Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Happenings Around the Homestead

Ok, so it's not really a homestead. They're still happenings! We had a lovely day today. The sun shone (this is rather unusual in the Walla Walla Valley during the winter), and it was 50 degrees! Here's what's going on around The Cherry Tree Farm:

Scott is building us a chicken coop! We will be getting the chicks in a few weeks -- eight of them. I've never raised chicks before, but Scott has, so I imagine we can handle it without killing off more than three or four!

Look! It's a gravel ditch! (It's really pretty like that around here.) No, it's really our irrigation canal. This property has had first water rights on the Little Walla Walla River (meaning we can use all the water we want, and everyone downstream has to lump it) since 1886. Most of the year, this canal is deep enough with fast-running water to be up above my knees, and in the middle of the summer, I'm not sure I could keep my footing in the current. In the summer, reeds and yellow flags grow along the banks and it's beautiful. In the late winter, however, the water board reroutes the water and all the landowners along the canal line have to clear out the old reeds and get the canals ready for the growing season. Our gardener, Vincente, has been working all week on digging out the old reeds (he's so cheerful about it!). I miss the water when it isn't running -- the sound is so peaceful.

Our cherry trees are still looking rather straggly at this point in the season. This is a view facing east toward the Blue Mountains. The new growth on the trees is always reddish. The trees should begin blossoming in late March, and it shouldn't be too much longer now before the beekeepers bring in the bee boxes to get the pollination going.
And then there's the resident farm dog, Cap. He's having a lovely day, as I bought him a giganto-riffic beef knucklebone to gnaw on just this morning, and he's been working on it all day. He also loves it when Vincente is here doing farm or garden work, because there's someone to talk to him outdoors (when he IS outdoors, that is, and not sleeping in the patch of sun on the living room floor!).

What's happening at your house?

Love, kristin


  1. what a precious face! (i mean cap's of course!) as for chickens - what breed, do you know? will they be for eating as well as laying? as you may remember, my parents and sister loved chickens so we had them two different times in my youth. it is fun when the hen hatches out a nest of eggs. baby chicks are very cute!!

  2. You got a dog?????? Didn't know! And you're going to raise chickens too!!! How fun. You are busy farm momma, that's for sure! good to hear what's happening around there! ((hugs))

  3. Dear Kris, Scott and Kids.
    Great to see pictures of your projects, go Scott! We enjoyed the story of your water rights and the canal history. It's always been filled up with lots of water when we have visited, you really must miss the sound for sure. What a great place for you to live, with all the many things that start growing about this time. Baby chicks are a great idea. Real eggs will be wonderful, we are able to get brown eggs from a work buddy, we love them.
    So now you have a dog? Wow, must be fun to have company in whole different way. Gives the kids another life experience to invest their time in. He looks very loving indeed.
    We are doing well, the weather is snowy and ice still makes walking around the neighborhood a bit dicy. Good thing we have our ellipical.
    We were over in Portland last weekend seeing the Needham twins. cute. The pollens were very evedent for sure.
    How are Emily, Steven and Mara doing? Love their pictures hanging in my work cubical, such a motivation. Love Kathy and Fred