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This is the view from my desk and as I was working on book-keeping last week, mama doe and her twins were looking under the pear tree to see if the birds dropped any sunflower seeds (which of course the birds would never do). The fawn that has its rump towards the window had just whirled around that way from looking inside my window at me with its nose on the window glass. I think it could probably hear the piano music I had playing while I was working.

It really is a delight to have wildlife all around us all of the time!

Chicken guacamole tacos for lunch with freshly harvested cilantro and tomatoes from the garden and the greenhouse. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Tomorrow will be our annual organic renewal inspection. The inspector comes out several times a year for different reasons. We get inspected for our nursery and greenhouse license, for our Japanese beetle certification, we have a retail nursery inspection and the most important inspection is our annual organic inspection. It’s also possible that we can be inspected, and we have been, for our compliance with EPA requirements, which even organic growers much do, even though we only use OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certified imputs like neem oil or soap spray.

When the inspector arrives, we will walk all of the farm for her to check on everything that happens here, both in the flower seed crop field and in all the greenhouses and gardens and our heirloom orchard. She will check our equipment shed and our supply barn and will inspect our record-keeping documents (which we have to keep for 7 years). We even have to keep every single empty seed packet we use for 7 years and have them available when the inspector comes. She looks in our seed fridges where we store our seeds until we are ready to plant them. She will be looking to see what type of weeds and insects (good and bad) we have here and how many we have, and how we manage them. She will check on our buffer zones between us and our neighbors and the local streets. You name it…it’s all up for inspection. She’ll be here the better part of the day.

Everyone who is certified organic must have this annual inspection, in addition to many other requirements in the course of being certified. Once the inspection is completed, she will write a report and turn it in to the certifying agent (in our case this is the Colorado Dept of Agriculture acting for USDA) for a complete review. If there are any concerns, they will let us know and we will have to remedy them satisfactorily. If there are no concerns or if we have fixed any concerns they might have had, then we will be granted our certification renewal for another year.

This is a very big deal and we are pleased to say we have always done well in our inspections.

A couple of weeks ago I told you that I thought the scarecrows we had from Open Farm Days were getting a bit weary. This week one of them got a bit of refreshing. She is now a gathering woman, taking a rest break from picking pine cones.

I still have two more scarecrows to refresh, but I haven’t decided how they will be re-invented just yet.

The Winter Red Flesh apples are ready to eat now. When you cut into these apples they are reddish-pink inside! They are tartly yummy and make the most tasty applesauce. I think I’ll also dehydrate quite a few of these, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon. They will make perfect trail snacks when we are hiking or they can be added to hot cereal this winter to make it gourmet.

Have a great autumn week and I’ll be back again soon.

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The seed harvest has begun now in earnest! There is a lot of seed to pick each day and many different varieties of plants have the seed ripening in our flower seed crop field. It’s pretty much all hands on deck, Chris, Beki, Susan, Nicolle, Lizz and myself, but by far, Chris does the lion’s share of the seed harvesting.

Above are the pretty berries that contain the seed of Leopard Flower {Belamcanda chinensis}. Below, Chris is raking the seed off the Pennisetum orientalis grass. When this grass is in peak flower, the stocks are pink in color and when the seed is ripe and ready to rake, the seed is light tan in color.

One of my favorite flowers is Mojave Sage {Salvia pachyphilla}. It is incredibly aromatic and the flowers are purple turning to pinkish mauve just before the seed is ripe to pick. That is what Chris is picking below.

For many years we have been growing Helichrysum italicum, sometimes called by the common name of curry plant, although it is not curry the spice blend that people cook with. It does smell exactly like the curry spice blend. All the Helichrysum species are strongly medicinal for their antimicrobial properties. All of them have that delicious curry spice fragrance.

The seed on the Helichrysum is super tiny and has equally small little seed hairs that make it easy for the slightest breeze to carry the seed off into the world before we can harvest it. The only way to deal with that challenge is to harvest it every single afternoon before the afternoon breezes come along. Many years ago, our friend Steve from New Zealand was visiting us, and told us that on seed crops of this type he had created a vacuum from a leaf blower. He told Chris how to do this and it is extremely helpful and effective for harvesting the Helichrysum seed every afternoon. Chris sucks the seed up with the seed vacuum and because the seed is so tiny it doesn’t get chopped up in the fan blades inside the machine. Works like a charm for this crop, but it can’t be used on the other seed crops, which we pick by hand.

