Watch your step in the garden. We’ve unfortunately run into 2 copperheads this week. One in the woods at the cabin construction site and one outside Rachel’s office. It’s never a pleasant encounter. We are fond of most snakes and are happy to share the farm with them, but copperheads are venomous and aren’t as welcome. They tend to like woodpiles and mulch covered areas according to the literature and that is where we usually see them. We’ve also found them in our barn and in a greenhouse we were weeding (Mandy almost grabbed one with a handful of weeds!!). So, you can never be too sure, but it’s safe to say that flip-flops are not farm friendly attire in the summer months.
We’re just tackling projects like crazy out here. The cabin is down and I’ve re-done the foundation and built most of the floor. I got the Sprinter van running again and have pressure washed about everything we own. I finally caught up on the bookkeeping for 2021 and keep finding broken things to fix, like the well this morning (yikes, no water!!). Mandy and I have been painting old buildings and planning for Fall’s big dahlia harvests. We’ve got some trees to take down today. She’s been weed-eating and mowing acres and netting up thousands of dahlias, pinching the mums, foliar feeding everything, dialing in the watering, ordering seeds and plant starts for the spring, new goodies for the farm store, and randomly building rock walls.
Rachel’s been working on putting together the upcoming plant sale that starts September 3rd and getting our website setup to be able to handle flower subscriptions for our shipping customers in time for dahlia season! This is something folks have been asking for, so we are excited to give the software a trial run this dahlia season. If it goes off as smoothly as we think it will, we’ll bring it back for Spring flowers too and hopefully be able to offer variations so people can either get their favorite variety of flowers every week or opt for different flowers every week, without having to fight for their selection each Friday at noon. Good things are coming.
Naw, Marry, and Eh Plaw have been weeding the peonies and dahlias like crazy and humbling even Mandy who I always think of as a high grade farm robot with unstoppable powers. During the heat of the day, (or at least the worst of it, because if you work outside right now, you know you are already soaked through by 8 a.m.), the ladies are doing cooler projects like collecting and cleaning seeds for our new Ms. Marilyn Forget Me Not variety that Mandy’s been breeding for the last 5 years in honor of the beautiful woman who married us way back when. We’re pretty excited to spread her name and good cheer throughout gardens and farms all over the country.
Last but not least, we are the proud parents of a bunch of unexpected babies. Our guinea population has been diminishing and to our great surprise, there was a momma that came by with 12 babies one rainy evening. We snatched them up and are raising them in the house, where they’ll actually survive their vulnerable infancy. If left outside, they always get picked off by predators and fire ants. This way, we’ll have very loud roommates for awhile, but many of them will survive to adulthood and continue to keep our farm free of ticks and to fight the occasional hubcap when the need arises.
And that’s pretty much it. Plugging along with as much joy as we can muster through the rivulets of sweat salting our eyes. Happy to be making progress on the long list of tasks that always seems to grow instead of shrink, but right now, we’re shrinking it and I love it.
Have a great weekend!-Steve