Posts Tagged ‘seasons’

We Welcome Summer!

Even though we are experiencing our normal “June gloom” this time of the year here in Ventura, we are still ushering in our summer solstice on Wednesday, June 20th at 4:09 pm PDT. This is the moment the sun reaches its farthest point north of the equator. This will be the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere, and then from here on out, the days will start to get just a bit shorter until the winter solstice in December. The north pole is tilted as far as possible towards the sun now, and those of us north of the equator get more rays of the sun in the summer months.
Every year when the sun finally does manage to cut through the overcast mornings we get our long, hot lazy days on the farm. The animals will be active in the cool mornings, and then again at dusk, but will spend the heat of the midday napping in the cool shade of the trees and shelters. It always makes for more work in the early mornings trying to keep everything watered down and cool, and we keep thick layers of mulch around the bases of the rose bushes and trees to keep their feet cool on these hot summer days. Each morning now I am greeted by small lizards basking on the back door steps and clinging to little niches on the wooden fences. Some of the more bold ones do little push-ups at me as I walk by but hold their ground. I can always tell a few of the slower moving ones by their stumpy tails –  courtesy of Lucy the farm cat.
The goats have shed their thick winter coats and are becoming sleek and shiny in their summer wear. The dog is enjoying once again raiding the berry patch, I think she loves this summer treat as much as we do! The chickens will soon be enjoying the leftover squash and other summer veggies as the warm season gardens are well underway now. I am longing for that first ripe tomato and looking forward to grilling some eggplant and squash. There is nothing quite like cooking summer veggies outdoors on the grill or sipping a nice cold glass of sun tea in the garden while sitting in the shade.

Welcome back summer!

Welcome friends, one and all, to our farm blog!

I begin this writing in my 9th spring on this bit of land, right after the spring equinox in March, during the year of our Lord 2010. I hope that in reading about the goings on here, our triumphs and trials, you may learn things along the way that help you out in your own endeavors.

I will start off by saying that, if you are trying to do any kind of farming for a living, even at its best, it is anything but the “simple life”! Whenever you are working with plants, animals, dirt, water, seasons and the weather and trying to control same, no matter how much you plan you can never predict the outcome. I am the first person to say I would never tell anyone else how to run their farm – we all must do what works for us – but I will share with you how I run mine.

I’ve found that it’s always best to have a plan A and a plan B so when plan A does not go like you thought it should (and a lot of the time it doesn’t) sometimes you must go to plan B (salvage what you can and learn from it). Oh, and then there is plan C… That is when both plan A and B go awry and it’s time to realize that sometimes no matter what you do, or how much you plan, or how hard you try, you just can’t control plants, animals, dirt, water, seasons and the weather. That’s just reality, folks.

One of the very first things I planted here was a pair of avocado trees- 1 Hass and 1 Fuerte. The Hass having the best flavor, and the Fuerte, a tree that produces a heavy crop ever other year, would be the pollinator. I did my research. I would have a plethora of heavenly “alligator pears” for guacamole in no time. I would be the envy of all who knew me. I went to the nursery and spent on the upwards of $80.00 (and this was 9 years ago!). I dug two nice deep holes, lined them with compost, chucked in a handful of goat-o’s and planted!

For three months my dear little trees reveled under my care… then came the frost…and my little dears had brown crunchy tips on their leaves. Ok – plan B – I mulched around them with a heavy layer of straw. No luck. The frost continued, and now they looked like little brown crunchy cornflakes. I even went to the trouble of making them little Reemay coats, and putting whole bales of straw around as a wind block. Alas, my little trees gave up the ghost, and my dreams of being the avocado queen were lost forever. The land imparted to me what it would let me grow here, and what it would not. On to plan C…sigh….