The usual Monday morning garden view. Cool, windy, but not raining and no snow in the near term forecast.
Last week was the last week for the Community Shared Agriculture (CSA) vegetable pickups here at the farm. We had run 17 weeks of pickups though we had hoped to have done 20 weeks. We really could not do any more pickups now, the three missing weeks were due to a slow start in June. There are a few vegetables still in the garden, a good number of various cabbages, plenty of kale, small amount of potatoes and a small amount of radicchio and onions too. But that is all. We will have these, along with our duck and chicken eggs, available for purchase at our roadside stand. This is of course located at the western corner of our garden, right at the intersection of Greens Road with Robinson Road, at our daughter Heather’s driveway. Heather, Kevin and the girls have been selling a few vegetables and their and our eggs at this stand all year now.
Standing at the entrance to our driveway looking westwards along Robinson Road to the intersection with Greens Road, coming from the left, and the roadside stand, in Heather’s driveway a bit, at the far right.
The road side stand at upper right. A truck is turning on to Greens Road from Robinson Road.
The weather has not been too bad, cold of course and at times rainy but we have managed ok so far without getting really cold fingers. We have now managed to plant almost all the garlic. There is only about a full bed left to go, three 120 foot rows. Leaf mulch and then straw must now be put down and then we’ll be done that work and the garlic will be left alone until spring. We will monitor the sprouting garlic in the spring and pull back the straw mulch if the new garlic shoots are having any difficulty in poking straight up.
The garlic beds. Each white stick is labeled and marks a different garlic variety. Two beds mulched with straw and three unmulched.
On Friday we had planned to do woodstove chimney cleaning. However the last of our straw and hay was delivered and that kept us busy the entire day. The hay and the straw is in the large round bales that we have to often move around by hand after the skid steer loader driver deposits them as close to their final destination as he can get them. This can be a bit of work as they are heavy, around 800 plus pounds or 800/2.2 kilograms, and as they have been sitting for about two months now, they have developed a flat spot where contacting the ground. There were 30 bales of hay, feed for our horses cows and sheep and 20 bales of rye straw though our friend Bill miller who delivered them, thinks that 11 of the bales could be barley straw. Will matter little to our purpose which it is, rye or barley, as both are satisfactory for bedding and litter for the mammalian critters as well as the feathered ones. Also every week or so I have to stuff fresh straw into the duck and chicken nesting boxes. Doing so reduces egg breakage and helps keep the eggs clean. Especially when it gets wet and muddy outside, though ducks are great at making mud from a small amount of water even in a drought.
Two of our eight Leghorn chickens sitting in the nesting boxes. An ISA hen just visible next row below.
So Saturday was flue cleaning day. So far this fall we have not had our woodstoves operating. Our only heat has been from the television and from cooking, so not much. Friday had been a nice dry day and at comfortable temperatures but Saturday was wet and a good bit cooler. Not ideal conditions for going up on the roof to unscrew the top section of chimney in order to lower a rope and pull up a wire brush flue cleaner. But it was not too bad and two swipes of the wire brush were sufficient. The short section at the stove was cleaned likewise and after the soot was vacuumed and wiped up from walls, stove and floor and everything ascertained as being all buttoned up proper, the stove was finally lit at 2 in the afternoon for the first time. A small amount of paper at first to warm the flue and then a proper good fire was lit and the stove and the house warmed up nicely. The house and the yurt, after a quicker cleaning there, are now much more comfortable.
A blue runner duck in the typical pose as she strides from the feed box to the duck pond.
The chickens are still laying quite well, the sheep, cows and horses are still finding a small amount of grass to eat though cows and horses are now also eating a good ration of hay. We will next week winterize the hen houses by wrapping with plastic. Very difficult to avoid the use of plastic. It is so useful and so inexpensive and it dos a good job with little effort.
The team, Nell and Marta, our on a rapidly dwindling pasture nosing through last nights hay.