Summer 2019 Update

Summer 2019 Update

Yes, we have summer, I’m not sure about having a spring this year but summer is definitely here.  Heat and humidity in the 90 range every day for the past 2 weeks. To cope with that we get up and start early and hope to have a project done by 9 a.m. when the sun is fully out and the heat and humidity start to ratchet.  No one in Michigan has been heard to say “but it’s a dry heat”. Ever. Then at about 7 at night we work on something else or finish from the morning. I can find endless things to do during the heat of the day in the house where it’s relatively cool, even if that something is just a nap.

Bees – Tom was gifted another hive body for his bees on Father’s Day and installed it this morning.  A few puffs of smoke from the shiny new smoker and the bees pretty much stayed put while he took off the lid and fitted the new body.  The original body is chock full of comb, bees and honey.

Pigs – The Three Little Pigs have sorted themselves out and started mining.  We hauled out the first load of dry, fluffy straw and manure they’ve dug up from the manure pack.  It’s now working on decomposing in the garden.

Garden – The cold wet spring set me back a month in the garden and for a good long while the only thing flourishing were the weeds.  Tom rototilled up the corner lying fallow this year and the first load of pig compost went there. I’ll keep adding to this spot until I get it covered and leave it to rot until next spring.  I’m starting to gain on the weeds, I’m hoping by the end of next week to have all the flower and garden beds weeded and looking good.

Chicks – the chicks are growing and healthy, once Tom cuts the grass in the chicken yard I think they’re big enough to go outside if they want.  In the meantime I pick them fistfulls of grass and clover to munch on.

Cows – the younger group of cows are now living in Kimball, our newly fenced field.  A week ago it was waist deep in clover, grasses and weeds and you had to be right on top of the herd to find them.  Now their eating and trampling has opened it up and you can almost see them no matter which corner they’re eating in.  We’re fine with them trampling perfectly edible forage into the ground. It adds to our organic matter content; a higher organic matter percentage will buffer droughts and help protect us from flooding.

Cows – we’re expecting 5 babies this year and Alice is due first.  It’s her first calf so we’re checking on her regularly. This morning when everyone else was laying in the shade chewing their cud she was standing and breathing heavier than normal.  Contractions? We’ll keep checking on her throughout the day.

Trees – I’ve written about our tree planting, tree planning, and tree nursery.  And it turns out science has proven what a good idea planting a tree is. They’ve figured out by some mystical logarithm that if we planted a trillion trees we can cut carbon by two thirds.  A trillion seems impossible but they’ve figured out where to put them without turning farm fields into forests. Brazil it seems has room for more than their share. So, where is your next tree going?  A lemon tree in a pot on your balcony? A nice big shade tree to block the summer sun and keep your electric bills lower? Some fruit trees to give you your very own organic fruit with zero food miles? A spruce to keep your driveway from drifting in that same spot?

Where are you planting a tree?  Candy

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