May 29, 2013 Farm News

 

The horses are looking rather sleek in their nice new summer coats.

The horses are looking rather sleek in their nice new summer coats.

 

On Wednesday last, Aerron and I went to our neighbours just down the road to cut up and pile firewood so that it would be easy to throw on the wagon to bring home.  Aerron also spent considerable time fixing fences.  The reason that it is taking him so long is that he is trying to do a better than the usual rush job  so that we will have a more secure area for the cows.  The garden work continues to move steadily forward though growth has been slow because it has been far to dry and too cold at night.  The Sweet Corn has begun to poke through, less than 1/4 so far, but more than 75 per cent of the Potatoes are up and though I have been keeping careful lookout, there have been no Potato beetles sighted yet.  On Friday I was in Hamilton to a talk organized by Mohawk College which featured Robert F. Kennedy speaking on energy and the environment, though emphasizing the work of his favoured environmental group Riverkeeper Inc, and talking at length about the U.S. coal industry and the uncosted problems it has created.  Pollution of air and waterways and the destruction of the West Virginian mountains and hence the environment were commented on at length.  He is a passionate if somewhat controversial individual but he brings a constant awareness to constant problems and the work of Riverkeeper and other Waterkeeper organizations are being recognized and appearing all across the U.S., in Canada and in several other countries around the world.   I found it to be a worthwhile, thought provoking talk.  My daughter and her family got me the rather pricey ticket to the event for my birthday so that was very nice.  There was a good lunch included too.  Maybe the $80.00 ticket price was not really excessive.

We did some weeding of the Carrots, Spinach and Swiss Chard but we are only 1/3 or maybe less of the way through.  We were about a week late in the weeding and with the recent rain making the weed growth that much greater, it is imperative that we get the weeding done quicker than is possible and that will take some doing.   If there is anyone out there who just can’t wait to weed close to very tiny seedlings then please come to the farm, we could certainly do with the help.  The only way that we know how to do this is to crawl along on hands and knees close to the weeds.  Call us if you think that you can spare a few hours.

We made two trips to Wm. Dam Seeds this week to get more seeds and some started plants.  We don’t usually get started plants as we usually grow all of our transplants from seed.  Our damaged unheated greenhouse and the cool spring delayed what we got seeded in the greenhouse so we opted to buy some Tomato, Pepper, Eggplant and Ground Cherry to supplement the ones that we will be growing and which are much further behind in growth.  We have also ordered 25 ready to lay hens which we will get at the beginning of July.  We should have eggs shortly after and hopefully and regrettably we will not have enough.   This many hens means about 2 dozen eggs per day, one egg per hen per day with each hen maybe taking one or two days off per week.   We need to find a good source of organically grown grains and a good protein source for the hens to lay well.   They will be outside every day on pasture in fenced yards as being completely free ranged would mean potential for disaster from scratching hens in gardens.    They are good at getting bugs and worms etc. in the ground but dig by scratching indiscriminately and tend to pick holes in such things as nice ripe ready to harvest tomatoes.

We managed to miss the frosts but only just.  The worrisome dry spell has been broken with about 55 mm (over two inches) of rain overnight and yesterday.  Things should really grow quick now that it is forecast to get real warm and we have a rain soaked ground.

The photos were all taken this past week.  Oh!   Last week’s last photo of the steam locomotive; the question being: What does this have to do with Devon Acres?  The answer is …  NOTHING!   Marie and I went on Monday May 20 to Waterloo, St. Jacobs and Elmira to see engine no.9, formerly with the Essex Terminal Railway, pull a short passenger train of the Waterloo Central Railway from Waterloo to Elmira.   We didn’t ride but followed it along to look, take some photos and to talk with a crew member at the stop for water in St. Jacobs on the return trip.  Great fun, we like steam locomotives though I am rather stressed by the use of coal to fire this engine.

Six rows of broad beans with garlic rows to left before the rain.

Six rows of broad beans with garlic rows to left before the rain.

The broad beans and garlic after the rain.

The broad beans and garlic after the rain.

The garlic. We are looking back towards were the previous photo was taken.

The garlic. We are looking back towards were the previous photo was taken.

This is a very light weight spun bonded row cover that we placed on the green and purple beans so as to give a bit of frost protection. Two rows of radish, arugula and turnip on the right.

This is a very light weight spun bonded row cover that we placed on the green and purple beans so as to give a bit of frost protection. Two rows of radish, arugula and turnip on the right.

Looking back along the radish, turnip, arugula row and the covered beans.

Looking back along the radish, turnip, arugula row and the covered beans.

A close up of the purple beans at the west end of the row and the only ones that didn't get covered with row cover. They are perfectly fine.

A close up of the purple beans at the west end of the row and the only ones that didn’t get covered with row cover. They are perfectly fine.

Our favoured tree line photo with the cottonwood trees in the centre and the mare in the fore.

Our favoured tree line photo with the cottonwood trees in the centre and the mare in the fore.

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