Sunday, July 26, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 7-26

off to Market
It’s been a hot, busy week here on the hill and I am incredibly thankful that we generally take Sunday to be “a day of rest”. Because, honestly, I am beat. I’m pretty sure we will both benefit from a little down-time before the upcoming week that promises to be more of the same.

hot and hazy morning view

It’s mid-summer, perhaps the busiest time of the year on any farm, but around here it means that we’re busy harvesting the fruits of summer, preserving them for winter, planting fall crops and even looking ahead to next year.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

1st load 2015 hay

There were two full wagons waiting for us in the hay guy’s shed, so it really didn’t matter if the forecast for Monday was for HOT weather.  It looked like we were in for a stretch of dry weather, so haymaking was on his to-do list. 

However, in order for the hay guy to load more hay, we needed to empty his haywagons first.  That was going to be Monday’s afternoon job, after I went to town and the Boss did a little bush-hogging for the neighbor.
bush hogging 

My town trip was fairly uneventful, although Gus escaped on my way through the gate and I had a few moments of panic as he appeared to be setting off for the wild blue yonder. Thankfully he is NOT like our other Pyr, Jed, who must have been bitten by the wanderlust or perhaps had a little gypsy in his blood, because when he would get through the gate…he was off and running to parts unknown.  Once, the entire family (including a then-boyfriend) set off on a chase through the darkness, only to capture the aggravating creature in one of the town neighbor’s backyard.  I was not up for a dog-chasing adventure first thing on a Monday morning and I was grateful that he turned and headed for home without incident.  Until I grabbed his collar.  He does NOT like his collar grabbed, and he jumped straight up in the air, feet flailing wildly.  One of his enormous claws came down on my arm, bruising my bicep.  Then, it was a struggle to hold him AND Ellie while I closed the gate.  Holding onto 200+ pounds of jumping, drooling white fur and muscle while attempting to leave for town was not the way to start my Monday.  Thankfully, the day did improve.
I looked back from the mailbox to see them still watching me

After lunch, we headed over to pick up the first wagon.  The bales were big and tight and stacked high in the wagon.  It quickly became obvious that we weren’t going to get both wagons that afternoon. Hauling hay is hard physical work done in hot weather and it takes a toll. (and that bruise on my bicep really didn’t help anything) With that load of hay stacked, we figured we would go back the next morning for the other wagon.



load one done

empty wagon
ready to go again

But, the weather had other plans. Tuesday’s forecast was for rain. Rain and hay just do not mix, so the Boss decided we could start working on planting out the fall brassica crop. A little rain wouldn’t hurt us and the young transplants would actually benefit from the moisture.

By lunchtime, we had over 600 broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower plants in the garden and had started getting them mulched.  We finished up mulching after lunch and headed to other jobs.  As I was in the middle of the cucumber patch…the heavens opened.  And, I do mean opened. The shower was brief, but I was completely soaked. Oh, well, it actually felt good and it worked to cool the cucumbers.

By Wednesday the dry weather was back. 

making hay while the sun shines

With a beautiful stretch of weather in the forecast, the hay guy was busy cutting more as we picked up the second wagonload. He was hoping to have it ready by Friday, but completely understood that it would be at least Monday before we could get back to get it.

When you're making hay, you don't get to admire the view
but, isn't this beautiful?
unloading wagon 

pretty sunrise

On Thursday, we had visitors. And, yes, we did make them work…just a little. Thanks, y'all.  Saying you can never start too early, Grandpa-Boss got that little guy (who is not so little) up on the tractor with him.

 He seemed intent on the steering wheel…    

...and he wasn't real sure WHAT to think of that other "helper". 

