This has been the worst summer I can remember. We had a long, cold, wet spring (snow on April 30!) and are now having a long, cold, wet fall - and it is still August. I think there were about three nice weeks in late July, early August, and since then it's been one torrential downpour after another.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
This is a small fraction of the week's bounty. The blueberries and cherry tomatoes were picked today; blueberries from a farm up the road, tomatoes from my tiny excuse for a garden. The squash and the beets came from my eggs-for-veggies trade network, and the grape leaves were harvested from a neighbor's property. In addition, this week I've gathered, directly or via trade, two bunches of black kale, two bunches of swiss chard, a bunch of collards, a couple pounds of green beans, three red onions, a mess of snap peas, and a pie's worth of blackberries.
We had a few really hot days last week; I mean record hot, over 90 degrees. I thought that maybe the hay that got rained on would dry out enough to be useful, at least as bedding, but no. The top half of each cigar-shaped roll was light and dry, the bottom half heavy, soggy, and stinky. So I worked for three hours in the heat with a pitchfork and filled up the pickup bed four times, ferrying it over to the compost pile. The compost pile is considerably larger now. Looks like I got the job done just a little bit late; under each roll, there were some ominous blackened spots and pale, sickly looking weeds were poking up. Well, to give myself credit, my husband did say he would do it while I was out of town, and then he didn't. I did it when I got back.
Monday, August 11, 2008
There are so many jobs that need doing around here, my hands would cramp up before I could even type them all. But I'm going to exclude jobs relating to the creaky old farmhouse (plumbing issues, rot issues, roof issues) and restrict the list to strictly farm-related tasks. It'll still be long.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
See this dog? Isn't he cute? Oh, such a sweet, friendly dog, so innocent butter wouldn't melt in his mouth. In his big, hairy, evil, chicken-crunching mouth. He ate a tiny baby chick today. A tiny defenseless chick only a few weeks old. Damn dog! This dog is a problem. He's killed several chickens now; he still chews up everything in sight; he barks incessantly; he jumps on little kids and knocks them over; he eats off the table; he apparently cannot be trained. He's cute allright, I'll give him that, but if he eats one more chicken he's history.
Half the hay was still in the small field, raked up but not stored yet, when it started to pour. And I mean, pour down buckets. Two days of rain. Aargh! It's eighty and sunny again today, but the hay is spoiled for anything but bedding.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The small field is about a quarter acre, I'd guess. And the grass had not been cut once this year until the neighbor did it for us the other day with his big tractor mower. The hay looked beautiful after drying for a couple of days in this lovely eighty-plus degree heat, but how to store it? The equipment needed to actually bale the hay is very expensive (and I'm not even sure what it's called. A Baler, I'd guess, but before you bale it, there's some other machine that goes over the cut grass and leaves it in long lines. It spins. A thresher? No. I dunno.)
Posted by Aimee at 8:43 AM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Unexpectedly, we got a new pig today. Well, the pig wasn't entirely unexpected, just his arrival today. Our first pig, you may remember, was a trade from Craigslist; I answered a post from a couple looking for a cattle chute, since I just happened to have one rusting gently away in the back field. They traded me a piglet.
Monday, August 4, 2008
A pox on those filthy chickens! They were bad to the very end. I boiled the hell out of them for hours (along with onions, carrots, and various spices, of course) and yet they remained inedibly tough and stringy. Worse than the wild rabbit Ivory caught that one time. I don't know what we did wrong. There must be some way to treat them that would have given better results, or I swear, chickens would never have come to be considered edible.
Posted by Aimee at 9:08 PM
After our neighbor brought back the two chickens a few days ago, I thought we had them all. There was the one we caught ourselves; the one they brought back and which escaped again; then the two they brought back together. That makes three. I had seen a big pile of brown feathers, and I hadn't seen any more chickens, so I thought they were all accounted for.