Peregrine Farm News Vol. 7 #9, 5/5/10

What’s been going on?

Well we got screwed on that last “rain” for sure. Looked so promising and we planted and got other things done before it started on Monday morning, it spit for a while and then nothing. Even the rain gauge was dusty. Nothing in the forecast for the next week either. Wouldn’t be so bad if we weren’t looking at temps near 90 and the upper pond hadn’t mysteriously drained itself.

Drained itself, what? Last Wednesday, Cov had taken his dog down to the pond for a swim and returned asking “what happened to the pond?” I looked blankly at him and he said “there’s no water in it”. Down we go and sure enough it was drained about two thirds of the way. Must be a hole in the old metal stand pipe I figured but as it had been 35 degrees that morning I wasn’t about to wade out there and find out. Finally on Sunday when it was near 90 degrees I waded out in the waist deep water and twelve inch deep mud to inspect. No hole that I can see or feel, hmmm? Could the gravity feed line to the lower pond somehow started running on all it’s own, I couldn’t see how. It is about the only answer I can think of. The dam is fine, no signs of critter burrows, no signs of any kind of leak. Maybe 1000 deer all came and had a big drink.

I put a stick in at the water line and it appears to be slowly refilling from the trickle oozing in from the old spring. Another blow against the hole in the stand pipe theory. What ever the cause we need to get it refilled quickly while there is still water running in the creek. The water that disappeared is about one and a half months worth. If it stays this dry we will need it in August for sure. It better start raining soon!

The pace just picked up this week, weeding in the lettuce, onions and spring veggies. Tying up the early tomatoes, thinning beets. Soon trellising the flowers in the Big Tops but after we get them covered later this week. Deliveries, preparations for Mothers Day and Graduation markets. Irrigation, getting the line from the creek running and now filling up the pond. And today the now three week old turkeys will begin to explore the outdoors to get used to grass and the big world. Hold on.

Picture of the Week

Amazing Anemones some over 24 inches tall

What’s going to be at the market? Continue reading

9/19/07 Vol. 4 #26

Glorious fall like weather these past few days and we have been reveling in it and getting a lot done.  Mornings have started kind of brisk at least in comparison with the past month, long pants and shirts, Elizabeth has even started the days with a wool hat on!  Slowly the unraveling of the farm proceeds.  The little sliding tunnels have been cleaned out of their long finished tomatoes and melons, the first ten rows of tomatoes in the Big Tops are now gone too.  All of the trellises, landscape fabric mulch and irrigation line out too.  Lisianthus trellis pulled out and drip lines in the old Zinnias pulled up.  Tomorrow we will take the plastic off the Big Tops and cinch the long rolls up like sausages to rest the winter in the valleys between the bows. One week to go now until we are finished marketing for the year and then the final clean up will begin, taking down the last of the tomatoes and the major roll up of the pepper field.  If it will rain a little more and I can get soil worked for next year we will seed it all down to a beautiful winter cover crop to hold it until we pull their starter rope again early next year.  Soon the staff will head off for their winter occupations and Betsy and I will be here all by ourselves enjoying the heart of the fall.

Too much to do the think about all that now and the forecast for the weekend is to be back into the low 90’s, so the reality will come rushing back.  All of the summer cover crops and as many of the finished cash crops as possible have been mowed in anticipation of the fall soil preparation fiesta.  Today I need to go and take soil tests as I am bit late in getting them done.  It has been so dry that it is hard to get the soil probe in the ground which makes taking a hundred or so samples a real pain.  But I can’t wait any longer because I will need the results soon so I can add any amendments they may indicate before I seed all the winter cover crops.  We also need to begin planting flowers for Betsy and leeks for me for next spring.  And all too soon the ranunculus corms from Italy will be here and they will need to go into the ground too.  Guess I better get out there and get to work.

Picture of the Week
The Upper pond completely drained, you can also see the logging clear cut in the background