May 31, 2005

We’ve been busy and out of town for the past few days. We came home to, alas, weeds and work. Taking a short holiday from a farm always seems like a mixed bag; we get a break only to have to go at it extra-hard as soon as we return….oh well!

So, some highlights. We went to Oregon, and blundered upon a private home showing of one of the most meticulously maintained rose gardens I’ve ever seen. This retired couple had over 750 roses, and I’m pretty sure that they spend most or all of their time working at it. They were both AARS rose judges, very knowledgeable, and their garden was an absolute showpiece. I wrote down many names of varieties I’d like to havel; this was an unusual opportunity to see each plant in action rather than just guessing from the pitures and label descriptions. My own rose garden seemed sad, in contrast! Next year I will be moving many of my roses to a new location, since the growth of nearby trees has occurred at a greater pace than originally anticipated. Roses don’t like shade, at all.

When we travel, Xerxes often goes with us. He requires a housesitter who comes at least every other day, and that wasn’t able to be arranged this time. So he went to Oregon. If anyone ever decides that more spectacle is required in their lives, I offer that they should travel I-5 with a rooster on their lap. The stares and the comments at the gas stations are de rigeur. But the icing on the cake came when we wanted to see the new Sundial bridge in Redding. We couldn’t leave him in the car, as the weather was hot. There was nothing else for it but to carry this ridiculous bird like a chihuahua for the duration of our sightseeing. "Maybe no one will notice him," I said to Ken. That notion was shot down as soon as I exited the car, where he was promptly spotted by a young lady who introduced herself as the president of Redding poultry FFA. It really went downhill when I exited from using the facilities, to find a press photographer pointing a camera at us. Or rather, at Xerxes. Then the comments…."She’s got a chicken!"… "Is that a rooster?"… "Look, it’s a chicken?"…"Is there something wrong with him?".   The facial expressions of the onlookers ranged from endearing (most of the older ladies) to utter incomprehension (just about everyone else).  I had wanted to see the arboretum, but Xerxes was getting too hot, and any hopes of a low profile weren’t manifesting themselves. At least we were given a packet of 100 sunflower seeds by the garden volunteers on the way out. Lovely place, must visit again sometime. Without the bird…

The vegetables right now are still a battle with the insects. Slugs, earwigs and ants, may they all rot in hell. The hollyhocks are blooming and look very nice. The sweetpeas are beginning to die back, we’ll see if they can be kept going with enough water. Maybe half of the tomatoes are in. I still have to sow a lot of seeds before this month ends, the gourds may have to be done over. Right now, the only thing actually thriving is the broom corn. Go figure. Of course it’s doing well, you don’t eat it…….

The Narragansett eggs should begin hatching tomorrow evening, and the Royal Palm chicks are enjoying flitting and flying around in the nice weather.

May 23, 2005

What a weekend! Let’s skip the narrative, and just try listing the events:

Saturday, 5:15am-get up, make coffee   5:20am-put Xerxes outside with Silkie hen for company 5:45am-haul cart with hoses and shovels to southwest end of property, start tractor and haul water sprayer to southeast end. 6:00am-determine the grass is too wet to catch fire. 6:15am-discover irrigation bleeder valve, turn on. 6:30am-finally see actual water instead of obscene extrusions of mud emerge from valve. 6:45am-try to light fire again, not working. We decide to wait an hour or two for more wind. 7:00am-prepare roundup in 2 gallon sprayer; spray 4 gallons total throughout front 2 acres 7:45am-stop in for more coffee 8:00am-start some sprinklers irrigating, pull a few weeds 8:15am-head back out to south end of property, this time the fire starts. Tend fire as strips are burned, extinguish any flames that creep into firebreak. 10:00am-make circuit in tractor to check for anything smoldering, leave Ken to finish doing fireman stuff. 10:15am stretch piece of field fence to make circle, plant Giant Syrian tomatoes and tomatillos. Put rest of tomatillos under each rainbird water sprinkler pipe. Become upset that the second Red Whackitty has a broken handle, vow to never again purchase this tool. Ken out on tractor, mowing orchard. 11:30am go inside, shower off disgusting smoke smell, eat lunch for breakfast, read newspaper, drink a lot of water. 12:15pm back outside, replace long, long hose. Spray and scrub white arbor/fence, let dry. Go back out with paint, paint picket fence partially purple, 2 coats. 2:00pm-pick half quart of mulberries, remove some sweet peas that don’t look so good, water area of planted gourd seeds, handpick slugs from dahlia beds and feed to chickens 4:00pm-deadhead flowers, prop up quaking grass, replant bean seeds that slugs have killed. Ken goes to Woodland, finds organicky slug bait at Home Depot. Go inside, take break and watch half of "What Not to Wear", drink lots of water, eat. 5:00pm-Ken back, start putting slug bait everywhere that things have been getting eaten. Ken copes with incident involving malfunctioning flail mower and sheared off irrigation line, respectively. Weed wildflowers. Fertilize elephant ear. Fiddle with baby gopher cat caught and let go. Accidentally let gopher loose. Oops. Tie up straying grape vines onto arbor. Thin apples, check on fruit trees 8:00pm slither into hot tub with nice drink. Notice stupid peacock is trying to eat the slug bait. Chase peacock all over yard in bathing suit with rake. Slither back into hot tub while resenting avian stupidity. Work day OVER.

