Monday, June 27, 2011

Rain, Rain, Glorious Rain

We actually had an amazing rainfall a few days ago. Really, really helped to relieve my stress level. It even penetrated the ground about 2". We are supposed to get more rain today and tomorrow, and even though almost everyone else is complaining about it, I am ecstatic! If we get one more good rain, I won't have to water for at least a week or more. My tomatoes and pumpkins at the back will be soooo happy. Because I haven't had to water for a few days, I got so much work done. I planted about 400 pepper plants, and almost all my tomatoes. Out of 1200 tomatoes, I only have another 80 to plant, and those should get done today. Yay!!!!! I love it when I get stuff done!

Something important to note: this is the first June in three years that we have a decent rainfall. The last two summers, we've had a drought for over 3 months... June, July, Aug. This will be such a nice change! I am trying to get as much planted as I can before the rain starts. I am just blogging while I wait for a dog to arrive;-)

New Arrivals

About 2 weeks ago now, one of my Muscovy ducks had six little fuzzy babies. They were so adorable! MamaDuck was doing a terrific job of caring for them, off they would waddle around the field, foraging and exploring.
Each morning after they were born, I would hear a bunch of ravens over by the field at about 5 am. I am getting really, really PISSED at these ravens lately! The first morning I heard them, I was so afraid they would eat my babies, that I went running outside in my ginch and a t-shirt, screaming and waving my arms at the darned birds. Thank goodness I don't have any close neighbours... I can't even imagine how insane I must of looked! They flew away, but came back the next day. And the next. After the babies were about 5 or 6 days old, one disappeared. I just KNOW it was a raven! So, I ended up scooping all the babies into a bucket and put them into the brooder in my bathroom. MamaDuck was so sad! I felt so bad for her. If I had the room, I would've put her with them, too.

The babies seem to be healthy. They are eating well, and growing. They are still fuzzy and adorable. I do wish they could've grown up on the pasture, though... I just keep thinking it would have been sooooo much healthier for them. I am going to build another enclosure for them in the field soon, so they can go outside, and be safe from the ravens. Like I need another project!

The good news is that I have completed quite a few of my projects for this year, so my list is actually getting a bit smaller for once. My next project is to finish my farmgate stand. I had originally wanted it done by June 1st, but that didn't happen... I just didn't have the funds to get it done. I have been slowly collecting materials, though, and now have everything I need to get working on the gates and fencing. All I need after that is a fridge, and I am done! Hopefully by the time the tomatoes and cuc's are ready, I will have it open.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

OUT with the hose!

Well, watering season has officially begun. We haven't had any significant rain for almost a month now. We really could use a good downpour! My two water holding tanks (they each hold 250 gallons) were full several weeks ago. Now, one is completely empty, and the other is half way empty. Already. I really expected them to last at least until July. I use the water mostly for watering livestock and dogs. Amazing how fast it goes! Really puts into perspective how much water we go through on a daily basis.

I dragged all my hoses out last week, and took them down to my new garden by the storage shed, wayyyyy down at the end of the driveway. Hooked everything up, crawled under the house and turned the water to the field on.  My plants were desperately needing some moisture. When I made my way back down to the hose, almost no water was coming out. CRAP! I think there is a leak or something down the pipe somewhere. It is buried in the ground, so almost impossible to figure out where it might be. Just in case I did something wrong, I crawled back under the house, to see if maybe I had turned the wrong tap or something. I had done it right.
I proceeded to have a minor meltdown about then. I burst into tears. I have been working literally 16 hours a day, planting and making gardens, and trying to get everything done. Having no water for the 150 tomato plants, the 50 sunflowers, and the 30 Snackjack pumpkins I have planted in the back bed just all of a sudden seemed like too much to bear. I screamed at the universe for a bit, then said some very bad swear words, then crawled back from under the house, and got busy again. There is not a lot of time to sit around feeling sorry for yourself on a farm. No matter how hard things seem at the time, you just have to pick yourself up and deal with it.

So, now my ritual is this: everytime I have to go open or close the gate, I fill up my watering cans and lug them down the driveway, and water a few plants each time. I really need to find a better plan, as this won't do when it gets really hot. I've covered everything with hay to help hold in the moisture, but pumpkins and tomatoes and sunflowers are all really water hungry plants. It will be easier next year, as the hay and mulch I put on this year will start to compost, and hold in the moisture better. It only sucks the big one this year, as the bed is brand new, and there isn't enough organic material in it yet.


Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!