Farm Update 07-12-18

Hi everybody. I’m hoping to get a slightly longer, more comprehensive update out this week, though it will depend how quickly I can actually type.

The weather, as people who live on the mountaintop know, has been quite wonderful this year. The lack of rain is a little bothersome, but it is by no means problematic – at least not yet.

The backlog of work is still being cleared, albeit slowly. It’s just a function of how many hours there are in the day, and how many hours I need (or get) to sleep.

In addition to all the usual work, I’ve been able to get the place a little more cleaned up and presentable, though nowhere near how I would like it to look. This is important to me, since quite a few people ask to see the chickens and they are located all the way back near the house and where I keep most all the equipment. Normally, people wouldn’t see the mess (chaos) behind the scenes, but placement of the coop and pen changed all that.

I also managed to get the hill next to the stand mowed, so anyone who would like to walk up and take photos can now do so without trudging through the tall grass.

The plants are generally doing quite well with all the sunshine, irrigation, and feedings. With the exception of Russet Potatoes, all of the main crops are in the ground. I know that doesn’t really mean much to anyone, since you don’t have access to my planting schedule, but it means a good bit to me.

As most of you know, I am not a big fan of spraying the crops, even with the natural and Organic certified stuff I use. That said, I have been adhering to a slightly stricter schedule this year in hopes of keeping two main pests – Colorado Potato Beetles and 12-spot Cucumber Beetles – at bay in addition to limiting the number of Stink Bugs. It’s tricky balancing the need to spray with protecting the bees, but so far the program seems to be working.

Ok, bad news first. The Kale variety that I planted, which has not been available so far because it developed small thorns, has not responded to the method called for to get it to produce leaves without thorns. While I can feed it to the chickens, who absolutely love Kale, it is an otherwise total write-off. I have decided to start new, different seeds, but it won’t be ready for quite some time.

In better news, there should be the first Cucumbers this week (only a few to start, and intermittent availability), as well as Snap Peas. Zucchini, String Bean, and Broccoli plants should producing greater yields this week.

I also dug test Potato plants to see what might be ready. Looks like for this week that I might be able to get some Adirondack Blue Potatoes, but Reds and Yukon Gold are still not developed enough to warrant harvest (a result of spring-time weather delays).

Check the What’s Available page for the most current listing of what I am currently picking.

The chickens (and me too) are much happier with the cooler temps so far this week. The ladies are working hard to produce top quality eggs.

There’s not much going on this week, except for one hen who has decided to go broody. She knows she doesn’t have any eggs, but that’s not stopping her from pretending she does. I’m just going to leave her be for now, because it’s not like she’s sick or anything, though I do make sure she is getting food and water, as well as taking her out of the next box from time to time so she gets some sun and fresh air. There are steps I could take to break the broody cycle, but I don’t really have the time to do it right now.

The Cherry and Mango-Raspberry jams have both sold out this past week. They join Strawberry-Rhubarb in the currently out-of-stock list. I’m not sure if I’m going to get a chance to make more of them, at least not until some time in August based on how busy I am currently. I do still have samples of them for tasting, and will base my decision on making additional batches on the feedback and number of requests I get for them.

While I know this is early to mention, if anyone is thinking they are going to want to place an order for larger amounts of any Fall crops (cabbage, potatoes, carrots), please let me know. I am not looking for a commitment at this time, rather I am trying to gauge quantities I might need to meet potential orders.

Lastly, thanks to all the people who have let me know that they either read the newsletter or routinely check out the site for updates. I am actually surprised by the number of people who have told me. I appreciate you letting me know, so I know that I am not wasting my time writing all this out. Thanks.

That’s it for now. Hope to see you all at the farm soon. Have a great week.