Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Walkabout 5-1

sheep on fresh grass

It’s always somethin’!

…accompanied by a long sigh and an air of resignation has been uttered more times than I care to recall in the past seven days.

It’s been one of “those” weeks here on the hill. While nothing that happened could be remotely considered disastrous, every single day seemed to add some new problem or some different annoyance.

NEVER a good view!

Sunday afternoon Tbone’s amazing lawnmower repair came to an abrupt end when the PTO switch burned out on the Gravely. 
Back to the shop. 
It looked like the part would have to be ordered.

broiler processing begins

On Monday, we finally processed that first problematic batch of broilers. Only to find that we had lost over 50% (more like 60%) of the birds.  That’s a huge loss. Huge.  Paticularly on our small scale of production. We knew it was going to be bad, but we were honestly hoping it wasn’t going to be that bad. There is no way to recoup it, you just chalk up a loss and go on.  

To top the day off, when I got home from the town run, I backed the truck over the new rat trap. (with a rat inside) Definite case of the "mondays".
squashed rat trap

On Tuesday, I discovered that one of the lambs had a serious rectal prolapse. I will spare you a photo of this. If you imagine this as gross and disgusting, I can assure you that reality is far worse. There is a reason we refer to our guts as our “insides” and that is because that is where they belong. They should never be outside the body cavity and dire consequences ensue when this happens. So, it’s not only gross, it can be deadly.

destroyed onion set and healthy one
Wednesday, during a break in the rain, I went to fill in the misses in the onion beds. A couple of beds of onions had very poor germination. (I jokingly blamed this on the Boss’ planting technique) Upon further investigation, I found out the true reason. The yellow onions had been attacked by root maggots. 

We have never seen this problem on this scale and it was going to demand our attention...and action. And, I would have to stop teasing the Boss about my superior onion planting skills.
that little "blobby thing" is a root maggot
they burrow through the onion

On Thursday, we had a downpour. Since I didn't get the sides rolled down in time, we now have a new water-feature in both hoophouses. Then, I discovered potato beetles in the newly sprouted potatoes. LOTS of potato beetles...
procreating potato beetles

Friday revealed that we had either a disease or pest issue (or both) in the broccoli garden. The losses were numerous.
damaged broccoli plant

Saturday’s market morning was incredibly foggy (and cold) …and I had a horrible headache. The kind of headache that makes thinking a chore. So, any witty repartee or my little dog-and-pony show of agvocacy and food education that is usually part of the Market morning just didn’t happen. I guess I should have apologized to friends and customers alike.

misty, foggy morning
better for a nap that the Market

Ugh. What a week!

On the other hand…

It IS Spring!

We got the part for the Gravely locally (and despite the need to repair a flat tire, too) the Boss has it back in running order!

PTO switch

On the way to get the mower part, we stopped by the kids' new house and loved on GB #1 just a little.  

It rained! It was really dry. So, dry that Accuweather was talking about us. And, you know THAT can’t be good. But, after a month of little to no rain, we got over an inch and a half this week.  ...make that TWO inches!

The asparagus harvest has begun. (sorry, customers…we ate that…)

The vast majority of the brassicas have not been affected by the mystery problem.

first potato leaves
The potatoes are coming up!

The root maggots are only bad in one area. Red onions are not as susceptible, so they do not have the problem. (and, not all the yellow onions are affected)

We found a treatment for the lamb and administered it with little difficulty. She hasn’t made any vast improvement…but, she is no worse. So, I have a little time for some more research into a different solution.

It rained! Yes, I know I did that one already. We REALLY needed the rain.

I found some tiny peaches that somehow escaped that last hard freeze. While there are only a few, there are at least enough for a pie.

We'll keep an eye on these little peaches

there are the beginnings of a grape harvest as well

We had chicken for the Market! (and sold them all)
1st broiler of 2016

The tiny chicks moved out of the shop and into the brooder.

not so tiny anymore

Broiler batch #2 and Batch #3 look great. We process again in just over 2 weeks.

After weeks of waiting (and repeated customer requests) we had spinach AND claytonia for Market.
lovely addition to early Spring salads

All the water means the hoophouses are growing like crazy. We had 147 bags of greens for sale. (we only brought back 10 or 12 (which is not a problem---we gotta eat, too)

Thanks to Amazon prime, the rat trap was replaced in just 2 days.

After more than 3 weeks in the shop, my regular camera was finally returned with the warranty work completed.

The grass is amazing and lush. That should make the sheep happy…and provide some good weight gains on the lambs.
it really is that foggy
and the grass is up to my knees!

Despite the weather AND my headache, we had a great Market day!

LOTS of greens

During the past week, I found a Don Henley album that I had somehow missed. Music is an essential part of my workday, (providing therapy AND motivation) so a new/different album is always welcome.

This one just seemed to fit...

I’ve got great expectations
I’ve got family and friends
I've got satisfying work
I've got a back that bends
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

And I don't mind saying that I still love it all
I wallowed in the springtime
Now I'm welcoming the fall
For every moment of joy
Every hour of fear
For every winding road that brought me here
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving

For everyone who helped me start
And for everything that broke my heart
For every breath, for every day of living
This is my Thanksgiving
      -Don Henley

While it may not have been the best, or the most productive…I am indeed thankful for this week.


I hope you’re having a

Happy Sunday! 

Happy Sunday, y'all!

And here’s hoping the week ahead is pleasant and productive. It looks like we’re in for a good deal of rain. Time to get the hoophouses re-worked, re-pot the tomato plants and seed for the next round of transplants. I might even have time to clean the house! 
(Nah, that would take something along the lines of Noah’s flood---forty days and forty nights)

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

From the album “Inside Job” – Don Henley, My Thanksgiving

Want to visit the Market virtually? Here’s the link to the Boss’ photos from this week.

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