Sunday sleep in until 7:15am, Castor walking all over us with filthy paws. Get up, find gopher innards and head on floor, make coffee. Go sit in hot tub. 8:30am Ken goes to Woodland, I don heavy clothes and start trimmer mower. Mow poultry pen, and various garden spots. 9:30am Walk berry vines, find enough raspberries and boysenberries for breakfast. Weed. 10:00am-go inside, have more coffee, eat bowlful of berries and cream and contemplate that all this work has some rewards, read paper. Ken comes home, eats berries too. Try on bag of clothes from friend, discover really cool stuff!! 11:00am-back outside, plan on using parents’ unwanted wooden ladders as support for pole beans. 11:15am-plan changes to painting gate and upright arbor posts orange, three coats. Hoe mounds of dirt back into post holes, disturb 2 fire ant nests, get bit everywhere. 11:25am-get pissed, go to shop and get can of Raid. Spray. Smile. Return can to shop. Paint. 12:15pm clip apricot branches sagging toward ground. Go inside, drink. 1:00pm take hose to hot tub, fill with water, soak head and clothing. Clean off hot tub, steps, cover. Water stuff in general. 2:00pm. Ken works on repairs and returns to cutting bricks to finish patio project. Return to bean project. Notice that asparagus row is a mess. Drive t-posts, string line, tie up asparagus fronds. Irrigate. Notice that berries are straying toward asparagus. Remove and or transplant offending berries. Swear at variety with thorns for the nth time. Add hay to areas where ground is bare. Decide to fix hay in artichoke planter bed now that marauding rooster is dead. Gather tools, realize that beans still have not been addressed. Straighten out stepping stones that shifted. 4pm-watch a few minutes of stupid movie, drink water. 4:20pm-fertilize rose bushes. Notice more ants eating flower buds. Get pissed, get can of Raid. Spray. Smile. Friend calls. Talk while fertilizing. 6pm-Decide I’d better work on poultry feed but get distracted looking at cherry trees. Noticed bing cherries were splitting after all, decided I’d better harvest. Get ladder, pick most of cherries. Hoe some weeds around trees. 7pm-feed poultry, feed chicks, clean water tubs, beat rooster off with stick. 8pm-back hoeing some more in orchard. Notice chair, sit down. Watch full moon rise over orchard while joined by black cat Darkness. Listen to the birds and the wind in the trees. Clip a few suckers off a chestnut. 8:45pm Work over, go in and shower dirt off.

Well that was shorter than writing it longhand, but that’s a full work-weekend!

May 20, 2005

Sunshine at last, and warm weather on the way. As I drove home last night from a truly lackluster CPR class, I noticed how much the stars have already shifted. Orion, the constellation that dominates the winter night sky, has rotated out of sight (or more accurately, the earth did–it’s all relative). Leo is headed away west, and the great bear fills the sky along with his guardian Arcturus in Bootes. Soon the scorpion will be rising, decorating the southern sky all summer long. The stars, to me, describe the inevitability of the seasons. The wheel of the night sky revolves through all my little endeavors. I think of how long the stars have been in place, and how little we all are.

May 19, 2005

Men have it hard.

