Monday, May 30, 2011

Hummingbirds and Dandelions

We're still feeling slightly soggy but have at last managed to get onto the fields and free some of these poor leggy, root-bound transplants from the confines of the green house. We made great progress laying plastic mulch only to suffer a demoralising setback when a ridiculously strong wind ripped it all up leaving the field in a worse state than when we had started. The hummingbirds have arrived so summer is officially here and we saved one very exhausted male who had trapped himself in the sun room. Was the only time I've ever seen one up close that isn't madly fluttering its wings, so we could admire the iridescence - lovely. Unfortunately the bugs have decided it's time to start biting and it makes being in the field for any length of time really irritating unless you are under a bug net or coated in bug repellent. Oh well we may as well be thankful that the horse flies aren't out yet.
Our mower still hasn't made it out of the barn and the dandelions are knee high in places, so rather than moan about it I figured that I could make wine. However in between, transplanting, sowing, raking, weeding, spreading manure and shovelling seaweed, I'm not sure I've got the time!
The bonus of course at this time of year is that it's lobster season on our coast until the end of June so I am determined to eat my fill of this "poor man's food" and thanks to the generosity of friends and neighbours, I've got off to a pretty good start. Even the chickens are enjoying nibbling our rejected shells, it's a nice little treat for them since Jamie has now put a fence around them and they are no more a roamin'. For me it's a relief to walk in my own yard without getting attacked or bothered by busy hens. I've definitely changed my mind about free-range chicken. The ducks are a whole different ball game, content to waddle around, swim in the pond and waggle their tails when they see food coming. However, even Eddie can't help licking his lips as he watches them.

Monday, May 16, 2011

feels like an English Summer

Since we were busy pandering to Jamie's obsession with buying random rusty pieces of farm machinery, we missed the narrow window of opportunity on Saturday morning when the rain paused long enough for lawn tractors to be dusted down and set to work mowing acres of wilderness. So now like a jungle the grass and the weeds grow around us while smug neighbours who did get their lawns mowed, live in civilised conditions. All our fields are squelchy to say the least though luckily not submerged. The incessant drizzle and rain is brilliant news for those perennials we put in last week, but jolly frustrating for all those seeds and transplants that we are desperate to get planted out. Under all the dampness it feels depressingly like an English summer. On the plus side our trial tulips did fabulously and we have some new feathered additions to the farm. In exchange for some garden work we acquired a pair of Muscovy ducks, they haven't yet found the pond but seem content with the general sogginess of the place. Incidentally, Jamie's new rusty attachment for the tractor is going to work wonders so fingers crossed the rain lets up and we can actually start farming!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Drizzly Monday

The grey day outside has given us a chance to catch our breath and allow the rain to water all those perennials that we put in last week with the help our of guests (our first wwoofers of the season); Kerry and Jean-Gabriel who worked very hard to earn their keep! Thanks to them, we now have raspberries, blackberries and asparagus planted, all neatly protected by an electric fence, as well as some nicely sifted soil and neatly paced out rows. They will be missed, not in the least by Eddie who is feeling noticeably low at the loss of his play mates. On a brighter note, the land is looking a lot more colourful, our daffs and tulips are out, the grass is green, birds are chirping etc.. Sadly this means that bugs are just around the corner so we are spending as much time outside as we can while their biting presence is not yet with us. We've even seen a bear print in the bottom field so all creatures great and small we welcome you. Bring on the growing season!

Jean-Gab and Eddie

Kerry transplanting seedlings

Grooming a wiggly pup

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Best Power tool ever...The Dad

Whoop, whoop, yay! An ingeniously designed cool room has been erected inside the barn, thanks to Dad and his workaholic ethos that slaved away last week. Though not yet finished (90% done) or particularly cool (needs an airconditioner), it's a very fine example of Johnstone fix-it - build-it -just-do-it capability. We are so pleased, with another project almost ticked off the never ending list. Dad left us yesterday looking exhausted.
Dad did bring a bit of fair weather over from England with him and the Daffodils are finally out together with our garlic, which is a relief. We all woke up dreadfully early to see the Royal wedding though since it seemed to be replayed continually on Canadian television throughout the day, I don't know why we bothered.
We have more company this week and welcome our first Wwoofers (not the doggie kind but a couple from Australia/France). Even after one day the 2 extra pairs of hands are proving invaluable. We are hugely excited, it really feels like we are farming now.

building the cool room

inside the cool room

Daffs and drift wood


on the beach

Eddie giving Jamie directions