As we walk through the flower field there are still many seed crops that are only blooming at this point, They are covered in pollinators of so many kinds. The bumblebees, an orange beetle that I can’t name, honeybees, sweat bees and so many others. A new seed crop for this year is Fragrant Garlic {Allium ramosum}. This variety of Allium is like a garlic chives, only much bigger, much nicer and better flavored for cooking! The pollinator on these flowers is a Twisted Waist Wasp. Wasps of all kinds are good pollinators for white, cream and yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The wasp in this picture is about actual size and they are just the coolest creatures to watch. Don’t worry, they aren’t interested in stinging you….rather they have flowers to pollinate and that is pretty much all they are interested in.

This is our seed room and as the seed is harvested, it is put into these large paper leaf bags, which look like gigantic paper grocery bags. We have enough of the bags filled at this point, that the room was nearly over-flowing, so we put up the silver racks to double-decker the seed bags on. In late fall, after all the seed is picked in the flower field, we will box up the seed in big boxes and send it all off to Germany to Jelitto Perennial Seed Company.

All the seed we grow on this farm is contract grown for Jelitto, except the seed we pick here for our own planting needs for potted plant sales in our retail Farm Stand store and wholesale to independent garden centers in Colorado and northern New Mexico. I’ll keep you posted as the seed crop harvest continues throughout the fall season. We will be picking seed now non-stop until mid to end of November.

There were some other happenings this week. An exciting and fun one is that I discovered very late, but better than never, that my book Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine won another book award! Oh my goodness….I’m thrilled!

The crazy thing is that this happened just as the book was released in 2016 and I was only told about it this week. Things can slip through the cracks in this life, and this was a big crack, but I’m so glad to know about this award now. The award was for the 2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award for Animals & Nature. This is a really important book award and I am so honored and happy! So now Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine is the honored recipient of the 2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award and the 2017 International Herb Society’s Thomas DeBaggio Book of the Year Award.

Above is a pretty idyllic scene with Hannah and Gretel, right? Well yes, they are very happy in their home here and I am totally in love with both of them. They live in one of our ponds here and they are friendly and whimsical and keep me and everyone else in smiles all day long.

In the picture above they are standing underneath a willow tree that years ago grew into the edge of the pond. Well, sadly that willow had to be removed this week, and even though it broke our hearts for Chris to cut it down, it really did need to happen. Willows drink a lot of water and this one had a constant supply in our irrigation pond, which holds our irrigation water shares when they are delivered to us until we use them in our drip irrigation system that waters the flower seed crops, the gardens, hedgerows. and trees on our farm. This year has been a bad drought year and we realized how much water we were loosing in the pond to this one willow tree, plus the pond is a lined pond (required when the water commissioner gave us permission nearly 23 years ago to put in the pond) and the roots of the willow were starting to put the pond lining at risk. The tree had to go, but it is still helping foster life as the cut branches have become wildlife habitat on another part of the farm and some of those branches will become stakes for tomatoes, hops, kiwis, thumbergias and morning glories, all sorts of plants that need support to climb up. Sadly, this was a favorite spot for Hannah and Gretel to hang out.

This is how that same place looks now. Yikes…it makes the pond look naked, even though it isn’t really as there is a lot of vegetation that grows on the banks of the pond. Still, we will miss the willow greatly, as will our duck ladies.

And all of that prompted us to get busy and build the duck island that we have been planning to build since July.

We use barley straw sandwiched between two big pieces of hog wire and put it into the pond each year to help combat algae and bacteria from becoming problematic in the pond water quality. Barley straw is strongly antimicrobial and so where there is barley straw in water, you have less trouble with the water quality becoming compromised. In July, we were going to refresh the barley straw wire sandwiches, tie floats onto the sandwich, and create a duck island for our girls. We’ve been so busy that we haven’t gotten to it, but when the willow tree was removed, we decided to make the duck island for our duck friends.

Because it is made from the barley straw, it will continue to benefit the water quality of the pond, but since it now floats instead of sinking into the water, the ducks can use it as a floating reprieve and also as a protected place against predators if they should ever need it. They are still getting used to it being in “their” pond, but they seem to be liking it.

