Sunday, July 13, 2014

Don't rain on my parade; just the gardens.

Yes, it's turning out to be one of those summers. One of those summers where we receive almost no rain, which is then accompanied by fierce winds to dry out the earth even more.
Now we come to the real point of this post: watering gardens.
I have done many kinds of watering. Early morning watering; greenhouse watering; lugging two-hundred-feet-of-hose-around watering; late afternoon watering; cloudy-day watering; pump-connected-to-a-pond watering; big water-wagon watering; medium water-wagon watering; small water-wagon watering; and, the main event, watering in the evening until it's pretty much dark. I would like to say at this point that watering is probably one of the most disliked garden tasks for most farmers (though I have never consulted others on this; but it is certainly how I feel).
Watering at night can simply be turning on the hose of pump, or it can be a rather a more strenuous task such as filling up a water-wagon (a water wagon is simply a wagon attached to some form of transportation, which is then loaded with plastic garbage cans, buckets, watering cans, and anything else that can hold water; filled and then driven to where you would like to water).

Thoughts on/while watering:
~DO water with a friend, or a group of friends! You can talk about your food, and sing all the songs you can remember from Guys & Dolls and The Music Man, and, if you vocal chords are feeling up to it, "Maybe This Time" or "Don't Rain On My Parade".  (Though there is a little irony on "Don't Rain On My Parade"; since you'd be thrilled if it rained.)

~DO dress for occasion ("What was I thinking! bare arms, neck and head!") . Yes, I mean it: you just may be eaten alive by a ferocious pack of bloodthirsty mosquitos. If this unfortunate event does occur, you may be left with these feelings: "I Came Out to Have a Good Time and Honestly I'm feeling so Attacked Right Now".

~If you are filling up water receptacles with pond water, it may be best to keep you mouth mostly closed. Pond water in the mouth can be rather disgusting, especially when you remember how much the ducks love this particular pond and you're left wondering if you'll possibly get some sort of funky duck that's just me?

So, to conclude, I really do hope we get some rain soon; if not for me to have my evenings back, at least for the sake of the plants.

Happy Watering!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

First week of CSA!

It's a busy time of year on the farm. Both the market and CSA have started (Yay!), and we're still busy putting things in the gardens.
First week CSA!

Last week we planted about 25 new strawberry plants, which will produce next year. Over 100 tomato plants have been planted in the garden, along with peppers and eggplants.

We have a new calf named Bonnie!

Vegetable List (subject to change):
Swiss chard
Collard greens
Bok choy
Green onions
Spring garlic
Lettuce heads
Lettuce mix
Beet greens

"The hooves of horses!
Oh! witching and sweet
Is the music earth steals from the iron-shod feet
No whisper of lover, no trilling of bird,
Can stir me as much as hooves of horses
Have stirred."
                           -Will H. Ogilvie

Strawberry plants

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Spring photo shoot

Berry,  last year's orphan calf
Barbra (named after Barbra Streisand)
I went to Paris in April and came across many little food markets like this. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Spring has finally started!

I look out my window (or go outside) today and it appears to me that it is shaping up to be a very nice spring.

The trees are budding, the daffodils are blooming...soon I'll need to start mowing the lawn; okay, so not everything is that great.
We've planted out some kale, chard, bok choy, cabbage, collards, onions, lettuce, broccoli, etc. Though, looking back at last year's records it seems that everything was planted out so much earlier.

The cows are not out on pasture yet, but the horses are and loving every minute of it (though they seem less than keen to drink out of a very nice little stream).
Isabelle (the pig) spends most of her day basking in the sun while listening to classical music, or whatever else CBC radio 2 has to offer.
 We have six calves so far this year: Boris, Barbra, Bette, Blaise, Barnaby, and Beryl :)

Fixing the roof on the old hay barn 
Boris and Bette
Blaise (top), Barnaby (bottom) 

Replacing the plastic on the greenhouse

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Dust of Snow

It has been a terribly long time since I have written; my apologies.
The end of 2013 was a bit hectic....But now I'm just making excuses.

Naturally, the gardens are all closed up at this time of year, which gives us a bit of time to read lots of novels and seed catalogs!
November 16, 2001-November 23, 2013
R.I.P. Luna
The animals are doing quite well; we are expecting some new calves in the near future. Isabelle (the pig) spends most of her time lounging in her straw deluxe-sized bed, with the occasional interruption to get up and eat. The horses are all doing quite well, though there was an incident with Roscoe getting stuck on ice and having to take the tractor out to the field to rescue him (I was not at the farm, so I cannot give you the full account). Unfortunately, we had a sad loss at the end of November; our beloved farm dog, Luna, passed away after 12 years of companionship.

The weather here is, as usual, absolutely unpredictable. We get a snow storm about once a week (often on Wednesdays) and it's really cold around Wednesdays, then on the weekend it starts to warm up and thaw out --a lot-- and then the pattern starts all over again. The only thing you can really count on is it being perpetually damp. Also, the Groundhog totally did not see his shadow where I live today. Did he see his shadow where you live?

It's also very close to CSA brochure and registration time!

"Late lies the wintry sun a-bed,
A frosty, fiery sleepy head; 
Blinks but an hour or two; and then,
A blood-red orange, sets again.

Before the stars have left the skies,
At morning in the dark I rise;
And shivering in my nakedness,
By the cold candle, bathe and dress.

Close by the jolly fire I sit
To warm my frozen bones a bit;
Or with a reindeer-sled, explore
The colder countries round the door.

When to go out, my nurse doth wrap
Me in my comforter and cap;
The cold wind burns my face, and blows
Its frosty pepper up my nose.

Black are my steps on silver sod;
Thick blows my frosty breath abroad;
And tree and house, and hill and lake.
Are frosted like a wedding cake."

-Robert Louis Stevenson

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

When the long dark autumn-evenings come

I saw old Autumn in the misty morn
Stand shadowless like Silence, listening
To silence. 

- Thomas Hood

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

All the live murmur of a summer's day.

We're halfway through the CSA season, and a few of the ten week CSAs will be finishing up this week.

It has been rather dry (though we finally got some rain on Friday, and then again yesterday).
The gardens are doing very nicely, our beans are doing excellently this year! The weeding is time consuming,  but it appears to be paying off.
We has started harvesting the garlic!
We have the bush-hog again, and we have been clipping many pastures and other areas where the grass has grown out of control. I am quite a mole-arian and mouse-arian; I swerve not to run over them as they flee the grass I am clipping. I could never live with myself if I saw one of the rodents and then chopped it up.

Vegetable List:
Swiss Chard
Green peppers
Green beans
Yellow beans
Cherry tomatoes
Slicing tomatoes
Plum tomatoes
Fresh garlic
Lettuce heads
Lettuce mix

That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease. 

-John Keats