Sunday, May 3, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 5-3

Another week has flown by. 

And… it’s time to tell you about the week on the hill.


I got nothin’…

I’m just blank...
...staring into space
Praying, please, please, let me think of something

…’cause I got nothin’…
             -Darius Rucker “I Got Nothin’ “         

Sometimes it’s really hard to make life here on the hill sound interesting…even to me. 

It seems like we do the same thing day in and day out. 

We worry over the animals, the crops and the weather.  We seed, weed, plant, harvest and sell…and then we do it all over again the next week.

While it makes for a pretty good life…it does get a little repetitive. Honestly, even though we do far more than the things I mention in the walkabout blog, we are probably deep in a rut. But, much of the repetition is necessary to keep things running on an even keel. It’s fairly comfortable and productive here in our rut…it just doesn’t make for scintillating copy. Although, I must say, while drama and disaster make for good reading…they make for awful farming conditions!

With that being said, read on, knowing I’m trying to keep it interesting.

frozen dewdrop

So far, the Spring has been very cold and very wet.

We had a hard frost a couple of mornings this week and that slows everything down to a crawl.  Cold nights keep new crop growth to a minimum, which means there are few asparagus to harvest and the broccoli and onion plants are just sitting there in the garden, while the weed growth is rampant…that is SO unfair!
Luke Bryan might have been wrong when he said
"Rain is a good thing!"
It's really mucky in the feed corral.

But, it looks like the weather is going to change big time in the next week…temperatures flirting with the 80* mark by the weekend.  That should make the growth rates take off!

I don't think they're real impressed with becoming PASTURED poultry
With this in mind, we moved one batch of chicks to the pasture so the batch housed in the kiddie pool in the shop could move to the brooder.  Because…yep, you guessed it…we got the email telling us there is another batch of chicks in the works. They will arrive in about two weeks. That’s a good thing, too.  Our Market customers were certainly in a chicken buying mood this week! (we might run out before we get the next batch processed)

Even though the temperatures have been chilly, the sun (when it is actually shining) is brilliant.  This makes for gorgeous skies…and rapidly rising hoophouse temperatures. 

Time to haul out the shadecloth!

shadecloth for #2

Apparently, we’ve gotten fairly good at this procedure and got both hoophouses covered in less than an hour.  By covering the houses with this black knitted fabric, we are able to lower the daytime temperatures by as much as twenty degrees. This, along with good irrigation, makes it possible to grow lettuce all summer.
under cover and ready for summer

It’s looking pretty good in the hoophouses. 
hoophouse #1 total production

hoophouse #2 completely planted

It’s little things like neat, productive hoophouses that make us happy here on the hill.  

We ended up with 88 bags of mixed lettuce for Saturday’s Market. (that was just lettuce…not spinach, kale, arugula or anything else)  We sold most of it and what was left over we were able to share with family and have a very tasty supper! I must say, the food here on the hill is at the top of the list of benefits of farm life.

Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!

The newly planted rosebushes are beautiful!
Gus likes to keep them "company"...

Thanks for stopping by. Please come back to “visit” again real soon.


  1. We are experiencing similar wet weather and frosty nights here in northern UK. The grass, which was doing nicely, has stopped growing and almost gone backwards, so that we are keeping the in calf cows inside before the grass runs out (always a problem at this time of year).
    That lettuce looks lovely - I grow it on my window sill - the cut and come again variety - and that keeps us going. What happened to the photo of your market stall this week - I always enjoy that?

    1. The cattle farmers around here are having similar issues and more than one is still feeding some hay. The weather is supposed to change dramatically this week...just in time for hay harvesting season.
      I completely forgot to post the Market pic. I will try to remember next week. Our offerings look fairly meager this time of year. I am hoping that will change soon!