Last night when I went to gather up the duck food pans, a blue heron was standing on the island and the ducks were swimming right next to the island, so the ducks had a house guest for a little while. When I showed up on the scene to pick up the pans, I startled the heron and off it flew.

Well, how about a cat update…Willow has decided that he wants to sleep on Shrek’s bed. He sprawls out right in the middle of the bed and Shrek lets him do it, laying down next to the bed on the hardwood floor. Shrek is clearly a very good big brother, aye.

Last Sunday’s hike was to Lakes of the Clouds with our friends Brad, Marc, and Jan. The guys were acting a bit on the goofy side and Jan and I couldn’t resist snapping a picture. It was a lovely day!

All for now.

With Green Thoughts, Tammi

 

 

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We have three large peach trees in our back orchard here and a couple that are smaller in the new orchard. It’s peach harvesting season and we are hugely blessed this year with a great gigantic crop! I started picking peaches last Sunday (see that picking above) and today I picked three times that many more. There are at least two more big pickings coming up as more peaches ripen. I also picked Blue Parmain apples and Stanley plums last Sunday. Life is very very good! Tomorrow, I’m taking 50 lbs of peaches from today’s picking to the food bank so that they can enjoy them too.

One of my best friends forever, Janiece, was here visiting last week and we really enjoyed our time together. We talked and talked and talked and never even got close to finishing talking. It’s very special that someone you have been friends with since age 5 is still fully in your life and you enjoy being together at 57 years old just as much as you did at 5 years old.

Yahoo…Chris mounted the Give-Away Reading Library on a post at the edge of the Desert Garden and near to the road. He fixed the door latch to be stronger and I put the first arm full of books inside. Some have already found new homes as someone else will enjoy reading them. I’m so happy to have this little gifting library to share. If you are near to the farm, and you like to read, stop a moment and take a peek and see if there isn’t a book or magazine you might enjoy reading. If so…help yourself. Just close the door gently and securely when you leave so that weather doesn’t get inside.

One of my summer projects planned was to plant a hedgerow in front of our newest retail greenhouse building. This greenhouse is fondly called the Hygge House (which is Danish and means “to live simply and well”).  This is how the area I wanted to plant looked. It was a narrow band of pasture grass running in front of the fence that surrounds the nursery area.

I planted several cool things here, including a Manchurian Apricot tree, an Oak tree, a rose of Sharon and lilac bushes and two Nearly Wild red rose bushes. I also put in a couple of perennials to fill the space with color until the trees and bushes gain some size in a couple of years. This side of the Hygge House faces west and the greenhouse gets very hot from the sun beating on the south and west sides all day. Wind is also pretty intense coming in the end doors on the west end, so these trees and shrubs will eventually help to mitigate some of these challenges. They will offer wildlife habitat, giving food and shelter to the critters, and help make the front of this greenhouse more beautiful for the neighbors across the street from the farm. On the south side, I planted 2 mulberry trees and when they grow up, they will easily fill that space with shade. I’m pretty excited to have this project planted. I mulched the area  very deep with wood chips to help keep the grass from competing so much with the new shrubs and trees. Once they get a bit bigger they will be able to hold their own against the grass, but right now while they are small they need some help.

You can’t tell, but this pot holds a pomegranate tree and the one below is a hardy fig tree. This week some little fairy bunnies showed up in the pots and made themselves at home carrying carrots and sailing walnut shell boats. Pretty fun!

 

As many of you know who read this blog regularly, we have a big herd of deer that share this farm with us. The herd is 35+ deer and that doesn’t count the 8 little fawns that are part of the group born this spring.

They are here every morning and evening and often they are here all day long. The fawns rest in our hedgerows during the day and play in the flower seed crop field, which becomes a baby deer romping playground for them daily. We love having them here.

I understand that many people would be horrified by that many deer wandering through the crops, the gardens and the pastures, but in truth, they don’t do nearly the damage people think they will do. Interestingly, they love to eat bindweed! Bindweed is our worse weed here and we spend thousands of dollars each year on labor wages to hire a crew that spends most of their time pulling weeds, mainly bindweed. For a long time, we thought the deer were browsing on the actual seed crops, eating the flowers as they wandered through the field. They do browse on a few of the crops, and for those crops we have to protect them from the deer, but mostly what we noticed is that they are eating the bindweed in the pathways between the growing beds. Even the fawns learn quickly that they can satisfy their hunger eating bindweed as they are moving through and around the farm.

