Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I Wish It Would Rain Down...Somewhere Else

I don`t mean to be unappreciative of rain, so many are going without and we have gone without here even recently.  As a matter of fact, after a wet spring and then a heat wave we were needing a bit of shower activity.  But not the couple of more inches we got yesterday and today.  It is haying time in this area and we could really use a week and a half or two weeks of steady warm with maybe some breezes.

Well, one can hope, right?

As always, it could be worse.  We could have the flooding and landslides that British Columbia, Russia and parts of Asia have been having, or the record drought that I don`t have to tell folks in the US about.

Other than we farming types, all this rain is just what Alberta has been needing.  The water table is replenishing and our marsh lake has never been higher or seemed healthier (although I still know there`s a lot of garbage out there).  The pasture and undergrowth around the forested parts of our summer pasture half section have never been more lush.  We could be pasturing 200 cattle there, easily, for a couple of months anyway.  The less than 15 head there now should fare quite well!

By the way, anyone reading this who might be interested in Grande Prairie grass fed beef, we have 4 steers fattening there now.  They should be available late this fall and into winter.  I`m hoping to get them sold directly so we can keep this excellent beef out of the mainstream feedlot system.

Now that the shameless self advertisement is done, for the moment, I have been meaning to share some garden pictures for awhile.  I took some back in early June but these are from just two days ago.  Luckily I got them taken as its a muddy mess now.

Angie, this is the tomato patch.  In the background are some chickens that think they`re going to get some greens thrown to them.  Turns out they did when I discovered some kind of maggot eating one small patch of turnip roots.

One section of two kinds of beans (the far 3 rows are Pinto, the rest some kind of yellow wax bean that I don`t remember just now).  There are a LOT of beans this year.  I planted about 5 varieties in order to try some changes from our typical green and yellow beans.

A view of the southwest patch.  Some great beets and onions here, but also the turnips that were being eaten.  With all this new rain...I might lose a bunch of this to rot.  Think Ill start processing the beets tomorrow.

Onions in that same area.  They got flattened by a storm a few days ago.  Real strong winds had the tomato patch laying over the same way.  I love how they can go all crazy when going to seed, like the one in the center right of the picture.

North end of the garden.  Some weeds at the bottom, then some lettuces, potatoes, beans, chard, corn, and a thick patch of various pumpkins, squash and cucumbers.  

You can see some of the beans better here, and a small row of kohlrabi.

 More beans and some wimpy corn.  Won`t be much of a corn year again, methinks.  There is another struggling patch that is starting to get its tops, but most isn`t much taller than a foot or two.

These Tonda Padana pumpkins seem incredibly  prolific.  Almost like zucchini.  Some fruit is rotting but I bet there are 15 that are already a decent size like this, and many smaller ones.  I sure hope they taste good.  Gotta find some feeder piglets in case they don`t!

Closer view of the squash and pumpkin patch.  One can no longer tell easily where one variety stops and one begins.  Don`t think I will be saving any seed this year.

This is the plantain that was pointed out to me.  It is the only thing that flourishes in a low, wet spot so I`m going to harvest seed from it this year and if it looks like I can use a lot or sell some, then I`ll plant a bunch in that spot next year.  I now know it grows well in the wild here (when wet anyway) but it looks like I can grow some pretty impressive plants right in our garden, and fill a difficult area at the same time.

So that`s all for now I guess.  I hear it raining again outside...

Peace and comfort.


Anonymous said...

Everything does look so wonderful and lush and green! I would certainly take any of that excess rain you'd like to send my way. :-)

MoonRaven said...

Your garden looks great! I'm sorry you're getting more rain than you want, but I'm glad for all the lushness and that the marsh lake is doing so well.

LindaM said...

Your garden looks fantastic this year. I also must harvest beet. We went from drought to several days rain here. I hope it stays there.

Chris said...

Gosh I'd love one of your steers to make it into our freezer! Only it's a little far to transport to Australia. ;)

Good work on the garden.

Angie Sotiropoulos said...

Thanks for the garden pics Jerry! You have an awesome looking garden! I can't remember if I've asked this before, but do you sell anything at market or do you just grow for yourselves? Is there a lot of canning and freezing in your life come fall if you don't ?

Not sure if your into the smart phone thing or not, but if you are check out the instagram app. I've been on it for a bit now (mittengirl is my handle) and I've found some really interesting gardener's posting out there. Recently some allotment gardener's in England, a family in Australia living off grid and an aquaponics guy in Israel. Very inspiring.

If you have a chance would love to see some harvest time shots also...if your not up to your eyeballs in beans! :)

Take care.

Jerry said...

Sorry folks...

Thanks for the comments.

Angie, we don`t sell at market but I have sold a few things to beef customers. And yes, mom has been canning and freezing up a storm. Thanks for the instagram note. I don`t really do much smartphoning though. Haven`t been doing much other than farm stuff and some head-in-the-sand type behavior. Not sure if its been helping my sanity or not. hah!