Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The season is winding down . . .

I am looking at my list of offerings on Purple Porch, our on-line co-op.  More items just got pared from it.  I'm down to a few tomatoes and peppers and a lot of greens.  I didn't plant enough root vegetables, wish I had more beets and carrots to offer.  Next year.

My broccoli was very poor this year.  It is sprouting broccoli, many little heads.  I sold a lot of plants, since it is a favorite of mine and so I am enthusiastic about it when selling greenhouse plants.  But the heat!  It didn't produce, and my customers all complained.  No one got much broccoli.  However, now with the cooler weather, it is finally coming into its own.  With a little luck, I'll be harvesting well into November.  Perhaps my customers will be a little happier with their plants now that they are doing what they are supposed to do.

My new chickens are getting into the swing of things around here.  I was to be gifted with 16 of them, but only nine arrived here, and of those, one is really just a pet, had quit laying altogether, and three are still young pullets that haven't started laying.  So my dreams of having an extra dozen eggs a day once they showed up has been dashed.  They have been here nine days, and since they all lay non-white eggs (my Campines lay white eggs), I know how many they have laid to date.  Try seven!  Yup, nine chickens, nine days, seven eggs.  I am underwhelmed!  I found most of them under a tree, and since they have been confined to the chicken run, which isn't all that big, I am sure that I have found them all.

Yesterday I opened up the run for the first time, since I was sure that the new girls would know where home is by now.  Alas, two of them, one of my new Buckeyes, and one of the Gift Girls, were running around frantically at dusk because they found the way out, but couldn't find the way back in!  Androo helped me round them up.  We will see what happens this evening.  I opened up the gate all the way today.  It will be easier for them to get in and out.

Allen quit.  He was very good with the equipment, and was learning to milk.  Due to health problems, it wasn't working out for him, though.  I hope he feels better soon.  In the meantime, a new person is coming on board for a bit to see how it works out.  I need help, and he says he is willing to work.  There is plenty of that around here!  We will go slow and make sure it works well for all concerned.

Androo, Allen and I had a very good meeting shortly before Allen quit, and we looked at the whole farm, what needs to be done, what needs to change, how do we put our efforts into what is the most profitable.  Financially, it was not a very good year, in part because the bugs destroyed a good bit of my garden, probably cut my produce revenue by at least two thirds.  Ouch!  But we have a pest management plan in place for next season.  I have not had a problem with bugs since I moved here in 2002, so this year took me by surprise, and being organic, my choices in combating them were limited.  But as I said, the plan is in place.  Bugs, beware!

I have said before that I wish 24 hours would go by when no equipment fails, no light bulbs burn out, no cows escape.  It won't be today.  One of the tires on the golf cart came off the wheel, so I had to fire up the small tractor and hook up the wagon so that I can get hay out to the girls this morning. I will worry about fixing the tire later.  For now the girls need to eat.  And I had better get on it right now!

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