Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fall around the homestead

Fall color in the vines of Big Ag's vineyard and our own olallieberries. Our table grape vines are still kinda green (upper right of second pic).

Fall has meant that chores are much more comfortable to do outside now, and so in addition to continuing our back yard project, we're also pruning, trimming and making the first early preparations for spring. 

By far our biggest success on the property has been our olallieberry, blackberry and raspberry vines down in the pasture. While last year was short on berries, the summer proved very hospitable for growth, so next year's harvest should be a good one.

The year before this, I had such a bumper crop I ended up selling quite a bit to a local restaurant, which was a nice little bit of extra income I was happy to have. I'm hoping 2016 is the same, but since I don't know what the weather is going to do, I don't want to count my berries before they hatch, so to speak.

Yesterday was such a nice sunny day I decided to finish up trussing the vines and clipping the ends off the really long ones, since I'd rather have some nice lateral branches with berries on them than one looooong strand.

Stepford Wife vine/root...can be whatever you want it to be. Spooky

I discovered while down there that there are blackberry shoots with roots on the ends of their vines trying to dig down into the ground, which must be how brambles get established.

I just find it amazing that anything can be so versatile that it was be a root or a shoot, depending on its environment. We should all be so flexible.

Around the rest of the property, we finally have chairs and a fire pit for the back yard. Perhaps we'll actually get around to lighting a fire in it this weekend. 

And Valentina is still happily fostering with us, she has laid an egg nearly every day and since I'm currently getting none from my other girls, she was literally the hen who saved Thanksgiving. She can stick around as long as she likes.

Valentina frolicking among the rose bushes.....

Big Ag and I frolicking among the vines.


  1. Love those red chairs & what a great picture of the two of you!

    p.s. My biscuits turned out great!

    1. Thanks and congrats on the biscuits! I think everyone needs an easy, go-to biscuit recipe they know will work. But it does take a long time to find one, doesn't it?

  2. Too funny, I was just thinking about which biscuit recipe to use for Christmas! How beautiful to have roses at this time of year! The patio is looking wonderful, love the red chairs! Unsurprisingly, olallieberries are never seen out here. Will cross my fingers for next year's harvest! Valentina wished to repay you for your kindness to her! Or maybe she saw the turkey and thought "I'd better earn my keep..."
    Great photo of you two! Your hair looks fabulous!

    1. Well, needless to say that means a lot coming from a professional like you -- Thanks! So I don't know why ollalieberries aren't found back there, they are just the best pie berry ever. There is a company called Trees of Antiquity out here that does sell them though, and ship them. That's actually where I got mine (although because they are close I was able to just pick them up). They have all sorts of delightful heirlooms

  3. Love your roses! Used to have three bushes when we lived in Arizona, but since being in Virginia have not planted any. Looks like Valentina is enjoying them. xo

    1. Thank you Pepper! I really love them, most roses are such easy keepers. Haven't had one die on me yet, which is more than I can say for most other plants!