October 19, 2015 Farm News

Leucan and his mother Nell

Leucan and his mother Nell

This past week saw major changes in our weather.  We had our first frost, the first temperatures below freezing and our first snowfall.  The frost put an end to several vegetable types such as tomatoes, eggplant and peppers. Most of those types had been slowed by the cool weather in the past few weeks anyway.  Much still remains though and we are hoping to get two more weeks of CSA veggie pickups here at the farm.  We still have some cauliflowers left and these are of better quality than the previous, some cabbages, beets, small leeks, our funny celery, a slim possibility of more broccoli, though the broccoli in general has performed very poorly this season, more carrots of varying sizes, lots of nice green onions, some small bulb onions still, parsley, arugula, Swiss chard and lots of kale.  I may have missed a couple of things too.  So though the selection for the next two weeks will be considerably smaller than before we still have a significant variety.  And we still have Bree’s honey in the 1 litre, 500 ml and 250 ml sizes and our chicken eggs and a very small number of duck eggs.  The weather forecast for the rest of this week is looking good for this time of year but have not heard anything yet about the last week of October.

The horses are putting on their winter coats, it is quite noticeable now.  They are no longer sleek and shiny but heavier and more fuzzy looking.  I  shall try to catch the look in a photo though it is more evident in the horseflesh and hair.  The cattle are in their winter coats now too. Horses and cattle stay outside, though the cattle come to the barn twice a day. They are there just long enough to finish up their supplemental feed and they are out on the pasture again even when the pastures are low. Very soon now we will be moving horses and cattle to their overwintering pasture.  One spot for cattle and another for the horses. They will be fed hay there until the spring grows the pasture grasses enough for them to graze again. The sheep will likely stay mostly inside for the winter as it is much more difficult to keep them fenced in to a particular spot and they do need still to be locked up overnight for protection from predators. It would be best however if they could also stay outdoors most of the time.

Much for us to do now in preparation for the winter, We intend to get our garlic planted this week. We need to get the compost onto the ground and work it in then prepare beds and plant the garlic three rows to the bed then cover heavily with mulch.  We are going to do an experimental planting of potatoes this fall, in very heavily mulched rows to see how they overwinter and if there is an advantage to doing it this way.  We must clean out the barn this fall and put the manure in rows on the garden where vines and corn and main crop potatoes will be growing next spring.  That is going to be  a lot of work and will take a lot of time.  We’ll use the pickup for most of the work though we may use the horses if we can devise a better platform to carry the manure and devise a method of restraining them while we load. The horse drawn manure spreader needs to be rebuilt.  Another project.

We need too to redo the greenhouse attached to our house to winterize it so it will be ready to go in the spring and there will be no leaks over winter. We need to do repairs to house and yurt, to repair and winterize the wood shed and of course there is the ongoing work needed to keep up the firewood supply.  No vacations to the sunny warmth of equatorial latitudes.  Look to Facebook too where there may be more photos. Still occasional difficulties in loading photos to both here and to Facebook so don’t know what we’ll have to accompany this blog.  Until next week.

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2 Responses to October 19, 2015 Farm News

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    What a lot of work there is in running your farm. Thank you for growing our food for us this year, and being such hospitable and good farmers — I think I speak for all of us share-holders when I express my appreciation for what you do for us. Now, whether or not I can imagine having the back-strength (at my tender age) to get out and muck out the barn for the fields, is another story!

    • devonacres says:

      I’m at a loss really as to what to say in response except to thank you for your noticing and appreciating what we do. As to ‘mucking’ out barns; can I point out the immense benefits accrued to those who partake of this delightful pastime, and of the immense benefit to the health and well being of the human body; a robust stimulation of the immune system due to the abundance of all those wee animiscules; an actual benefit to the back giving those seldom used muscles a thorough workover; and lastly, if the back muscles do suffer a complete lockup, you can learn a lot contemplating the ceiling and three walls of your bedroom whilst recovering from excessive exuberance in manipulating messy manure.

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