So it’s June already. It’s been a busy couple of weeks here. Tasha was away last week in California and Bob back-filled the container space that holds our photovoltaic array and batteries, and put the finishing touches on the high pond. Now all we need is a pond liner. Here’s a picture.

Empty Pond

I did a trip to the New River Gorge Saturday with Jamie, who led us up a bunch of Junkyard Wall classics. Good times, indeed. Wish I had some pictures but Tasha took her camera and I still haven’t found the charger for mine. Sunday Tasha, Honey and I went for a hike at our newly discovered favorite spot, the Mountain-to-Sea trail, right before it turns away from the Blue Ridge parkway.

Doughton_Park_1

Doughton_Park_2

Our primary vegetable garden has been growing like crazy: the mustard greens, beets, bok choy, perpetual spinach chard, and several others are covering their beds completely, leaving no room for weeds to grow. I think I’m sold on the grow biointensive method for vegetable gardening.

Garden_1

Garden 2

Our chickens are–thank God!–finally outdoor chickens. We’ve been putting them in the chicken tractor during the day and in their coop at night.

Chicken Coop

Chicken Tractor

Today I was trying to train them to eat the cabbage moth caterpilars that are trashing our brasicas in the garden. While they will eat them from my hand, getting them to go on search-and-destroy missions for me was a different matter altogether. I need to find what eats the cabbage moth and send it a postcard and a bus ticket…

Today we planted three crab apple trees, a couple Honeycrisp apple trees, and a pear tree. The crabs are for rootstock and cider, and for a deer hedge, hopefully. It’s a rather little known fact that apples rarely grow true-to-type from seed. Instead, most orchardists graft a select fruiting cultivar onto a hardy rootstock, usually the crab apple. So, that’s what we have in mind here.

We’ll be planting some Muscadine grapes in the front, along with some citrus, which we’ll put in planters that can be moved into the greenhouse for the colder months. We’ve got a lot on the agenda, including building a patio/pergola/pavilion type thing for outdoor entertaining in the summer. We’re going to get to work on that this weekend. Till then…