Well, summer is in full swing. I’m doing two farmers markets a week. The garden is coming on strong. The weeds and grass are high. It’s getting hard to tell the chickens born this spring apart from the older hens. The ducks are starting to molt into their final adult plumage. And the turkey…well, he’s just funny looking.

CharliePortrait

FancyAndCharlie

Still not as big as Fancy the rooster. Charlie the turkey follows Fancy around a lot of the time, trying to learn the ropes.

DuckMolt

Nope, not a predator disaster. Just a molt.

LookingForNests

Renegade chickens, looking for a better place to lay eggs than in one of the SIX nest boxes in the coop. The buttercup on the left eventually laid an egg on a pile of alfalfa that I keep for the rabbits. Which is OK, because at least I knew where it was.

We also got two new additions to the rabbitry. A coworker of my husband’s was getting rid of his rabbits, so we took them. One male, one female. So now I have six (four females and two males) and really need to start breeding. These are city slicker rabbits that don’t quite know what to do with the fresh clover or alfalfa hay I put in their cages. We’re doing our best to de-urbanize them.

NewRabbit1

This one is the boy.

NewRabbit2

And the girl.

EggplantLadybug

Lots of lady bugs in the garden. This is an eggplant blossom. Not really having issues with bugs other than slugs (fingers crossed). A bit of shmootz (fungus?) on the spinach family crops. Neem spray seemed to solve that problem.

Beets

Great beets this year. And they sell well. Will have to plant more next year. This is a mix of Early Wonder Tall Top, a Golden beet, and Chioga, which is red and white striped on the inside.

Spinach

Nailed the spinach crop this year. I did four plantings. Minimal processing. Cut just below the soil line and rinse off. Sell by the pound. So so good.

Least you think I’m a master grower, here are the epic fails this spring.

Onions – overtaken by the grass and clover, and never got any size. I’m in the process of unburying them now (it’s a multi day process) and don’t expect much, size wise. I may try planting a fall crop and overwintering them for next year.

Kohlrabi – totally misshapen and split heads from the slug damage. Ugh. Edible, but not sellable.

Cauliflower – same as kohlrabi, but also quite small because of intense competition with all the grass/clover.

Chinese cabbage – catch crop for slugs. Totally unusable, even by me. I fed it to the goats.

These were all early crops planted after just one tilling, and clearly I didn’t kill enough of the grass. Live and learn. I’ve also noticed that where the grass was really thick before tilling, things don’t grow well, even if there isn’t a lot of grass left. A drop in nutrients because of all the green tilled in? Some sort of allelopathic (repellent) chemical in the grass itself? Hard to know. But it’s obvious all over the garden.

Some of the Broccoli did pretty well, but it doesn’t sell well. Remember when Broccoli was the super vegetable that would cure-all that ails you, and there was the big uproar when George W. said he didn’t like it? Well, that is definitely SO last year. I, for one, love broccoli, so I’ve just eaten anything that didn’t sell. Looking for a good recipe for broccoli salad – you know, like the natural food deli’s sell. Something not too sweet.

Miles Away Farm Blog © 2012, where we’re miles away from pulling up all of the grass clumps, but everyone’s (goats, sheep, chickens, ducks, turkey, rabbits) eating lots and lots of fresh vegetables.

Advertisements