October 3, 2013 Farm Newsletter 20-14

The dust drifting across the garden.

The dust drifting across the garden.

Hello;        First to our ongoing obsession which of course is the weather.  It has been pretty much perfect for this time of the year and we could not really expect much better.

The combine just visible in the dust cloud. They are harvesting soybeans on the airport property.

The combine just visible in the dust cloud. They are harvesting soybeans on the airport property.

The only improvement would be warmer temperatures at night, closer to 20 degrees, but this is not bad at all.  We did have a very small amount of rain which merely dampened things a bit but this was still useful.  We did have a lot of sunshine, which, for this season of shorter days, was also very useful.  A cool off is predicted but the temperatures are to be above the expected still.

The bars running across the digger form the conveyor for carrying up dirt and potatoes.

The bars running across the digger form the conveyor for carrying up dirt and potatoes.

Potato Digger;    Our ancient (circa sometime in the 1930’s or 40’s) tater rooting apparatus has not been working all that well of late.  The drive chain problem that has been giving us trouble for the last few years was finally solved, remarkably simply, by positioning and securing the tensioner in a way that had never occurred to me before.  All went well for half the row when of a sudden the familiar sound of the chain coming off again was heard. The only thing was that the chain was fine, my fix worked, the noise was something else and we started and stopped for another quarter of the row before we could see what was making the racket every time we moved, but the exact cause would remain a mystery until

The newly repositioned drive chain on the potato digger. the gear at the back of the digger is at the far left. The bars at the very top of the photo are the conveyor which is being pulled along by the chain and carries up dirt and potatoes with the dirt fallying out between the bars and the spuds riding along to be dropped off the end on the surface.

The newly repositioned drive chain on the potato digger. the gear at the back of the digger is at the far left. The bars at the very top of the photo are the conveyor which is being pulled along by the chain and carries up dirt and potatoes with the dirt fallying out between the bars and the spuds riding along to be dropped off the end on the surface.

we took the thing apart and started to see how it actually worked.  A worn, well actually disintegrated, bearing seems to be part of the problem. The other part and the reason for all the noise, was the spur gear on the right side moving outwards on it’s shaft and not engaging the gear that the chain wound round.  Since the gear at the very end of the apron was not turning, the load on the apron was too great for the main apron gears and the apron bars just bounced

The driving chain on the gear with the large ground wheel with the spades on the rim to keep it from slipping.  The other chain in the photo at the left going up is holding the tensioner wheel tight against the drive chain.

The driving chain on the gear with the large ground wheel with the spades on the rim to keep it from slipping. The other chain in the photo at the left going up is holding the tensioner wheel tight against the drive chain.

back off the gears causing the loud clattering noise that at first was taken to be the usual chain falling off.  Now did you understand all that ? Was that not the most interesting thing that you have read about in a long time ? You need not reply.

This week:   We have a good lot of vegetables.  A good supply of Potatoes, in spite of troubles with the horse drawn digger, with some six varieties to choose form or you could take some of each variety.  More Onions of various sizes, some of the small rounded ones, used whole, would make good pickled onions and if I can find the time I will do some.  They will keep well (except for the reds which tend to start spouting right away in storage) so there is no real rush to get them done. We have good amounts of all of the more exotic varieties of Garlic though much of the garlic is small.  We’ll try to have them in bundles of five with a wee bit of paper under the elastic with the

The vertical chain holding up the chain tensioner, the chain gear and the small spur gear driven from the large gear attached to the wheel, the axle stub is the black shaft to the right.

The vertical chain holding up the chain tensioner, the chain gear and the small spur gear driven from the large gear attached to the wheel, the axle stub is the black shaft to the right.

varietal name on it.  This way perhaps you could compare some of the varieties which from their appearance when growing are  obviously different from one another.  They may have a flavour or heat difference etc.  We have a good lot of Squash, mostly Pepper (Acorn), Spaghetti and Buttercup this time.  The Apples though on the small side are probably better overall this week.

The two big gears over which the conveyor travels and on which the conveyor bars were slipping and making the loud clattering noise.

The two big gears over which the conveyor travels and on which the conveyor bars were slipping and making the loud clattering noise.

Aerron held the ladder while Gabriel climbed the ladder, picked them and tossed them to his Dad who, mostly, caught them.  The occasional one was dropped on the ground and some fell from the tree but more than usual will be bruise free.  There will as usual be ample Kale bunches available for kale chips, kale slaw, salads, stir fries and smoothies and for what ever other uses you

the digger with the wheels off. The right hand side. At the little gear, the spur gear. the bearing is destroyed and the shaft moves about  a half inch.

the digger with the wheels off. The right hand side. At the little gear, the spur gear. the bearing is destroyed and the shaft moves about a half inch.

can conjure up.  We will have Pumpkins ready for this week for pies or decoration.  We have small amounts of other things, Tomatoes, still disappointing in their yields and now some of the varieties destroyed completely by blight without any of their fruit coming ready.  Blighted even while green. We’ll have a Herb or two out on

Tomatoes with beets to the left.

Tomatoes with beets to the left.

the table and whatever else that we can conjure up.

TVO Documentary;     If you can, watch the documentary ” A Desert Between Us and Them, Raiders …   in the war of 1812″ which airs on October 5, at 9:00 p.m. on TVO of course. The film makers and researcher are living in Brantford.  Our apple tree, from which some of the apples at this pick up came from, feature briefly near the very end and also, somewhere not quite so near to the end, is a brief glimpse of what was dubbed “the knarely tree” a large old Oak growing not far from the apple.

The Season length;    We will try to get in as many weeks as we can, for so long as Garden 2013-09-30 014we still have vegetables available or until really nasty weather comes.  We would like to go to at least the end of October, four more pick ups after this with the last being on Halloween.

Two rows of late planted peppers just starting to get fruits.

Two rows of late planted peppers just starting to get fruits.

Healthy tomatoes on the leftwith blighted and dead tomatoes to the right.

Healthy tomatoes on the leftwith blighted and dead tomatoes to the right.

The variety, gold Dust, which was particularly susceptible to the blight.

The variety, gold Dust, which was particularly susceptible to the blight.

Thanksgiving;   Next Thursday, October 10 is the CSA vegetable pickup before thanksgiving and we will have all varieties of our squash and pumpkins of various sizes and lots of potatoes of most of the varieties, if not all of them.  Lots of Onion and a selection of different kale varieties and lots of it.

We will have as much of everything that we have so that everyone with the CSA has the best lot of veggies that we can get to them for thanksgiving and we’ll still have things for a couple or three weeks after that.

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