Sunday, September 28, 2014

Susan has documented the work I've done to clear weeds and tree limbs from the field.

The western branch of the Swackhammer irrigation ditch runs down the east edge of our field.  Trees have grown up along the ditch and sometimes encroach on the field.  With the tree limbs there, it is hard to control the weeds.  The ground there is not productive.
Another spot on the Swackhammer ditch.  Note the pile of brush I've made from tree limbs I've cut off.
There was a knot of dead branches that I cut out and piled into a big pile.  Now I am cutting and breaking it to make smaller piles closer to the ditch and out of the way of farm operations.
There's the stump of the dead tree that gave me all those branches in the pile.
This is an area in the far northeast corner of the field.  The damson plum trees are doing well there.  Solomon's Seal is the ground cover between the trees.  It is a native, riparian wild flower.
 Ugh!  This is next year's project.  Note the tree limbs sticking out over the field and the teasel, burdock and thistles.
The foreground is full of weeds, but you can see the progress that has been made beyond it.
Finally, you can see the ten yards of new field we've gotten now that it has been weeded.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I just put an ad on Craigslist for our hay.

The "harvest moon" was pretty nice out there over our "outhouse" (actually, our composting toilet shed).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Susan planted a row of Quinoa.  Near it is a related plant called Lamb's Quarter.  Both have produced lots of seeds.  We are wondering if they are hybrids and if they are edible and viable seeds.


Quinoa with Lamb's Quarter in background

Lamb's Quarter with Quinoa in foreground

Quinoa (left) and Lamb's Quarter (right)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The first farm stand customers of the day!

It is unusual for us to get rain this time of year, but we got 1.36" yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In past years, we have irrigated the alfalfa field and attempted to get a third cutting.  This year, we shut off our irrigation for the field on July 15 to support the Little Creek stream for the fish.  We are financially compensated by The Freshwater Trust in the manner of an in-stream lease.

So, the field has not gotten any water except for rain for more than a month.  Our weather station says that was 0.46".  The alfalfa has started to re-grow and looks pretty good.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Harvesting the second cutting of alfalfa has begun.  It has been cut and mostly baled.  Picking up and delivering the bales will probably happen next week.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Harvesting the second cutting of hay has begun.  We swept some debris from the swather, as required to maintain our organic certification, and now the process has begun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Susan has braided the garlic we harvested.  We have two soft-neck varieties that are suitable for braiding.  One is the Italian Late garlic we have grown for years.  The other is Lorz Italian, which is favored by the Slow Food Movement with an entry in their "Ark of Taste."  They are hung to air dry in our garage/machine shed.  The large braids on the left are seed garlic for next year.

Monday, July 28, 2014

There is an old variety apple we would like to preserve.  The goats have been pretty hard on them, so we'll put up this fence.  The chickens will still be able to eat the bugs in the tree's vicinity.

Fence is going up
Clip to the posts

Tighten the clip

Ouch!  That's a little thistle the goats have missed!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

The cover crop we seeded in the north 10 acres is maturing.  Some is grain and some is rye grass.  We have not mowed this part.  The alfalfa came up strongly in spite of the tilling and is in full bloom..

Triticale (wheat) with blue alfalfa blossoms

Lots of triticale

More triticale growing in the alfalfa

Not sure...  This might be rye grass.

Pretty blue alfalfa blossoms.

Friday, July 18, 2014

We have started to harvest garlic.  This is a hard-neck variety called Romanian Red.  This pile is the output from one of our five rows planted with garlic.

It comes out of the ground looking like this.

Susan cuts the root strands and some of the neck off.

This is what they look like when they've been trimmed and washed.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

More work on the farm stand.  Jan smoothed the surface of the plywood and Susan is shown here painting chalkboard paint on it.