We have kept busy as ever this week. Even though it is getting a little far into this season we still have a lot of work to do, maybe even more than earlier. We are also starting to plan and get ready for next season. Some areas of the garden, as they are cleared of this season’s veggies, are not being replanted with vegetables for this season since for most things there will not be enough time for the vegetable to reach maturity. We will do some fall planting of vegetables mostly the Garlic. We will also prepare beds as though to plant into but we will then cover with the straw as mulch and leave them over winter, ready for planting come spring. For the past few weeks we have been seeding quite a few things for this fall’s harvest including Arugula, Bok Choi, Tatsoi, Mizuna, Beets, Mesclun, Collards, Cress, Chrysanthemum and Cabbage. These are vegetables, mostly greens, that grow quickly and can be used long before they reach maturity, if needed, or if time does not allow maturity.
The horses cows and sheep are doing well but the chickens and ducks are not laying quite so well. their lay rate had been off just a very little bit earlier but has dropped more since. We do have a light on in each of the coops but none in the duck hut. The chickens are now getting about 15 hours of light each day and this is needed to keep the laying hormones tricked into ‘thinking’ that is still summer. We will have to get replacements chickens very soon as the Barred Plymouth Rocks and the Rhode Island Reds, two old heritage breeds, once known as very good egg layers and as decent meat birds, have not been laying well since we got them. They did not lay a single among the entire lot for three whole months during the winter. These breeds were once noted for being alright winter layers. There has not been enough care taken in selecting and culling for the desirable breed characteristics which include a good lay rate of at least 300 eggs per hen per year. but that requires work and careful attention to the flock. Most of us are busy and the hatcheries are not paying enough to make that worthwhile. My thoughts.