The Big 65 and Chop and Drop the Comfrey

Yesterday was my birthday. It was the big one as I turned age 65. I am Medicare eligible at last and this means I can now draw on my Medicare insurance after all of these years of paying into the system. Gene offered to take me out to dinner but I am still not feeling 100% normal from my lingering bronchitis and I wanted to enjoy the day at home. So we ate a home-cooked meal outside in the sunshine sitting on our garden bench. It was a perfect simple day.

Gene walking offset nice

Walking in the designated Allegan Game Forest

The day was sunny and warm and I spent as much of my day out-of-doors because I wanted to take advantage of the last few days of Indian Summer warmth. The high temperature was just 50 degree but with no wind blowing and the sun it felt much warmer.

Gene chicken belly scratch

Playing with the chickens

I took the chickens out to free range and sat on a chair in the sunshine and watched them graze. I have discovered that watching the chicken and their goofy antics is one of the most pleasurable and relaxing things I can do for myself. It is like a kind of meditative therapy.

Horizontal sowes bed Gene looking

Unwrapping the chicken wire to go around the fruit tree bed to protect them from the deer.

I supervised the fencing in of the triangle fruit tree beds while Gene cut back the comfrey that I had planted around the trees this past spring. We used a permaculture system process called “chop and drop.” We cut them down and dropped them at the base of the trees to enrich the soil and give nitrogen to the delicate tree roots. I added fresh compost from our 6-part compost bin to feed them as well.

Comppst buckets close USE

Confrey close up USE

A close up of the chop and drop comfrey.

Gene then staked the beds using green, metal T stakes that came from my friend’s home that she recently sold and ran the chicken wire surround piece that was also given to us. Our goal is to keep the bunnies from eating the tender bark on the fruit trees and the deer from eating the buds.

Bed ladder wire USE

The roll of wire waiting to be put around the fruit trees. 

We did this to both fruit tree beds using tall stakes to give us an indication where the beds are located so they can be seen when the snow gets deep this winter. Gene asked for a way to see the beds while snow blowing paths to the pole barn and chicken coop and this seemed the simplest solution.

Smallhydragnea and bird feeder

Wrapping the hydrangea to prevent the deer from eating the buds.

After our work was completed I decided I wanted to take a drive so we headed into nearby Allegan for cocoa and a sweet treat and then enjoyed a drive around farm country. We like to explore the dirt roads looking for barns to photograph and places for Sassy to run and hunt. We explored a new to us section of the Allegan State Game Area and Gene found a trout stream to fish in the future. In fact he watched a large salmon going after a tiny trout, so he was thrilled.

Cert with compostThis years compost waiting to top dress the perennials.

I’m a pretty simple person, I love our home-center life and a simple day was the perfect way to celebrate my birthday.

Small House homesteader, Donna


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