Sunday, July 19, 2009

Busy days at Hearthfire Hill

Busy week here at Hearthfire Hill. Despite the continuing cold and rainy summer the garden has been producing like crazy... Weeds in abundance, which I haven't had time to properly pull, and peas... lordy the peas! LOL Lots to sell (we continue to sell out each market on the edible pod even though the variety we have growing is not especially sweet) and yet still pickings mid- cycle and after market for freezing. K has become the de facto pea sheller, as it is something he can sit and do (albeit slowly with fingers that don't feel and don't always behave) while I am in the garden or painting or at work or -- on those rare occasions -- asleep. I have lost some of the head lettuces to rot, ditto the cauliflower. I'm not sure what was up with them, but many seemed to be bolting from their tiny heads... and it seems way too early for what I always considered a fall crop, too. Broccoli is also wanting to head for the sky, but will continue to produce side shoots for the freezer.

Note to self -- revisit planting schedule for cole crops next year...

The cabbage are heading, the cucumber bugs seem to have left the patch (following Elvis? who knows) but I got some BT spray that is kosher for organics to treat the 'taters and have beaten back their bugs pretty well.

And then came the deer. Apparently deer love peas. When I was out mowing the cross walkways betweeen the 4 sections of the garden (yes, weed control is THAT far behind, and I am THAT desparate!) I spotted a late planting of peas. When I went to weed around them, I discovered the top growth had been eaten, and the next day (the smell of Human all over that row) they attacked th earlier plantings. I had bought out the hardware store on the cheap plastic step-in posts -- aiming at duck and deer fencing -- so it was past time to rig the fencing. Following the advise of a farming friend, Robin I dug out the monofiliment and put up two strands between posts. I have two areas so "secured" and thus far no sign of deer. I know I will have to do the peppers soon, for if the deer find them, there will be nothing left to try to produce fruit later in the summer, should we have one.

I need to clean out around the berry bushes and Freecycle wild roses I planted last year (they are all growing, despite being end of the season markdowns, hastily thrown into the ground when we bought the place) and the bittersweet, which I had ordered before we even signed the contract on the place. Most, but not all, of them appear to be growing as well. I need to side-dress the vine crops and the 'maters and peppers (heavy feeders, all) and of course weed, weed, weed... and pick peas (again) and beans (soon) and try to find the carrots and plant more lettuce and maybe carrots... hoping to make use of the early pea and spinach and lettuce planting areas, which are at least a little less weedy.

Herbs have been weeded but need it again... at least I can see them now! the flower area is totally gone to weeds and may not get weeded this year. I have high hopes that the flowers will reseed and go "wild" so I can have some next year when hopefully a tiller will be in the arsenel. But of course that means finding time to clean up and sell some of the old equipment...

And meanwhile (not to complain of course!!) the hex business is booming! I think I have more in the order queue at present than ever before... a 4' custom is nearing completion and needs to be finished to ship on Tues and there are 5 more 2' on order -- blanks are in the wood shop to be sanded now that the wood filler has dried, and primed. That will happen first today, then on to the garden.

Then on to a road trip to WaCo to pick up a few ducks (who hopefully will help me with bug control ) and have supper with friends as a mutual friend's restaurant, the Nook and Cranny. If you are ever in Maine, you gotta eat there!!

So, I suppose I better get at it, eh?

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