Nothing to see here

To say that we have been busy recently would be like saying Spain needs a bailout. Along with all of the farm stuff, much of which has been unplanned as usual, we had the good fortune of finding an excellent new house to rent in town and the misfortune of having to move into it in May. Without further babbling, here are some pictures:

The berries on our second year Seascapes are forming nicely but they need some heat and light to ripen (which they have now started to do as this picture is a few days old). As they ripen, though, I assume they will become juicier targets for the caterpillars.

We have zucchinis…in May for Pete’s sake! Thanks to Linda G for suggesting this parthenocarpic (self-pollinating) hybrid. Thanks to the tunnel for allowing me to get it to this stage so quickly. I sold 3 lbs of baby zukes to Bruce yesterday and pint boxes on the farmstand.Caterpillar eye view of freshly-tilled big tunnel soil the day before our cherry tomato planting work party.Our oldest hen, Lovely. She’d be insulted if you told her it looked like she was at the top of the pecking order. The pecking order does not apply to her.Staff meeting.The propogation tunnel is still pretty full of plants but most of them are for our own planting now. In a few more weeks, it will be practically empty which is good because it gets uncontrollably hot in there. Good place for peppers, methinks.The Toscano kale is forming seed pods these days (they look like small, slender beans). A couple more months probably until we can harvest them.This is either a new savoury snack to be enjoyed with beer or 15 minutes of tent caterpillar picking from our strawberry patch.Larry with his brush cutter trimming the long grass outside the new 5 acres of community gardens in the Fulford Valley. Three of us on the SSI Farmlands Trust B.O.D. spent the afternoon staking locations for irrigation stand pipes which will be installed shortly. People should be gardening there in a couple of weeks if all goes well.We have lots of broody hens these days. We’ve been taking advantage of the situation by letting them sit on eggs from specific hens that we want to propogate. Hopefully being a mom will also break their broodiness after a while. The hens who are actually laying have to make their own nests now.In lieu of pasture, we bring the egg-layers grass, compost treats and, in this photo, bolted Asian greens.The center bed of the big tunnel on Rainbow has snow and snap peas which we have begun selling  to Chef Bruce and on the farm stand.For the fourth time, some slack jawed yokel trashed our road sign. Grrr… We have to think of a less attractive target.While watering, I noticed this garter snake cozied up between two trays of plants on the ground in the big tunnel. I have a lot of tarps nearby which the snakes seem to love which is great because they keep the slug population around the garlic in control. I don’t think even snakes eat caterpillars though.On Fitz-Roy Farm, Freddie just brought three Hereford-Red Angus cattle to feed on the tall grass in one of the pastures. These docile beasts began feeding just minutes after descending the truck’s ramp.Three of our new chicks with their surrogate Silkie mom. Sadly, we left a coop door open and the mom was taken by a raccoon. Then, we accidentally stepped on one of the orphaned chicks while we were working in the tunnel. Add this to a layer who got sick of natural causes leaving itself too weak to go in at night (raven) and two meat birds, one from stomping and one from who knows what. Having chickens is really fulfilling,except when it’s not.  Update: After actually counting the meat birds yesterday, we realized that we’ve lost a whole bunch of them, too many to mention.  They are now more confined but more protected from aerial attack.  This f/u qualifies as my first self-inflicted disaster of the season.  Unfairly, I am not the one paying the ultimate price.Tent caterpillars taken at the golden hour one recent evening.Taken from atop Paul’s 14′ orchard ladder (which was set up in the apple tree for caterpillar tent removal).Afternoon nap time. I may join them one of these days.A band of axle grease I applied to the trunk of an apple tree near our strawberries. This supposedly keeps them from descending and ascending the tree. They can always drop down but apparently they still go back up for some reason.  Sadly, they travel long distances and there are too many trees and bushes that have tents.  Therefore I have been spraying BTk, a biological insecticide that is supposedly ok to use organically.


2 responses to “Nothing to see here

  1. Loving the photo documentary guys. You’re the best nieghbors anyone could ask for! Welcome to the neighborhood (again). Congrats on the new house!

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