Goats, rabbits, chickens (pages)

Monday, July 23, 2012


Farmers talk about the weather and the weather. When it's HOT and DRY like this summer, they talk about the WEATHER. Everyone at my farmers markets is trying to just keep the garden alive until the heat lets up by watering as much as they can. We are fortunate to have a well, plus I hate putting chlorine on the plants. The stuff in all my raised beds is doing quite well--here's a photo of the French Tarragon.
Here is an excerpt from Jungs Seeds newsletter that explains WHY my beans have no beans and WHY my tomatoes are not ripening: "Tomatoes are the most widely planted garden crop, so many of the calls we receive relate to them. First of all, an abundance of blossoms on tomatoes doesn't always result in a bumper crop. Temperatures above 85 degrees F. can affect pollination and fruit set. Studies have shown that daytime temperatures in excess of 95 degrees and night time temps of over 75 degrees may cause flowers to fall off. Temperatures over 100 degrees can make the plant go into survival mode, causing red pigments in tomatoes to stop forming, while the yellow and orange ones continue. If this is the case, it's best to pick the tomatoes when they begin to turn red and allow them to ripen indoors at cooler temperatures. It takes about 5 weeks for a tomato flower to become a ripe fruit - the first 3 weeks to get to full size and the last 2 weeks to fully ripen. Temperatures above 90 degrees will slow fruit growth and ripening, so if you've planted a large-fruited variety, you probably won't harvest the big tomatoes you are expecting. This is not the fault of the variety - it is a result of the heat. Once the excessive heat is over, it will most likely take five more weeks to begin harvesting tomatoes again. Tomatoes that have developed to full size in spite of dry weather may suddenly grow again if watered or rained on, and the result may be split fruit. " You can see the entire article here: http://www.jungseed.com/GardenLibrary.asp and click on Hot Weather and How It Effects Your Garden.
This is my spearmint and elecampayne in April BEFORE the drought. Our 2 year old Alpine doe that we acquired a few weeks ago "June Bug" had perked up quite a bit. She was feeling poorly when we got her as she had a stillborn this spring. Then this weekend she took a turn for the worse. FarmBoy Gary nursed her with hourly carrots/apples while I was at farmers market; she was weak, lethargic and off her feed. I dosed her with herbs and the goat-keepers Miracle Cure of molasses, corn syrup and corn oil, a high dose of vitamin C and pro-biotics. She snapped out of it this morning, ate all her breakfast and even when up on the mountain to forage with me and the rest of the goats. She still is not up to par, but at least she looks like she will live. I had my doubts on Saturday. June Bug as a baby. Isn't she adorable?
Wiley Coyote has been visiting us each day. He is straggly, skinny and looking for chicken dinner. Rocky has been great at chasing off the Miss Foxy so we haven't seen her for weeks. And, he chases Wiley when he sees him. Today he was so cute he ran up and down the mountain trailing the coyote in the high heat of the afternoon. When he finished he just collapsed in the shade. Anatolian s are not known for their stamina in a race!
My egg customers have been disappointed for a few weeks, but my little hens are starting to lay again. Guess they decided the heat was here to stay so they might as well get with the program.
This morning I was preparing pots for rooting some perennials and a hummingbird landed on my work table. She just sat there for a minute watching me. It was one of those delightful moments when one forgets the heat, forgets the coyotes, forgets the egg problems. For one minute it was just she and I alone. Bliss.
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