Friday, June 26, 2015

june update

a lot going on around here.  we had some wiring for the submersible well pump go bad a few days ago.  everything is functional again.  i helped staal dig a trench for the new conduit and wiring that needs to go in between the well pump and the controls in the garage.  the original wiring, done long before we found this place, was poorly done and although there is some expense and labor involved in correcting it it will be much safer and reliable.
the gardens are still a bit behind "normal" but still doing pretty well considering all the weather extremes we've had.  last month we were having 60 degree weather (very low temps for may) and now we're in the high 90s and topping out around 100 on some afternoons.  the winter squash are doing well and starting to blossom and fruit.  the summer squash are still small and struggling a bit.  the first planting of summer squash was pretty much decimated by all the bugs we've had this year so what's in the ground now is a second planting which went in pretty late.  hoping the young plants will push through the heat alright and start producing soon.  
kind of an exciting year for squash because most of what i planted was from seed saved from last year's harvest.  this year i get to do a bit more selecting to further adapt the varieties to our growing situation.

some of the winter squash

i've been having fun playing pollinator and doing some crosses.

holding male flower in mouth while preparing selected female flower for pollination

female flower pollinated, tagged, and re-taped to prevent unwanted crosses by the bees

staal has begun work on restoring an old building at the east edge of the property so that i can have a secure place to store feed and other supplies for the animals and gardens.  the roof was rotted and falling in so he's removed all the shingles, sheathing and rafters and has started building a new roof with a steeper pitch so it won't collect leaves and moisture like the last roof did.

new rafters on future feed barn

and the ducks.  the ducks are growing like mad.  although far too young to lay eggs they're still making a valuable contribution to the homestead.  their soiled bedding (and they produce copious amounts) will be composted for later use in the gardens and the spent duck water is providing some much needed moisture and fertility to the fruit trees and vegetables.

spent duck water on its way to the gardens

i put together a little run on the greenhouse lawn so the ducks can spend more time outside of the brooder developing some strong runner legs.  they get to run and forage a bit and it gives me a chance to clean the brooder.

zane keeping watch on the little ones while i clean the brooder

runners enjoying some foraging time in their plant flat playpen

the garlic is in, the potatoes need digging, and there are plenty of greens still coming in.  we're having a good time, keeping busy, and trying to avoid the worst of the afternoon heat---a great time to sit with a cold drink of water and watch the ducks.