Chickens / Coop / Orchard

Still Moving, Planning, Planting

IMG_1982I can’t imagine a busier month.  Preparing my home of 9+ years for the market, ferrying our hopes and belongings to our “farm” a little over two hours away, and wrapping up my work at a job I have held for more than a decade – I am always moving, always planning.  It’s stressful and exciting and overwhelming, but taking the transition one day at a time and soaking in the beauty of this archetypical spring, I am finding pockets of peace within the whirlwind.

IMG_1983For my birthday, my husband bought me two pear trees for the budding orchard at the farm.  We selected a Starking Delicious and a Moonglow.  Both are fireblight resistant and should do well in our new zone, 5B.  Although I am just beginning to learn about fruit trees, it seems that these two will also be able to pollinate one another, should they survive to such an age.  My parents bought me The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way by Michael Phillips which I hope will teach me to care for these new trees, the many apple trees already on the property, and all of the other orchard plants we are planning to add.  I want to avoid dusting with any chemicals, especially because I feel so protective of the water on the property.  Although our spring comes from deep in the mountain, my awareness of our water source has called into question even the detergents we will allow into our septic system.

IMG_2003My husband obliged and took photos during his pear-planting expedition out to the property.  While our apple trees here in Virginia bloomed three weeks ago, the apple trees and wild cherries are just blooming this week out in the higher elevations.  The snow has long since melted and the spring rains have made the grass lush and green.  It’s beautiful.   As you can see, Talli was very helpful.  And what do you think of that soil?  It looks fantastic to me!  That’s much deeper topsoil than we have here.

IMG_2006The main posts for the chicken coop have been cut from spruce which fell in last year’s storms.  However, because the coop is far from complete and our move is nearly upon us (less than a month!), we’ve decided to build a hoop coop like our friends at Out of Order Acres.  Made from two 16-foot cattle panels arched over a wooden frame, the hoop coop will hopefully keep our chickens safe at night right next to the house at the farm until my masterpiece – I mean, their coop – is complete.


In the meantime, we are still moving, still planning, still planting our hopes and visions onto our new home.  It won’t be long now.




15 thoughts on “Still Moving, Planning, Planting

  1. The Holistic Orchard is fantastic! I hope you get as much out of it as I have, we don’t have a lot of pest issues in my area but I really believe that my trees are doing better this year than last year. My newly planted bare roots are putting on noticeably more growth comparatively than the ones I planted last year.

    • I’m really glad to hear it! I’m glad your new trees are doing well. We have these pears, some English walnuts, and a bunch of blueberry plants to get us started. I also want to bring some of the raspberries that grow all over the place on the current property.

  2. Just looking at the views you have there, lower my blood pressure, lol. (I also live in the mountains at 6B- but we’ve been in drought… and have clay soil, even some pear cactus). I could drool, I mean – dream- over your views all day! Thanks for sharing it.

    • Thanks, Illoura! It feels that way to be there, too. Visiting is like taking a deep breath. It’s so peaceful. Sometimes, all you can hear is the wind in those big spruce trees. Lovely.

  3. Isn’t it great when you actually find your little piece of paradise? Everything seems like a hassle, then as things start popping like in your photos the realization sinks in. It was the same when we moved to Costa Rica, total chaos, then one day, wow, you look around and there you are. Just like for you there will always be new things you add to your place, it is never finished but isn’t that just what we want? Enjoyed your photos!

    • Thank you, Art. I am still waiting for that “here we are” moment, but it is coming so quickly now! I can’t even begin to imagine your move to Costa Rica. What a huge project that must have been, but what a payoff! You live in an absolute paradise. I think ours will be a paradise for us, too. Nearly there…

      • Heather, your paradise is the paradise you make it. Many gringos that move here fail to understand Costa Rica is an emerging 3rd world country and it has difficulties but, and that is a big but, you make it your paradise. For us the big thing here is the people, they help make it our paradise. Your place is beautiful but it isn’t paradise till YOU and your husband make it your paradise and from the looks of it and your determination you will live in PARADISE! Oh yeah, so will your chickens . . . . . .

  4. I echo the above statement about Michael Phillips book; it’s an invaluable resource. and is currently assisting with a cherry tree.

    I also want to say how much I love reading these posts about your move. I don’t comment often, but I am reading them all. My husband and I are planning a move to a small farm when his early retirement date arrives. We’re still 10 years away, but posts like these are incredibly helpful and inspiring. Thank you for sharing, and I truly mean that.

    And you’ll love 5B! Although, my 5B is at 4800 ft.!

    • Wow, 4800 feet! Yup, you have us beat by a thousand feet of elevation. Your plan sounds absolutely wonderful. It’s also amazing how the years fly by. Dream now so that you will know exactly what you want when the time arrives. Thank you so much, Melanie!

  5. If you need any advice on building the hoop house, let me know. You can put a single hot wire around the outside bottom of the coop to protect them at night. We have electric netting around ours.

  6. Pingback: Peek at the Hoop Coop | Scratch Cradle

  7. Pingback: Update on the Big Move | Scratch Cradle

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s