Friday, July 4, 2014

Fourth of July was a Beautiful Day on Our Tiny Farm

We had a beautiful summer morning today! Brilliant blue sky; cool temperatures; light breeze; and dry air. It has been so humid lately; the dry air felt heavenly. It was a good morning to spend outside with the animals as we prepped for the evening festivities. Fourth of July means lots of fireworks and gunshots once it gets dark. Since we never know how the animals will respond, we take down all the portable fencing, remove the donkey toys, and take out the partition in the barn. That way, if the animals run around wildly at night, hopefully there is nothing out there for them to get hurt on.

A couple was driving by in their car today and they stopped to look at the horses and donkeys. I could overhear them from across the field. The woman was talking about the masks the animals were wearing. She was concerned that they couldn't see at all and wondered why the owners would blind their animals that way. She asked the driver if the masks were to stop them from running away or something. I wish I could have talked to them. I would have explained that those are fly masks. They keep the flies and gnats out of the animals eyes and ears. Without them, the donkeys and horses ears would be full of scabs from hundreds of bites and there would be flies gathered all around their eyes. Our animals actually like wearing their masks and they can see just fine through them; I've tested it myself. We do take them off at night and when it is raining heavily.
This is the first garlic that we have harvested from the market garden. It looks great! Hope the rest of the crop is as big and healthy looking. We have always grown beautiful garlic on this little farm. Maintaining healthy soil and following long crop rotations are key. We will finish harvesting over the next week and then it will cure for about six weeks in one of our open sheds.

We also pulled off a nice early honey crop. We will not have as much honey for sale as we usually do because we are still recovering from all the hives we have lost over the past two years. This colony collapse disorder is frightening. One day the hive looks healthy and active and the next day the bees are just gone.

We also harvested our first eggplants; fried them up in olive oil with garlic, salt and pepper for dinner tonight. Also had fresh snap peas. Yum. We aren't growing eggplant or snap peas for sale this year, but other farmers at the Mills River Farmers Market are, so check them out tomorrow. We aren't selling on the market yet; it will be late summer before we are there with garlic, honey, and popcorn. In the meantime, I will visit the market to buy berries, lettuce, and other crops we aren't growing. Hope to see you there.

1 comment:

  1. You have such a beautiful place. My husband and I dream of living up near the mountains, or in the mountains. We talk about selling our place and moving there, but it will probably never happen.