Yes, it has been quite a dry spell since the last blog entry. Our weekly CSA box program started, the intense summer harvest/market routine got rolling, and Tristan and I are balancing farming with a baby -- no shortage of things to keep us busy! Also on the busy-kid front, Paul, Kelsey, and everyone else on the farm needs to keep up with the now-walking Pia, who will be running in the very near future, I’m sure.
Annelise did a smashing job of managing the strawberry patch this season, with just over 3,700 pounds coming off this year -- well done! She moved on to overseeing the picking of shelling peas and has just started working on the raspberries. Whew. At least raspberry picking is a standing job -- strawberries and shelling peas are a tad bit hard on the back.
On a side note, but related to awkward picking positions, Tristan will be out picking corn on his knees in the next week. Yes, you read that correctly. Our earliest variety of corn, Speedy Sweet, is only three feet high and rather than bending over to pick it, Tristan likes to "walk" down the rows on his knees...with roofing knee pads.
Andrew was back at the farm a couple of weeks ago to continue working on the combine. While Andrew brought some refurbished parts with him for the grain bin, he and Tristan focussed on repairing the cylinder. Tristan got inside the combine to have a better vantage point to remove the rub bars from the cylinder. The rub bars were bent and the rubber also needed replacing. The rub bars are what helps break apart the grass (e.g., wheat, oats, rye, barley) and separate the seeds from the larger stems, so it’s quite important.
It was also exciting to see Andrew’s recumbent bike that he is building from the ground up. Sam spent the afternoon working on the bike while Tristan and Andrew worked on the combine. Talk about multi-tasking!
Within the span of a week, our goat population tripled, with each of our goats having twins; one female and one male. The first set of twins are Penny and Pickle and the second set were named by our Italian berry pickers/fruit stand workers -- Farfalla (Butterfly) and Pisello (Pea). They are super cute and we can’t wait to watch their playful antics develop.
Who knew that another name for pigs is “cob roller”? I had no idea. The pigs are thriving here and each have their own personality. Libby took some great photos the last time they were moved onto new ground. You can see a distinct difference in the raspberries after the pigs have been through. Look at how they mowed down the cooch grass (yay!) and other undesirable weeds. We couldn’t leave out a group photo with almost all of the pigs in it -- look how they’ve grown!
Photo credit: Martín Bustamante