September 26, 2013 Farm Newsletter 20-13

The herd on the way out to pasture, with the two calves out front.

The herd on the way out to pasture, with the two calves out front.

Weather This Week;  we had a real good rain on Saturday, as I’m sure you are all aware, about 1 3/4 inches or 45 mm fell here on the farm.  This was really needed because though we were not extremely dry we were in need of a good soaking.  The rainfalls since about the end of July were only enough to keep things going for a few days and then it would dry again. Grasses, trees and other plants would look o.k. but only because no real growth was being made by most of it.

Tippy and her calf.

Tippy and her calf.

The concern with us now is the possibility of a frost.  We have come very close a couple of times and there were signs on a very few leaves of the peppers that they had suffered a touch of frost.  Even without the frost we are concerned with the cool temperatures which not only slow growth on many if not most things, but also just makes those tropicals want to shrivel up

Tippy's calf having breakfast

Tippy’s calf having breakfast

and die. But it (cold and winter) will get here eventually and even with warm weather into the autumn we are also getting progressively shorter days, less and less sunshine, a deficit of photons, and photosynthesis goes nowhere without them.

Compostables;   if you have any tree leaves, garden debris, tree and shrub

Tippy, a Milking Shorthorn, with her calf.

Tippy, a Milking Shorthorn, with her calf.

trimmings or any other vegetative matter, that are getting in your way then consider bringing it all to us, even stuff from your neighbours if you trust it. Vegetables of course have a very high water content, in the order of 80 to 90 percent I think, so most of what we supply to our CSA members is delightfully flavoured water

The calf is now about 5 weeks old.

The calf is now about 5 weeks old.

with a good lot of minerals and other important to us chemical compounds.  It is these minerals and the various chemicals that plants use that are being taken from the garden and need to be replaced. We have compost from the vegetative matter that we have around here and from animal manures but still there is a net outflow from the farm.  The amount of stuff going off the farm is

The three year old cow boy in training under the watchful eye of his instructor father.

The three year old cow boy in training under the watchful eye of his instructor father.

greater than the stuff coming on the farm. We really need to tip the balance in the other direction so that we are constantly increasing the fertility of our garden soil.  So bring us your compostables, we have a spot for all of it in the garden and in the spring the piles will be spread throughout the garden.

Chickens;  We finally got around to putting a light in the chicken house.  Egg laying in chickens is related to the number of hours of daylight and an artificial daylight in the form of a light bulb substitute nicely as the day length drops below the 16 hours needed.  Actually it has been below 16 hours for a few weeks now but we are just slow to respond.  The chickens responded though and for the last two weeks the number of eggs per day has been a few less than we would expect, not many, we still were getting a good number, but we should now do better. Buy an egg, keep a chicken employed.

Vegetables this week;   The vegetable selection is changing quite a bit now.  We hope to be able to have enough of a selection so that we can have 4 or 5 more pick ups here at the farm.  We are quite short on greens except for kale which we have in a pretty good supply.

Kale, Westlandse dwarf curled.

Kale, Westlandse dwarf curled.

Broccolli, showing three side shoots.

Broccolli, showing three side shoots.

We have a lot of potatoes, onions and garlic still, enough squash for everyone to have some at least ’til thanksgiving, October 14.   The pick up Thursday before thanksgiving  is the 10th and we will work towards having a large variety with good quantities for all our CSA’ers.   More of our apples, smallish but they look really nice  this year and are of good quality with little insect damage, few worms.  Some cabbage maybe and there may be enough broccoli.   Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant have been very slow to produce good fruits but we will probably have some.   We will have some herbs. Which ones not decided yet.

Intern;  We are exploring the possibility of having one or more people to intern here at the farm next season.  If you or some one you know might be interested in taking the position then do contact us.  Internships are very common in all sectors of the Canadian economy and interns are often essential to many small farms that are similar to ours.  They  vary in how they work. Some are unpaid, some interns do get a small stipend.  We are still developing our version but we do want to ensure that the internship is a good experience and that valuable learning is obtained.  We are pretty confident that we have a lot of good experience to draw from to pass on to others.

Documentary Film;   Moo Man is a

Camomile still looking good.

Camomile still looking good.

2013 documentary film about an English organic raw milk small dairy farmer that is on Netflix for those of you who have that option.  It is a Trufflepig Film production and is a moving , well done film that we highly recommend be seen.  A U.K. documentary but much of what he talks about in the film relates to what is happening in Canada and to Canadian farms.

The apples on the tree that is entwined with the pear tree.

The apples on the tree that is entwined with the pear tree.

Closer view of the same lot of apples, different angle.

Closer view of the same lot of apples, different angle.

Link for Folk Music Lovers;   Do a search for Brantford Open Stage on the internet.  Every 2nd Friday in Brantford.

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