We are really into summer on the farm! It looks like we will need to do another round of irrigation this week. Our first field of wheat is ready to come off and then we will have straw to bail. The garden is growing well with some tasty summer squash, cauliflower and broccoli being harvested. We are watching our garlic closely to make sure we don’t let it get over mature. Our strawberry season was short and sweet. We were pleased that so many strawberries escaped being frozen after our hot March and then -7 degrees C nights in April! We have another round of brassica transplants to go out this week and a succession planting of carrots and beets for the fall. My plan is to plant and then irrigate.
Amanda Building Pasture Fence for Mabel
We are getting another pasture fenced for Mabel, our Jersey cow. She has grown up in the last two years and is ready to calve in August. We got her when she was two days old in May of 2010. Last Thursday she ducked under the top wire of the electric fence when Elias was moving her water barrel out of her patture and had taken down the lower fence.
Elizabeth Burying the Electric Fence Wire
Usually she is very friendly and quite happy to come to us for some attention, but she was having too much fun when she was out, playing tag with us, and it took a while before Ken was finally able to get hold of her halter! Today Elizabeth and Amanda are fencing off the front pasture beside our chicken pasture so that Mabel will have some more good grazing. Next year the chickens will be in that pasture and Mabel can have the pasture where they are. There are so many jobs to do all the time that, although fencing the front pasture for Mabel has been on the “list” for some time, it has only just now floated to the top.
Every week our work is framed by our CSA harvest for our Tuesday and Saturday pick-ups, however around the edges of that we do manage to keep up with other farm tasks. Finishing cutting up the fire wood for next winter is still on the list and every other week we do manage to do a sweep of in the garden – cultivating with our Suffolk Punch draft horses and then weeding and hoeing by hand. Ken also is planning to finish the cold room that has been under construction for some time. It will allow us more harvest flexibility and hopefully result in better quality produce for our CSA members. We now need to find and install a cooling unit, add some weather stripping and move the building into place. Ken finally had time to saw some of his lumber last week and then the new motor on the saw mill broke down! Understandably, he was very frustrated. The motor is at the repair shop and we are awaiting its return.
On the horse front we ended up buying back two Suffolks, Suzzie and Sonny, that we sold five years ago along with, Sandy, a five year old mare out of our old stallion, Rufus, and Suzie. Sandy is untrained, but Ken is enjoying having two horses back that he trained himself. It’s nice to have more Suffolks on the farm again. After loosing three horses last year it is taking us a while to sort everything out. We also bought Queen, a lovely old belgian mare that we leased last summer. We are happy to have Queen back on the farm to help out. We have Mater and Princess for sale because we don’t need quite so many horses. (See the horses for sale page of our website for pictures.) They are both good work horses and we hope they can find good homes. Our two foals from last year, Wendel and Eli, are “growing up” in the south pasture.
Grandma Martha Holding Della
In the back of my mind I am still remembering holding little Della Jane when I was in Portland for her birth. It’s too bad I can’t be in two places at once! We hope that Della can come for visits when she is older so we can get to know her and share our farm. Ken is of course hoping that she will take after him and be horse crazy and grow up to be an organic horse farmer! He has been collecting horse toys for several years…
Bill back from Cultivating with Buttons and Queen
Elias Seeding Head Lettuce Transplants
New Cold Room
Cultivating and Hoeing Onions and Leeks