August 28, 2014 Farm News

Wednesday morning. Squash plants growing in the pasture foreground, three horses grazing with still lush late summer forest beyond.

Wednesday morning. Squash plants growing in the pasture foreground, three horses grazing with still lush late summer forest beyond.

It has been a bit dry the last while.  Too dry.  We have been doing some spot watering keeping the newly planted stuff wet especially.  The dry weather allows us to catch up on the hoeing, as the weeds do not grow as fast.  Hoeing is harder to do though since the ground is harder. But hoeing in hard ground is easier than pulling weeds by hand and we don’t really have a lot of that to do now.  The only spots requiring hand pulling of weeds is were hoes cannot easily reach, such as under sprawling tomato plants or were there is too thick a layer of mulch or where the weeds are growing too close to plants to safely cut them down with hoes.

Chinese cabbage, four rows of Beans, some herbs, Swiss Chard and Potatoes.

Chinese cabbage, four rows of Beans, some herbs, Swiss Chard and Potatoes.

The newly sprouted seedlings are doing well and the Lettuce will be ready in maybe two weeks time.  We have to keep it really well watered.  Broccoli and summer squash should also be ready about then too.  And other stuff too as well as much of what we are now harvesting.  It would be really nice to have warm and wet weather right through September into October.

Some of the unexpectedly prolific sweet peppers

Some of the unexpectedly prolific sweet peppers

The recent sprouted lettuce is now just discernible. These are the Kale plants, centre and another row of Kale to the right.

The recent sprouted lettuce is now just discernible. These are the Kale plants, centre and another row of Kale to the right.

Here are a couple of photos of the favourite colt Leucan.  He is now eleven weeks old by my reckoning and he sure is big.  Turned quite dark but apparently other foals from that stallion were dark like this but lightened up again later. Colour does not matter too much.  More important that he becomes well behaved and pulls well when in harness which will be when he is at  least two years and then only light loads for a year or so.  He’ll need a year or so in harness to get him reasonably well trained.  Couldn’t trust him to tow a cultivator down between rows of lettuce for example, or corn rows or any other rows for that matter.  That sort of work will require a good bit of effort on our part and mostly it will require a lot repetitive practice to get Leucan  up to the task.

Leucan looking just superb in his dark coat.

Leucan looking just superb in his dark coat.

Eleven week old Leucan and six year old Lauran.

Eleven week old Leucan and six year old Lauran.

Bit of a breeze but mostly it's swatting flies.

Bit of a breeze but mostly it’s swatting flies.

Leucan looking very sleek and shiny, nice long socks and that still cute tail.

Leucan looking very sleek and shiny, nice long socks and that still cute tail.

The eggs are getting so much bigger now that we have decided to increase the price of $3.00 for the medium to large  sized eggs to $4.00 and that of the large to jumbo sized to $5.00.   Sorry.   In order to justify this we have to say that these are pastured hens so they get to run around outside during the daytime and get shut up overnight so raccoons, skunks, coyotes, foxes, owls and stray dogs don’t pilfer them.  We still run the risk of losing some to hawks but they seldom bother.  Weasels are a bigger fear than anything else as they could possibly devastate the entire flock in a single night.  Not too many weasels around though … I hope.   Cheer up, we have not lost any yet.

Our real nice Swiss chard with the very pretty little Goldfinch.  there are two of them and notice the ragged leaves.

Our real nice Swiss chard with the very pretty little Goldfinch. there are two of them and notice the ragged leaves.

A little closer shot of the finches.

A little closer shot of the finches.

Garden pests this year have not been too bad.  The potato beetle and their larva were easily controlled.  The white grubs have not been plentiful at all, little damage from them.  There were far fewer cabbage butterflies this year and as a result we have had, so far, little damage from the cabbage worm.  One unexpected pest, never before having been one, has been the pretty little Goldfinch.  They have been quite specific.  These pretty little birds tear ragged holes in the Swiss Chard leaves, and not just any leaves either.  They seem to be careful to choose only the very best and biggest leaves.  Good for them; bad for us.  They have damaged quite a bit of a vegetable that is usually quite free of any damage.  See the pictures.

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