We’ll thank them any day for their help in managing the bindweed here. They are the least expensive weeding crew we have :-}

Our Russian Hawthorn tree is amazing right now! It is this beautiful every year, but this year we seem to be enjoying it all the more for some reason. The haws (also called berries) are crimson red and big. The tree is covered in them and they sparkle in the sunlight like ruby gems.

After we get a good hard frost this fall, I’ll harvest a basket full of the haws to make hawthorn berry honey, which I love, and it’s fantastic as a tonic for good heart health.

Enjoy your end of summer, friends. August is passing quickly. Soon the fall will be arriving in all her glory of colors. The autumn is always my most favorite time of the year. I just wish the days would slow down a little bit. I want to savor each one of them as long as possible and make this time of the year all the way through the fall season last.

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August 13, 2018 So Much to Share!

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since I’ve taken the time to sit a spell at my computer and write a new blog post. My apologies for that long spell. There is a lot to share about what is happening around here these days, so let me tell you about it…

This past week we sadly sent our intern, Sarah, on her way back to Kansas so that she can get ready for another college school year. We have so enjoyed her help, and even more, her company this summer. Have a great school year Sarah!

We also welcomed Nicolle to the farm crew to finish out the seed season. She has been working all summer as a rafting guide and now she is helping us 4 mornings a week with the field work. She brings a cheerful smile to work each day and we are looking forward to getting to know her more as we all work together for the rest of the summer.

It is a good tree fruit year for us. Our young heirloom orchard is giving us a first crop for many of the small trees and we are delighted! The tree above is one of my favorite. It is a very large crab apple variety called Winter Red Flesh and the apples have nearly purple skin and the inside is bright pinkish-red. They are wonderful cooking apples and despite being a small apple in size (2-3″ in diameter) they are so tasty, they are well worth growing.

You can only see a few more apples left on this tree, which is a Gravenstein Apple. Tart and delicious! The apples are large and I picked a very big bowl-full. These lingering ones are not quite ripe yet, but I think by next week they will be ready to pick.

I also picked all the Early Gold Apples and cooked them in the crock pot. They were delicious, but in truth, both Chris and I wished we had just eaten them fresh rather than cooking them, because they were sweet and yummy straight off the tree.

The Stanley plums are almost ready to pick and I’m hoping by the weekend we can be eating fresh plums!

We have 4 peach trees loaded with fruit and they are not yet ripe to harvest, but they are showing a blush of color now, so I put the bird flash tape in the trees this week to help detour the birds from eating the peaches before they are ripe enough to pick. This strategy has worked well for me over the years, so I expect it to work well again this year at protecting the fruit from being ravaged by the birds before it is ready to eat.

My mom and dad were by  two days ago and Mom took the opportunity to feed Hannah and Gretel and have a visit with them while they were eating. I think they all enjoyed that visit!

I finally got my windows washed! That is a full day’s job usually and the windows were in bad shape and needing a good cleaning. Saturday was the day.

Have you ever grown nantes or french paris carrots in containers? If not, you should consider it. We sell these carrot boxes in our Farm Stand store each spring, but I also grow my carrots for our eating like this all year-long. The boxes have been ready to harvest for a while now and I just haven’t been able to get to them, but yesterday while Shrek and I were enjoying some relaxing porch time, I pulled the carrots out of one of the boxes.

As soon as I pull the carrots out, I twist off the green tops and give those to the ducks. The carrots go in a large bowl to be washed.

One 15″ x 4″ box gave me half a large bowl full of sweet carrots to eat. This is a very easy way to grow carrots, green onions or bunching onions. The boxes can be grown indoors during the cold months of the year and out on a porch or patio during warm months of the year. Eating fresh grown carrots makes store-bought carrots look pretty second-class, as fresh grown carrots seem to be twice or maybe three times as sweet. Give it a try! There are varieties of carrots that only grow 2-6 inches long that are perfect for container growing. I like the round French Paris Market carrots and Chantenay Nantes carrots the best, but there are many choices.

