never been so proud of myself to kill something

30 04 2010

After weeks of trying, I finally caught/killed my first gopher. I didn’t check the traps from a couple days while it was raining. Low and behold when I finally pulled the cover off one of my traps it felt like death. Life loves death, and gopher was completely decimated by maggots, and there was a peculiar white fuzz growing in the hole. This made it hard to clean the trap, but immediately after it was cleaned it was reset and placed in another hole.
The next day there was a dead gopher just laying belly up in the middle of my field. I don’t know what killed it, but I like the trend.
Everything it being planted, weeded, and fertilized on a pretty consistent basis right now. The CSA starts in about 3ish weeks and will be ready. Plants are alive, and now wash sinks need to be set up, and we will be ready to rock.

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April Acceleration

11 04 2010

This month seems almost over.  So much is happening at once.   All the fertilizer for the year has been purchased.  There is liquid fish, liquid kelp,  and pelleted chicken fertilizer.  I use some bone meal here and there, but these are going to be the primary amendments (besides mulches and compost) to the soil over the course of the growing season.  All the liquid fertilizer is going be used with a fertilizer injector.  It will be a whole new technique for me to learn; the dilution rates, and the ratios to use for the amount acreage under irrigation so I don’t burn through a years worth of fertilizer in a couple months.

Planting is the name of the game.  Soil mix is made for all the summer crops, direct seeding is going on every three weeks, and lettuce transplants are being planted every other week.  On Thursday turnips, beets, dill, lettuce, scallions, chard, radishes were all direct seeded. On the harvest side of things, lettuce will finally be ready for sale in about two weeks for the restaurant accounts.

The greenhouse is still a pain.  I really need to insulate it down to better germinate all the summer crops.  I have a couple big water storage containers to use as heat sinks in the greenhouse, and I am about to buy straw bales to use the end caps.

I did end up buying some no spray straw to use as mulch, as the weeds are strong, and I need to apply efforts to other things besides weeding daily.  The perennial crops all were mulched.  While I mulched the strawberries I discovered a multitude of gopher runs.  While I have been setting out, and checking traps regularly I have not caught a single varmint.  I am planting back-ups upon back-ups of crops just in case the gophers decide to molest my farm.  I just received some of those underground noise makers to deter them as well.  I will use every tool to rid myself of this problem.

Since restarting a small farm from the ground up the field still doesn’t look like much as of now.  But below, and just above soil level there is tons going on.  Things are growing, and the rain mixed with hot sunny days of spring in Southern Oregon is helping the plants along.  About a half of an acre, everything that is tilled, has been planted with much more on the way.  Next week will hopefully involve more tilling, as transplants need to go in the ground.  Here are some pictures of the field as of today.

The goat is not mine.