Search This Blog

Monday, August 30, 2010

Learning something new each day

September is looming just around the corner and another summer is coming to an end. My garden has been extremely generous considering the amount of neglect that it has received. The flowers are still blooming in between the weeds. The fruit trees are still yielding a bumper crop of apples even after being assaulted by Japanese beetles. Even the Christmas trees are still growing under the mountains of hay that is growing between them. The saying that you learn something new everyday is no where more true then on a small farm. Some of the more important things that have been learned this year include:

Double rainbow from front deck
MULCH, MULCH AND MORE MULCH – The poor tomatoes are only just now turning red as they were buried under weeds for far too long. Next season, each transplant will receive a good helping of mulch in order to keep them moist and in an effort to better control the weeds.

IF IT ISN’T PLANTED IT WILL NOT GROW – May is planting time in Northern Vermont, it was also an exceptionally busy month here both on and off the farm. Lots of seeds never made it into the starter pots, let alone into the ground. Next year we will be looking at adding some supplemental heat to the little greenhouse we built out of scrap wood and windows. More seeds should be able to be started in the greenhouse and we will both be sure not to pick up any off farm projects or overtime so that the garden can be more successful.

PREVENTATIVE MAINTENANCE – If one does not give old equipment some TLC throughout the year, when one goes to use that equipment, it will show you how much it feels neglected. You have an hour to get a quick project done before you run out of daylight, you run out to mow at least the front two lawns; the lawn mower will not start because it is out of oil. You note the oil on the list of things to pick up on your way home from work in the morning and go to grab the tractor to run through the upper field between the Christmas trees with the brush hog; the PTO will not turn nor will the bucket lift off the ground because the little leak in the hydraulic system got bigger. You note filters and more hydraulic fluid on your list of things to pick up and warn your husband that he will need to pick up some kind of seal on his way home from work in the afternoon once you have had a chance to figure out which one is leaking. Defeated by outdoor chores, you go inside to run a quick vacuum through your car and put air in the tires and check to see if you need oil or power steering fluid (since you will already be going to the store); the breaker in the garage trips and will not re-set because the mice have decided to build a nest in the breaker box. You add a new breaker to the list of things to pick up tomorrow along with plans to clean out the mouse house. Quick projects end up taking far longer if you do not take the time to take care of your equipment, remember to put mouse traps/poison in the garage, or remember to do the simplest things like check your oil.
Chicken prints on the trunk of the car
CHICKENS – If you don’t want your chickens to get into it, it must be fenced, protected or closed. They are more curious then cats, they will get into your garage, your gardens, your raised beds, your car, your tractor, your house… I have never been so angry or laughed so much as I have with my chickens.

SCHEDULING TIME FOR RELAXATION – No matter how much is on the to-do list, we need to remember to find some time to relax, cool down, and recuperate. While trying to make the farm successful, you can get so mired down in your to-do list that you forget to find time to enjoy the little things that we should be thankful for. No matter how much there is to do; it will all still be there tomorrow.

We are enjoying the fruits of our labor from the garden and hope to be able to squeeze in a trip to Maine to visit friends soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment