Thursday, May 29, 2008


That's what I am -- weary.

After Saturday morning at the Farmers' Market, I hopped on the second tractor and started raking the hay my husband had cut. This tractor doesn't have a nice cab and I raked until nearly dark. It was chilly by the time I finished.

The next day, I hopped on the tractor again and raked from morning until late afternoon. It was hot and sunny on Sunday, so even though I was wearing a wide brimmed hat, my forearms and legs below my shorts got very sunburned.

My husband was working behind me, baling. He finished by Sunday night and moved all 24 round bales before it rained.

That was less than 50% of our hay fields, so it will all begin again when we have a couple more dry days.

A habitually barking dog has been depriving me of sleep on and off for months. Last night was quiet, so I feel less zombie-like than usual.

This morning, it is 47 degrees and foggy. That is nice for the end of May. In the cool mornings, the dominant scent is honeysuckle. The lavender is in bloom and needs to be cut. Flag iris needs to be cut into fans, as it is done blooming. Peonies will be dead-headed.

Berries are forming quickly on black and red raspberries. Gooseberries are green. Blackberries are blooming. I've even got a few strawberries ripe in the long bed I planted.

I've picked enough broccoli that we had it for dinner a few times. This morning, I plan to blanch and freeze some. There is enough spinach, kale, chard, and beet greens to sell. Beets are growing quickly. Cucumber plants, pole beans, and cabbages are up. I planted small tomato seedlings and squash seeds.

Guineas are hatching and being transferred to the brooder. The last batch of ducklings are sold.

We thought that kidding time was over, but drove up the hill to rescue a doe with her two newborn kids yesterday evening. The maternity barn will not get pressure washed yet.

I'm gearing up for the Saturday market and my husband is talking about cutting hay again this morning. And so it goes.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bloom Time Report

Tulip poplars are blooming with their lovely yellow flowers. The flag iris is just about done, but other types of iris are now in full bloom. Peonies, rhododendrons, and phlox
are blooming. Roses and lavender are just about to...

Grass is out of control, but intermittent rains are preventing the cutting of hay. This is the crunch time when farmers look for a dry two day window of opportunity.

Berries of all types are forming for next month's ripening. The fruit trees are loaded with little pears, peaches, apples, and apricots.

In the vegetable garden, broccoli has formed heads; spinach leaves are cut daily; kale is ready for a little harvesting; beets are forming nicely; cucumber plants have been mulched prior to vining; pole beans have emerged and provided with a trellis; pea plants are growing upwards, but not producing yet; cabbages have been thinned and put in rows. I have yet to see a lettuce leaf of any ilk in my garden. Maybe the timing of seeding was wrong.

A friend helped sort out the greenhouse for a couple of hours. I think it will be many more hours before the work is done. Tomatoes and peppers have mostly been transferred to individual containers to grow some more before being put outside. Flower starts, including sunflowers and hollyhocks are looking good, but now I have to clear some real estate to plant them. Fifty to a hundred potted plants need to be transferred up to the courtyard for the warmer weather.

I think the kidding season is over. Today I'll do some castrations and ear tagging and then turn my attention to hoof trimming on the herd. There is a new little black calf born this week. He/she is being hidden in the tall grass still for most of the day. Ducklings are getting big and will soon graduate from the floor brooder out into the real world. The little hen who managed to hatch out seven chicks is raising them in the safety of the brooder in the chicken house until they get feathered out and big enough to defend themselves.

I spend hours working on the new Farmers' Market. We are getting new members and a lot of feedback from the Community. I am hoping that everyone is beginning to harvest enough that we will soon outgrow the long porch and spill out into the parking lot.

The busy season has begun and daylight is long, so the work days are long. This is just a report to look back on next Winter to remember what late May was like.