Monday, June 23, 2008

The Harvest begins......

We have been planting and weeding in between rain showers and downpours and it's paying off no matter how much the mosquito's try to discourage us. We do get a couple of hours of sunshine most days and so we try to complete little projects before the heavens open up again. Yesterday morning was foggy and cool. I thought it would be a good time to do some weeding and transplanting. The broccoli was definitely ready to be harvested and the tomatoes needed to be staked. We had just two hours before a nasty storm blew in. We sat on the farmer's porch and watched the rain and lightening make it's way up the valley until the lightening got too close for comfort and I came in the house. Guess I'm a chicken : it was incredibly loud! It was a spectacular light show for a few minutes.
I discovered last night at chore time that that light show blew up my electric fence charger. The company informed me today when I called them that I can purchase a lightening arrestor for $10 to prevent that from happening. Wish I had know that before hand. I had a small charger as a spare that I'm using for backup. That big charger isn't going to be cheap to replace. I'm hoping it's repairable
Our first broccoli harvest
The storm didn't last long thankfully and we had another lovely rainbow. Once the storm passed my Mom and I put 50 quarts of broccoli in the freezer. I am always so encouraged when I can start harvesting and filling my freezers and pantry. I'm one of those "worrier" types and I relax a little more each time I "put something up". I planted 40 broccoli plants. They will keep producing side shoots for quite some time that we will eat fresh.

I've had good luck with bush beans but my pole beans didn't germinate well so we will replant tomorrow. One variety of corn did well and the other did not germinate at all. I still have time for it to produce so will try again with that as well. Will plant a few more rows of Swiss chard, spinach, mescalin mix, beets, radishes and carrots. We have a very short growing season here but thankfully the things that need a long season are doing well.

The rain has also been great for the grass. Our spring lambs are growing nicely. Below are a few photos of our Shetland lambs.

Tylerfarm's Robin -2008 Shetland ewe lamb

Tylerfarm's Towhee - 2008 Shetland ram lamb

Tylerfarm's Woody - 2008 Shetland Ram lamb

They aren't exactly thrilled to have me follow them around with the camera. They want to eat! Hard to believe most of them are over two months old. They will start going to their new homes next week. I'll be sad to see them go but it's part of the process for us. They go to wonderful homes and I couldn't be happier about that.


nita said...

Wow, your garden looks great! Are the thunder storms the norm for your area? We rarely get them in the summer, but can see them rolling up the mountain range from California. Unfortunately here they land on the dry side of the Cascades and usually start forest fires.
I can't believe it's time for those lambs to go already, it seems like they were just born.
I know what you mean about stocking up - I'm down to my last chicken and we are butchering this week... I get nervous too.

Deb said...

Thanks:) Our springs rains are not usually as violent as they have been this year. We were so dry 6 weeks ago and so worried about the fire danger. Now everyone is worried abour Have to find a little humor in it all somehwere :)
My heart goes out to the folks in the midwest - so much water and devastation - and the forest fires in CA, mother nature is sure beating up this country lately.
Do you do your own butchering?

Joanne said...

What gorgeous colors your lambs are! Wow. Your broccoli harvest is impressive. We are not lucky enough to have enough cool weather to get much broccoli...our weather goes from freezing to hot too quickly! Instead I'll have to feast my eyes on yours. :)

nita said...

We do our butchering, but we do it at friends house who has all the nice equipment. We'll be doing his 400, plus our batch of 65+.
Maybe he'll let us take pictures...

Deb said...

Thank you ~ I love that rich moorit color and purchased a new ram last year in hopes of getting lambs similar to his color. I love natural colored yarns and think their fiber will be lovely yarn. We will know at shearing next year :O
Our broccoli does well if I plant early - April. Once it gets hot here and stays hot it gets wormy quickly :(

Pictures are always good :) I can't imagine raising 400 chickens! Will 65 be enough for your family until you raise another batch? We raised a couple of batches and I like raising the birds but I really dislike the butchering process and our chickens are always tough. We have a new USDA CO-OP that will do them....we may raise another batch next year. Have fun :)

Paintsmh said...

Awww I want a lamb!!! Our girls are sweet but they are so old. Sigh.

Deb said...

I'll trade you a lamb for one of those sweet little calves you've been having :)

Paintsmh said...

I'd say done. But the only one we have now is a heifer shorty cross...though there are several more due....