We finally had a week without rain allowing us to transplant many of those heat loving crops. We all worked hard and accomplished so MUCH this past week! It is at these times when we are extremely thankful for an efficient and dedicated Farm Crew.
Just a week prior we had rain nearly every day, and then a very light frost early Saturday on May 25th, and are thankful we covered our basil. Our crops don’t know whether it is Spring or Summer. Just a week ago it was rather difficult to imagine us keeping up a continuous and bountiful harvest with rain showers sprinkling our fields nearly every day preventing us from preparing land, transplanting crops and seeding additional crops. In the end I am fairly certain that everything will turn out alright because in between rain showers Carl was able to get our land plowed.
With the land plowed and fields prepared, this week we were able to transplant our peppers, eggplant, most of the winter squash and leeks. The leeks were begging to be transplanted a few weeks ago, we just couldn’t get the land prepared with all the rain at that time, we are grateful the leeks made it out into the fields this week. We must be thankful for Mark, who is an Appalachian Thru Hiker, and spent a few days off the trail helping us get the bulk of our summer crops and leeks transplanted. There is an optimal time-frame where we need to plant our peppers and winter squash – which is right about now – that is if we have any hope of them maturing before our first frost. These crops can’t be planted until after our last frost, yet must be planted very soon after the frost, just so they have plenty of growing time before the mildews and diseases arrive late summer.
The past few weekends have been spent planning and building “The Dairy Parlor”. We have a phased approach for the parlor, and we will continue to work towards our dream dairy parlor, that is if dairy cows suit us. We are building the parlor in a portion of the barn that the cows won’t have access to except during milking just to keep the area manure free. This required that we clear wood that has been drying in the barn for several years to make room for a dairy parlor. So Sylvest and Julie cleared the wood. Meanwhile, Carl built a stanchion, then we finally hung a gate providing easy access to the parlor. Our dream parlor will have a concrete floor underneath the stanchion that can be watered down, a separate area for grain storage, a cabinet for milking supplies, a sink for washing the milking supplies and walls to keep the cold winter winds out. Right now, the parlor is simply a stanchion on a dirt floor, with a gate to keep the cows out except during milking.
We have also been working on fencing another pasture for the cows just so they continue to have access to plenty of lush grass. Clearing the new pasture meant finally collecting firewood that had been cut last year and moving it out of the pasture stacking it in the wood shed. Also in the pasture were trees, that we felled last year, so we cut those into firewood. We removed old fence wire and locust fence posts, then finally mowing the pasture, just to be certain it is free of anything that may be dangerous to the cows and so new grass will grow. Now that the new pasture is mowed and cleared, we will hang a fence, then we can rotate the cows between pastures.