Thursday, September 10, 2015
WHERE TO BEGIN????
Let's just say that the past few months have been a steady diet of patience, endurance, feast, famine, surprises, mysteries, joys, sorrows, with us shrugging our shoulders at the end of many a day and uttering, " well, we made it through in one piece!" Starting where we left off, just kicking off the strawberry season, the first couple of weeks of picking were stupendous. Lots of berries, both inside under the hoop house, and outside in the fields. Then came the rain, and then more rain, and then more after that. If someone would have said that a whole field of strawberries would mold and turn rotten in three days, OH POPPPYCOCK!!! would have been the reply on this end. Well it happened. While the strawberries were drowning, the blackberries were basking in the abundant rainfall, growing plump and black on the vines. So many berries that picking on the halves was an everyday occurrence. As there are several varieties, the season lasted a few weeks as the early varieties heralded the mid-season berries, which prepared the way for the later varieties. Berries were picked in the morning, during the day, and at night, sunshine and rain. And it continued to rain. For anyone that has grown fruit trees, it is a well known fact that peaches, pluots, plums, do not like wet feet. With fields saturated for days with nowhere for the water to go, our orchard suffered grave damage, as the roots of some of our younger trees rotted in the ground. Our helplessness turned to despair as we watched the tender young fruit and leaves shrivel on the branches and fall to the ground. Thankfully, some of the older trees, with deep established roots, withstood the effects of the water emersion. Needless to say, there will be several new peach trees planted this winter. As the rains also limited our vegetable planting, our CSA was short but sweet. If anyone goes boating on Lake Ray Roberts, be sure to take a swing around to the North east banks near Tioga. Most likely there you will find a huge garden with watermelons, cantaloupe, squash, corn, peas, beans, okra, seeds all washed from the farm, settling on the banks of the lake. What was with the incessant heat that enveloped us like a brick oven? What little we had planted turned to powder in a matter of days. It was all we could do to keep the animals cool and hydrated. It was during this time that our summer crop of goat babies took the greatest hit. No matter how many fans and misters we kept on them, or how often we fed them bottles, the dead heat of the summer is no place for baby goats that are bred for the Swiss Alps. We suffered several fatalities. Bummer! Those that were hardy enough to survive the heat are thriving. The Farmer finished his equipment building, allowing all of the farm equipment to be under cover, ensuring a longer and more productive lifespan. The market has had a good summer, despite the slight setbacks in crops. The self serve produce table was a huge hit again this year. There are plans for a fall crop of sorts. Will post what should be available to come. More updates will be shared in the coming days, as well as an announcement or two. Our market days are the same, Friday and Saturday from noon until 4:00 PM. Due to the hacking of our e-mail, we have a new address. For the life of me, who would want to hack into a homestead farm's mail? What top secret information do they think they will retrieve? How to compost goat poop? From our farmstead to your table, thank you for all of your support!!!! New address firstname.lastname@example.org