For many years now I have been wanting to put up a Give-Away Reading Library at the front of the Farm driveway, but I’ve never gotten it accomplished. For even more years we have had a give-away reading basket inside our house that friends, family and farm crew could forage through whenever they came inside the house and help themselves to the books and magazines, audio books and such that we had finished with, but I always thought it would be nice to have a larger version of the reading basket outside that the whole community could take books from.

Finally, I have my Give-Away Reading Library almost ready to go. I still need to get a post from the lumber yard to mount it on and then once that is done, I’ll stock it with books and magazines that anyone can help themselves to if they enjoy reading. My hope is to have this little library out at the edge of the Farm front yard very soon, but I think I’m going to need to recruit Chris to help me set the post in place and attach the library to the post, so I’ll need to wait until he has a free moment from his own chores to help me. Soon, though, Soon!

I’ve decided that our Farm Greeting Scare Crows are needing retired. They have become pretty faded and weather worn and some wild critter is taking the straw out of this guy’s jeans. Now this scare crow hardly has a knee left! Oh my… I think I’ll just take them away soon and reuse the straw in the garden beds and then later this fall, perhaps I’ll make some new scarecrows to have around. I’m pretty attached to them, as they always make me smile. The current batch of scare crows were made by the greenhouse spring crew and they are great. So, keep your eye out this fall for new Farm Greeting Scare Crows.

Two Sundays ago we went hiking with new friends, Brad and Jan, who are also our neighbors. They are from the east coast and are now exploring the rocky mountains and living in the high mountain desert of Colorado. We are enjoying their company very much.

The highlight of our week was a visit from M’lissa and Luke with their kids, Gabe and Lyli. We love these kids (young and older) so much and we had a really nice day with them last Tuesday. We took Grandma and Grandpa with us to eat pizza in town for lunch and then we went to explore the new Dinosaur Experience Museum near the Royal Gorge. These young ones love dinosaurs, especially Gabe, and they know a whole LOT about them. We had a blast!

Now I’m going to get ready for the arrival of one of my dearest friends in the whole world. We started our friendship as kindergarteners and we really think of each other more as sisters and friends. Janiece will be arriving tomorrow for a visit this week. It’s been a few years since we have seen each other in person, although we keep in touch every week, and I can’t wait to give her a big hug!

My sunflowers next to the front porch have begun to bloom this week and they are so sassy and cheerful…they make me smile each time I walk past them.

I’ll try to do a better job of writing the next post in a more timely way.  Until then…have a great week.

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Another very full week here at the farm! So much of it was things that make my heart sing.

On Monday we took the summer farm crew (except Beki, who couldn’t make it, and we missed her) for a field trip to Denver Botanic Gardens. Chris, Susan and Lizz, Romie (Susan’s French exchange student) and Sarah and I spent the day enjoying the 3 acre adventure of gardens in the heart of Denver.

We had a great time!!

Look at these lily pads….oh my goodness!

One of the things here at my homeplace each summer that brings me incredible happiness is seeing my pomegranate tree flower on my back porch and the hummingbirds enjoying those flowers immensely.

The result of all that enjoyment ends up being baby pomegranate fruits growing. Around the end of October-early November they will be ripe for the picking and I’ll enjoy every bite of homegrown pomegranate fruits.

And look at the leaves on the pomegranate tree. If you notice, they have half circles cut out of them. Well, this is not a pest insect doing this, but rather it is a leaf-cutter solitary bee. They cut pieces of leaves and flowers and line their nests inside of hollow sticks and branches with the plant material. Think how cushy that will be for a young baby bee after it hatches from an egg and as it is growing in the nest. If you look around in your garden, I bet you will see some signs of leaf cutter bees too. These are beneficial insects and they pollinate the flowers in your garden. Don’t fret about them, or the cuts they make in your leaves and flowers, and certainly do not do them any harm. They are good for the garden!

A huge thank you goes out to all the folks who bought raffle tickets this spring during Open Farm Days in the hopes of winning one of the two fairy gardens we gave away. Money earned from selling raffle tickets is used to buy fresh produce for our local food bank and this was the week that happened. I bought 45 lbs of fresh western slope peaches from Spencer’s Farm Market in Colorado Springs with the raffle money and delivered them to the food bank. There were a lot of excited people at the food bank to see those peaches, which are always a special treat, and something different from what is often donated. Hats off to the Farm visitors who made this happen! You have our gratitude and that of the people who eat from the food bank’s offerings!! That definitely made my heart sing!

