Thursday, 15 August 2013

An absolutely wonderful summer so far

Well, back to business now, we went to the first Farmers' Market of the season basically to tell people we hope to expand our customer base and probably wouldn't be at the Farmers' Market much, even if just to sell any extra produce on occasion.  It turns out there is no produce left by the weekend, our wonderful Weekly Customers are enjoying it to the fullest.  We now deliver to The Crusty Baker Mondays and Thursdays.  We deliver to some customers' homes Wednesdays and to some customers in their offices Thursday mornings.  Sometimes people will call to see if they can stop by to pick up an Order and we try to oblige.  The rest of the week is quite busy with weeding, more planting, harvesting the usual suspects that need to be picked almost daily like beans, snow peas, zucchini, beets, onions, broccoli and others that will go to seed when you're not paying attention to them.
Someone at a delivery today thanked me for sharing with them.  It is so what I want to do more than anything.  It is truly about the food and the quality of the food.  I love packing up a basket knowing it's going to be appreciated and the person receiving is going to cook everything to perfection and make yummy sounds while eating.  It is absolutely gratifying to have kids reach for the basket and get excited about what's in it and ask their mom or dad if they can eat the tomatoes or the celery right away.  A little girl's face lit up when she saw a cabbage I was delivering and asked "Did you grow that?  By yourself?"  I told her, I did grow it but not by myself, there were a lot of others involved like the seed that started it, the soil, the worms in the soil, the rain, the sun, everything in the garden helping in any way they could.  
I'm not sure who's more excited about the deliveries, the deliverer or the receivers.  
It's also a delight to have our weekends free, it's been years and we've really missed the things we used to do, we can get some farming done in the morning and maybe shop or entertain and cook up a storm with and for friends.  We are enjoying the summer tremendously.  
This year is the best and the biggest of produce we've had yet.  Every time I'm in a garden bed, I'm thinking of what will be planted in that particular spot next Spring.  One thing we did is plant some heritage oats, it's hard to find clean straw for the Chicken Coop so we thought we'd plant our own.  Tom now has a scythe so will be harvesting lovely golden straw in the fall.  Last year the potatoes were  a fail, not so this year, they are the loveliest of all potatoes we've ever grown.  
I'd never seen a squash bug before but since we have so many varieties of squash this year we've been battling the dear little things at all their stages for the last month.  They are gross as well as really really annoying.  
Winter salad greens were successful in the Greenhouse last year so I'm going to perfect that project this fall and see if we can keep up a good supply for the entire winter this year.
Oh, and Phoebe and Rachel are now both laying eggs again, one each per day.  
So that's what's going on here, never a dull moment.  
I hope you are enjoying your summer with the wonderful weather.  

so much done since last post

Well, Rachel was the first to lay eggs, then Phoebe, so we were getting two eggs a day.  We ended up with a few dozen by the end of May.  Rachel was also the first to start brooding.  I thought she was sick (have I mentioned I grew up downtown, I mean right downtown, Ottawa so what do I know about chickens right?) so I was bringing her treats like tomatoes and sorrel which she loves.  Phoebe must have thought Rachel was sick too, she would take some of the tomato and drop it right in front of Rachel so she would eat.  She tried to get behind her and push her out of the coop so they could go outside together.  Several days later I was really worried so asked someone who claims to be an expert on chickens what I should do.  He said she's just broody so put a couple of eggs under her, she'll sit on them and once they've hatched she'll be back to normal.  So a friend, Tim Aubin, gave me three duck eggs for Rachel to sit upon.  She did.  She sat upon them for FOUR WEEKS.  We were going away the long July weekend so I candled the eggs to see if I should remove them before they started to smell or something (it's amazing what you can learn Online).  Well just as I was turning my head away from two of the eggs, I thought I saw something slightly moving.  Assuming it was my imagination I put the eggs back under Rachel and figured I'd remove them and deal with her broodiness when we got back.  The day after we got back, I went to fill up the water and food containers in the Coop and I saw two little yellow heads peeking out from behind Rachel!!!!  Ducklings!!  I can't imagine anything cuter than ducklings.
Rachel ignored the third egg completely so I followed suit and disposed of it.
Next are pictures of the chickens and the "chucklings" as we call them.  I really want to make them in order and present them nicely but get so frustrated by the blog setup I could scream.  They are out of order and I don't know how to get them in order, but please enjoy them anyway.
Thomas has been enjoying the tractor and helping so much to keep the property tidy.  We got a new sign for the van, wave if you see us in town delivering.

Let's take a closer look, anything
wrong with this picture?

Rachel and her kids

It is astonishing how fast
these guys grow

Phoebe is not impressed with
all of this nonsense

This guy doesn't care about anything but
digging in the planters and sowing seeds.

We actually have other things
growing besides duck
my favourite basil mini-garden