Thursday, July 28, 2011

Late July on the Farm

In early June, Mike was putting together a drip irrigation system in our garden.  Sadly, his mom passed away before it was finished, so he gave me a quick tutorial before he flew to California.  We wanted to have it ready for someone to easily water in our absence.  Now, drip lines pinned to the soil feed mini sprayers and drip spouts throughout the perennial garden when the spigots are turned on.  In the veggie garden, we have timers for drip lines to the pumpkins and sprinklers for the raised beds.  The greenhouse needs to be watered by hand every couple of days.  This whole system saves hours of time and many gallons of water.

I drove down to join Mike in California, and we have only been home a few days since mid-June.  The gardens are full of weeds and many of our veggies were ravaged by slugs, but it's still flourishing.
From this view, you can see a bed of beets on the left, which we will freeze and use throughout the winter.  The bed to the right has a zucchini in the foreground and the rest is carrots.  Beyond that are raised beds with cabbage, broccoli, fennel, potatoes, kale, spinach, and salad greens.  On the far end is a huge winter squash patch, and there is a bee hive in the far right corner.
Inside the greenhouse (it was hard to shoot a full view), the left side is full of tomatoes and there are snap peas beyond them.  There are cucumbers on the right, training up twine suspended from the roof.  Calendula and basil are planted in between everything else.  So far, I've only been able to eat one ripe cherry tomato, but there are many green tomatoes that will be ripe soon.  I eat the snap peas straight off the vines, and I have more cukes than I can eat on my own right now.  They are delicious!
The turkeys are growing fast, and are always famished.  You can see the ducks peeking out from behind them.  The black rouens are absolutely gorgeous.

Most of these chickens were babies only a few months ago.  They have finally gotten through their awkward teenage phase and are coming into their own.  I am only getting about one egg per day right now, so I look forward to these hens beginning to lay.
And the goats are sweet as ever, though Pan has been getting abrasions of some kind on his face, and Isabel currently has a similar injury on her face.  I have no idea what could be causing them.

In addition to the veggie garden, we have berries and fruit growing all over the property.  I've frozen 5 gallons of raspberries, and I've been snacking on blueberries and strawberries.  I'm trying to spend some time harvesting lavender each day, and the herbs are just going to seed.  Our grape vines are huge, and little grape bunches are just starting to grow from them. 

I'm so glad to be home for the summer, and enjoying the beginning of the harvest season.

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