New Rose Bush

New Rose Bush

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 23, 2013

I knew keeping up with this blog was going to be a challenge for me.  I'm not very computer saavy or have the time, but I try my best.  I want to keep a log of things going on on the farm for our own personal record keeping, but it is difficult to keep up - especially during the summer months.  So here it is, already October and haven't posted a thing for a very long time.  Bear with me please!

Our summer was rainy, rainy, rainy!  No pictures involved here.  It was a mess.  Most crops wouldn't grow because the seeds were water logged before sprouting, or the root crops rotted in the ground - ALLLLL that garlic I planted.  It makes me want to cry.  I wanted so much to store up garlic for the winter.  It was not to be.  The tomatoes all rotted on the vines by bucket loads - much to the chickens great pleasure.  I think they were the only happy ones on the farm.  So no garden pictures this year!

This August we began construction on our High Tunnel that the Dept. of Agriculture purchased for us:

Ok, so it's not done yet and our winter crops are not planted as hoped, in order to grow greens and other cold weather crops all winter......but we are working on it.  At least I have a lot of great fall crops growing right now - an abundance of lettuce, swiss chard, kale, beets, arugula, broccoli, cabbage, pok choi, snap peas and even green beans!

I even have the strangest Cushaw squash which a friend gave me seeds and I thought they were a summer squash but ended up being a winter pumpkin like thing that tastes wonderful and I have an abundance - finally a squash that the squash bugs pretty much leave alone!
The shiitake mushroom crop was a great success this year also.  We had the privilege of meeting with a shiitake grower in Wisconsin who gave us alot of years of widsom and hopefully we will continue to do well with this health-benefit crop!  We were able to sell the mushrooms for $14.00 per pound and are right now getting our final growth from the logs we have.  Can't wait to do more logs in the spring.  We need to get out and mark the oak trees right now in order to be able to fresh cut them in the spring and put in new plugs - 1,000 more!
OK, so I like to always try something new that sounds exciting and this year was no exception.  I planted popping sorghum which has grown to great heights of 12 feet in the garden and I can't wait to harvest it and pop it like pop corn.  I would like to try and get the sap out of the stalks too.  I hope everything is ready because  it gets to cold.  I got the seeds in quite late in the season.
Something I need to continue doing is planting buckwheat for the honey bees.  Our honey flow was terrible this year because of the rain - only getting half of what we usually do to sell (our poor customers) - but having buckwheat always blooming in the garden is absolutely candy to the bees!  They love it.

The beautiful fall weather allowed me to get some dyeing done on the boxes and boxes of wool I have from two great shearings.  I had hoped to do some great things from plants on our farm, but didn't get great results from anything.  I dyed with walnuts, burr marigolds, poke berries, but nothing was a great success this year.  I don't know why.  Sometimes I can get beautiful colors.  I had to stick with the chemical dyes this year and will continue.  I have just discovered the use of different mushrooms in dyeing wool and am very, very eager to try that next year.  I have started mushroom hunting with the help of a knowledgeable friend and was able to pick and eat some chanterelles this year.  He just dropped of a Hen of the Woods for us to try too.  I love to eat mushrooms.....but dyeing with the mushrooms sounds so fun!  I did obtain some olive green colors of wool naturally and learned how to do a tweed yarn that I am looking forward to experimenting with.

Something or someone else new on our farm is our brown ram we exchanged with our friends the Seitzers's in June.  We gave them Lilly's boy for breeding their rambouillet sheep in exchange for their brown rambouillet ram to breed our two ewes - Lilly and Sweet Pea.  I'm looking forward to some adorable brown lambs in the spring!




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