We had a very good rain on Friday and Saturday. The total was about 9 mm on Friday and about 31 mm on Saturday, as measured by the Environment Canada weather station not a quarter mile from us. It rained very hard at times so there was some runoff but the rain lasted long and steady enough that the ground was well soaked. By Sunday pasture grasses and sundried and burnt grass everywhere had started growing once again and suddenly things are looking quite green. It was of course a huge boost for the weeds but just as much a boost for all the vegetables. We are also taking advantage of the damp soil and the somewhat cooler weather to do some transplanting and some seeding that we could not do while it continued very hot and dry.
We got 50 of the 4 X 5 foot big round bales delivered from the Edgar farm and parked at the west end of our garden. These will mostly be used for mulch on the garden this fall and next year from the spring onwards. Some of it will be used as litter for chickens and ducks and bedding for sheep but more so for cows. Some of it will even provide a bit of food. All of it will provide a good spot for kids to play. We also took delivery of 22 large round bales of hay. This is older hay and the bales have been outside uncovered since 2014 and 2015. The two year old lot are very poor but the year old lot are not so bad. We still must get quite a bit more hay in for the winter. We’ll likely get more of this older hay, at least the 2015 stuff.
The chickens are laying well though we lost one last week in the middle of the night. Probably carried off by a coyote. This is a problem with free ranging them. The missing hen was from the flock at that has access to pretty much anywhere they want to go and sometimes one or two hens will start laying eggs in hiding spots around. Raccoons and skunks are pretty good at sniffing these out. Not so much us. And once in a while when night comes a hen will be comfortably ensconced somewhere and will not bother to get off and go to the coop for the night with the others. A target for weasel, skunk, oppossum, raccoon, coyote and owls and probably something else. It is too hard to do a count when I shut them up and anyway, if one were missing I would not know where to look.
Horses and cows will be much happier out on pasture now as there will be at least a little and increasingly more, grass to eat. Another rain, even a small amount would be very useful within the next 5 to 7 days. Beyond that we’ll start, especially if the temperatures get into the 30’s, to get too dry once more.
We must thank our volunteers and working shares for valuable work this week. Weeding is ongoing and seeding and transplanting are critical in this small window of opportunity that we are in now. Thanks Anca and Vanessa and to Helen and Wayne this morning for cleaning up beds for planting. All jobs well done.