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Thursday, December 13, 2012

Saturday June 16 on the farm, field tomatoes, Jersey-shore and Chinese Geese!

Tomatoes, eggplants and peppers all come from warm climates and like to have their roots HOT!  To make sure they stayed that way we covered each 140 foot row with black agricultural plastic.  First we ran a drip type irrigation line down the center of each bed.  Then Jens ploughed a furrow down each side and we went along behind and draped the plastic over the bed with the edges of the sheet hanging down into the furrows.  When we kicked dirt back into the furrows the edges of the plastic sheet were buried but the center (over the bed) was exposed.
We burned holes in the plastic every two feet and in them planted out tomatoes, eggplants and peppers.  So far so good, the plants look great!
Also this week we moved Studmuffin (the bull) and Jersey-shore (our new jersey cow) to re-join the rest of the herd out in the farthest field.  Jens has taught me that given enough time most animals will eventually do what you want on their own.  When herding, the most important thing is to go slowly, stay calm and be patient.  All that went out the window though when the bull smelled the rest of the herd.  At the slightest whiff of his harem Studmuffin was off like a shot (impressive for such a large animal), it was all we could do to just keep up and open the gates for him!
Now the herd is back together, much to Studmuffin’s pleasure and poor Jersey-shores dismay!  Where she used to get all of Studmuffin’s attention she is now almost completely ignored in favour of the other cows.
The other day we heard her bellowing and, thinking she was hurt, went to check on her.  She was fine, just lonely, ignored by her former boyfriend and shunned by the other cows, who view her as a stranger and outsider!  We hope the herd accepts her soon.
On Tuesday Jens bought Chinese Geese at the small animal auction at Keady Market, where we will have a stall every Tuesday for the rest of the summer!  For those who don’t know what a Chinese Goose looks like here is a link to a site with much better pictures than I could ever take.
Jens and Ayse had planned to buy a few kids (baby goats) to raise until the fall but there were very few of a small enough size this week.  Looking forward to trying again next Tuesday!

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