this year.

My flowers are starting to bloom beautiful too.

My Delphinium are opening, one of my favorite.

I’m a sucker for the cottage garden look!

On the fauna side of things, I have had lots of broody hens in the past month!

We now have four mother hens with peeps running around, and another that is still sitting, but not on chicken eggs! Our neighbor over the hill is a farmer, and farms the fields right next to ours. He came to our house a couple of Saturdays ago. He was mowing his field when he came across a turkey hen sitting on a nest. The hen took off without being hurt, and he just missed the eggs with the mower! He gathered up the clutch of eggs and came to our house. He knew we had chickens, and wondered if we had any broody hens we could stick the eggs under? It just so happens that we had a Welsummer hen that had just gone broody. It’s funny how things work out sometimes! So that hen is now sitting on ten turkey eggs. We don’t know how long it will take them to hatch, because we don’t know how long the turkey hen was sitting on them before she was disturbed. We also don’t know how they will do if they hatch. I know wild turkeys are very touchy. It is an experiment, and we’ll figure it out as we go! Our goal is to get them big enough to let them loose.

It is fun to watch all these mothers with their babies, and as they get bigger, we will start culling some of the older chickens from the flock and put them in the freezer. The first four babies that Mamma hatched for us back in December are now laying beautiful darker brown eggs.

Another change with our chicken flock is they are now in a very large fenced area. I prefer them roaming free, but we couldn’t let them roam and have a nice garden and flower beds! They thought they had to remove all my flowers and replace them with large dusting holes for themselves! We bought 300 foot of chicken fence and made a large enclosure. We hope to add another 300 feet very soon. That fence also gives us a little more peace of mind as far as predators are concerned.

My husband and I just took a vacation to the Outer Banks of North Carolina in May.

The beach there is so nice. It is never crowded, and is within walking distance from the house we rented!

What a way to relax! We had a great time! As I said at the start … life is good!

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