Tuesday, June 21, 2016

CSA Week 2 and on the Farm

This blog post may be brief, due to the fact I am working on an Ipad, rather unfamiliar territory to me.
Yes indeed, the good less than 2 year old Apple Macbook died  and I am trying to get by on this, but it is testing my patience.
There certainly is a reason I don't work on computers all day and much prefer to be in the garden. It sure has invaded my business regardless though, and I depend on technology a great deal.

The garden remains dry, but I am watering recently seeded crops to get them to pop. Lots is growing well, weeds included, and the routine is weed, water and mulch.

Mulching will be vital this year in helping to retain soil moisture and regulating soil temperatures.
It was a challenge today to get things done and get out the door with the veggie baskets, primarily on account of a chicken named Ruby, Rubes for short.
That girl.
Percy, my orange kitty busted through the screen door into the garage last year so he could come and go at will. ruby was quick to discover the hole and pops in frequently to check in on the cat food sitution. She loves cat food.
Amazingly enough, on Sunday I cleaned out my garage which was quite an undertaking. I have a great table to work on in the garage, and now enough room to assemble the shares, right beside my cooler and my weigh scale.
It really is nice though to work in the garage with the large overhead door open, which presented me with the challenge of keeping Rubes out. Not only was the cat food there to tempt, but also the freshly picked greens would deserve a peck no doubt.
I set up a simple barracade, but she figured that out by hopping over. So I doubled the height of the barricade, and she spent hours assessing the situation, cocking her head this way and that, and bolting
for the door as I walked in and out closing the screen door and the wood door behind me.
That girl. She is a special one.


 The baskets today were spring, even though it is the first day of summer. Lettuce mix, greens (either kale or chard), garlic scapes, greens onions, radishes, cilantro and basil. I hope the cilantro lovers out there are happy because it is one thing I grow I don't really care for, and cutting it was tough...as was driving around with that smell in my vehicle. I guess you either love it or hate it.

The good news is that the tomatoes are coming, Stupice of course and from the greenhouse. Soon a nice sampling will appear in the baskets.
My patience has reached an end. Until next week!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

CSA Week One and On the Farm

Today was week one of shares for my Tuesday CSA people, and tomorrow is week two for my Wednesday folks.

Indeed it is spring and this is apparent from the basket contents. There is ample lettuce...most of it my favourite variety, Bronze Arrowhead, radishes, greens, (kale, chard, chicory), microgreens, rhubarb and a bit of parsley and basil.

It has taken a whole lot of watering to get to this point.  It is dry, dry, dry.
I am grateful for my clay which holds the water well, but regardless the lettuce takes lots of watering, as do any newly seeded areas.

I do a lot of hand watering because I find it keeps me tuned in well to what is happening in the garden, and I also find it relaxing, a nice way to end the day. The water I use is from a well I had dug many years ago, not the Welland River that I live on. I pump from my very deep well, into my pond which warms the water up, then out into the garden.

I have sent back a few sprinklers this year that have been very disappointing and flimsy, and am awaiting another right now in the mail.  In the meantime, for smaller areas I am using a fantastic sprinkler that I got  from the dollar store. In 15 minutes it totally saturates an area of about 120 square feet and is very efficient. You just never know. As much as hand watering is what I prefer, it is time consuming and many times I just need to be doing something else.

The anticipated rain on Thursday would do wonders. I am really hoping.

The garden is pretty much in, but as crops come off, I continue to plant. Lettuce is seeded weekly as are microgreens. Weeding is in full gear, and I am trying to mulch as much as I can to cut down on the necessity of weeding and conserve moisture.

Today as I scrambled to get things ready for my shares and store deliveries, a few things distracted me. My big orange friend Percy was sitting on the grass twitching his tail and gazing at something he had no doubt caught. As I approached him, I couldn't believe my eyes. It took a few minutes to register, but then it did. This big bruiser of a cat caught a weasel! Weasels are pretty vicious little things, and I know have been responsible for the loss of some of my hens and bunnies in the past. It is sad, but it does worry me to know they are around. One less now though.

Then as I was walking past some long grass, some movement caught my eye. A baby robin with an injured leg, not yet able to fly. Oh, this is so difficult.
But with Percy cruising the area, I had to intervene, and I scooped up the little guy. I hope I made him comfortable in a cage, and I gave him strawberries, which I figured must be okay, because all the other little robins are eating my crop. He ate a good bit, worms too, and I am hoping he can get strong enough to head out on his own. It's hard with baby birds, but I am hoping.

Pray for rain and have a great week!