Monday, June 29, 2009

On summer days when I

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Farm quiz!

Guess what this is...

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Broody Chicken!

This little lady is starting to annoy me.

She is broody (meaning feeling like she should be a mom) and has recently NOT been happy when you take her eggs. She is a pretty hard pecker, when you reach under for her eggs! Typically, when a hen is unhappy she will half heatedly peck at you. Not this lady! She is not pleased that you are collecting her family for your breakfast, although I assume I would feel the same...

Friday, June 19, 2009

Say it's not true?!?!?

They are recalling Toll house cookie dough! Another probable case of e-coli contamination...

Perhaps anouther reason to push HR 875, Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009? (anouther person's take.)

WE NEED SAFE COOKIE DOUGH! But the law will impact small producers and small farmers, and Nestle will hardly make a change. But you know, never let a good crisis go unacted on. As parents are worried about their children's cookie dough why not regulate all our food at the same time?

I have an idea about the new Food Saftey Administration, let us exempt food which is produced and distributes within the boundaries of one state? Let Ohio figure out what they want to do...

(I know, that is very Federalist of me...)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain! and Bugs...

Two inches of rain and EVERYTHING is greener the very next day...

Hubby farmer found 4 potato beetles today! I so HATE these horrid little things. By this time last year they had munched through most of our plants. To date this year we have less then 10 adults (7 I think) and maybe a hundred or so little larval slugs.
The picture I stole from Tiny Farm blog. The picture is of them on eggplant, but they do the same damage to potatoes if uncontrolled. So HOW do you control them? We have a handful of methods. First step of the year is to just squash them, they pop an other worldly color of orange, and scout for eggs which you remove. When there are to many for that you whack them off the plants and into either a bucket of water or onto the ground (at which time we flame them.) In the mean time we can spray them with Surround, which a natural clay (actually used as a food additive.) It turns the plants white which confuses them and the bugs the bugs, they hate the feel of it. When all that fails we have bigger organic guns we can turn to, although I really hope we can avoid it...
But our 1/4 acre of spuds are looking great...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some things no one ever thought to tell you about farming...

I think this may be a series, if you can think of more please feel free to add your own.
  • Buy a coffee mug with a handle you can hook on stuff, like trailers, tractors, fences, or pockets. That coffee is your friend in the field!
  • All thermoses are not created equal. Buy a REALLY good one, and it will keep your warm beverage of choice hot all day.
  • You do need a wheel hoe... Believe me, you do.
  • Almost nothing they have at a garden center is for you after you top about an acre. Maybe gloves, but I buy my gloves at Costco.
  • Everything takes more time then you thought it would.
  • Everything costs more then you think it should.
  • When you are transplanting seedlings do not put in the weak ones. Hopefully you started enough extra that you are OK, but the weak ones even if they don't die may be a vector for future problems.
  • Handel everything as quickly as possible. Whether weeds, bugs, or disease, ALL problems are easiest handled early.
  • Problems rarely go away.

My farming thoughts of the day...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The last of the peppers get in, a couple weeks late but we ended up with hundreds more then ever before... Farmer hubby is watering them in...

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Tuesday, June 9, 2009

To remind us...

A 8 to 10 inch painted turtle next to potatoes visited us this morning. Maybe to remind us that slow and steady wins the race..

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Monday, June 8, 2009

Hilling spuds...

Our potatoes are doing so well. Not to jinx ourselves, but by this time last year we were struggling with potatoe bettles BIG TIME. It was literally a daily battle, hand picking and smooshing eggs and whacking the plants so the little larva went flying and then hitting them with our flame weeder to kill them. Last year was the first year we did potatoes more then for ourselves and it was such a pain we almost did not do them this year. ALMOST, problem is that fresh potatoes taste so good! We ask ourselves when we have to buy them at the store "When did they take the flavor out of spuds!"

So grow them we must and we did! To the toon of 500 pounds of seed potatoes in a patch a little over a quarter acre.

Farmer hubby hilled themtoday with the tractor, as we will a couple more times, before we get to enjoy the first of the new potatoes.

That is if the bugs keep their distance...

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Sunday, June 7, 2009

Bit the bullet...

We finally bit the bullet today and ordered a wheel hoe. We have heard good things about these little cultivating tools, but have put off buying one because, honestly, the cost of one seems pretty high for what they are.

Other farmers tell us they are worth every penny, but a few hundred dollars seems like a lot to pay of what is basically a hoe!

We have spent hours and hours weeding this weekend, and weed season has JUST begun, so we figured, now was finally the time to bite the bullet and get one, so we ordered it this weekend, and while there a couple hundred dollars of accessories for it we may purchase later we are eager for it to be delivered. There are two major ones avilable a Glaser and Valley Oak. We went with the latter on recommendations from other small growers. Earthway makes one to but people say it is not as efficient, the wheel is huge, and which makes the leverage not work with you as well as those with smaller wheels.

As some of you may remember we do use a flame weeder, but that is really for between the rows, as it will kill anything it touches, veggy or weed. And as great as it works it does have a tendency to freeze up when it gets humid. We also have purchased a used cultivator for the back of the tractor, but we need to find time to go rent a trailer and pick it up, so it will probably be another week or two, that will be more for our larger rows though, as it will require a bit of set up to use. Add to that our army of normal hoes and you have our weeding equipment.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Again with the fence...

The fence is a huge project... But finally all the posts are in, through clay, gravel, rocks and enough junk that we need to replace the teeth on our month old augers already... Today we are finishing up the braces on the corner posts, when that is done we can finally string wire and have a home for the hundreds of tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and others transplants which were waiting for the weather to settle to get in...

The photo is of farmer hubby drilling holes for 6 inch brace pins... It continues to amaze me the amount of tools it takes to do any project. Today we are using a big cordless drill and a 24 volt Dewalt cordeless circular saw. Without those the project is MUCH harder with multiple trips to the barn to use corded tools...

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