Monday, April 25, 2011
Busy, and Eventful Times at High Ground Farm
Sorry for not posting over the past week.
Much has been going on here, so let me summarize:
I have lost my sweet companion, Susie, a Scottish Terrier to old age. She was a true terrier, who never gave up, and thought she was as big as anything wild in our woods. She hated snakes of any kind, but particularly copperheads, and would hunt for them, not only around the farm, but into the woods. Barking for hours, it seemed, to finally dispatch them. Seeing her gradually become less and less of herself was difficult. I recall the words of a poem: Death is nothing at all,
I have only slipped away into the next room.....by Henry Scott Holland 1847 -1918. I can see and hear Susie still....she has marked this beautiful place, and will always be a part of me.
The vegetable gardens are growing, but slowly due to the unusual weather, with cool nights, and slow to warm soils. I expect to start PRODUCE BOXES May 25 Wednesday, starting at Soil Toppers in Fuquay Varina Pick Up site. The rows, and rows of field peas, butterbeans, greenbeans, squashes, onions, potatoes, and AHHHhhh yes the Heirloom Tomatoes (over 500 plants in the ground) are looking great. The sweet spring rains are really helping them grow.
Flowers are perfuming the garden air, with Old English Roses (Cecille Bruner, Gertude Jeykll, to name a few) Iris, yellow, purple, and a funny brown/green are starting to bloom, and the blue batchelor buttons are popping out all over. I even saw a bunch in the pasture just this morning. (I just LOVE Volunteers) Speaking of volunteers, I see millions of Larkspur popping up in the back garden....waiting for warmer weather to bolt and then bloom.
I sprinkled in Zinnias, and Marygolds all over the perennial borders this morning. I literally have baskets and baskets of seeds, I saved from last years dead headings. I collect the dried blooms in baskets labeled with the color,and type of flower, and keep them dry in the barn for the next seasons planting. Cozillions of them!
The Hens are loving the Spring weather! They are foraging in the wooded shaded areas for bugs, and worms. They are eating organic leafy greens, fruits, and other vegetables everyday...they are so spoiled! They have a field of green, tender Rye Grass, they RUN to every morning.
I have a group of 40 eggs from "The Chosen Ones" , the best of the best Javas, in the incubator. I will candle them in a few days to see which ones are growing. Hopefully I will be reporting chicks by May 8th or so.
This week I will plant over 250 Heirloom Tomatoes in the tomato field, then the Hens paddock will be switched over by using gates to allow the Hens to graze the now month old Oats in the side pasture. The Tomatoes will be planted by hand in the rich soil of the tomato field, and mulched. I hope to have extra hands to make this go faster, with the wonderful folks at Whole Foods in Cary, volunteering! Yeahhhh !!
The Bees are doing well...but did I tell you one of the new hives LEFT! As I understand it, new hives sometimes do not like the queen! Oh my ! Is it her look, or her personality, or scent...well I do not know..but they just simply LEAVE. Well that is what happened with one of the hives. The other hive is doing great, and by the looks of all the activity thriving. I hope we can move another hive into the empty super, and try again.
Easter was celebrated in fine style at High Ground Farm! A sumptuous meal: Roasted and BBQ chicken, Field Peas,Fried Okra, Butterbeans, Pepper Relish, Fresh Berrys/Mango, Baked Cornbread with cheese/bacon, Risotto with rich broth/english peas. Then to top it off a decedent Black and White Chocolate Cake with Ice Cream to Celebrate a Birthday! Add to all the people, the food, a mix of dogs, BIG DOGS 3 in all...and .....well you have JOYOUS CHAOS ! In the middle of all this a friend dropping in to bring gifts of ferns, and geraniums, AND one of the dogs getting a bite from something requiring benadryl, and nursing care (good thing I have some experience in that department!). I am so grateful for it all!