Monday, August 18, 2008

Still pluggin away

I realized tonight I hadn't written for awhile. Winding down early for the night, after a busy day and a couple nights with not very much sleep, so thought I'd catch y'all up a bit.

Looked at my watch. Well, don't ask me why I thought it was an early's midnight, somehow.

I have seen a humourous story about a married couple going to bed. He says he's going to bed, brushes his teeth, and is peacefully snoring away 10 minutes later. Two hours later she is still finishing up a million little household rituals "on her way to bed". I definitely tend towards the latter habit, though once I'm in bed I'm out like a light.

So, what HAVE I been doing? Well, other than the full time off-farm job, there real constant on the daily "to-do" list has been weeding/mowing/mulching. I'm tempted to suggest on my market gardening list serve that we each send in photos of our weed patches, so that we can feel better about our own knowing that every other farm is on the brink of anarchy as well. With this unusually wet, cool August (many nights it's been a full 30 degrees cooler than August often is), the weeds are thriving. Nevertheless, I AM doing the best ever at keeping the farm looking fairly nice. This year's additions to the mowing tool collection are being put to good use, each to its own specialty. The BCS sickle bar will j-u-s-t fit down the mid-block lanes, when they are waist high. For the lanes and larger areas, it really lays down a lot of tall grass in a hurry. The Austrian scythe still reigns as my favorite, period; it excells in trimming under sprawling crops and along edges. The riding lawn mower keeps the 8' and 16' lanes neat, and creates huge amounts of mulch for garden. The self-propelled power mower is good for smaller areas like the front yard.

We continue to struggle keeping sheep alive because of the parasites. I buried another one last week. As I write, we have just today wormed again--this time rotating to fenbendazole at higher-than-label rates at my vet's recommendation, and counting the days til slaughter to make sure there will be no residues. We've also given iron dextran injections at the vet's directions, to help their anemia, and B vitamin complex to stimulate appetite.

A new housemate is moving in, and we are expecting our second WWOOFer this week. So there's been lots of people interactions that are important, but distract from the farm work. Key volunteers have been plugging away now that they're back from vacation.

An especially dear people interaction was a leisurely visit from old mentors Judy and David. I used to volunteer hours and hours on their farm, including running the farm for a month one year while they were on vacation. They haven't been to my farm in years (they now spend a lot of time living in Hawaii). It was really rewarding to hear their encouragement and compliments about how much I've done. We tackled the pile of fleeces in the basement, and after several hours of sorting fleeces and skirting them, we really whittled down the pile.

That's important, because I've just given up my beloved east bedroom for awhile to live in the basement. While the east bedroom is my favorite place in the house, the basement is a close second so it's not discouraging. Just the fact of revising my daily routines is daunting, however.

Tuesday night, August 19, the City Commission will supposedly decide whether or not to annex and rezone as industrial a large chunk of land north of me. I invite my readers to pray for the protection of this outstanding agricultural soil. This action could have significant long-term effects on the future of Pinwheel Farm.

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