Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Life on the Farm

Rather than cry a river about all the rain - we thought we'd show you some pictures of things going on at the farm right now.  Besides that, if we cried a river, it would only get wetter!  Don't want that now, do we?

This year, the apple trees were covered in blossoms!  Last year, they started a bunch of blossoms that were frozen off.  As a result, there were no apples (but we got one peach!).

 This year we had blossoms and we had warm enough weather during the bloom period.  We did not, however, see much for pollinators on our trees.  We're not sure if we just weren't looking at the right times of day or we didn't look in the right place.  Either way, we hope there were pollinators and we are dreaming of a wonderful apple, plum and peach crop in 2013.  The trees you see here are in the pasture just north of the barn.  They are old enough now that we should be getting some fruit off of them.  Since we both like apples - this is a good thing.

We had a pretty nasty POOOF of wind come through the farm a week (plus some) ago.  We had just put everything under cover and shut it all down when the poof came through.  Rob witnessed arbovitae trees bent over so that they were horizontal and heard some odd grating and groaning noises coming from the barn area.  He did NOT go looking at that point.

This is what we saw the next day.  The first picture is the North side and the second is the South side.  Yes, our barn got shorter.  The peak fell in and is mostly resting on the first layer of crossbeams.  In the top picture, you can see a large section of roof that blew onto the next part of the barn.

 The henlets (as we like to call them) are now outside just South of the Poultry Pavilion.  This is their first step to learning how to day range properly.  We'll move them into the North pasture after a while and begin to integrate them into the main flock.  For now, they get a bit more shelter here.
That was a good thing with some of the recent weather events.

The picture you see below is an oddity for this May.  It is a day where some of the fields were workable and we...um... worked in the fields.

You will see some cages and other things that were an attempt to keep critters out of our very early May planting in the small area that was able to be worked then.  Most of those plants have not survived, for various reasons.  Closer to the camera you see beds tilled that were soon after seeded with spinach, radish, turnip, swiss chard, arugula and mustard greens.  Of these, we see evidence of all of them emerging despite the wet weather.  But, there is a bit of a pond in the center right at present.  We'll try to take a picture or two tomorrow.

Since we can't plant in the fields, our seed starting facilities are getting stretched quite a bit.  Below is one of our seed starting shelves with trays we just seeded to get the seeds to "pop."  We want to get them started in the trays in hopes that they will be able to be transplanted in the next two weeks.  We shall see.
Above is a picture of some of our eggplant in trays prior to our transplanting them into 3.5" pots.
And below are some peppers plants awaiting the same treatment.  The problem with that?
We have to find places to put all of the plants.  With the severe weather, we've been putting them under shelter.  For now, most of our production tomatoes, peppers and eggplants reside in the high tunnel.  They like it, but it makes it hard to plant the next crops in the high tunnel.

And, most horizontal surfaces are dedicated to seeding, transplanting and storing these little plants until we can get them in the ground.  We've found that it is easier to leave some of these on tables or in carts so we can roll them in and out of buildings (morning out, evening in). 
We do alot of this in part because of the possibility of severe weather.  You might argue that once they are planted, they have to handle it out there - and you would be correct.  But, at this point, we have control over where they can stay.  And, when they are in trays, they are more likely to get washed out of their pots and trays than they would be if they were planted in the ground.

And, consider this - we have the ability to protect them at this stage, so why not?

If that isn't enough, we'll give you one more piece of data.  Raccoons like to dig in these pots and throw them around.  They do not tend to dig them out of the ground.  'Nuff said.

Hope you enjoyed the nickel tour!

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