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Feathered Friends & Farming

As I sit to write this newsletter, I have to stop and marvel at a pair of hummingbirds. I wonder at how fast those wings beat to stay stationary in one place (up to 80 times per second with the smallest species). Talk about amazing creatures! This year we have had an explosion of feathered friends. Multiple species are now calling this place home. The other day, when I was mowing some hay, I had a bald eagle land not more than 15 feet from me. Shoot, around here, those birds are about as domesticated as my chickens. I think my favorite neighborly bird is the American gold finch—what a striking color contrast to the green backdrop of the apple trees.

Wouldn’t you know it, as soon as I set up my irrigation it rains and, boy, did it ever! I will have to try that trick more often. The rain is both a blessing and curse. For many of my friends, it means they are unable to make hay and they have hundreds of acres to put up. We have been fortunate this year and  been able to get our most “pressing” hay fields cut, tedded, raked and baled between rain storms. If you need hay this year, talk with your farmer and let them know you are interested, it looks like it is going to be a tight year.

This week we are finally harvesting lettuce and spinach. With this cold season, things are not coming (growing) quickly, but now we get to harvest. YEAH!  On the flip side, the weeds are loving life and living large, so this week I am bringing a big crew to weed the carrots, basil and beets. The beautiful thing about the rain is that it makes weeding a ton easier. When the ground is dry, it is almost impossible to pull the weeds and get their roots, but with this rain the roots will come easier.  Conversely, so will the roots of the carrots and basil, so the crew will have to be slow and steady. And the last blessing about weeding and the rain is that the dirt clods will be easier on our knees, much appreciated after a few hours of crawling around.

Farming is so much about managing the weather you get. Hopefully we will get some sunshine to go with this moisture and the crops will really start to come (grow).

I hope you have our farm day on your calendar. For this year’s event (August 20th) we are adding music. I have several friends coming to play and if you have a fiddle, violin, guitar, banjo or djembe, bring it along and maybe you can getting in on the jamming. As always, our farm day is a blast—part old fashioned picnic, part educational and part historical.

Farming really slow food this year!