Monday, September 14, 2009

A Few Are Idle

The feel of September is settling over the farm. All crops are planted, the pace of weeding has slowed, and only a small patch of hay remains to be cut. We purchased some baled hay from Lee Straw to help feed the horses over the winter, and of course to provide the best possible napping spot for our cat, "Onion". He now smells deliciously of hay when he comes in to greet us in the morning. Onion is the definition of idle when the late afternoon sun slants throught the barn windows and warms his spot in the hay.
The horses have earned a bit of idle time as well. Their cultivating work is done for the time being. Once the forecast ceases its small threats of rain, Jeff will harness up a team to complete the season's haying. And, once we find the time, we'll put them to work plowing crop ground where we have harvested in preparation for planting cover crops.
The old loose hay loader, which we purchased from a field in Pittston a few years ago, has seen an active month. It has served us well this season. If you get a chance to get out to the farm to see our last bit of hay-making, make sure you stay long enough to see this piece of equipment in action. It, like our mower, tedder, and hay rake, is "ground driven", meaning the circular motion of its wheels moving over the earth set into motion a series of gears which in turn make all the components of the equipment work. We do have a baler which has its own motor and can be pulled by the horses, enabling us to make hay bales. But loose hay more fun to make, requires no motors or gas, and our livestock much prefer the loose hay we put up as opposed to the baled.
An expectant momma can't help but point out that sunny days are not just fine for hay making, but are also fine for laundry drying. These baby clothes, diapers, and blankets waving ever so slightly in the sun are the calm in the center of my storm of preparation. They are also a firm reminder that very soon a real babe will fill and bring the clothes to life.
At the center of Jeff's storm is the back of the farm truck, holding the evidence of all that is done and needs to be done with the reaminder of the day. A chainsaw and helmet indicate he has been at the house site; fencing supplies mark his work setting up cow fencing in the back pasture of The Morris Farm and sheep fencing over at Old Stone Farm. Early Tuesday morning the truck is filled with harvesting knives and crates for the CSA harvest. Ruth is loving spending most of her day helping Jeff and Kate on the farm. She bursts in the door at the end of the day, energized and feeling very important, usually a tool in hand, and covered in dirt (today a bit of paint from the house site and chocolate ice cream from lunch as well.) Her stories of the afternoon's work and unforeseen challenges spill from her as she heads again for the door to go out and do "one more thing" before dinner. She is so much like her dad, who is currently (at 9:30 pm) at the house site painting window trim and catching escapee chickens in our neighbor's yard (sorry Mr. & Mrs. Rines!)

September 8 CSA share:
  • potatoes
  • green beans
  • purple and yellow beans
  • daikon radish
  • carrots
  • purple scallions
  • summer squash
  • chard
  • hot peppers
  • purple bell peppers
  • cucumbers
September 15 CSA Share:
  • colored peppers
  • kale
  • basil
  • patty pan summer squash
  • assorted summer squash
  • cucumbers
  • leeks
  • carrots
  • potatoes

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