Monday, August 6, 2012

Garden of Weedin'

At this point in the summer, as in years past, the weeds have nearly taken over the garden.  The raised beds suffer less from the invasion of Mother Nature's misplaced flowers, although keeping them consistently watered has proved a challenge.
One of the raised "beds" - complete with salvaged headboard.
The pitchers hold water for various insects, hopefully mostly pollinators....
Every year we learn more about beneficial and unwanted pests, and continue the rather steep learning curve in regards to soil amendments, composting, and management of planting successive crops.

It seems as though we are in the mid-summer garden of weedin' blahs, though.  Not much is producing well, and although we've had ample rain and sunshine, the heat has taken its toll on many of the plants we'd placed our hopes for bumpers crops upon, and alas, one cannot begin to sell a tomato at the farmers' market - so we have taken to giving them away.

I had to laugh when I came across a freecycle post offering "homegrown tomatoes," as it reaffirmed my saying of "you can't give 'em away."

New piglets were born about a month and a half ago, mama & babies are doing well.  One piglet died, as this was mama's first litter, she inadvertently smothered him within the first hour of birth.  Sigh.

Hattie the family milk cow is doing well as are "Red" and "Pete" the beef cows (yesterday Pete was referred to as a 'beefcake' by a dear friend of mine, and I believe that shall be one of his nicknames for sure - if the shoe fits...) and because of all the blessed rain and sunshine, the pastures are thriving.

Spencer, aka: the skinned horse and April, aka: pistol Annie are tolerating the summer well.  What can we expect from 25 and 37 year old California-grown horses in this NC humidity?  They like their salt rock which makes me happy, giving me peace of mind that they are keeping their electrolytes in balance, which is so important to avoid dehydration.

The farm dogs are hiding in the coolness of the damp earth beneath the old farmhouse and the barn cat makes an appearance after his daily nap, tired out from chasing mice all night (which hopefully keeps the snakes at bay, which will eat our eggs!).

In other news, my dad is here from California, and we are enjoying his visit.

Dad relaxes while Farmer Ed milks the cow, "Hattie."

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