August 21, 2017 FARM NEWS

The garden from the usual spot taken this morning

We had a good amount of rain this week. On Thursday alone we had just over 21 mm or just under one inch of rain.  An additional 4.3 mm had come on Tuesday and a bit of mist on Friday added another 0.5 mm. Rained pretty much all afternoon. It was the CSA pick up day, and since rain seemed a certainty, we thought it best to throw a cover up on the shelter frame. The shelter first had to be repaired and then the heavy cover hoisted and pushed up and over the side beams and the ridge pole.  That went without any problems and though the cover had numerous leaks, we were able to keep dry under it if we were careful where we stood. We had the cover in place just before the rain began. But there was of course no cover over the garden when we were out there harvesting.

The partially covered shelter for the pick up area

We had been getting quite dry and though it was not yet desperate, we had started to irrigate, and things were looking decidedly dry and in need of a good drink. What a difference a good rain makes and it is evident when comparing photos of the garden this Monday with the photos taken the past two Mondays. See the heading photos for each week, this and last.

The cabbages this Monday morning before we started to lay down straw mulch

The cabbages after the mulching has been started.

Although we have weeded a good amount of the garden  over the past week, the weeds are growing faster than ever all over.  Weeding is a never ending chore but with straw mulch on the garden the chore does become easier. So we are mulching as there is still enough of a season left for mulch to be effective and it is also an investment in the following season.

The two pepper rows on the left, cherry tomatoes with staking and mulching just started, egg plants and tomatillos beyond that.

the feather footed flock lolling around the hen house just taking in the sun and enjoying dust baths.

A really nice looking Blue Cochin Hen.

The pastures for the animals have been holding up pretty good this year. We have overall had a good amount of rain though the dry spell of the first part of August was starting to slow grass growth somewhat.  We do have to change the pasture for the one chicken flock as it is overdue and they have pretty much eaten all their grass. The chickens we acquired as day olds at the end of April are now getting to a good size and Aerron has opened up a bit of grass run for them. They should start laying around the first or second week of October. We have several breeds; Buff Brahmas, Blue Cochins, Partridge Cochins, (those first three are feather footed chickens and are a separate flock from the others), Ameracaunas, Whiting True Blue, (these two breeds are both layers of blue/green coloured eggs), Buff Orpintons, Black Australorps, Silver Laced Wyandottes, Buckeye, Barnevelder and Welsumers.  Just a few of each, 10 of each breed mostly and a good number are roosters. The duck flock seems to be doing well and the older and the younger (acquired April 21 as day olds) ducks are getting along well housed and pastured together. The younger ducks should be laying well by the end of September or the beginning of October. The younger duck breeds are all good egg layers; Saxony, Chocolate Indian Runner, Fawn Indian Runner, Blue Indian Runner, Cayuga, Welsh Harlequin and Khaki Campbell.

The hen and cock peafowl or more commonly just peacocks in their new roomier house.

A Whiting True Blue

A buff Orpington scratching around under an apple tree.

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