A small, diverse permaculture farm in beautiful SE Minnesota - our dream come true life focused on Local Food, Local Art, Local Music.
Saturday, June 1, 2013
June at Last!
Happy June! Good riddance to May 2013! It is usually my favorite month, but this year May has been so overabundant with rain it has caused a lot of headaches and delays--and even more problems for other, more serious farmers than we. This morning we had a few hours of sunshine (clouds have now moved in and more rain is in the forecast) so I celebrated by giving Gourdita a fresh new look.
Just need to get some flowers planted there for Gourdita to water. As you can see, the record rain in May has made everything very lush and verdant green.
But it has also made it almost impossible to do any planting. Here is our main garden, where Cadence optimistically transplanted the tomato starts (mulched with straw) and peppers and potatoes a couple weeks ago - it rained heavily right after she planted and they have been in standing water ever since.
The poor cows had been wallowing in mud in the sacrifice area and mooing longingly at the yummy pasture across the fence. I am down to only a few bales of hay and our neighbor told me the going rate is now up to $12 per small bale for nice hay! When it dried off a bit I let the cows up in this pasture for a few days, but as you can see by the edge where they walk along the fence, they were really chewing it up with the ground so soft, so I had to close them out before they destroyed it.
Closing them out meant shutting this gate at the bottom of the hill. When I ventured out to shut the gate I sank in mud up to my knees, past the tops of my muck boots. As I tried to extricate myself I fell over and my arms were in mud up past my elbows. Nobody was home, and I did worry for a few minutes I might be stuck there all day, but ultimately I crawled out, covered in mud head to toe (and by mud, I mean a blend of slippery clay slurry fortified with cow manure.) I didn't take a self-portrait because I didn't want to even touch my camera.
Impossible to haul compost out of the cow yard or organic waste to the compost piles - the wheelbarrows cannot navigate the mud.
Great transplanting weather, though! Cadence dug out a hundred or so weed-choked strawberry plants from the garden and I replanted them as a border bed in my new bee/butterfly perennial garden. Perhaps with them being closer to the house we will get to the ripe berries before the birds and rabbits do.
The picket fence around the bee and butterfly garden is lined with chicken wire to keep out the poultry. Not the most beautiful, but it should be hidden as the plants grow taller.
Looking out of the perennial garden as another storm passes... wasn't fast enough fetching the camera to catch the rainbow.
Our weekend music has been cancelled the past two weeks because of rain, and business at the farm store has been very slow, but that has given me time to set up new merchandise displays, clean up the flower garden and plant the granary window box.
The best thing about this long rainy May is that we found morel mushrooms in our woods! We have searched every spring but only ever found one single morel. Here is harvest from one suppertime walk, with a few spears of asparagus from the garden...
that we transformed into a yummy quiche with farm eggs and garden scallions.
We have also been enjoying rhubarb cake and sauce.
And thankfully, the greens in the greenhouse are doing well - without the high tunnel we never would have been able to supply the CSA boxes this week, our first week of the season.
In other news, Israel is learning to ride a bike (he never had one growing up in Mexico) thanks to our friend Stephanie handing down the perfectly-sized bicycle to him.
And the little lamb I pulled (!!!) while farm-sitting at Don and Betsy's is doing very well!
In September 2008, we dived into our dream of creating a small, sustainable farm. Neither of us has previous farming experience, but we have enthusiasm and many ideas for this little 10-acre farmstead.