Monday, July 14, 2014

Mid-Summer at Iron Oak Farm

The summer weeks are flying by. Over the weekend we cleaned the barn, moved stuff around to make room for more hay, and tore down/re-built some of the goat pen fencing. We had a make-shift feed room constructed out of pallets where we store the grain cans, supplements and supplies. It's nice to have that stuff tucked away, because the goats have a way of getting into the open part of the barn, despite our best efforts. A galvanized garbage can lid is no match for a grain-crazed goat. They know just how to get their snout under that lid and bury their head in the can full of grain. So that is also in the process of being moved and re-built. It feels nice to get things organized and I feel like every year it gets a little easier.

So far (knock on wood) the hay equipment and the tractor have been running smoothly. We brought in 102 bales last Sunday and would like to triple that this season. I think we will do it so long as we can orchestrate the weather and the equipment. 

We missed a good haying window these past few days because the forecast said rain, so we held off...but looking back we would have been fine. Hoping to cut again tomorrow or Wednesday. 

The garden is doing great! Things are starting to make their way into the kitchen. I'm blanching and freezing 4 large broccoli heads today. The zucchini is picking size and we enjoy a handful of raspberries or two each evening after dinner.

Our pickles are starting to form baby pickles and I only hope that the dill will hold out.

I might have to freeze some to make sure.  

Swiss chard

Playing around with color settings and some old rakes on the garden fence.

Mamma hen and her brood of 9 chicks enjoying some crumbles.

Ichabod the escape-goat clearing some weeds for us.

  My Egyptian Walking Onions are forming their off shoot bulbets and I picked them off and planted them in the onion bed. I'm fascinated with these onions! I might never have to buy onion sets again!

This pesky, brightly colored bug is giving me asparagus nightmares! It's the Common Asparagus Beetle and it's stripping our first year asparagus of all it's green outer skin. I've been combating it with a solution of Dawn dish soap and water. It seems to be helping even after one application. It's supposed to rain today and after it stops, I'm going to go out and give the plants another coat.

Moon and Stars Watermelon: I grew this variety last year and was really happy with the watermelon flavor. I love the yellow spots that both the fruit and the foliage bear.

Oliver taking advantage of the cool tiles on the front porch.

To see more of what we're doing at Iron Oak Farm I invite you to visit and "like" our Facebook Page where I share even more photos and updates.  

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