So it has been a while… There has been a lot happening on the farm as more products have started to come on. Tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, cucumbers, peaches, plums, and some early apples are ready. Markets are going good, the store is picking up, and so far “knock on wood” the rain has arrived as needed.
As always there are many things to do around the farm. The packing line is ready to go, but the bin tipper needs some tinkering. The irrigation system for two of the orchards has yet to be installed. The recently purchased potato sizer and wash line will soon be set up. All of these projects and more are always a juggling act of priorities for Spencer and my father in law. Between the day to day happenings, picking, packing, tractor work, and loading and going to markets, it becomes hard to squeeze in other things. I try to help with paperwork, errands, and other smaller projects as I can. Right now I am painting racks, and intend to get all of the end posts numbered in the orchard out back by the end of the season, but as I am learning it is hard to get things done with a little one.
Sometimes I think there must be a better way to make sure things get done on time, and more efficiently, but their way of running things is their way. It would drive me crazy if I had to work like they did with a hundred balls in the air, and an ever changing list of how and when things get done. In my opinion they take on too much; however in the case of my father in law, if he wasn’t busy doing all the things he does, he would still find something else to do.
The farm has been expanding and will always be evolving. In the coming years hopefully it will still allow Spencer to have quality family time. He says down the road he plans to just grow fruit, and do more wholesale. Maybe then we will actually get to take a vacation or even a weekend getaway in the summer. Right now though I will have to enjoy the evenings, Sundays, and some of the rainy days with him.
It’s raspberry time! I love berries, but I think raspberries are my favourite. Mostly because of the taste, but also maybe because it “brings me back” to picking wild ones when I was younger.
Spencer says we should get over 5000 pints this year, and they’re so good…he even says he wants to expand their production. So in true Spencer fashion, he is researching raspberries to order and plant for next year. If anybody has any recommendations for varieties, feel free to let me know so I can close some of the 10 tabs he has open on the browser.
There is an osprey in my kitchen, holographic tape dangling in the breeze on branches, and giant beach ball type scare-eye balloons on stand-by ready to be hung in the orchard. The mission is to scare the birds and keep them from snacking on the crop of cherries and early apples. The cherries have cropped very well this year, and so far the birds haven’t hung around long enough to pose a major problem, not compared to the last two years anyway. The lack of rain fueled their hunger for sweet, juicy cherries and apples. So this year we decided to implement bird scare tactics as necessary. We will see if they work. So far the osprey kite has done a good job at freaking out my cat, and he is pretty smart.
I definitely “jinxed” us on Monday when I was asking my sister how we coped without air conditioning when we lived together through college, because my husband woke me at 4am Tuesday telling me it wasn’t working. Well I got a reminder of what it was like that’s for sure.
Of course it was the hottest day this summer so far, and Canada Day so no luck in getting it fixed that day, so we had to make do. Spencer tried to rig something up (duct tape and all) with a motor and fan unit I think from the apple packing line. Theoretically it should have done the trick, but it couldn’t keep up. It got up to 86degrees at one point. (Can’t tell you without some math what that is in Celsius. The thermostat is set in Farenheit and besides most of the people down here talk in Farenheit in the summer and Celsius in the winter anyway). Either way, it did not make for a happy baby. The poor thing. I took her for a dip in her baby pool in the afternoon, and gave her a lukewarm bath before bed, but she still wasn’t comfortable. We ended up sleeping in the basement in the spare room. Surprisingly hubby took it pretty well. Coming from a man who can’t take the heat, and who has a family full of people with those same genes and internal thermostats to prove it.
Today it wasn’t as hot or humid outside. It was a little more bearable, or maybe we were just acclimating. It was about 7pm tonight when it was finally up and running, and now it is a refreshing 75degrees. It will probably be morning before it is back to normal. The baby is sleeping soundly in her crib. Spencer is sleeping soundly with his CPAP, and I am sitting here appreciating the luxuries of modern day HVAC systems, and making a mental note to knock hard on some wood next time.
Our little girl is growing so fast! Just in the past month or so she has learned to wave “Hi”, clap her hands, get from lying to sitting, pull herself up on furniture etc, and crawl! Its amazing watching her learn to do new things. She is 8 and a half months now, and I have treasured every day I get to spend with her.
My mat leave is winding down and the thought of in just a few short months I will be going back to work is kind of unsettling. I’m sure it will be harder on me than on her, but all the same it will be be a big change. For now I will focus on having the summer with her, and hopefully the time won’t seem to go too fast.
So all the things we grow…. Lets start with the fruits. Apples, peaches, plums, pears, sweet cherries, nectarines, strawberries, and raspberries.
Now for the veggies. Potatoes, peppers, tomatoes, peas, lettuce, radishes, squash, beets, pumpkins, and sweet corn. I think that’s it. Of course there are different varieties grown of most of these fruits and vegetables.
The Apples…Honestly before meeting Spencer, I only knew of the few varieties of apples we stocked at Farm Boy, the grocery store I had worked at back home in Ottawa. Little did I know. Just sitting here making a list I can think of 20 varieties that we grow, and I will probably think of the one’s I’m forgetting later.
There are the “go to” apples everyone knows like MacIntosh and Red Delicious, and newer varieties that people are starting to recognize and love like Honey Crisp and Ambrosia. I myself have always liked the deep red colour, crispness, and sweetness of Red Delicious, but these Ambrosias are swaying me for sure.
I love that we grow so many things. There is a window of time in the season, (which will be coming soon) that I can go into the cold storage in our barn and “shop” for most of our weekly produce. You can’t get more local than that. Speaking of… time to go try the strawberries just in from the field.