Welcoming Rain. Sorta.

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The rain we had Sunday night was needed and welcome.  After the crazy wet spring we’ve had it’s kind of hard to believe I’m welcoming rain so soon.

Fortunately the spring gardens are still cranking out food, even though the heat and long days mean that most of it is in danger of bolting. I’m pretty confident the lettuce will be history after this week.

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Monday’s CSA delivery included sensopai, broccoli, mizuna, collards, mustard greens, joi choi, red romaine and buttercrunch lettuce, as well as some garlic.  Here’s a shot of my work station.

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Although the rain was welcome, I was very sorry to see what the storm did to our sweet corn.  I don’t know if it will recover from this.  File it in the it’s-always-something category.

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This guy watched me for a while, from a distance.  He and his friends and family are like a sword of Damocles constantly hanging over our gardens.

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Hopefully they’ll continue to stay out of our gardens.

The 1 1/2 inches of rain we’ve had over the last 24 hours means I won’t start cutting hay today, as originally planned.  But there’s plenty to do in the gardens.  Once planted, they’ve mostly thrived in this weather.  Cherie remarked yesterday that the spring brassicas garden is the best looking garden we’ve ever had.

Finally, when I went out to shut the doors to the coops last night I discovered that the five missing refugees had returned, safe, sound and hungry.  So while I’m sorry we lost one to the hawk, I’m relieved that all the rest made it home safely.

Farm living.

13 comments on “Welcoming Rain. Sorta.

  1. Ann Wood says:

    Brassicas – powerhouse veggies – a blessing to the bodies of man! PS – glad the chicks returned to the roost…those who can find the way home are not dumb! Amen!

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    • Bill says:

      Amen indeed. They surprised me with their resilience.

      And with all the problems we’ve had this spring, we’ve never had spring brassicas as good as these!

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  2. Lynda says:

    Your results make it look easy, but I have so much to learn. Glad your chickens came home!

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    • Bill says:

      Oh Lynda, it definitely isn’t easy. As for our results, I’m only emphasizing the good ones. We never got our beets planted, I waited too late to harvest the lettuce and now it’s bolting and it seems likely to me that our onions will be a total loss (especially tough for us as homesteaders who use lots of onions). Our English peas are questionable, our sweet corn all fell down after a torrential downpour, our new chicks were scattered by a hawk, we lose goats for no apparent reason, etc. etc. etc.

      As Wendell Berry says (much more artfully), if you want the simple life, don’t take up farming.

      The learning part never ends. I like to say that I learn from my mistakes and therefore I’ve learned a lot. 🙂

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  3. Bob Braxton says:

    much rejoicing – more than then ninety and nine that were always safe

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  4. shoreacres says:

    You may know all of this, but I thought these tips for dealing with a garden were interesting.

    Again, I’m just so glad the girls are home.

    Now, as promised – the Bacon Story. Actually, it involves more than bacon, but that will come.

    After reading your post on exploding pig poop, I didn’t have nightmares, but I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I started just looking around on the internet, to see who might be selling grass fed organic beef and healthy pork around here. I found plenty of folks, but most were at least 200 miles away. Not so helpful.

    Finally, I found a place up in Waller, Texas. That’s just the other side of Houston. I read their web page, which sounded good. (Their web page is down right now, but you can see a brief description of their place here. I did some more reading, and found this information on the founder, Georgia Bost.

    Finally, I figured out that this “Georgia’s Grassfed Beef” is the same crew who shows up at our farmers’ market every week. (You can see where this is going, can’t you?) On Saturday morning I beat it down to the market, found the guy, looked at the prices and came away with some ground beef, ground bison, a small sirloin, some chicken breasts, farm fresh eggs from happy chickens, and some bacon.

    When the guy asked me why I had stopped by and why I was buying for the first time, I told him, “Exploding pig poop.” He didn’t know about it. I explained.

    Well, I brought my goodies home and figured out that for $87 I had enough meat to last me for around 20 meals. That’s reasonable enough for a penny-pincher like me.

    Then, last night, I decided to have some bacon and eggs for supper. I did all the bacon at once in the oven, and scrambled two eggs.

    I NEVER have had bacon and eggs that tasted like that. Ever. The eggs were big, and they scrambled up lighter in color than any I’ve ever seen. They were wonderful. And as for the bacon, from those happy pigs who lived in the pasture and never ate anything but happy pig food? It was unbelievable. It had been lightly smoked with hickory, but it wasn’t too salty, and it was very lean. Most interesting was the crispness. I don’t know quite how to describe the difference between my happy-pig bacon and what I’ve eaten for years, but it was almost butter-cookie like in texture. It wasn’t tough at all – you could take a piece and just break it in two.

    And the flavor? Indescribeable. I couldn’t help myself. I ate five pieces.

    I can’t wait to get to the chicken breasts!

    (This is only part one of the story, but the rest will have to wait. Suffice it to say, by the time Saturday was over, the Angel of All Things Organic had flown over my house, and….)

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    • shoreacres says:

      Oops. In my excitement I didn’t close a tag. You can figure it out. All the links are there. 😉

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    • Bill says:

      This makes me very VERY happy. 🙂

      So glad you’ve discovered how much better naturally raised pork tastes. I’m confident that your reaction to the chicken will be the same. I was just talking to friend this weekend who recently ate pasture-raised chicken for the first time. He was blown away. He grew up on a farm but had forgotten what chicken is supposed to taste like.

      I used to love sausage biscuits from McDonalds. After eating real sausage for the past few years the thought of eating the nasty greasy stuff they serve is nauseating.

      Be aware that you’ll need to cook the grass-fed beef differently. Once you’ve cleared your pallet of industrial beef, I predict you’ll never go back.

      Finally, I have to add that I take great personal satisfaction in knowing that my post about the exploding poop had this result. I didn’t expect that and I sometimes worry that I post too much negative stuff. So happy that it prompted you to find a real farm to help you eat real food. 🙂 🙂

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  5. Bee Girl says:

    You might try hilling up your corn a bit 🙂 If you can gently straighten and build a little soil around it’s base, it might recover nicely.

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    • Bob Braxton says:

      concurs with Bee Girl. We had vegetable garden (extensive) rural route Graham, NC, 1948-1962.

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      • Bill says:

        I’ve had some success righting stalks and firming the soil on the side to which they’re leaning. If any of these flop and stay that way, that’s what we’ll do.

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    • Bill says:

      Corn is an amazingly resilient plant. It roots very shallow so is prone to things like this. A couple days later these plants were all standing tall like nothing ever happened. They just straightened themselves out. We had another gullywasher last night so I’m kind of worried about how they’ll look this morning…

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