Last night we arrived home, and I knew that all the birds needed food. When the entire flock follows around the fenceline, it’s a good indicator that they aren’t admiring your blouse. They are communicating, in their bird way, get out here and feed us, [insert bird expletive]. So I quickly changed clothes, feeling irritable about having to go out in the blustery, rainy cold. This is one of the downsides of a farm. No matter how crappy, tired, cranky, sick one feels; no matter if it’s pouring buckets of rain at 3 in the morning, duty requires caring first for the animals. So off I went, little Ms. Duty, to feed and check and collect eggs. The first job is the turkey chicks; scrub the waterer and fill with fresh water, clean feeder and fill with new food, and clean feeder and new food for the adult hen. I made everything ready, and then I went to carry it all back into the pen. To vastly shorten the second-by-second instant replay, I succeeded pouring water from the waterer (lots of it) straight down my boot. My split-second, female logic kicked in: "all this is Ken’s fault, because he isn’t outside helping me". I made sure to tell him that once he came outside, because it’s only fair that he be kept appraised of all the things he did wrong while being totally absent. I have a well-developed theory that with a little thought, almost any occurrence can somehow be blamed on men. Can’t get the PTO on the tractor?–Men designed it. Men built it. A man failed to read my mind and realize that he should be out here, right now, interceding in the constructions of his gender for my personal benefit. See how easy it is?! emoticonOn a serious note, it’s all just a lot of hard work, and I really can’t imagine how much less fun it would be without a guy around to do lots of Guy Stuff. I take pride in being able to do lots of Guy Stuff myself, but there comes a point in life where the desire to stomp on traditional gender roles stops being a competition. It doesn’t matter who does what work, as long as all of it gets done. Besides, MY guy can fix the tractor AND make a chocolate torte that kicks butt. If I had to choose, I’ll go with the chocolate. emoticon

The gopher has toasted a raft of garlic and onions, poppies, and assorted wildflowers emoticon. It may not be long before I go ahead and make my day emoticon. We found a head, some guts, and four little rodent feet under the dining room table this week. Couldn’t tell what it was, but I’m hoping the cats focus on the Bane of the Front.

My coworker has informed me of the existence of a product called Sluggo. Which has no metaldehyde, and sends slugs to certain doom. I must purchase this! And it will be so much easier to explain as a pest control to the IRS than cases and cases of cheap beer….

The weather supposedly will change dramatically this weekend, 20 degrees warmer and sunny. The intended projects go on and on….burn the field, plant the tomatoes, sprinkle the sluggo, plant seeds for melons and pumpkins and beans and sunflowers and and and, bait for ants, pull some weeds, till here and till there, have a friend to dinner….wheeee!

May 18, 2005

By now, the neighbor’s rooster has met its maker. Sunday I returned from a visit with friends and family, to find scattered hay and damaged plants for the nth time. The culprit has been a handsome but tenacious fowl which always ran away to the northwest when pursued. I decided to try to find the owners, since it was a matter of time before he scratched a patch of heirloom plants to death (and then I go ballistic). They were very nice about the whole thing, and I’m pretty sure the rooster had a generally nice life. The owners raise Bashkir curly horses, which I had never heard of before. I got lots of feedback on some of my ideas for the property, which helped a lot. This man sure knew about almonds! *sigh* so much for that idea….back to pondering specialty crops.

We couldn’t burn the field due to the west wind on Sunday, and will keep trying to take advantage of favorable conditions toward the weekend. I planted the cucumbers, and more cucumbers, and some sunflower and zinnia seeds. I finally read about harvesting potatoes, it seems that from "flowers until the top dies" is all fair game for eating potatoes. Suddenly I live in fear of unmanageable crates of potatoes, waiting to be eaten.

The turkey chicks now have a "play yard" where they can get out a little bit. It’s screened in with some plastic mesh of which we have yards and yards. Unfortunately, the setup is hokey, so it can only be used when we are home to supervise the chicks. The stupidest animals always display genius when it comes to getting themselves hurt or killed.

I found an inch of what may have been fireblight on my quince tree. I will be watching it like a hawk for the next several weeks; this mild rainy weather favors that evil bacteria. No one should ever have to watch their tree wither from fireblight. I haven’t gone out to look at the cherries, it’s too depressing. They probably all split from the rain.

May 15, 2005

On Friday Ken came close to finishing the last of the arbor/gate structure. Now I am going to have to climb on a ladder to paint it many obnoxious colors, and stop traffic some more in the neighborhood. I mean, beautify the roadside with a cheerful palette of floral-inspired shades of paint. When I was young my parents preferred white in their home–white walls, white carpet, white curtains. I just like color, lots and lots of it. I haven’t decided if this is some form of subconscious reaction to my childhood surroundings, but parents be warned–let the kids paint their room purple. It could save a neighborhood in the future!

