We finally got some measurable rain yesterday.  We have not received more than a sprinkling of rain since the beginning of June. It has been exhausting keeping everything watered.  The portion of the garden that is in drip irrigation is doing okay, but I worry about water usage.  The raised beds are not doing so well, but that is my fault — lessons learned. Because the vegetables are stressed due to the lack of moisture, they are more susceptible to pests.  We have tons of Japanese beetles and of course squash bugs.  I go out in the morning with a bowl of soapy water and pick as many as I can find, but of course, I do not find them all.  I have resorted to some organic-approved pesticides and dish soap to kill some of them.  I discovered about a million Japanese beetles on the sweet potatoes yesterday so I filled the sprayer with Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew which contains Spinosad which is a naturally occurring soil dwelling bacterium that was collected on a Caribbean island from an abandoned rum distillery. It seems to work pretty well.  I also set some Japanese beetle traps (will set two more this evening) and feed the dead bugs in the bag to the ducks.  Japanese beetles = duck candy. Hopefully the new traps will draw the bugs away from the sweet potatoes.  The sweet potatoes are healthy so they should be okay, but we will see.

I planted another row of Borlotti beans and they are covered with row cover to hopefully prevent the pests that are chewing up the crop that is almost ready to pick.  I hope there will be a decent harvest on that row.  Some of the plants are looking pretty bad.  That is partially because I planted this row before we installed the irrigation and some of the plants are too far away from the drip tape to get much water.  I discovered I was not leaving the irrigation on for a long enough time to thoroughly wet the ground (lesson learned), but again, I am worried about water usage.

The corn is doing well and hopefully nothing will impact it.

Lots of “hopefully’s” huh? Lots of lessons learned too.  I need to take the time and go out into the garden with a notebook and make notes so I’ll have them for upcoming seasons.

Sold five young Silver Fox rabbits yesterday and the last four of the spotted Silver Fox cross does are going to their new home on Friday.  Then all I will have left are purebred Silver Fox rabbits. If we cannot sell at markets, there’s no sense in keeping the Silver Fox crosses. There was a time I would not sell live rabbits, but now I do and if I do, I sell them for a high price so that if anyone buys them, they are more likely to care for them.

Ditto on anything else we sell. It is good to be pared down to the point where we do not have to sell anything unless we want to and when we do sell them, they will be priced appropriately.

Been tweaking the goats’ feed, but I’m still not happy with how they are doing. Eventually I’ll get them straightened out.  Some of them are doing excellent, some not so well.

I mastered making Feta cheese and it’s really, really good!

I feel like I’m finally over the heart ache that was my last semester as a photography student.  Technically, this is my last semester, but I am looking at this semester as a new beginning.  I have another appointment with the Dean of the Business Department at CVCC on Friday to discuss my degree program.

The new job is still great. The people are wonderful, the work is challenging and stimulating and I can stay clean and cool!

Until later …