I guess those are the key words for the week.
We’ve been stressing about water lately. Annual vegetables take so much water to grow and we can’t seem to keep up on the high water demand. We’ve enlarged our irrigation pond quite a bit and while it is recharging quickly, it just isn’t quick enough. We’ve also been transitioning more to drip, which is great because it saves a lot of water, but it just isn’t as pretty and green as overhead. I’ve been salivating over the forty or so sprinkler heads that run on these huge pasture fields out on Hwy 238. If only we had that kind of water. I know our yields would be better. Alas, we are working with what we’ve got and trying to figure out some sort of sane irrigation rotation. It isn’t easy. We hope to turn in our irrigation ditch in the coming weeks. We think this will help our situation considerably.
It has been an exciting week on the farm. Solstice is quickly approaching. Tomorrow actually. The longest day of the year. I love it. We’ve got almost all the summer crops in the ground. Tomatoes, corn and winter squash are looking lovely. Cucumbers, zucchini and beans are all up. Eggplants and peppers are going in today. Melons and basil tomorrow. Just in the nick of time.
In other news, on Monday, we left the garden gates open and at 9pm, I looked out the window and three deer were grazing in the garden. Uh-oh. We reacted quickly and Luna took off after them. Bad idea. The deer got frightened of course, and could not jump the fence (it is deer-proof obviously). The mama got out and after Josh and Patrick ripped a portion of the fence off, a young doe got out as well. Unfortunately, a beautiful young buck got caught in the fence and broke his neck. Of course, it was 9:30 p.m. and we had to get up at 4am to get to the farmers’ market, so we called our wonderful neighbor, Jacob, who is 17 mind you, and he came over and showed us how to gut and dress the deer. Sigh. Josh was up until 1am working on the deer (hanging from our deck and then into the barn) and then up at 4am packing the market truck. What a day. The deer is now at the butcher and we will soon have 35 pounds of venison in the freezer. Wow. This business of farming is crazy sometimes. Well, I guess all the time.
Another thing we are finding is we can’t quite keep up with the high demand for our produce. We are quite surprised. We weren’t really expecting that this year, but we are finiding we can’t bring enough to the farmers’ market and the restaurants want more than we can give. The Siskiyou Coop CSA has also started and we’ve been selling a whole bunch of food through that channel as well. The CSA membership is up to 140 families, so Patrick, Katherine & Josh were in the barn until 9:30 last night bagging 135 8-oz bags of frisee, salad mix and spinach. Thanks guys. You rock.
I guess this high demand is a good problem to have. We do wish we had more space, or at least planned more effectively to be able to access our markets more fully, but I guess that is what next year is for. In general, we are happy with the way the season is shaping up. We had a really good week this week and pulled a lot of food out of the ground. It feels so good and rewarding to be supplying so many people with organic vegetables and eggs. Thank you for your support!
I guess the other theme for the week is lack of sleep. Josh is going off very little sleep and I’m not far behind with a nursing toddler and off-farm job. The hope is to rest a bit this weekend. I think I’ll push Josh into the creek if I can.
In veggie news, the broccoli is on and so good. I swear I’ll post some photos soon.