And tonight I got another gift from the realm of Mother Nature. I was making a chili rellano casserole from chili peppers I picked out of my garden yesterday. When I looked out the kitchen window, about 8 feet away was this fawn resting next to our bird bath and the generator. I took a picture thru the window screen and went outdoors to hang my wash up on the line, hoping not to disturb this little sweet creature.

I didn’t disturb it at all…in fact I went around the corner of the back porch and snapped this picture just so that I would have a picture that wasn’t fuzzy from the window screen material. Doesn’t seeing this sweet fawn make your heart sing?

Last Sunday found us on our weekly hike, this time on the Horn Lakes trail, and we had perfect weather and a lovely day. Hiking makes my heart sing so much I’m sure it can be heard on the other side of the world. Being out in nature is one of the things we most enjoy in life.

At every opportunity, and certainly at every stream crossing, Shrek made a point to do a bit of fish hunting. He could see them swimming around, but they are way too fast for him.

Doesn’t he look handsome in his new doggie backpack. He had an old one, but it didn’t fit well, so we rarely used it. This new one fits pretty good, so now he carries his own water bowl and dog food.

The wildflowers were so beautiful and this bumblebee really thought the Delphinium was fantastic.

Then there are our wonderful cats, which make me so happy I can’t tell you. They enrich our lives greatly and entertain us on a non-stop basis, like these 2-year-old boys, Pal and Willow. Sadie seems to be missing in the bit of action.

One minute everything is calm and sweet and in the next second it’s a brotherly wrestling match!

I had another wonderful gift this week. Two nights ago, Hannah and Gretel returned! They originally came in early February and were here until the first part of May and then overnight they were gone. That made me incredibly sad and they have been gone since then. Now this week they have returned and we are so happy to see them. I’m thrilled beyond words that they are back. They look like the dickens, and wherever they have been, it has not been kind to them, with feathers pulled out, they are skinny with sores on their heads and faces. But they seem quite happy to be back in the pond and having good food to eat and kind words that make them talk back to us. They are enjoying summer squash breakfasts with their grains, along with foraging bugs and greens around the pond. Hannah and Gretel totally make my heart sing!

It was a great week here…full and rich. We’ve been getting rain nearly every afternoon or evening and for the time being the lack of irrigation water is not threatening our farm season. As long as the monsoon rains continue, our water worries should be ok. That has put us deeply in gratitude and our hearts are singing full and loud over the nourishing rain we are receiving.

So, now let me ask you what and who makes your heart sing? The gifts in life are so many, and even when there might be incredible challenges to deal and cope with, there are still gifts. Sometimes I find that they are very small and hard to see, but if I think on it for a few moments, I can find them. Other gifts in life are bold and easy to discover.  What in your life makes your heart sing?

With Green Thoughts, Tammi

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We had a really good week and a really bad week both this past week. Let me tell you a little bit about it.

We attended and hosted a workshop short course put on by the Xerces Society called Farming with Beneficial Insects. It was superb! In the morning we had classroom presentations. Then after lunch we all headed out to our farm for some hands-on work catching, identifying and discussing different insects, including predator and pollinator insects as well as pest insects.

Dr. Whitney Crenshaw from CSU was one of the presenters and he was great! When we got to the farm he had nets in his car and showed everyone the proper way to use them to catch insects and then we spent time looking closely at them.

There were nearly 40 people here for this event. Some of them spent time in the Mojave Sage seed crop looking at the insects there.

Susan, who is one of our farm crew members found rove beetles in the pasture grass habitat.

Sarah, Susan and Beki (all work with Chris and I here at the Farm) found hover flies, different kinds of bees, pilot bugs and loads of other kinds of beneficials. Everyone learned so much and we all had a great time!  If you have an opportunity to take one of these Xerces Society Short Courses, we highly recommend them. This one was incredible.

Chris spent time this week trimming trees with the chain saw and pole trimmers. There is more trimming to do, but he got a great start on it and the honeysuckle (aka: Peace Tree) looks very beautiful now.

