Well, I guess it has been a while-but we have been busy busy busy!
The bees and the bunnies have been neglected this year-but we are making progress on the gardens and the orchard. The CSA went well, the farmers market was a learning experience, time marches on, I look up and it is November! How the heck did that happen?
Here are some pics from late summer and fall:
orchard terrace triumph
With no real frost in sight I still have peppers and tomatoes in the fields (although the ripe tomatoes have all exploded-a job for next week is to clear those rows). My fall mustards are bolting-no idea if this is normal in November but it seems odd. Lots of alliums (slugs like those), and greens and the beet beds just keep beeting away. Delicious parsnips are in too-so good. All of my potatoes went to the CSA- I won’t be making that mistake again! And lots of other lessons learned-a topic for a later post.
The pullets are now in lay. The ducks….out of seven ducklings I ended up with 5 drakes and two hens. Needless to say four of the boys are headed for the freezer. Neither of the girls has laid an egg yet so I am not expecting much until after the winter solstice. Unlike the hens the ducks are not on 14 hours of light-once I am down to a breeding trio I am hoping to move them in with the hens-or get them their own light system.
hen egg, pullet egg
Looking forward to some introspection and rest-for a first year it has been a pretty good one, crazy weather notwithstanding. I did get out and have a little fun-including taking Osprey on her very first big road trip to the coast. She was super brave and did great! Even loaded in the trailer without too much fuss. Such a good girl.
Winter projects include a new woodstove for the house (we pulled the old furnace out of the basement and installed some mini splits), a real prop house, major barn repair, more fencing and some water catchment…no lack of things to keep us busy. And I will spend the dark months exploring mysteries like how to get the husk fly out of my walnut and how to keep the aphids out of my cabbage….lots to learn.
Love this time of year-though today starts a heat wave. Not so in love with this new world order…I expect to spend the next two days working in the cool of the early morning as long as I can, and then hiding from the sun except for moving irrigation. Be safe, stay hydrated!
Heading into week 4 for the CSA, week 2 for the Farmers Market (on the fence there-I’ll know by tomorrow if I have enough veg for both). The weather has been all over the place-into the 90’s this week which is unusual for W. Oregon in early June-normal cool and rainy last week (Rose Festival-of course!) and midwestern style thunderstorms with gullywasher rain and hail the week before that. But so far the veg has been good and the deer and elk well behaved-we build elk fence whenever we can-hope to have it up by the end of the week.
Here are some shots of a recent CSA share…..just to get you going ;)
Square Peg Farm strawberries
The garlic scapes are great roasted on high heat with olive oil and salt. I don’t think that for most people the strawberries even made it home. ;)
beds built by hand and amended with compost….a bcs with a rotary hoe would make this go much faster.
beds limed, amended with micronutrients and shaped
first beds planted and irrigation lines in place-wait, what is that in the distance? Hmmm, think I know what the next big project is…..
but enough boring pictures of dirt and thousand pound ungulates-that’s a herd of 30 or so cow elk on the hillside there….here is some spring veggie porn-
and a new wildflower discovery-I think this is an orchid called Candystick
and this is a sight for my sore eyes-our Portland house is all spruced up and on the market! I get to spend an entire day on the farm today without going into town to paint, fix or clean-what a luxury! Wish us a speedy drama free sale.
Here are some pics from the late winter/early spring. We are just getting into the thick of things-our earthmoving guy comes tomorrow to terrace the hillside where the main gardens and orchards will go! Super exciting. The new greenhouse works fabulously-one of my jobs for today is to get the prop cabinet up and running-time to start tomatoes! Got the onions and greens going-bottom heat for the onions and the greens don’t need anything other than the greenhouse protection and warmth….here’s some Arugula. A little leggy probably due to the big fluctuations in temperature from night to day (downside of a small greenhouse)-but they are in the ground now and doing well!
Baby bunnies are growing fast-hope to have some more on the way soon…..
And these girls are almost old enough to add to the breeding program….
The shuksan strawberries are coming along….
My kind neighbor came down with his tractor and tilled up the lower garden for me-long term plan is this is where the perennials and berries will be, also some of the orchard trees (cider apples perhaps? or Pears).
The Dingo – aka My Six Strong Men or MSSM-has been awesome for amending the beds once I built them (by hand with a shovel-some day I will have one of these). Also for setting posts for the deer and elk fence-yet to be installed but coming soon to a farm near you!
We have for the most part been having freakishly warm weather both outside and in. You can definitely heat a 4 bdrm house with a wood fired furnace!
too hot for me, but minnesotan husbands love it
The unusual weather is more than a little worrisome-will summer be hot and dry dry dry? Or cool and wet as mild dry winters in the PNW usually indicate? More kale? Or more peppers? Hmmmmm. Anyway, any sun at this time of year is greatly appreciated-it has been a gorgeous late winter/early spring.
worlds most beautiful field mower IMHO
Hope you have some fair weather to enjoy where-ever you are! Cheers-
Went home to Kentucky to see family last week. Got in a lovely 2 hour ride with my father, who is in his late seventies, and Marilyn, a friend from the hunt club, on the two farms owned by family out in Simpsonville.
love me a sycamore tree!
there is really only one way to travel through country like this-on a horse!
We also did a drive by on my Old Kentucky Home-the house looks great. Some day we will stop in and try to get a tour of the inside (I am betting the shag carpet and loud wallpaper are long gone….).
Back on the farm, the to do list is long! But I am getting started on the propagation house, and thinking about fencing for the spring garden.
just add plastic….
this little hoophouse will cost me about $300 for an 8×16 space-and all the materials can be repurposed into moveable animal housing or fencing…..
The garlic and leeks and walking onions are up and look great! So far the gophers haven’t found them, but I know it is only a matter of time…..