It’s been a really busy week! Between day jobs, volunteer jobs, farm duties and a sick baby who passed his cold on to everyone else, it’s been pretty non-stop – poor immune system or not.
I’ll try to list everything we’ve worked on this week, but given that I’m sick and fuzzy-headed, there’s bound to be some things I miss.
Before I start listing though, I’ve gotta say THANK GOODNESS for our beautiful fall weather! It’s been crisp and sunny which has allowed us to get so much more done outdoors than we would ever do in the rain. Yay for a non-west coast fall!
So, now that we’ve started our orchard, there’s been a lot of discussion around trees here on the farm. We added two more trees to our orchard this week: a 4 variety producing apple tree and a 4 variety producing pear tree. By ‘4 variety’ I mean trees that have had multiple types of apple/ pear types grafted onto them, allowing them to pollinate each other and to produce different kinds of fruit throughout a longer fruiting season. Fun! We’ll see how they do.
We also removed a tree from the property this week. There was a huge, sickly alder that lived near our newly planted orchard. We were worried about it’s sickness infecting the fruit trees and our neighbour had voiced concern about it negatively affecting her own trees so we cut it down. Once down, we still had to take care of chopping it all to bits – burning the smaller branches and leaves and cutting the larger ones up for fireplace firewood. I spent 5 hours on friday hacking away at the tree and burning most of the small stuff. I’d had a frustrating day of work (the internet and websites can drive you crazy if they don’t do what they’re supposed to do), so I took on the tree hacking as personal therapy. It helped.
Also on the topic of trees, farm family friend Bob gave us $200 to spend on whatever we wanted this weekend (for the farm), so we used it to take advantage of the clearance sale at Trice Farms and bought ourselves five awesome trees for the property (at 50% off): a curly willow tree, a japanese maple tree, a dwarf burning bush, a very cool green maple tree (with bark that looks like bamboo – can’t remember the name), and one of those tall coniferous trees that looks like it belongs in a Dr. Seuss book – you know, the tall, lanky, swervy ones? Also can’t remember the name. Anyways, we are VERY thankful to Bob for the opportunity to get some beautiful trees for the property that we normally wouldn’t be able to afford ourselves.
I’ve taken over the duty of locking the chickens up for the night and letting them out in the morning so that’s been fun. I like our chickens a lot and it’s fun to see them all snug in the coop at night. I also cleaned out the chicken coop this week and gave
them fresh wood shavings yesterday so their home is nice and clean and comfy.
Unfortunately, our last sickly Russian chicken died this week. She’d been sick for awhile and finally succumbed to whatever it was that was harming her. The rest of our Russian and other chickens seem great, so hopefully our current seven will live long enough to start producing eggs and see the spring roll around. Go chickens go!
I planted the rest of our garlic this week, transplanted a bunch of my potted plants into larger pots for my deck and planted some poppy bulbs into pots. It’ll be lovely to see those come up in the spring: red, pink and my favorite blue poppies – yay!
Chris rented an excavator yesterday and, in addition to using it for digging up all our drainage ditches, he used it to dig up the area that we will be building our deep beds on. This is super helpful because it would have been A LOT of hard work digging up all that earth by hand. Beforehand, Julie and I marked out where we want the deep beds to go – it’s gonna look great!
Tommi and Cary and their son Magnus stopped by yesterday and helped with some of the ditch digging and my friend Erin came in from Vancouver to bring me a bottle of trailer-warming wine. She helped me break up and burn some more of the alder tree before we had dinner, played scrabble and drank the wine in the trailer.
WINTERIZING THE TRAILER
The last to-do thing that came up this week was for me to start winterizing my trailer. The frost hit this week and mornings, evenings and nights in the trailer have gone from chilly to downright freezing! So it’s time for me to start prepping that tin can for the winter. I bought plastic to line all the windows with and started up the propane heater for the winter. I’ll need to get some skirting up along the base of the trailer too – not sure what the most economic and efficient method is – hay bales, spray foam, plywood???
And I think that’s about it (although I swear I’m missing stuff because that list doesn’t seem to match my level of exhaustion).
Here’s to another week on the farm! Despite feeling like I’m living in a freezer, catching colds from babies, and spending way too much volunteer time trying to build a problematic website, I still really love it here :)