Then came a new problem. We have a nice herd of good looking bucks hanging around our property. These bucks decided that our orchard was the perfect place to rub off all the velvet off their antlers. The kids alerted me that I might want to come take a look in the orchard the other day....and what I found was at least 2 trees snapped off within a foot of the ground, and about 8 other trees that had been badly scarred and many branches broken off (many are lop-sided trees now). I am sure we are going to have to replant about a quarter to half of the trees next spring.
We thought our 6 foot fence was enough, we had 6+ strands of hot wire but they just jump right through it. We could hear the twang of the wire as they jump right on through. We will have to go back and add considerably expense with 2"x4" wire mesh. We have talked about a 6' fence around our entire 5 acres since that would make the most sense to keep all deer out of the property at all times since someday we might want a 1/4 acre of blueberries or a full acre of strawberries or corn for a corn maze etc. That might be something we have to consider more seriously now. It won't take long for the fence to pay for itself if we can avoid replanting fruit trees and prevent garden and landscape crops from being ruined as well.
This picture makes me sick, after all the time we took to prune, inspect, pamper these trees all year we were so upset to see them all damaged like this. I've been cranky every since I found them this way...
The tree in this picture is in the best condition after the damage, it only lost 2 main branches and got a few more skinned up. It was the prettiest and largest tree we had, it is a nectarine tree.
From two turkeys we were able to get 17 lbs of meat, that weight which doesn't include any bones at all! I thought that was a great amount of meat from just two birds. We are going to keep the breasts and try to marinate and smoke them for deli meat, and we will grind the rest into turkey burger. I am excited to have a nice stash of turkey burger. Helps to round out the protein sources some.
I am really excited about hopefully getting some red meat in the freezer this fall with the hunting tags we have for elk and deer (maybe we will even get a bear for some more tasty breakfast sausage). We are running quite low on red meat and it will be comforting to have that replenished if possible. We need to work on purchasing an upright freezer so we can move some of the veggies and other items we need often to the upright and store the meats and longer term storage items in the chest freezer.
This last weekend we managed to get half of the pears canned (a few we dried too). We have 3 more boxes to go this evening. We move on to applesauce, pumpkin puree, diced tomatoes, salsa, a little more corn, dill pickles, and a few odds and end batches of things to close out the canning season.
We have just a few more weeks of the growing season left. I am pretty sure I am going to try out a hoop house for a season extender to get a little more broccoli, carrots, and lettuce mature before the coldest months of winter hit. It will be an experiment to see if this type of thing is possible with the winds we get here etc.
I am really going to miss the turkeys following us around and the cute sounds they make, but I won't miss the stress of keeping them from following people walking on the road in front of our house, and the hassle of trying to keep them out of the strawberries and cucumbers. Oh and I won't miss the gigantic sized poop all over where they like to roost at night! It was time for a little simplicity to or busy lives around here. Things will get even simpler once the garden is "bedded" down for the winter too. It will all happen soon enough I am sure.
Some of the canning so far.