July 5, 2006

It must be summer, I can’t remember what I did 2 days ago. We are in full "Farmer’s Market Mode" now, having attended the first Tuesday evening market (for us) last night. It was disappointing sales-wise; the holiday caused a poor turnout. Our farming partner Drew went to the market for the first time to pinch-hit for Ken, who had some knee surgery Monday. Ken is fine and so is his knee, but lifting crates and trailer hitches is out for a few market days. It’s too bad so few people bought produce, because we have some spectacular items coming into season. One particularly appealing specimen was the 1.75 pound orange tomato of uncertain origin, although other growers have deemed it to be of the "Pincushion" variety. The tomatoes are really, really good, and the plants are loaded with unripe fruit. We have been eating delicious cucumber, tomato and basil salads with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for days…..tasty.

The main garden at our farm is just beginning its production with (of course) the squash. Long, 80 foot rows of…..squash. They are all ready to unleash their….squashes….on us. Needless to say in exactly 2 weeks I will be terribly sorry I planted all those. We have no problems out there except for a gopher destroying a few beans, but I’m pretty sure said gopher was the plump specimen belly up in my living room a few days ago. Those cats earn their Friskies! If I didn’t write about it before, we suffered some poultry losses from a fox family. The current status of that is "two down one to go" thanks to an unnamed gentleman who knows his rifle. There have been no sightings in two days of the remaining adult.

Right now Drew is installing the irrigation system for the new orchard, the old orchard, and a few things in between. As of now, a rainbird type sprinkler has been watering our little orchard for weeks on end, moving around and around every day. It will be wonderful to stop using the pump and the well water as soon as the other system is ready. The pump uses a lot of electricity. Which reminds me, we received our first PG&E bill since the installation of the solar system. The bill reflected 19 billable days in this cycle. The bill was……..just over $22. I could get used to this.

Mopsy the peahen was sitting on her eggs, which we knew were likely infertile on account of her having no boyfriend. But what we didn’t know was that some chickens slipped a few eggs into her collection, and one day we found four little yellow heads peeking out of her brown feathers. So now the pea is raising chickens. We won’t tell her if you won’t.

Otherwise, it’s been hot, it’s hard to keep everything watered, weeds are gaining ground, the berries are ripe and tasty, the plums are struggling against the wild birds, the ants are eating the figs (the counterattack is in the works), the house is unspeakably dirty, and the evenings are lovely with lots of fresh squeezed orange juice, berries, and ice cream. Sounds like a farm.

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