BUD BREAK One highlight of this time of year is watching the Christmas trees burst into brilliant bright green as they grow, a yearly occurrence commonly known as “bud break.” Though the wet, cold spring we experienced here in the Pacific Northwest was a bit dreary for us, the trees loved it and exploded with new growth. Now, some of them look like something out of Dr. Suess as they await tree trimming in the fall.
MEET YOSHIO On our social media pages, we want to bring you along to see the whole life cycle of one of our Christmas trees. Kristi selected one Noble Fir that we just received from the nursery and potted in March of this year. With a little help from a social media poll, we named it “Yoshio,” which also happens to be the namesake of our farm! Every few months, we’ll check in to see how much Yoshio is growing — all the way until it gets cut down and goes home with a happy family someday.
With planting season behind us, and warmer weather finally on the forecast, Christmas tree farming is a game of maintenance. This essentially means lots of mowing, weed whacking, weeding, watering, and fertilizing.
HOMESTEADING As we simultaneously learn how to farm Christmas trees, we are also learning a host of other skills as we seek to produce food and a year-round livelihood off of the land.
GARDENING Last year our garden produced a bounty of raspberries, cabbage, squash, peas, corn, potatoes, kale, and even more kale. However, some of our crops completely flopped! Dave has made a few tweaks to modify our attempts to grow tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts again this year. One thing is for sure, gardening on Whidbey Island is very different from gardening in Southern California! We also planted a pumpkin patch in one corner of the property, where we hope to eventually harvest pumpkins both for carving and for eating in the fall.
CHICKENS Dave brooded a group of baby chicks in the spring, who will soon join our mature hens in the main coop as they begin laying eggs. That brings us to a total of 29 laying chickens! Chris, Nicole, Josh and Kristi got to learn hands on how to butcher and process chickens for the first time, and we now have plans to begin growing meat birds as a regular part of our homesteading efforts.
TURKEYS Speaking of poultry, Kristi decided to attempt to raise our Thanksgiving turkey this year! A group of 10 poults arrived in the mail in mid-June and are currently living their best life in the garage. They’ll join our flock of chickens in our orchard when they’re fully feathered out, at about 6 weeks old. Turkeys are notoriously unintelligent and have needed close supervision to not kill themselves or each other. Kristi has lost one so far who decided he’d rather eat his bedding than his food. Fingers crossed that the remaining 9 will make it until November!
FARMSTAND Keep a lookout for the new farmstand that will be making its grand debut appearance at the entrance to the tree farm off of Torpedo Road in the next few weeks! We hope to stock the farmstand with produce from the garden and orchard, flowers from Nicole’s garden, farm fresh eggs, and maybe even some Good Boy Farms merch. We will operate on the honesty system and accept cash or Venmo for payment.
PASTURE As we do not yet have any large animals of our own, we have two pastures sitting empty on our property that are available for rent. Both are totally enclosed with high quality fencing and nearby access to a water source. If you or anyone you know needs a place to keep their horse, cow, sheep, or other large animal in the Oak Harbor area, shoot us an email!
PROJECTS As always on a farm, we have a list as long as your arm of projects that need to be done before the tree farm opens in November. We are planning to cover our entire orchard this month to protect the chickens and turkeys from airborne predators (i.e. bald eagles). Chris has been busy building tables, clearing noxious weeds, and fixing gates and equipment. Our current all-hands-on-deck project is giving our merchandise shop a much needed facelift. We’re taking advantage of the beautiful weather to paint the interior of the shop and fix the roof.
We’ve got lots more plans and dreams brewing of what we hope to do here on the farm! Stay tuned and have a wonderful summer. Your friends at Good Boy Farms, Dave, Janet, Chris, Nicole, Josh & Kristi