08 June 2012

Another busy day!

My raspberries are about done for the season.  I did learn that the CDs turning and flashing are not the cure all for birds.  In fact, in the morning, before the breezes pick up and put the discs to moving, I saw a mockingbird and a robin helping themselves to the fruit.  So, yesterday evening, I stopped by Wally-World and found one of the yellow beach balls with eyes that I hung from the overhang on the shed.  It does seem to be helping.  We'll see.

I stopped in at the Friday version of the produce auction this morning and discovered that I should have paid the $1.50 / pint for black raspberries.  Today they were selling for $3.75 to $5.00 per PINT!!  No thanks.  I am attaching some photos of just a bit of the offerings at the sale today.  The Amish do not care for having their photos taken, so out of respect for them, I am showing only the produce and not the big crowd that was there.

Lots of cauliflower, broccoli, summer squash and other veggies.

Beets and Zukes

Black raspberries are nearing the end of their season and brought a big price.  Home grown onions ('Candy' variety) and cabbage were also on the auction block.

Late strawberries, new potatoes (Pontiacs), and some early tomatoes (Mountain Spring, I think)
I left the auction and went over past a friend's place to check on getting some lumber for a small project I'm planning.  He is one of about fifty cabinet makers in the area, but I've gotten to know him over the years.  As I pulled in, he came out and right off the bat, he wanted to know if I wanted to see his tree plantings on the back acres.  He and four or five of his kids--and the dog--piled into the Jeep and we bounced back across the pasture and checked out his plantings of persimmon, oaks, maples, and other assorted varieties.  He is rightfully pleased with the stand.  The kids enjoyed the ride and soon we were back at the shop and he found me some good scraps that will be great for my project.

This wall to wall John Deere combine filled up the road.
On the way home, I noticed this beast going down the road. The big green machine took up the entire roadway, as you can see.  Turns out it was a friend from church who was turning in just ahead and would be combining the field you can see in the left of the photo.  Ironically, as I got closer to home, I passed another wheat field where an Amish neighbor was combining wheat on a much smaller scale behind a team of four Belgians.  Interesting contrast within a few miles of each other.  I stopped to pick up one of the neighbors as he was walking from that field towards his home.  He asked if I saw the combine going and that they would be threshing the wheat in a week or so, after it had dried down a bit more in the shocks.  I ended up getting invited to the threshing and I am looking forward to helping.

Later in the day, Patti and I got to work mulching the garden.  Putting down a thick straw mulch in the garden is a habit we got into many years ago.  As I recall, I picked up the idea from the old Ruth Stout book, "The No Work Garden".  I have been keeping up pretty well with the hoe, and I gave the patch a final once-over for any weeds I'd missed.  Patti then put down a layer of newspapers and I followed scattering the thick layer of straw.  After the mulching was completed, I even splurged and gave the whole garden a good soaking to help settle the straw--and to give the plants a boost.  Now, weeding will be limited to pulling the occasional stray that pops up close to the garden plant.  It's much easier than constant hoeing.  The mulch does a few things that I like:  it keeps weeds down; it helps retain moisture; and it breaks down over the season and is eventually tilled into the garden soil to add to the tilth of the soil.

First goes a layer of newspapers

Straw is put on top of the newspapers

Done!  In the left, you can see a row of tiny turnips emerging.  We were careful to leave them plenty of open space.

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