August 7, 2017 FARM NEWS

This blog is being published without photos as after three tries when the loading of a selected photo was proceeding very slowly it ended with the note HTTP Error. I suspect that it is because there is just too much traffic on the internet and I will have to try again later.

An eventful week again.  Much of our work this week past was weeding the garden.  The rains have been very good at getting everything growing very good! Weeds and vegetables both. But weeds do tend to outgrow the veggies which mostly do not tolerate competition so well. But even those veggies that have the past two weeks been overwhelmed by weeds, are doing alright and will grow out to be an excellent harvest. We are weeding diligently.

We are planning to have a work bee here at the farm on the Saturday, August 12, the coming Saturday. The idea is to work from about 10 am until noon and from 1 until 3 in the afternoon. We’ll break for a lunch at noon and have persuaded Kevin to fire up his BBQ for the lunch making task. The major job is to lay down straw mulch around the vegetables.  Although it may seem a bit late there is still nearly 3 months or more of the growing season left. The straw will retain moisture if we run into another dry spell, it will moderate the soil temperature, it will suppress weeds and make easier removal of those that do come and it will be in position for next season’s vegetables.  And it eventually becomes a good soil builder as it breaks down over time.

All else is well. The chickens continue to lay well. The older flock has dropped off a bit in egg production and their is still too much breakage. The newer flock is also down just a little, very few breakages and overall egg quality is very high. But there are 4 or 5 broody hens in the older flock and these will not be laying eggs. They should be removed to be setting on hatching eggs but we have not arranged that yet. The chicks that we acquired at the end of April are hardly chicks anymore and are growing well and mostly looking like smaller versions of their parents. They should be laying around the beginning of October and we will try to delay the beginning of lay a little so as to increase the egg size. Mostly be trying to keep the hours of light to less than 10 though since they are outside that might be really difficult. We’ll see. The two duck flocks are running together in the same area though the older ducks do tend to stay together. The lay of the older ducks has fallen off to less than a quarter and is likely due to the stress from the introduction of the younger ducks. The young ducks should start to lay at the beginning of October too and hopefully the older ducks lay will increase then too.

Sheep, cows and horses are well. Not much work for the horses of late, two cows still be milked for the house. A good number of sheep to be taken to the butchers as soon as we can figure out a way to get them there. Pastures are holding up well and there is still enough though the cows think otherwise and two or three of them keep breaking fences as the grass is of course always greener on the other side.

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