Peregrine Farm News Vol. 9 #13, 6/13/12

What’s been going on!

Early morning as the phone rang at 6:30, it was the Post Office in Graham notifying us that the, now two day old, turkey poults had arrived.  Hatched on Monday, immediately put into a ventilated box, taken the PO in Michigan and flown here.  It is always hard to believe it actually works but it does and there are now 88 little chirping Broad Breasted Bronze’s running around in the brooder.  Only ordered 74 and usually they put a few extras in but never this many.  There are about 8 or 9 little runts in the group but they are looking really healthy and active so we will see how they do, could be the reason we got so many extras.  For more turkey stories and pictures you can check it out here.  Here we go again!

Another nice rain for us but as usual not as much the rest of the world seems to get.  While parts of the Triangle got pounded with big rains and accidents on I-40 and such, we got a half an inch.  In our area we continue to be under this insidious prolonged stretch of below normal rainfall, going back several years now.  If you look at the US Drought Monitor map we are just listed in abnormally dry but are within a boundary that they label as “long term dominant impact e.g. hydrology, ecology”.  What that means to us is the ground water has still not been recharged enough for the springs to be running well.

As I mentioned in last week’s newsletter, the creek is just about dry already and while I know that there really are not any farms, or even houses, up stream that would be pulling out a lot of water, I just had to go check.  So Sunday I drove around the greater neighborhood to every place the creek crosses a road (5) to see if it was running any better at some point upstream, it wasn’t.  Now Big Branch or Reedy Creek, (it is called both) is not a long stream, four miles at best, and there is not a lot of watershed to feed it so when the springs are low it has a big impact on its flow.  I also checked on the stream flow gages, on line, and all of the gaging stations in the Haw River watershed were showing substantially below average flow rates, damn!  Here is the gage at Haw River which has jumped up over the last few days but is headed back down.  We just have to hope that we continue to get these nice weekly rains so we can stretch our captured pond water out across the season.

Pictures of the Week

A flurry of activity

A birds eye view

What’s going to be at the market?

More tomatoes this week with a fair supply of red Ultrasweets, Cherokee Purples and the tasty Orange Blossom.  A few pints of Sungolds but the squirrels are beating us to most of them right now.  Carrots are back.  Tender spring Leeks.  Nice sweet Cucumbers.  The deer got in and ate all the beautiful Escarole so no more for this spring.  The Lacinato Kale has rebounded and we should have a good amount.  Lettuce is down to just the crispy and sweet Summer Crisp in Red and Green.  If we can keep the deer away we will have more of the Round red Radicchio and tall green Sugarloaf Radicchio, great for grilling.  Sweet Red Onions and Basil, just in time for tomatoes!  Flat Leaf Italian Parsley.

Betsy and the flower department are still leading the show this week with Campanula (Canterbury Bells) is in pinks and blues.  Tall orange tufted Carthamus or Safflower.  It is Hydrangea season big time Annabelles and Nikko Blues!  The fragrant Oriental lilies in yellow, salmon and white.  Brilliant colored and long lasting Neon Amazon Dianthus.  Zinnias, a true sign of summer. Sunflowers and a lot of Gloriosa Daisy (Black Eyed Susan).  Beautiful Bouquets!

As a reminder if there is anything that you would like for us to hold for you at market just let us know by e-mail, by the evening before, and we will be glad to put it aside for you.

Hope to see you all at the market!

Alex and Betsy

If you know folks who you think would be interested in news of the farm then please feel free to forward this to them and encourage them to sign up at the website.

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