Sunday, May 15, 2016

Sunday Walkabout 5-15

I have been wracking my brain for hours trying to think of something to tell you about this week on the hill, but I’m coming up empty.
I was beginning to think we would never see the sun again

I really don’t want to talk about the weather. We have had 17 consecutive days of some sort of rain. I am pretty sure my brain began to mildew. 

And, while the sun is shining today, it is cold, the wind is also blowing AND we are under a frost warning for tonight. The potential low temperature means that the squash that we planted out on Monday, with eager anticipation of harvest within the next month, may just be history. The wind precludes any sort of crop cover, so we will just have to take our chances.

teeny tiny zucchini

squash blossom

The casinos of Las Vegas and Atlantic City have nothing on farming when it comes to high-stakes gambling!
cold front moving in

But, if I don’t talk about the weather, what do I talk about?

I hesitated to tell you about my trip to the Cardiac lab at the hospital. I don’t want to sound like I’m looking for sympathy. I don’t want to worry anybody. And, despite the fact that I write this blog to tell you about our life…I really don’t always want to tell you everything.


Going to the hospital for a test under my own power was far better than my last trip. If you have been reading for a while, you may remember that “adventure”. If not, click  THIS. That was definitely not something I ever wanted to repeat!

After that experience, my heart “issue” seemed to subside somewhat and was only an intermittent annoyance. But, it began recurring a couple of months ago and has been slowly sapping my energy and motivation. Ignoring the subject and hoping it would just go away was not going to be a long term solution, so I put made a call to the cardio doc.

definitely NOT a fashion statement!
This time I had a stress test and got to wear a heart monitor for two days. Hopefully, this will give the doctor the information he needs to address my “excitable heart rate” and the issues surrounding it. 

Now, it is a waiting game until the office calls with the results and the course of treatment. No cause for alarm...and I finally got all the tape gunk off my skin.

Moving on to other things…

All the rain is causing phenomenal growth in those crops that we were able to get planted. 

Check out the potatoes…

These pictures were taken less than one week apart in generally the same location.



…and the grass.

Oh, my goodness. The grass is growing like you would NOT believe. I’m pretty sure the “hay guys” are going to have a bumper crop. If, that is, it stops raining long enough to get the hay cut, dried and baled. Nobody likes to “wash” hay. (that’s what one of our friends says whenever it rains on his freshly cut hay) Our hay guy has some hay left from last year that he offered us at a bargain, since he needs room for this year’s crop. But, there hasn’t been a break in the weather long enough to drive the two or three miles to get the wagon.

ewes on the right waiting for the Boss to finish mowing the paddock on the left
Around here, the amazing, lush grass means that the sheep are up to their eyeballs…actually it’s closer to their shoulders. That is actually not a good thing, as they really do better with shorter grass. (tall grass irritates their eyes and is a haven for all sorts of bugs) The Boss has had to bush-hog the paddocks prior to grazing. Somehow, that seems like a waste of grass, but there is no way to harvest it.

mowing the lower garden
Speaking of mowing…whenever the Boss mows the lower garden, the hens all line up along the fence and catch the grass clippings as he goes by. Apparently, they recognize the sound of the lawnmower, because they start running every time he fires it up.

In other chicken news…despite the dark, wet weather, the big broilers look great. They will be processed tomorrow. And, just in time…we sold every single chicken from the last batch and had even more requests at the Market that we couldn’t fill. Batch #3 is ready to move outside and batch #4 is scheduled to arrive on Friday. It appears that despite the early season setback, we are back on track. Yes!

processing batch #2 is Monday's job

batch #3 ready to move outside

raining again
If you read the post  "Such a Deal I have for You" , you know a little about the history of hoophouse #2. The ability to grow greens under the cover of the hoophouses is only reason we have anything for sale during the current weather phenomenon. Fieldwork has been next to impossible.
...didn't stop the Boss from working

Although, the hoophouses are not without their own set of issues. This year the problem is SLUGS.

I hate slugs. No two ways about it, I just hate them.

See how tiny this slug is?

You wouldn’t think that something so slimy and slow (and small) could be such a problem. But, slugs can decimate a planting of lettuce in a single night. And, I have yet to find something that will completely eradicate them. One of the organic products that we use promises a “slug-free garden”. Seriously? I want my money back. No, wait. Just come get the slugs.

yet, it has an incredible appetite!

It seems to take forever to pick lettuce on a wet day when the leaves are wet and stick to my hands and I have to sort through the damaged leaves...and squish the disgusting slugs so they won't completely destroy the crop...all while I am trying NOT to grumble and complain.

Not only are slugs destructive, but our customers do not appreciate the added protein in their salads. (not that I blame them, mind you) And, even though the Boss washes the leaves before bagging them, a few of the little slimy blobs have shown up where they should have never been. Ugh!  All we can do is apologize and hope for drier days. The slug population drops off considerably when it is warm and dry.

We have been praying for a few drier days...

The sunlight made the vegetable side of our market spot
look beautiful!
Amazingly, it did NOT rain for Saturday’s Market. As a matter of fact, the sun shone brilliantly for most of the morning and the customers came out in force. We were almost sold out of everything by 10 o’clock and we were sold out completely by 11:30!


After supper, the Boss and I had to move all the tomato, pepper, cucumber and winter squash plants back into the greenhouses. (they were sitting out back to “harden off”, but frost would be a little too hard). While we were doing this, a bunch of lambs ran to the barn. Since I hadn’t been home at choretime, I thought I’d check on them. As I walked to the back of the barn, I saw a lamb down on its side in the mud. It wasn’t moving. I screamed at him. He still didn’t move. Closer observation revealed the feeder had fallen over on him and he was trapped by his head. His eyes were rolled back in his head and I feared the worst. But, when I picked the feeder up and yelled at him again, he suddenly came to his senses, jumped up and ran off. Other than being really muddy and having a big indentation in his wool (from the feeder rail), he seems to be fine. But, it’s a good thing I noticed him, he never would have survived all night like that.
look closely and you'll see the indentation in his wool
(he's to the left of the post)

In case you were wondering…sheep are not the brightest of creatures.

And, that was it for the week.

Hope you have a

Happy Sunday! 

…and a great week!

Gus and Ellie
(and Squeekie - in the background)

Thanks for stopping by. Come "visit" us again real soon.


  1. So sorry about the heart problem Barbara - always worrying but especially so to those who are self-employed. As for the rain - I am afraid we farmers are always at the mercy of the weather and so rarely is it perfect. Hope things improve on both the health and the weather fronts.

  2. What a scare that must have been for you! However, you are now being proactive and a self-advocate, and you are the one in charge now. I am not a fan of slugs, either. On a much smaller scale, I have sunk shallow containers filled with beer into the ground and captured many nasty little critters. I suspect you would need a lot of beer considering the size of your operation! -Jenn

  3. Try dunking your lettuce in very salty water. I think you'll find that the
    slugs/snails/general bug population will drop off. Then maybe a quick
    refresher in clear water so that you're not selling salty lettuce.
    Hope you get good news on the health front.