|early morning on the hill|
Summer is here!
More specifically, summer weather is here. The weeks (and weeks) of cool, gloomy, rainy weather suddenly gave way to the glorious blue skies of June. And, yesterday’s high temperature was nearly ninety degrees.
…and I’m here to tell you that much hay was made in the Valley yesterday.
But, while that’s great for all those farmers…it really has nothing to do with what’s been happening here on the hill. Other than it's one more sign that it's summer. And, PAY ATTENTION out there on the road...farm equipment is everywhere!
|baler next door|
We have been slowly getting into the rhythm of the season that includes a seemingly endless loop of planting, feeding, processing, weeding, battling bugs, seeding, mowing, more weeding, and harvesting punctuated by Market day. This will pretty much be our routine until late summer. But, it’s now time to pick up our game and get into high gear.
|turning the ewes onto fresh grass|
|broilers having breakfast|
|Bright lights chard seedlings|
|newly mulched Brussels sprouts|
|succession planting of squash|
|Colorado Potato beetle nymphs|
are incredibly destructive
ready to freeze for winter sales
|garlic is nearly ready for harvest|
|Angus added to the workload by getting stuck AGAIN!|
the Boss had to put up a new fence (after he got Angus out)
But, this week’s rhythm was altered slightly with a roadtrip of sorts.
|it was a beautiful day in our beautiful Valley|
On Tuesday morning, we hauled the first load of lambs up to the processor in order to have fresh lamb chops, steaks, stew meat and sausage for the Market. (the customers are getting anxious; I know I was asked at least a dozen times WHEN yesterday)
This is a great looking group of lambs!
|first round of the Lamb chop crop 2016|
each one weighs approximately 125 pounds
I’ve included a photo here…not so you can go…oh, how cute! No, I’m hoping for a different reaction.
|getting ready to go to the processor|
I’m hoping that you will see and understand that we are not raising animals for cuteness. We raise them for food. They are big, healthy, muscular animals that fulfill their destiny by becoming someone’s supper.
It takes a good deal of knowledge and effort on our part to assure that the end product is both delicious and marketable. And, I think we manage to produce a product far superior to anything found in the grocery…and I’m proud of that fact.
We are hoping to re-arrange our schedule yet again and make a quick trip to the processor’s on Friday afternoon to pick up all that ovine yumminess for Saturday’s Market to satisfy our customers’ longings. Otherwise the customers will have to wait another week and I’m pretty sure somebody will complain. They might even pretend to cry!
I got to change up my schedule a little and make a quick trip to the Draft. While babysitting the grandsons may not seem to have anything to do with life here on the hill, the next generation is our hope for the future. And it’s really cool to watch them learn things.
Monday afternoon, I spent some time with the Kman while his mom kept an appointment. We played in the sand, blew bubbles and he toddled around the yard. Nothing real exciting...
…until I mentioned the chickens.
|off he goes|
He let go of my hand and set off toward the newly built chicken house, making his little chicken noises all the way.
We then had to visit the chickens, ducks and quail.
|showing Mamaw the chickens|
I thought that his mom was extraordinary when she found her calling as a poultry fancier (and eventually became an expert on the subject) after seeing her first Murray McMurray poultry catalog when she was five. But, he’s not even 15 months old!
|heading to the hay barn|
We owe a big THANK YOU to the kids for helping us haul that load of last year’s hay that we’ve been trying to get for weeks. (THANKS, B & J!!) That deal worked out well for us (giving us a headstart on our inventory for winter) the hay guy (emptying the wagon so he can use it for this year’s harvest) and the lambs…who found a feast in the barn.
It used to baffle me as to WHY the animals would turn down fresh, lush, green grass for dry hay in the summertime. One of our cow-friends (who is not in fact a cow, but a cattleman) explained he thought it was because they like the different texture…likening it to our human penchant for potato chips. The thought of cows and sheep munching on potato chips always gives me a chuckle.
|checking out the new hay|
Before we knew it, it was time to pick and pack for Market once more. The early morning was beautiful and the Market was busy. …and thankfully, the heat didn’t build until after we got home.
|the stand is getting fuller every week!|
The dry heat adds another layer of farm tasks as we need to assure that all the living creatures are well hydrated, our attention further stretched to focus on full stock tanks and well-watered gardens.
One of our customers exclaimed that he’d never considered it, but those responsibilities could be a full-time job. …and he thought I was kidding when I laughed and said, “I know, that’s pretty much my life!”
…and that, friends, was the week on the hill.
Hope you’re having a Happy Sunday!
You’ll have to excuse the short post. I just realized that for a week now, I’ve been running a week behind. We have broilers to process tomorrow morning and I haven’t done any of the prep work required. ACK!
|the broccoli is ready...|
And, then, I happened to walk through the broccoli garden on my way back from watering the hoophouses. And, guess what? Yes, there is broccoli harvest that I need to work into my day.
…and the Boss said something about planting cucumbers…
|beautiful Sunday morning|
Thanks for stopping by. Come back and “visit” us again real soon!
Did you want to see photos from the Market? Follow this link for the Boss' latest...