Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Gas Tank, Baby Chicks & New Purchase

The baby chicks in the delivery box before going into the chick hotel

Tiny chicks in the chick hotel

This poor little chick didn't know the water bowl was for drinking not swimming

Its been an interesting week so far. Tuesday I was heading into town with our truck to pick up our baby chicks and to drop off lettuce mix at the Village Store and at ADL. I was almost to the store when I heard a very strange noise. The truck was already giving off some strange noises so I just thought it was the same thing just worse. When I pulled into the store and had a look under the truck to see what this new noise could be, what did I see? The gas tank had completely disconnect from the truck, so the noise was me dragging the gas tank up the road. Not good!!! It was only held on at the filler section. I had to call Derek and he rescued me as usual. He was able to strap the tank back up by using winch straps and the truck jack. Very impressive. He drove it to the mechanic and we headed into town to look for another truck. Our old truck is 1990 GMC and has been very good to us but its definitely on its last legs. The body is very rusty and its just a matter of time before major body work will be needed. So it looks like we have bought a 1999 GMC 4x4. We picked up our new truck yesterday. Not brand new but much newer than the one we have now.

After all that I was finally about to pick up our chicks. They are doing well now at their fourth day here on the farm. We have 80 this year and we went with the typical white meat birds. They are happily eating, drinking and sleeping the day away. I sneak in every now and then to make sure they are not piling on top of each other under the light. They seem content so far.

We have had a lot of rain today. It was very much needed. The strawberries are coming along very well now. Yippie.

Strawberry patch

Strawberry flowers and small green berry

I dug up some potato plants tonight to see how they are coming along. Surprisingly there were some nice tiny potatoes. Not big enough to sell yet but in another week of two we should have tiny taters for sale.

Farm fresh tiny taters

Farm fresh "clean" tiny taters

Eggplants under their protective greenhouse

The other excitement this week was discovering we had a family of skunks living under the horse barn. We tried to count them all and we think there are 12 babies and the mom. I tried to get a good picture but it was dusk and the camera was not being very agreeable. We have to be very careful at night now to make sure we do not run into this big happy family!!!

The Mom is leading the pack followed by at LEAST 12 babies, this could be a stinky situation

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Strawberry Planting

We have successfully finished planting over 1250 strawberry plants. Next year there will be strawberries aplenty around the farm. We have four varieties, Kent, Sable, Sea Scape and Annapolis. It was a big project and my back and legs were really feeling the pain yesterday when I finished.

Strawberry plants laid out before being planted

Luckily for me and my back there was much more transplanting to do including the peppers, the remainder of the tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash and the eggplants. Its been a great weather week for transplanting, over cast, low winds and moderate temperatures. After the strong winds last week some of the previously planted transplants are looking a little "stressed" but I'm hoping they will outgrow that.

Newly transplanted hot pepper plant

Many of the vegetables are starting to green up and grow. The early greens including lettuce mix, arugula, mizuna, tatsoi and joi choi are really thriving in the cool temperatures. Once the weather gets hot these crops will bolt and go to seed making them very bitter and inedible. The summer turnip is also doing quite well.

Lovely lettuce mix, yummy

The weather forecast is calling for rain which is welcome news to the newly planted beds of carrots, lettuce mix, arugula, mizuna, zucchini, dill and cilantro. The weeds will also enjoy the drink which means I'll be out with the wheel hoe full force when the soil is dry enough to weed.

Wheel hoe, the best investment ever!!!

a pretty picture of a newly sprouted bean seed

Count down to first farmers market day: 18 days Yippie!!
We can't wait.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weeds & Pea Trellis

The plastic that we used to cover the potatoes worked really well to increase the soil temperature. The potatoes sprouted quite quickly but so did the weeds. I removed the plastic last Thursday to find the entire area to be very green with tiny little weeds. Derek got the hillers out when he got home from work and hilled up the rows which pretty much got rid of the weeds.

Weedy potatoes before hilling

Potatoes after hilling, so much nicer

Derek checking the potatoes after the hilling

We also finally were able to trellis the peas. It took a few hours but it went quite well. We'll see how it holds up when the strong winds come. The peas are still a few inches from the trellis but hopefully this week they will be able to start climbing. I've been reading alot the last couple of weeks about the benefits of trellising and as far as I can tell the yield will be higher and it should make picking the peas much easier. In the past we've just let the peas grow on the ground with no trellis but picking was such a pain and it was hard to keep them weeded.

Trellised Peas, so pretty

A pretty sky picture towards the community pasture