Monday, July 27, 2009

The Last Week of July

Hops growing up their trellis. Hops are an ingredient in beer, they add a bitter flavor.

Some wine grapes sizing up nicely.

The crops in the greenhouse have been doing pretty well. With the cool weather the extra heat in the greenhouse makes a difference.

Warmer temperatures are essential for growing melons.

Another variety of melon.

Our second picking of green beans. The variety is Haricot vert, which is French for "green bean".

The summer squash has been doing pretty well.

Sugar snap peas are pictured in the foreground, in the back I'm harvesting summer squash.

We baled some hay yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.

This crop got rained on a couple times, but it'll work for sheep food.

As the wagon gets full stacking becomes a little more tricky.

We had some trouble with the binder twine (what holds the bales together) knotting up. It might have been due to humidity from storing the twine. Next year when we are done with haying we'll store it in a bucket or plastic bag.

A full load of hay!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

First Vegetables!

We went to the Ashland farmers Saturday.

We still don't have many vegetables, but the summer squash sold well.

Honey also seems to sell pretty well.

The first summer squash of the season. We also picked some sugar snap peas and green beans.

The basil is looking nice this year.

We had to change the orientation of a gravity box we just got. Here we're getting set up. For these types of things it usually takes longer to get set up than to do the task at hand.

Using a hay hook to grab a bale and stack it on the hay wagon.

We use a hay elevator to move the bales up into the hay loft.

We mulched the summer squash to suppress weeds, conserve moisture, and to keep the sqaush cleaner.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 13th to the 19th

Last night we received 1.6 inches of rain.

The rain should give everything a much needed boost. We're still really behind for precipitation this season, but any amount rain is welcome.

Some of our rye from last year. This year we have more planted and its looking pretty good (pictures on the way).

We've been adding rye to the pigs food. We soak it overnight, drain it, then add dried molasses. Eventually we would like to grow 100% of our livestock feed.

Putting down some mulch around the onions. We mulch to conserve moisture and suppress weeds. Mulch can also reduce soil erosion.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Making hay

Saturday morning (July 11th) was our second farmers market. We still don't have any vegetables since its been so cold.

We have lots of pork though and it sold quite well.

In the afternoon I cut a bit of hay, here I'm getting started.

Finished cutting. Its a little hard to see the hay because of the camera angle. This field was on the thin side also. The hay crop has been poor this year, a lot of farmers are getting only a quarter or half of what they'd normally get.

We started incubating eggs to hatch some more egg birds. And tonight we had the first arrivals, the baby chicks in the above picture are a few hours old.

The first cutting of hay for the season. Its been really dry so the hay is pretty thin looking. We've been having a drought for the last five years, and the stress is really starting to show.

After hay is cut and has dried its then raked into windrows so it can be baled.

Finished raking. Basically a rake just scoops the hay into windrows.

Baling the hay, a baler scoops the hay up and compresses it into bales, we use square bales.

The bales are pushed out the back of the baler so you can grab and stack them.

Sometimes bales break, this tends to be a problem when the hay is really thin. We got about 80 bales off this field, last year it was 130.

Sometimes the baler jams and doesn't work. The previous owner didn't take care of this baler and the plunger (the part that compresses the hay) will get stuck. Using chains and a come along we got it moving again. We had to do this twice, and it made for a really long day night. It should have only taken an hour to bale up this field, instead it took about two and a half.