Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Farming Life

I went with Tom out to his garden by Dad's and helped him plant his seedling melons and squashes. His potatoes are coming up already. Afterwards, we went to the field to see if the utility company had marked the line for me, and sure enough they had so tomorrow I plan to work on the fence. I had an idea about where the utility lines were, and I'm glad that where I imagined re-siting the fence line will be more than adequate to keep away from any buried cables.

The unhappy news is that for all of the seedlings we planted in the field the other day, I could only find one still alive today. I was really down about all the work that had gone into growing and planting those seedlings, but that's farming for you! I went back home and got out the seed bin, and fortunately, for most of the squashes I planted, I have more seeds, so I will plant seeds tomorrow where the plants were. I really think I should stop trying to get the garden planted with plants before June 10 and do like my brother-in-law, who plants all his seeds on June 1, and whatever grows, grows. His gardens always produce great, and he has to haul his irrigation water the same as me. I should just resign myself to getting to the farmers market later than the other vendors.

This morning I finally got a good count of the chickens. I am down to 103 chickens from an initial 175. Wow! For all the set backs this year with the chickens, I can't help wondering if raising them is worth it. Still, this is the first real year for production and marketing, and I already know I will do things differently next year -- like having the chicks delivered in mid-May so there is good pasture ready for them by the time they feather out and can go to the skid. I certainly hope we will have gotten rid of the foxes by next year, too! Tom has been sitting out near the coop with the shot gun for the past few days, and while he has seen foxes each night, he hasn't been able to get a shot. I figure I have lost 7 chickens so far to the foxes. What a waste of money! At least the new fence around the coop is keeping them out. I hate keeping the chickens in the coop run, but until I can let them run safely outside the fence, that is where they will stay.

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