There’s always one

This little guy just didn’t trust me!! Those baby guineas are just the cutest things. Momma guinea had her hands full with sixteen, teaching them how to eat hard boiled egg!!Not for long though. I set these eggs to sell the babies but as always things didn’t go according to plan. Out of the three dozen eggs only two dozen were fertile and of those several babies just never made it out of the shell, or made it out and got trampled or simply inexplicably died. Sigh. I did sell one dozen babies though and again have several dozen eggs under broodies. Hopefully the next hatch will be more successful. It may pay for a portion of my new deck.

We’ve had substantial rain and heat over the last few weeks and the garden is going gangbusters. I’ve had to fence the strawberries off but I wanted to mulch them anyway so hopefully the fence will keep the straw in and the guineas out. The bushes are covered with blossoms and immature berries so I’m hoping the mulch will hold the moisture in and keep the berries clean.

The corn is amazing–I had the sprinkler on about ten days ago just before we got a couple inches of rain and the temp has been in the high twenties. My abandoned sprinkler seems swallowed by the fast growing stalks. The pumpkins are starting to run already. I’m hoping for a bumper crop. It’s my last day driving bus. I actually have no plans for the summer meet except to catch up on all the jobs around the farm. It’s actually quite relaxing to know I don’t have any deadlines. Happy summer!!

Those damn guinea hens

Don’t get me wrong. I love my guinea hens. I love how they cruise around the yard, chirping and chattering, eating bugs, having dust baths and just generally making me happy. I don’t even mind when they cruise thru the garden. Or rather, I didn’t mind when they weren’t bothering anything and just picking up the odd bug here and there. But now they’ve pissed me off by first!!! nibbling at my peas!!! I’m ok with the odd little nibble here and there but they rampage thru the pea patch like its their own personal salad bar!! I’ve been wondering why the peas look stunted–it’s because as fast as they grow the guinea gang is munching off the tender young shoots!!! Just look at the size difference between the peas and the beans!!

And second!! They’ve discovered the Swiss chard patch. Aargh!!! I had just been admiring how nicely the chard was looking and came home yesterday to find it shredded, looking all the world like a lacy green fern and not a leafy chard at all. Sigh. Now I have it locked up like Fort Knox–take that that Guinea Gang!!

And third!!! Most depressing is my lettuce patch. I always plant radish and lettuce together. The fast growing radish shelters the tender lettuce leaves and then as I pull the radish it opens up the now established lettuce to the sun and air. Well the radish leaves had been looking a bit nibbled on–I mean who doesn’t like a sharp bit of radish leaf in their salad–but in eating the radish leaves–and really who cares, the radishes are in the ground after all–the guineas have trampled the lettuces. Arrrrrgh!!!! So now I have guinea proofed the chard and most of the lettuce. Now I have to figure out what to do with the peas.

Thank goodness all I have are three loose guineas. The rest I have penned up or I would have no garden at all. The good news is that I am finding guinea eggs and slipped several dozen under broody hens. They are terrific mothers and today I found my first guinea keets. Here’s one momma hen giving me the ol’ stink eye for taking pictures. And this one still has a couple eggs to go before she too can be moved into the brooder house.

I do love my guineas–we just have to learn to share 😊