We now have three grapes in the ground and two more to go. We were so ready to plant them, but due to the proximity of our grape arbor to the chicken coop, we wanted to finish all the chicken coop building before we put them in the ground. Last week we had a particularly long and challenging day. That evening I suggested that we all go out and work in the garden and it changed the mood real fast. We were so relieved to have our day lightening a bit and decided it was the perfect time to plant some grapes. I was cleaning up the yard, Bracken was running around by me, and Jeff started digging. And then…. then there was water shooting up in the air and spraying everywhere. Bracken was excited and started acting like there was some kind of party going on, saying “wah-wee!” (water.) Then he saw Jeff and I’s reaction and realized it must not be a good thing and quickly changed to saying “uh-oh.” Uh-oh, indeed. Jeff had hit a water line when he was digging a hole for the grape. After frustrations of the day we’d just had and then coming out to the garden for a bit of peace, I thought: ‘you’ve got to be kidding me!’ Jeff had to turn off the water for our whole house to get it to stop pouring out. We went inside a little disheartened and didn’t have running water that night. The next morning, Friday, we left early to go to the hardware store. Jeff got the parts he needed and when we got back home, he had the water line fixed in a matter of minutes. Bless him. So, with all that behind us, three grapes are planted around the arbor now and it feels like a small victory for us. We planted two concords and the other is an unknown variety that Jeff has had out back for many years. It doesn’t get enough sun back there to finish and bear fruit, but he got two starts from it and we’re planting them in sunny spots. He said it did finish one year and that he remembers that the grapes were good. I hope so.
We have two more grapes to plant (another concord and another of the ‘unknowns’) and we’ve have a good spot picked out for them. It feels good to be making progress around our yard and to be getting more plants in the ground.
Oh yes, and in chicken news: on Friday Bracken and I drove to the feed store to pick up more chicks while Jeff stayed home finishing things for the festival the next day. We had just left the house when I had a flash to pull over. I had a strong gut feeling that our chicks weren’t at the feed store and that I should just turn around and go home and save ourselves a long car ride for nothing. I pulled out our pay-as-you-go tracphone (cell phone) and called Jeff. I was going to have him call the feed store and check since I didn’t have their number with me (and wished I would have done it before I left the house.) He was working in the shop and didn’t hear the phone. Then my brain piped in, saying that the feed store would have called us if our chicks weren’t there. So I got back on the road and continued driving, even though my vibes knew better. When we arrived, sure enough, our chicks weren’t there. Something had happened and the chicks had not survived transit. I was disappointed. The week before, the Wellsummers hadn’t hatched out, so we didn’t get those and chose another breed. Then we didn’t get the Marans. We were really excited about both the Wellsummers and the Marans because they lay dark brown eggs. I know, it’s just egg color, but it’s something we’ve been excited about. That’s the one downside to getting chicks from the feed store, it’s harder to get the breeds you’d like.
I asked if they had any other chicks available (since we had drove all that way) and they were almost sold out, they only had three chicks left! So we came home with one Plymouth Barred Rock (a breed I like), a Speckled Sussex (has beautiful markings around the eyes like Egyptian eyeliner), and a Golden Sex Link (what kind of name is that?!) I was so grateful that they had some!
The three chicks got along great with the ones we already had. Then we were up to 13 chicks. The feed store was getting more Wellsummers in the middle of this month, but they didn’t recommend spacing your chicks out more than two weeks apart. We wondered whether we wanted to stick with what we had or order those Wellsummers? We ordered 5 Wellsummers. We really wanted that kind. We will keep them separated from the rest of the flock until they are big enough and then integrate them with the rest when the time comes.
Grapes and chickens… these are some of the things we get excited about around here!