Welcome to Wild Orchard Organic Farms! We are a small hobby farming operation in the heart of North Carolina. We sell fine organic produce, handmade soaps and wood crafts.
July 23, 2022: Deer-proofing your garden
We have had a devil of a time keeping the deer away from our garden this year. I must have replanted it a good three to four times before I finally wised up and decided to rely on something other than T-posts and deer netting. These things work to an extent, but we have those hardcore deer who can get through any barrier.
Here’s one hiding behind our fence. Nope, we don’t see you hiding, girl.
We tried human hair. We tried Irish Spring soap flakes. We tried peeing around the garden… Nothing worked. We finally decided to break out all the stops. Now, this fall, we’re going to upgrade that fence and add a solar electric system. But, for now, this is what we’re doing.
1. T-posts, deer netting and pie pans
You can’t see it all in this picture, but we still have the t-posts and deer netting, but now we’ve suspended mini pie pans from fishing line so they’ll spin in the breeze. They also make a little noise when the breeze blows.
We added some solar patio lights to the perimeter of the garden. We also added some solar motion lights to the front and rear of the garden. These work REALLY well.
This one may or may not really work, but she sure is fun. Meet Gertrude, the beachy scarecrow. She is dressed in her sunhat and her sundress. The girls and I plan to have fun dressing her in seasonably appropriate outfits.
Next year, we plan to have a beefier fence, but also some electric power on the fence. I also want to plant deer-repellent plants on both the inside of the fence and the outside of the fence.
What tactics do you use to keep deer out of your garden?
July 19, 2022: Busy is as busy does
We are always busy, but lately we seem to be EXTRA busy. Our children are competitive dancers and they just competed in Sevierville, TN. Our sweet neighbors watched our farm and our animals for us while we were gone.
Our sweet bantam hens went broody last month, and while we were gone, the eggs began to hatch. We arrived home to find four little babies peeping away in the coop. We are now up to six cute little baby peeps.
In addition to these babies, we recently added four chickens to our coop: a cream legbar rooster, two cream legbar hens, and an ayan cemani hen. We still have the two bantam silkie hens and our bantam rooster (the mean one). This brings our grand total to seven chickens (not counting the new babies, of course).
Each of our five hens are laying (except for the ones who are currently being mothers). All are different breeds and lay different eggs. The small, tan eggs are laid by the silkie hens. They are so tiny that I use two of them when recipes call for “one large egg.” The large, dark-brown eggs are laid by our ayan cemani hen and the cream legbars lay the greenish-blue eggs. There really isn’t a difference in their taste, but only in their size.
The small, tan eggs are laid by the silkie hens. They are so tiny that I use two of them when recipes call for “one large egg.” The large, dark-brown eggs are laid by our ayan cemani hen and the cream legbars lay the greenish-blue eggs. There really isn’t a difference in their taste, but only in their size.
On the retail side of things, we have herb plants for sale and we are also looking to rehome our new babies. Currently, we have six straight run chicks that we will be rehoming within the next week. Since I’m terrible at gendering silkie chicks, they’re free.
We have a thriving pumpkin patch and are looking forward to selling pumpkins this fall. We also will be selling potted mums.
Have a wonderful day!
June 17, 2022
We have been really busy here on the farm! For starters, we plowed two new garden spots and planted some corn, beans and watermelon.
And in our greenhouse, the herbs we started a few weeks ago have really taken off. They’ll be available for purchase really soon.
And our animals are doing well.
Our raised bed gardens are starting to produce some veggies too. We currently have some bean pods, cherry tomatoes coming in, a zucchini and even a miniature banana pepper.
We hope you and yours are well- stay tuned for some plant and veggie sales in the next few weeks. Thanks for following us.
May 27, 2022
This week, we got a really bad storm that toppled our chicken coop. A problem with a snake rendered it completely useless.
More rain was coming and we have way too many predators to leave our chickens uncooped at night, We ended up high-tailing it to Tractor Supply, buying an in-stock coop and putting it together. It ended up being a pretty sweet deal after all- it really is a nice coop and the birds seem pretty happy with it.
This weekend, we are plowing our garden and planting our corn, beans and watermelon. We have already planted squash, tomatoes, beans and peppers.
We also reloaded the greenhouse with herbs and flowers, which we will be selling and planting in the next three weeks.
In the next few weeks, our store will go live and you will be able to order small goods from us.
I hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!
May 4, 2022
Good morning! I hope you all are having a great week and that your spring season is going well so far. Our greenhouse is in full swing, and we are currently gearing up to plant our veggies outside. Here is a picture from a few weeks ago.
We spent our spring break building raised beds from wood pallets that I got from my work place.
The hardest part of that project was taking apart the pallets. I split so many boards trying to do this. My advice is to decide how deep and how wide you want your raised beds. We went for this:
Then, we used paper grocery bags, plastic poultry feed sacks and plastic potting soil bags for bed liners. This way, you have less trash to dispose of, and you save money because you aren’t buying weed barrier fabric. Just cut down one side, and cut open the top and bottom like this.
We ended up buying one bag per bed, but we have decided to fill each one with three bags. We aren’t quite ready to plant yet, but we will be by the weekend.
We also plan to put down mulch around the beds, sand and paint the beds, and repair the fence around the raised beds.
Until then, happy Wednesday!!
February 21, 2022
Good morning! I hope your week is off to a fantastic start. This weekend, we started our seeds in our pop-up polytunnel.
We are also learning to use our new climate controls. We got a Biogreen Palma heater/fan with a thermostat. I’ll soon be posting a review once I get better at using it. So far, so good.
In the future, we hope to add a drip irrigation system as well.
Until next time,