The Grovestead

Farm, Family, Fun.

Month: August 2014 (page 1 of 3)

First apple

First apple harvested from our orchard

We enjoyed our first homegrown apple from our apple orchard yesterday. The Zestar variety ripens earlier than the rest, by the end of August. It tasted similar to a Honeycrisp but more tart. It was especially sweet since we have so few apples this year, having to pick most of the blossoms to force the roots to establish, then losing most of what remained to wind and worms.

Overall, I’m happy with our orchard’s progress. There were some mishaps to be sure, like the Harralson that got so weighted down with apples that three branches broke. Cedar Apple Rust, a common fungal disease has infected other trees but can be easily treated with a fungicide spray. And of course watering the apple trees every day with 5-gallon buckets for the first six weeks was a chore. But seems like we’ve done ok, overall. From here on out the maintenance decreases and the fruit increases.


Watching chickens grow

Comparison of chickens week one to week four

If it looks like our broiler chickens are doubling in size every week, that’s because they are. We received the box of chickens in the mail just one short month ago.  Already they’re the size of rotisserie chickens you’d see near the checkout lanes of the grocery store.

We had a few vacations this month with different family clans and had neighbors helping care for the rapidly growing chicks. Upon returning from each trip we couldn’t believe how big the chicks were getting. So far the thirty birds have gobbled up over 150 lbs of feed and they’re only half-grown.

Growing chicks in the pen

Growing chicks running

Closeup of our growing broiler chickens


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