Things are moving around here! I’ve been moving enough that I neglected to post on the blog last week; I hope our dedicated readers were able to cope.
In the last couple of weeks, we finished our 8 x 8 cooler, at least to the point that it works well, and N. finished building a little chicken coop for our 6 lovely chicks and 4 ducks. I acquired an Italian scythe from a scythe enthusiast, dealer, and teacher located only 25 minutes from our farm. My first bit of practice involved mowing a 60 by 200 foot field.
It is officially the middle of June, which means plant growth is taking off, there is light outside until 9:30 pm, there are shockingly large tomatoes and summer squash forming, and we happen to be hosting a large gathering at the farm in less than a month! With this last point in mind, more and more work, with tons of help from T & D, has been done to make the place beautiful, which is pretty exciting! The main drive up to the large barn is neat, we are increasingly removing debris that surrounds the barn, and I shall plant lots of sunflowers today, focusing on our road frontage, which could use some color and energy that sunflowers seem to contain.
Early this morning, I was outside engaged in my regular Monday activity, which could look a little alarming if you happen to be driving by, since backpack sprayers so commonly contain Roundup or some other noxious/toxic substance. Not here! Every week, I spray our cherry trees, and then head down to the vegetable field, with a lovely (for plants) and smelly (for us) mixture of fish hydrosylate, kelp powder, and neem oil, in plenty of water. It is a special holistic health spray that is meant to strengthen plants’ immune systems and encourage fungal activity, which is very beneficial. The mixture contains fatty acids, trace minerals, nitrogen, potassium, and other helpful substances that plants take up through their leaves (thus a foliar spray). Fish hydrosylate is smelly, but the worst culprit is actually the neem oil, the smell of which I find to be quite unacceptable.
Here is the weekly (kind of) vegetable field photo! From this distance, it is difficult to appreciate the growth, especially of tomatoes, squash, garlic, and cabbages, although the tomato trellis is visible on the right! Also visible on the right outside of the vegetable fence is the large rectangle that I cleared with the scythe. You can see rows of nicely dried straw that it leaves behind! Hopefully I will do something with this today.
Finally, with a lot of the soil prep work behind us, we began planting some perennials and thinking about long term inhabitants of our field and farm! Echinacea, or purple coneflower, is front and center in this photo, joined by sage, thyme, catnip, chives, and other perennial herbs in this bed. Other perennials planted last week include rhubarb and several donated raspberry plants! More to come, for sure.
Thanks for reading! Have a lovely week.