We’ve finally been getting some rain. Much needed rain. Much appreciated rain. Appreciated except for when I am digging trenches between our garden beds.  The soil is much heavier now. This task has been hard, but before the dirt was dry as can be and much lighter.  At least there’s a lot less dust than there was before.  I was out digging yesterday and only managed to dig out two rows (I think two rows, maybe one and a half) before I was too exhausted to do more. I’ll try to do two more this morning as well as get more seeds and seedlings in.

On Thursday I planted approximately 85 sweet potato slips. I’ve got 25 more coming (all heirloom varieties). I planted and immediately watered them, but by the end of the day, they all looked dead! We got rain the night that I planted them and then yesterday it misted and rained lightly plus I watered them again in the morning and Wally watered them in the evening.  Hopefully they’ll be okay.  I think the wilting is normal for sweet potatoes when they are first planted.  I only planted them once before and that was in a heavily mulched raised bed.

Some of our lettuce has become bitter so I’ll harvest that to feed to the ducks. The ducks are gleaning more from the garden than the rabbits at this time, but it is only a matter of time before there’s plenty for everyone.  I have been scything for the rabbits, but not as much as I once was.  My body is too tired from digging rows.  Maybe in a day or two, I’ll be through with the rows so I can scythe more.  It is frustrating to me that my body cannot do what it used to be able to do.  Wish I got into this farming thing when I was younger, but then again, I was not so wise when I was younger or so committed.

Wally and I are having a pig picking this coming Saturday.  We’ve invited close friends, the students I graduated with, Wally’s co-workers and relatives.  We planned this almost a year ago now and we are looking forward to it. Wally is off work from Wednesday on so we will have time to get a few more things done around here, but we plan to not kill ourselves getting ready and enjoy it.

It is wonderful to finally see the farm coming together. We are still not seeing an increase in business or interest in our products, but it is what it is.  If we were to go to a farmers’ market we could likely sell our goods, but … I just do not want to do that.  Hopefully the crops will grow as they should and we (I) can keep up with it.  Once the initial backbreaking work is done, maintenance and harvesting should not be so bad.  Now I’m hand planting all of the seeds but once the seed beds are smoothed out, I should be able to use an Earthway seeder which will save my back.  I will be doing more seed starting in the greenhouse as well.  I’ve got two trays of seedlings started now.  I am using a soil blocker to avoid using plastic (or other) pots. The goal is to go with a CSA, but that’s still a ways off.

This year, I put rabbit babies and their mothers out in their tractors earlier than ever.  I put the last batch out as soon as they opened their eyes. My rationale for that is that their immune systems can become accustomed to that environment while they are still nursing from their mothers and perhaps I will not see as much illness as I did when I put them out at six to eight weeks.  That six to eight week period seems to be a particularly fragile time for rabbits so abruptly changing their environment at that time may not be a good thing.  I am not loosing near the number of rabbits that I once was so I must be doing something right.  We will defrost a half dozen rabbits or so and put them on the cooker with the pig this Saturday.

Time go to and milk the bitches goats.

Until later …