We had great sadness this week too as one set of the twin fawns were hit by a car driving like a race car on the road that is in front of our farm. When it’s fawn season, Chris puts out big red signs at both ends of the farm on Field Ave. to remind people there are baby deer crossing the road randomly. Baby deer are like all baby animals in that they don’t really know much about cars yet, or to watch out for them, and when they get busy playing or run across the road looking for their mothers, they just go for it. If people are driving at a safe speed, they most likely will see these little ones in time to stop, but we have way too many drivers on this road that drive incredibly fast (10-30 miles over the speed limit) and there is no way they can stop in time, and sadly, many of them don’t even seem to care.

The driver that hit these twins killed one right away, but the other one lingered for 40 minutes in terrible pain while we waited for the Wildlife Warden to arrive to put this little one out of its misery. That driver did not even slow down, much less stop. A car with two teenagers did stop and the young man in that car held that baby deer in his lap trying to comfort that little one and protect it from getting run over by another car until the wildlife officer arrived. Meanwhile, Chris and I, the neighbor across the street, and the mother of the teenagers kept headlights and flashlights shining on the boy and the deer to make sure on-coming cars didn’t run over them. That young man deserves a lot of thanks for the compassion he showed that night.

Why do I insist on sharing all these unpleasant details with you…because that could just have easily been a little child that was hit by a driver going way to fast. What is wrong with our world that so many of us act like we can’t take time or energy to behave in a responsible and sane way? People are too uptight so much of the time that they can’t remember how to behave in a good way, and more importantly, they need to remember that life is all around us and we should be able to appreciate it and respect it. That includes people, animals wild and domestic, plants, water, clouds…all of it. Drivers, please drive the speed limit and keep your eyes open for kids and adults riding bicycles or walking along the road, deer, dogs, skunks. All creatures are living beings. If you don’t like them, that’s your business, but there is no need to be intentionally dangerous or disrespectful towards them.

Thanks for listening to my rant. I hope that it will remind all of us to be more careful.

The other unfortunate thing that happened is we were told yesterday that there will be no more irrigation water delivered to us unless the monsoon rains arrive and help replenish our water shed where our irrigation water originates. That is from the back side of Pikes’ Peak mountain and if you live in southern Colorado, you probably know that Pike’s Peak is dry as an old bone. So, we were grateful to get this last irrigation water delivery this morning. Now we hope it holds us over until some rain from Mother Nature arrives.

On a happier note, we have Early Gold apples nearly ripe in the orchard and the peaches are doing good so far. The raspberry bed is starting to flower, so soon, with a bit of luck we’ll be picking fresh raspberries for breakfast. Hope you are enjoying your gardens too!

 

 

 

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Yesterday afternoon about 3:30pm it started to rain! We have been desperate for rain and the monsoon season to begin and it just hasn’t been happening. Our irrigation water supply is running out, as Four Mile Creek (the source of our irrigation water) is turning from a creek flow into not too much more than a puddle. When you are a farmer, and actually this is true for everyone, water is your lifeblood and the thought of ours running out or becoming seriously in very short supply has been scary, but yesterday we had a really good soaking rain and that is a big break for us and means that things will be ok for a while longer. Better yet, it appears that the whole region got good rain, which means that there should be more water in the creek and that will start to take the pressure off for our irrigation season challenges. Hopefully, yesterday’s rain is just the beginning of a good monsoon season and we will start getting regular rain showers now.

We actually got  nearly 2.5″ of rain in about 3 hours yesterday. That is glorious and I hope wherever you are you are getting good moisture too.

It’s time for my Annual Free Market Event

I want to let you know that next Saturday, on July 21st, I’ll be having my Free Market event here in the Farm’s front yard.

If you aren’t familiar with what a Free Market is, it is just like a regular yard sale, except everything is free! This is a good way for us to hand off belongings that we no longer need or want to someone else who can use them.

I’m planning to have everything out about 9am and the Free Market will last until I’m tired of doing it on Saturday afternoon. Whatever is leftover when I close the Free Market Saturday afternoon will go to the thrift store. Please note that this is not a plant sale, it’s a yard sale give-away minus the sale part…you can pick out whatever I have in the yard available as part of the Free Market and take it home at no cost to you.

Come by if you what to browse our offerings. We’re located at 1270 Field Ave. in Canon City. Do not expect anything to be out before 9am, so please do not come early. Thanks.

I think that is all our news for now. Enjoy your week and hopefully you’ll stop in next Saturday and do a bit of free shopping at my Free Market event.

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