The garlic continues to disappear at an alarming rate. This time of year, the battles occur. A war, waged against every bug and rodent in the yard intent on eating those seedlings that spent the winter inside. Beer, diatomaceous earth and a little Sevin dust versus tens of thousands of insects and critters that have nothing else to do all day (and night) than work on how best to eat my plants. And speaking of the gopher, it returned to finish off my once-proud globe artichoke plant. We pulled it up Friday night to find the convex gnawings on what were the plant roots. In all fairness, Castor and Pollux the cats have placed a steady stream of baby gopher bodies on our living room floor. An eye for an eye, a baby gopher for a head of garlic. The Hammurabic Garden Code.
Friday evening I hilled up the potatoes. Lately, I ponder potatoes. In the early days of the English language, the phrase “to hell over potatoes” was synonymous with burying the potatoes. The etymology of our word “Hell” originally conveyed the sense of “burying in the ground”. Now, theological discussions aside, I can’t help think that our modern thinking of “hell” as a place where people rot in torment has nothing to do with church teaching, but it really had its origin with the potato farmer. When I “hell” up the potatoes, I am really thinking that this job is hell, that the potatoes can go straight to hell for all I care, and that if I raised too many pounds of these things each year, I would find early admission into “hell” myself. Simply put, future efforts will focus on a better way to raise a potato because this hoe-ing stuff is not fun. Which leads me to my second thought train. I purchased two engraved pieces of slate at the Whole Earth Festival; UC Davis’ annual celebration of all things hippie and artisan. Every year I treat myself to these wonderful garden signs, which are all over the house and yard. One that I purchased this year has a quote by Henry David Thoreau, in which Mr. Thoreau waxes poetic about “the tinkling of his hoe on the stones” and the sound finding soothing musical accompaniment in the tones of nature. Well, I’ve been at this awhile. I’ve heard my hoe clunk, clank, scrape, fling, whiiiish, whack, slice, butcher, bang, ting and clatter, but this “tinkle” eludes me. I guess they don’t call it “poetic license” for nothing!
Saturday morning we surveyed the cherries and noticed we are out of time, as concerns the bird nets. Higgledy-piggledy the nets went onto the bing cherry, which seems to have a crop of maybe 50 cherries. No big deal, but I’d rather put them in my mouth than let the birds have them. The Rainier cherry already had a few ripe fruits (pre-pecked for my eating enjoyment). The tree grew too tall for the “loose net system”, so there isn’t much I can do with that one. Hopefully the yellow color of this cultivar will appeal less to the birds. Hopefully. I stuffed the net into the tree for lack of a better idea. Maybe the birds will feel intimidated and go away.

The half-feathered turkey chicks are now quadruple their birth size and brimming with healthy energy. They feel no compunction about using their foster mother as a jungle gym, sauna, and even *gasp* latrine. She gets no respect, I’m afraid, but like mothers everywhere she somehow puts up with it and seems not to mind. Although the pooping stuff carries it rather too far, in my opinion.

Mopsy has returned from her 48 hour disappearance. Galahad has renewed his courting efforts with vigor.

Many, many bait stations of all varieties are being laid out for carpenter ants, which at this point are the single biggest garden problem. I am hoping that next year, I remember to bait the ant nests in April so as to slow the population more. In all my spare time, of course.

We drove to Arbuckle Feed to purchase more chow for the beaks, and I re-did the feed bin. The feed attracts earwigs and they love to get into the opened sacks. I carefully swept up the obviously ineffective diatomaceous earth, and put boric acid all over the floor of the bin. Bricks were placed on the floor to keep the bags of feed elevated a bit; one brick per bag does the job. Hopefully the borates will kill, kill, kill the bugs. This is something the pest conrol people don’t want anyone to know–a great many of those insect control products have borates in them, which are neurotoxic to insects but harmless to birds or mammals. The insects walk through the powder, and ingest it when they clean themselves. Simple, safe, and very inexpensive. Combine it with sugar or peanut butter to attract different types of ants. It requires a little patience, but in a few days the whole colony dies.

Lastly, I now have a rooster from a nearby farm coming to blissfully scratch in all of the (not inconsiderable amount of) hay with which we mulch. He’s a dead ringer for our Anders, but larger. I chased him down the street and into an orchard Saturday morning with a rake. There was much clucking.

May 10, 2005

Every time I sit down to write after a weekend, the words I want to open with are "all sorts of stuff happened".  While I will try to resist redundancy, it DOES always seem to be the case.

