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A Perfect Week and a Sad Day

May 29, 2009

It was a perfect week. Steven took the week off to help me in the garden. Two people can get so much more done than one. And Steven likes to do the hard, dusty, dirty work. The weather was just right: sunny, 70’s to 80’s and dry — all week. How often does that happen in Portland in May?

Our largest Asian pear tree in bloom

Our largest Asian pear tree in bloom

For me, the week started with thinning the Asian and Bartlett pear trees. I have never thinned them so early in the year. This is my chance to see if it really does make a difference in their boom and bust bearing habit. There were tons of blooms (a boom year), so if I thinned the fruit early enough, I should make the tree think it didn’t produce enough fruit this year and it will produceĀ  a lot again next year. Unfortunately, I have to wait a whole year to find out.

Look at all the fruit I thinned!

Look at all the fruit I thinned!

Thinning is hard, not physically, but mentally. The first part isn’t so bad, taking each cluster (anywhere from one to six or seven fruit) down to just one fruit. I know this will help the fruit grow to a larger size. But, then I have to remove some of those single fruits, to give each enough space and energy to grow. That gets hard, because I keep thinking there isn’t going to be anything left to enjoy! I have to keep reminding myself, there will be plenty to eat and this is good for next year’s crop.

The tomato/pepper/eggplant bed is ready to plant

The tomato/pepper/eggplant bed is ready to plant

The rest of the week involved weeding in our “backyard,” that will one day produce herbs and maybe even some Mediterranean fruit, preparing beds for planting (Steven’s expertise) and planting.

The sad day was today. One of our girls died…our blonde Americauna chicken. She was our best Americauna egg layer, she loved to be held and she was crazy for scratch. We aren’t sure what happened, but we think she fell trying to get into a nest box and broke her neck. I will miss her.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. Col Harlan Sanders permalink
    April 17, 2009 9:00 pm

    I’ ve heard you raise chickens. We have a new recipe that contains chicken lips. when you kill your chickens, would you be interested in selling the lips since they normally go to waste anyway? Please contact me. Thanks, Harlan

  2. Steven permalink
    June 1, 2009 12:18 pm

    It’s been a few days now and I’m still sad about losing “the blonde girl”. She was a good chicken. I’m worried that our whole chicken complex (including the coup, the run, the tunnel, and the play house) demands too much athleticism for the average hen. Maybe I should go back and re-think each structrue for safety.

  3. tara permalink
    June 8, 2009 11:38 am

    So sorry to hear about your chicken. That must be really hard, especially since you don’t know exactly what happened to her. It was good to see you and your “ox” the other night at PIR. We promise to have you over for dinner soon if you can get away from the garden! BTW, I love the blog- you seem like a pro at it already!

  4. Steven permalink
    June 8, 2009 2:11 pm

    Did I say “She was a good chicken”? She was a HELARIOUS chicken. She was a scratch addict. She needed to detox but I kept enabling her to get crazier and crazier about scratch. One of our other girls was responsible for her demise. I want to know who. I’d like to line them all up along the wall and enterogate them. But since that won’t be particulary productive, I’ll just be on the lookout for which of the remaining chickens seems to be enjoying her scratch the MOST. This will be the one who finally has her fair share. This will be the one who murdered the blonde girl.

  5. June 9, 2009 7:04 am

    I’m sorry for you and your loss, she sounds like a fun gal especially after she got her scratch.

    Love the blog,professional in appearance, very personal in feel. It’s a pleasure to read.

  6. Nathalie & Kurt permalink
    June 16, 2009 9:22 am

    We are so sorry to hear about the loss of your chicken. You know how we love your chickens and their eggs…
    It was wonderful seeing you at the farmer’s market last saturday.
    We hope to come by Sauvie Island sometimes soon in order to pick some berries; maybe we can stop by and say Hi again.


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