Art of Proprietation

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I've had complaints

I have had complaints that I don't post more regularly. Sorry. Life gets in the way of documentation.

It has been a busy fall with a productive growing season. We've been concentrating on harvesting the fall crops, preparing the beds for the next planting, laying in manure for composting, fattening up the turkeys and getting the last of the hay into the barn.

We cooked a couple of turkeys for our annual harvest potluck. It's a good chance for us to check out the condition of the birds before we start slaughtering for customers. The birds are still a little lean, like last year at this time. But they are coming along nicely. The birds were very tasty (we had sales generated by attendees of the party), but they didn't make a lot of gravy.

The hay is in the barn. What hay we have. I don't have as much as I would like. We have more animals than ever. Two milking does, four doelings from the spring and the whether. We had six goats going into the winter last year, but we slaughtered the two bucklings in February. By most accounts it was a decent year for hay. A little dry in August, but better than some years. But my favorite hay supplier sold his entire crop to one buyer, I got none. It's the best hay we have access to, a nice alfalfa mix. The animals eat it well and I am confident the pregnant does are getting a good diet to make kids. It's in heavy square bales, the guy takes great pride in making very consistent bales. I think one of those bales is worth two of bales we get from other farms. We also got two dry round bales. Round bales are attractive for their shear size. They are priced a little less than square bales. But square bales are definitely more versatile than round. With the round, once I open it, that's where it is. And I am not going to store it in the barn, so they are only good for us in the fall and early winter.

I've tilled in the remains of the bean crop. We opened up another quadrant in the market garden this spring. Last year there were 8 inch poplars growing there. I cut most of the trees last spring, grazed the goats in there twice last season and this spring pulled the stumps. I dragged the area with my box blades scarifiers after pulling the stumps this spring. Spread a good amount of manure and tilled and plowed with the middle buster. We plated beans to start building up the soil. After harvesting the last of the dry beans, the remains were tilled in. We are forming the beds and planting garlic and other alliums now.