I’ll back up to Saturday, with its beautifully mild weather. Ken rototilled several planting spots for me while I rigged up my latest budget idea, "trellis a la baling twine". I have saved many, many sections of baling twine off of all the straw and hay bales we’ve used to mulch. The idea was to tie the twine between 2 trees, about ten feet up. Prior to the actual tying, a vertical strings were attached to the horizontal line, one every foot or so. These (if it works) will be the supports for a variety of gourds. Ken’s working the tiller helps me a lot. I can use the rototiller, but find that my arms ache for a day afterward. I’m not sure why, but I think it is the vibration and the weight. This is a great rototiller, a gigantic Honda rear-tine-ground-churning-workhorse. I am extremely grateful to Ken’s dad for giving it to us. I am even more grateful when Ken is the one hanging onto the handles. But tragedy occurred at last. We try very, very hard to make sure our friends the Mr. Toads [we designate every toad on our property as Mr. Toad; that’s just the way it is] don’t get into harm’s way but this time the worst happened.  A toad was hurt beyond repair, and with sadness I hurried him along his way. It didn’t seem right to leave him there to die slowly.emoticon

So anyway, the bowl gourds, cobra gourds, birdhouse gourds and dipping gourds have been planted. Next came the broom corn, which I bought for last year but never managed to get in the ground. I poured the seeds into my hand, and looked with suspicion at the large packet claiming that the contents of my hand were 100 seeds. "We’ll see about that", thought I. Every now and then my Armenian ancestry comes to the forefront, and I must determine at all costs that I have received a fair (or better) bargain.emoticon Previously I have caught this seed company in the heinous act of giving me 5 seeds instead of 10 in a packet. So I counted out each and every seed, sure that I’d find myself shorted. Quite to the contrary, I had many more of the colorful little seeds left after I passed 100. For anyone asking "what’s broom corn?", it’s exactly what it sounds like. Technically a sorghum, it grows variously colored bunches of broom straw. Why am I growing it? Who knows. It’s colorful, to see if I can, maybe there’s a killing to be made in the broom industry, Ken keeps ruining my brooms by storing them wrong-side down…..there’s no real answer. Around the broom corn perimiter went okra, and more okra still went into another long row. Next came some Jelly Melons, an exotic fruit from New Zealand which is supposed to look like a cucumber gone wrong but have citrusy, fruity taste with its jellylike texture. The Blue Lake bush beans were placed near the Jelly Melons. One challenge is trying to rotate crops around; not put the tomatoes, peppers etc. in the same place as last year. I didn’t get to the french climbing beans because I couldn’t decide where they should go. Planting the seeds, misc. weeding and haying took until dusk.

I find it interesting that I have developed a love/hate relationship with seed planting. I love poking in the dirt, patting and dropping the seeds into placeemoticon. The act of sowing seed is ubiquitous to almost every culture and connects all of the human family over millenia of time. I suppose what I dislike is HOW MUCH OF IT needs to happen! Planting one pack of seeds is a delight. Somewhere after 500 seeds, well, it seems more like workemoticon. And it’s not as if poking the seed in the ground comprises the only activity. There’s the hoeing and shovelling to create rows and canals and hills and whatever other waterworks one has in mind. Plant in haste, repent all summer long!

Sunday the forecast called for late afternoon rain. Uh-huh. I woke up Sunday to wet ground and realized I had mostly wasted my time watering in the seeds. (It’s an easy way to predict the weather. If you water your seeds or plants, it will rain. If you choose not to, it will not rain and additionally all your cats will perform unspeakable litterbox ceremonies in your freshly tilled soil. I like to think I do my part to keep the annual precipitation levels up to par.) Xerxes the house rooster was set outside to enjoy some hen company. Within an hour the rain recommenced, and a soggy shivering little ball of stringy feathers had to be rescued. He then sat on his basked shaking pitifully so we had to build a fire in the woodstove for him. The rooster and the Russian Blue cat sat on the hearth shivering and trying to ignore each other. It was pretty cute looking. I went outside in my sailing foulies to spread hay, nice alfalfa and grass hay (lovely but with kind of a lot of field madder [that’s a weed]) all over the property frontage. That is one of the few jobs best done in a pouring rain. It cuts the hay dust down dramatically and also helps compact the hay into place. I also planted the Grandpa Ott’s morning glory and moonflower seeds, which had soaked overnight. I’d never seen a moonflower seed before; reading about them hadn’t prepared me for the sight. They are really big seeds with an impressively tough seed coating. I had heard they needed to be nicked with a knife prior to soaking, which in turn helps germination success. I’d say they got enough water after planting. But the weather continued to worsen. I mostly gave up–the only other thing I did was wash some spinning gourds that were grown last summer, to clean them up for farmer’s markets. I did some review reading instead of being outdoors. I read the plant books over and over and I have to keep doing that because apparently myhead is full and it’s not possible to remember ever detail of care, planting and harvest for every single thing out there. I learned that I need to dig up the few berry canes that have stunted growth–it might be something bad so best get rid of it.

