May 30, 2016 Farm News

The usual garden view with the wooden roller for breaking clumps

The usual garden view with the wooden roller for breaking clumps

A view across onion, broad bean and garlic rows with the Kale from last season in full yellow flower in the background.  A good source of pollen and nectar for our bees and We'' save seed from this kale too.

A view across onion, broad bean and garlic rows with the Kale from last season in full yellow flower in the background. A good source of pollen and nectar for our bees and We” save seed from this kale too.

From a different angle looking across the garden with the single row cultivator with it's recently broken pole at the garden's edge,

From a different angle looking across the garden with the single row cultivator with it’s recently broken pole at the garden’s edge,

Another slightly different view with veggie trays in foreground and the tree to the right against which I usually lean when I take the heading picture for the blog, That photo is always titled," The Usual Garden View."  Had to stand a bit to the side this week as tomato and pepper plants are parked on a table in that very spot.

Another slightly different view with veggie trays in foreground and the tree to the right against which I usually lean when I take the heading picture for the blog, That photo is always titled,” The Usual Garden View.” Had to stand a bit to the side this week as tomato and pepper plants are parked on a table in that very spot.

Photoed a day or two ago, the three rows of Parsnip with the boards still on and to the right three rows of spinach from which the boards were just removed a s the spinach had just germinated. Parsnips and spinach have just been watered

Photoed a day or two ago, the three rows of Parsnip with the boards still on and to the right three rows of spinach from which the boards were just removed a s the spinach had just germinated. Parsnips and spinach have just been watered

We have, as you might expect, been very busy this past week.  Conditions for seeding and transplanting have not been the best, especially to do transplanting, since it is really too hot to set out tender young plants.  But with care in keeping roots from drying and watering the plants frequently once they are in the ground, it is alright.  When seeding we use a couple of tricks to get a good germination.  If we can we seed quite deep but many seeds are small and have to be planted shallow, some pretty much on the surface.  These seeds, lettuce, mesclun mixes, parsnip, carrot and even spinach and beets we can sow with the mechanical push seeder and then cover them with narrow boards.  I mentioned this in last week’s blog too. We then water the boards and the water, if we put in on heavy enough, will soak the ground beneath the boards.  The boards help a great deal in keeping the seeded soil moist and prevent the watering from washing out seeds. Sometimes the boards are a little above the soil with the ends on small sticks but usually we place the boards right on the soil surface.  We have to be very quick to get the boards off when we see that the seeds are germinating.  This method works well for us.  The other trick we use is to sow into a shallow trench.  We do this with just about everything, with or without boards.  This shelters the seeded row just a little bit from the wind and the sun so it stays moist longer.  We also will, if we have enough, cover the seed bed with straw, hay or grass clippings mulch, even just thinly providing a great benefit. Transplants are usually placed singly, in a shallow well in the soil which works, like the trench, to help retain water and keep the earth moist longer.

Everything from bees through chickens to cows and horses is doing well.  The sheep, ducks and the one flock of chickens has been out on the same bit of pasture for about a week now and they get along well.  We have to give the birds a bit of space where sheep cannot tread so the sheep do not eat their food.  It has been getting to be very dry so last nights bit of rain was very welcome.  There was not much rain so it will not help the pastures or the garden very much but still better than none.  We’ll be right back to watering things again this morning. Kari brought out bees and frames for three more hives and so now all seven of Kari’s hives as well as our single hive are humming.

A pleasant spot for a cow to graze on a hot afternoon. The grass grows well in the part shade of this line of Manitoba Maple trees.

A pleasant spot for a cow to graze on a hot afternoon. The grass grows well in the part shade of this line of Manitoba Maple trees.

The ducks at the old swimmin' hole with few of the Barred Rock chickens over for a drink.  That is the true colour of the water.  I had just added fresh water but the ducks got into it right away and they always have bills full of dirt.

The ducks at the old swimmin’ hole with few of the Barred Rock chickens over for a drink. That is the true colour of the water. I had just added fresh water but the ducks got into it right away and they always have bills full of dirt.

A hen with her rooster making their way through the sheep to the duck pond.

A hen with her rooster making their way through the sheep to the duck pond.

Our Border Cheviot sheep with bees behind where they cannot be molested by sheep and our Cockshutt/ Frost and Woods horse drawn hay mower.

Our Border Cheviot sheep with bees behind where they cannot be molested by sheep and our Cockshutt/ Frost and Woods horse drawn hay mower.

Eggs are into their fourth day in the incubator: three dozen Barred Plymouth Rock, 2 Black Copper Maran, 5 Brahma cross, and 5 Barnevelder.  It is a 48 egg incubator with a fan and all automatic.  Seems to be running well with the temperature holding very close to the ideal 38C.  The humidity level is somewhat higher than it should be running over 60 5 relative humidity.  A little better running at about 55%  but their is a little more leeway with humidity and higher seems to be better than lower. we’ll have to candle eggs tomorrow and take out any that are showing clear, that is not showing embryo development. We should have some chicks in 17 more days, and hopefully it’ll be 48.

Our incubator running on the dining room floor.  On the disply: Upper right; hour and minutes 'til the eggs are turned; Upper left Temperature, below that humidity and to the lower left the elapsed days since starting.

Our incubator running on the dining room floor. On the disply: Upper right; hour and minutes ’til the eggs are turned; Upper left Temperature, below that humidity and to the lower left the elapsed days since starting.

The incubator opened up. The lid is tipped up at the top.  No marks on eggs for the barred rock, the M is for marans, the Bv is for the Barnevelders and the Br is for the Bramas

The incubator opened up. The lid is tipped up at the top. No marks on eggs for the barred rock, the M is for marans, the Bv is for the Barnevelders and the Br is for the Bramas

So much going on. I must remember to take daily notes, keep a journal, which is a fancy name for keeping daily notes.  Come to the end of the week and I have no idea sometimes just what happened over the course of the previous seven days.  Slows me down trying to think and dreg up all the events stored deep in memory.

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