PictureChickens feasting on Japanese beetles
It's the matchup we have all been waiting for: Lebron vs. Durrant, Brady vs Manning, Tyson vs. Holyfield, Tiger vs. Phil.  Wait this is a farming blog, Chickens vs. Beetles? 

At first glance Chickens vs. Beetles isn't a fair fight, well turns out you're right.  The chickens seem to win every time and it's a good thing too because Japanese beetles can do some terrible damage.  If you have grape vines and you see your leaves ripped up like the picture below, guess what, you have a beetle problem. 

Now the solution is simple, all you need is a few hungry chickens, a bucket, and a good arm for shaking your grape vines.  If you can't or don't want to place your chickens directly underneath your vines, place a bucket underneath the vine and then shake.  Most of your beetles will fall into your bucket, you can physically remove any hangers-on.  Once you captured enough of the beetles, bring them over to your chickens and watch the feeding frenzy begin and end.  Once a few chickens catch on, it's over quick.  That dish was full of beetles and in the time I put it down and snapped the picture, well you see what is left!

This method of beetle control keeps your chickens bellies full of free high protein food, eliminates the use of any harsh chemicals on your grape vines, and gets you more delicious grapes come harvest time.  Looks like a win, win, win to me!   





My fourth year peach trees are finally starting to bear, wow it is so exciting!  It always feels like forever when you are waiting for your first fruit on a tree you planted.   And the way folks move around these days,  most people aren’t in the same state, let alone the same house after 4 or 5 years.  But in the grand scheme of things 4 years isn’t very long to wait.  If managed properly a few fruit trees can provide decades of fruit production.  

If you haven't ever had the joy of biting into a freshly picked tree ripened peach I would highly recommend it.  One of my first memories growing up was picking peaches and eating them right in the field.  I don't remember where I was, how old I was, or even who I was with at the time.  The one thing I will never forget is the sweet, juicy explosion of flavor that no hard and dry grocery store peach could ever be confused of being.   
It's always cool to see pollinators at work!  Here a few of my sunflowers with some honey bees hard at work.  With some detective work maybe I can figure out where these honey bees are calling home and eventually capture a swarm later this summer.  That would be really cool since my honey bees didn't make it thru the long brutal winter.