Monday the turkey chicks were bedded down in fresh straw, I didn’t want them on any damp bedding. They grow fast, and can already fly to about 3 feet. Ken and I found a plover’s nest in the orchard, with the olive speckled eggs and the mother bird doing the "come after me my wing is broken" routine. It’s hard to believe that this is a viable reproductive strategy around 6 cats. But, she and the eggs do blend in very well, and I am told that when the chicks hatch they come out pretty much running.

Based on the new rate of potato growth, that root-crop fertilizer must be doing something. The transplanted delphiniums started blooming, and the lemon grass arrived in one of those "a parcel has been left at your door" packages.

May 06, 2005

Last night I found the first ripe golden raspberry. Delicious! Unfortunately the three ants that were lurking on the berry lost their dinner. The ants already have exceeded my willingness to tolerate them for this year. I found groups of them engaged in an annoying activity–clustering on rose buds and devouring them. I had never seen this behavior until last year. About 30 ants will devolve on a single rose bud. They will all be completely still, munching away. The only indication of their activity is that the rose bud which used to be pointy is now flat and eaten. Grrrrr. The little sprinkler of sevin dust came out, ants bye-bye.

Last night I also found out that the (curses upon its head) gopher is eating my GARLIC. Every book I have says that allium family plants are repellent to gophers and moles. Well I guess our gophers didn’t read that book. It’s enough to make me want to aim the shotgun at the ground and pull the trigger, except I’ll start getting like that Caddyshack movie. Maybe that’s not a bad thing….

The evening before I sent complaint emails to various compaines. When you use a lot of mail-order companies, problems are inevitable, and all have to be followed up in order to take advangate of those money-back/replacement guarantees. Sometimes I forget what I complained about, and unexpected boxes of plants show up at the house. Two wisteria showed up last night, and will be planted on the arbor out front, right after Ken finishes assembly. Our mail often has a sticker that says "A Parcel Was Left At Your Door, Have A Nice Day".

There is a LOT to do this weekend. Melon, pumpkin, gourd, bean and okra seeds need planting. The firebreak needs more discing–I am hoping to burn the field the Monday after next, if the stars align. The turkey chick area needs expanding, they are already flitting around. We need to order berry packaging supplies. I need to start painting the front arbor. Just another attempt to cram 4 days’ work into a weekend!

May 04, 2005

Caught fewer slugs last night in the beer! Disgusting little things! I have been trying to get enough water on the sweet peas to keep them moist. With generous water they keep blooming, but as soon as the ground dries they will begin dying and going to seed. It’s inevitable, but with any luck they can last through much of summer. The Maxamillian sunflower is now 2 feet tall, I am tying hoops of twine around the stems to try to keep the plant compact. Last year it bowed out under its own weight, and made it to ten feet tall.
I found a willow switch on the ground that I was going to use for a project, and I wondered why it was still green. The branch had formed a root and was growing into the ground….I potted it and will see if it survives. The eggplant seeds that were a free gift from Peaceful Valley farm supply have had a horrid germination rate–25%. It’s going to take some work to get enough plants from that seed packet! The next few weeks are going to require getting a lot of seeds planted. Melons, gourds, pumpkins, squashes, and more all need to go in the ground. It’s looking like rain is coming tomorrow, which the ground could use. We drew blood from little Xerxes, his breathing doesn’t sound right. I’ll have it tested at work for avian respiratory diseases. He has such tiny veins! I’m starting to wonder why the birds that live in the house develop respiratory problems. Makes me wonder about our indoor air quality (which I doubt is very good, but that’s what windows are for).
Mopsy decided to go on a neighborhood walkabout yesterday. Bad pea.


Nevermore Farm has been marching to the beat of a different drummer since 2005. We serve a limited number of farm membership subscribers, and deliver our products directly to members’ doorsteps in the Woodland, Davis, Williams, Arbuckle and Colusa area. Our passion is to introduce you to an array of interesting, nutritious foods, guide you as you gain a command of the culinary skills needed to enjoy healthful meals, and support you as you explore your own relationship with the vast subject of Food as little or as much as you wish. We live in a Foodstyle here in our farm….and we’d like to share it with you.


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