Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Update on the Farm

This time of year is extremely busy with planting, weeding, feeding, maintenance projects, and trying to beat the 90 degree plus heat. Lots of activity and we get up early, work all day and go to bed early....some retirement!!

We have been helping out on a local ranch and this is me sorting cattle for artificial insemination. I sort, give shots and have worked the head far I have not sought out the coveted "stick your arm up a cows rectum" job but maybe someday. These are big 1000 lb plus Simental and Angus cross breeds and when the boss says "go cut out 5 head and send them into the sorting chute" and all I have is a small fibre glass cattle stick I sometimes get a pucker factor of 9..but I actually enjoy it.

I finally got a shot of the elusive barn cat "Eve"...good mouser.

Mostly what we enjoy about living on the farm is the fact that we are surrounded by nature....and we have started embracing even the bugs as they are fascinating. This guy was resting next to a planter and you can see how those big eye looking spots would scare off predetory birds.

Maybelle loves the mower and follws me around to get the fresh cuttings.

And we tilled up and planted the second patch of corn across from Judy's mobile home.

Note the netting on the pear tree in the orchard. Among other things we have been tested with in the last year has been this years emergence of the brood XIII Cicadas. Millions of them have now hatched after a 13 year wait and are all over the place. They really are just a nuisance but the do damage young trees and shrubs by splitting the bark and laying eggs which will potentially kill the tree so we covered them all in netting which seems to be doing the job. The worst past of the Cicadas? They have huge orange eyes, and when you disturb them they fly away screaming like a scared mad man...seriously, they scream and its unnerving until you get used to it.

The hydrangeas have bloomed...need to add Ironite next year for blue coloring as we have extremely alkali soil due to all the limestone.

All of our Clematis are doing well in the heat and blooming.

We have lots of Geraniums which are my favorites. The leaves have a distinctive smell I find calming.

Our Hollyhocks are really blooming this year, they only bloom every other year so we are enjoying these we planted when we first got here.

These beautiful flowers are our Yucca plants that are blooming. We have never seen a Yucca bloom and we have six or seven around the farm that are in the process of blooming.

On to the garden. We garden organically and handle insects by using diatomaceous earth (DE) which are the ground up shells of diatoms that feels like powder to humans but cut up bugs feet or body parts and we also use Neem oil for aphids, potatoe bugs etc. Weeds are handled by using an old fashioned hoe..sooo our gardens may not look like what you would see in Sunset magazine but they produce non chemically contaminated good produce. Here we have cabbage, brussels sprouts, collard greens in the back, and broccoli.

Pole beans are starting to come up along with some Thai chili peppers.

We have peppers, leeks, and Rainbow Swiss Chard starting to emerge here.

37 tomato plants we started from seed...all doing well, all have either blooms or actual tomatoes on them.

Far left is caster beans which will get to about 15 feet tall and though they are poisonous, they keep the deer and other animals away from the garden (so we have been told). Also in this shot are beets, and various peppers.

The sweat peas got a late start but are coming on strong..they will climb the cattle panels in short order.

Our cucumbers also got a late start but are starting to produce.

Onions and Holly's fancy pants lettuce.

And another project, we had 18 cu yards of river gravel delivered to fix some issues with our various roads and parking areas. We will need some more to finish.

This little tractor really gets a work out on this farm.

Thats it for this week...still have lots of projects pending and the daily weeding, planting, feeding etc but soon we hope to be HARVESTING and CANNING!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! Your layout and progress are really amazing. Garden looks positively fantabulous!