…and then it was Harvest-Friday.

a beautiful way to start harvest day

In addition to our regular picking schedule, we had to add rescuing peaches to the list.  The Japanese Beetles have arrived in full force and they are intent on eating EVERYTHING.  The birch tree in the front yard looks like lace.  The wild roses out back are simply bare. And, now they have moved into the orchard and the gardens.  We salvaged what peaches we could and vowed to “never let that happen again”, so I guess we will be studying up on orchard management before next season.
japanese beetle on broccoli

green bean damaged by japanese beetles

LOOK what they do to peaches!

We’ve never seen a year with quite so many bugs (of all types) and the weeds are truly phenomenal.  This must be due to the fact that we didn’t have a late season frost like we generally do…and the Spring was so very wet. Different weather…different problems.

Despite the heat issues and the Japanese Beetle invasion, we had an amazing amount of stuff for Market.  In fact, I took the peaches with me since they wouldn’t ride safely in the cram-packed Market trailer.

I couldn't fit all the produce into the shot!

It was crazy busy at the Market. By 10am, we had completed 100 transactions and we were sold out of a fair number of items! We simply had a great day. A big THANK YOU to all our loyal customers.

the peaches we salvaged were pretty
and they sold well

There wasn’t much left to take back to the hill…and that’s always a good thing. We will just have to add a little canning/freezing to our list of things to do this week.

after the rain

After supper, the Boss and I were just relaxing when we heard rain. I mean RAIN. Again, the heavens opened.  This time, we got over ½ inch in about a half hour.  Looking at the radar, we were the only location in the county to get this little storm. 
truly localized showers

Incredibly, we actually needed it after the past week of hot, breezy weather.  I’m sure the little brassica plants and the potatoes we planted last week will benefit greatly from the moisture.
freshly watered gardens

The upcoming week will include a roadtrip (the processor called---the lamb is ready) more hay hauling (the Boss thinks we can cram one more wagonload in the barn) , more seeding, planting and some hoophouse work (it’s time to think about fall and winter crops)…and I think he said something about getting the early potatoes harvested…

Today is definitely going to be “a day of rest”.  We’re gonna need it!

Hope you’re having a (restful) Happy Sunday!

beautiful sky to end the day

Thanks for stopping by.  Come back and “visit” again real soon.


  1. Another busy week by the sound of it Barbara. I so envy you your weather. We have had no hot weather here at all yet - only 14 degrees and wet today - and still no hay in. First silage done but grass doesn't grow quickly in this weather so second crop dilage is a way off yet. Those peppers at your market look absolutely delicious - so fresh - wish I could pop in and buy some.

    1. While it would be rather nice to be cool, that kind of weather is not at all good for all the work of summer. Hoping it gets warmer and drier soon!
      And, if you ever pop in at the Market, we'll make sure you get some peppers!

  2. 1. I also confess to coveting my neighbor's gorgeous peppers.
    2. The pic of grandpa and the dog with baby is priceless. What a face baby is making!
    3. Speaking of dogs. Need some advice. Friend Judy has a farm. Her chickens keep getting eaten. She wants to get a farm dog to keep in the paddock. What is the best breed in your opinion? I know some are bred especially to watch over prey animals. They have an mostly indoor Scottish Border Collie just fyi. (Her job is herding the cat and, believe me, she takes that job very seriously.)
    Sunday hugs and blessings, m & jb

    1. Hi Maureen!
      Lovely to have you comment. I won't tell on you about the peppers.
      If your friend Judy wants a guardian dog, my advice would be a Great Pyrenees. They're good with people and all sorts of farm animals, but will take on most any type of predator. I'm told that all the livestock guardians will,(all of the big white breeds are possibilities) but I'm partial to the Pyrs. We've had at least one for nearly 10 years now and my only complaint would be that they are incredibly stubborn. Really hard-headed. You would want to find one from a similar farm set-up. (you know, the parent dogs raised with livestock) They are good with cats, too. However, I'm not real sure about other dogs. I suppose if you got a puppy, or young dog (and that's the route I would take) it would all work out. But, all of this would take some time, it might be more effective to pen the chickens.
      Hope that helps!
      Have a wonderful week.