Saturday, November 03, 2007

more gleaning, less animals

OK, who wants lettuce?

red lettuce, green lettuce, arugula? Maybe some sorrel. Even parsley.

Right now there is still a row of basil, maybe 150 feet but according to the weather report (I've almost stopped believing in such things because, depending on the hour in which you listen, or read, the story changes between being sure to have a frost tonight, tomorrow night or maybe last week) currently it says we might have a frost at any moment and basil dies at 32 degrees.

In fact, right now we still have green tomatoes, bell peppers, eggplants and string beans and I feel real bad about just plowing them up. but the truth is, its getting real late to plant a winter cover crop. They need to be turned under.

So, here's what I'll do: leave the lettuces and what not in the ground through the weekend and if you want (you meaning 2007 shareholders and those currently on the waiting list to be 2008 shareholders), you can come out Sunday afternoon (say noon to three) and glean what's out there.


Other quick farm news --

Renewalsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssscc. If you are renewing for 2008 at this year's price you need to get your check in the mail now. If you haven't e-mailed me saying you are, do it now and put the check in the mail. Since checks are still coming in at a great rate I'll wait and close this out at the end of next week. A two person share sends in $225 now and the other half in the spring. A one person mails $172 now with the other half in the spring.

I really don't have an animal story for this week.

(well, that's not actually true. I always have some sort of an animal story. There was the red fox that got its picture taken on the wildlife camera I sat up to get a picture of the bear that's been harassing my beehives. It was smelling the apples I put out as camera bait.

Then there's our new Great Pyrenees, a rescue. His name was Marcus Aurelius but I think we're just going to call him Mark. This poor dog was raised as a 'pet' with all that entails, being locked up inside a house for most of its life without a farm or animals to guard until it started attacking the neighbors labs and, I suppose, poodles.

Which is exactly what you would expect a GP to do sooner or later. We are trying to teach him that on a farm you do not chase the chickens, peafowl and house cats. He's learned about the chickens and Wenonah is telling him he's going back to the pound if he doesn't learn to stop chasing her precise cat, Nonamie. (do you want to hear the story about how the cat got named No Namee? You can guess that Wenonah didn't give it that name. She would have probably titled it something like Sweetie or Delightful. I'll put the name story in another entry to people who aren't interested don't have to be inflicted).

Besides taking in the rescue, I also traveled with Wenonah out to British Columbia while she went to give a speech to the annual meeting of the Council of Canadians and I can report that white tail deer in BC look and act the same as the ones around here. I saw a field of newly planted rye with 40 deer out in the middle munching away.

That's what would be happening here if we didn't keep have a fence around our fields and the gate closed. Deer just haven't accepted the idea yet that humans rule the world. If they did they would stay out of our freshly planted fields instead of attempting unlawful attacks each night.

One other short piece of news. There was a conference this week out on the Eastern Shore about the chicken industry and water pollution. Wenonah went on work and I went to buy boxwoods (there's a semi-retired doctor all the way down in Nassawadox that raises and sells boxwoods. Great prices, good condition. I drove all the way down their Nassawadox is close to the end of the peninsula and loaded the van up with twelve year old English boxwood to bring back for a hedge. I could still use some more. If anyone out there is interested in boxwoods (English, Korean, American and some other hybrids) contact me. Maybe we could work out some way of getting a truckload at significantly less than you can buy them around here.

Anyway, speaking of chickens and pollution, I got back to Salisbury with my van load of boxwoods before the conference was over and sat in on some of the meetings. I would like to spend some newsletter space talking about the dire condition of the Chesapeake Bay (and no doubt our entire local environment) but I don't have time, only to say that what we are doing to our home almost makes me cry.

We should be thinking about what we can do on a personal level to try to save ourselves more than just recycling our cans and newspapers. Has anyone driven down 295 lately, right across the river from Blue Plains. I suggest first rolling up the car windows and turning off the outside air.

The smell is from what we are dumping into only one of our rivers and as the speakers at the conference pointed out that what's coming off of farmland, particularly chicken houses, is a lot worse.

But then that's one of the reasons why the price of grocery store chicken is, when you consider the cost, approaching zero.

Oh well.

Leigh Hauter

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