Yes indeed, we have arrived in the month of August! We’re still battling water issues on the farm; I’ve found that I need to clean the filters much more than I thought initially to keep the irrigation working properly. Sunday evening is filter cleaning time; I take an old toothbrush and scrub out the filters that are attached prior to each timer around the farm.
We clean the main filter every day, but there is so much algae and silt coming through that we also need to clean the smaller pre-timer filters. One of these days we’ll get around to buying the big boy filter for 2 grand that self-cleans and lives down by the pond. It’s one of those things that I never quite manage to prioritize enough because of the cost and the fact that it’s only an issue during the hottest couple of months.
Between trips to Sacramento for policy work and trips to Ukiah for Board of Supervisor meetings, I’m finding it hard to get all of my work done, and am most grateful for the help of the team we have on farm. We’re learning to operate with flexibility and utility, filling different roles as required.
Peppers and eggplants are jamming, we’re excited about our success in this department. They’re awesome for grilling, marinated in olive oil and salt. Also, check out the eggplant enchilada recipe on the following page. This is a Mama-Made special, proper tasty. :)
The first two successions of fall crops are doing very well. We took the skin off of our big seed-start hoophouse and covered it with shade-cloth, creating a nice, somewhat cooler spot for the fall crops to thrive. Kales, collards, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, beets; all are doing very well. We’ve been upplanting from six packs into 3 and 4 inchers; they’ll stay in those pots for the next three weeks or so, getting large and hardy before we plant them out. We’ve found that it makes more sense for us to plant out stout plants that will thrive rather than losing little tenderlings to the varied pest pressures that are ever-present on the farm.
Upplanting has it’s tradeoffs; it costs more money in labor, and materials than does direct seeding, but it stretches our bed space capacity because we can allow the previous crops to run full length while growing up hardy transplants in the hoophouses. It also increases harvestability and quality of the final crops because we only plant out strong, vibrant plants. This means we are less likely to have crop failures.
We slaughtered two rabbits last night (both males) to make way for up and coming babies. We had five from our last batch of babies and I separated them into different cages but mixed up the males and females, which meant we got more babies than expected. We are slowly learning about this meat raising game; one of them is about to go into the solar oven to slow cook over the course of the day so that we have a tasty meal when we return from market this evening. Much love, great success, Team HappyDay :)