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One of my most blissful moments this summer on the farm was walking out to harvest one morning, when the sun was just rising, and seeing all my sunflowers smiling back at me. These late pollinators have been covered in bees these past couple of weeks and they have also been home to many grasshoppers. We didn’t have grasshoppers last year but luckily their damage seems to be mostly the sunflower’s leaves.
A wonderful addition to our farm this summer was Groot. He is a Kangal/Maremma Cross and is now 5 months old and bigger than Stella our 2 year old King/Caucasian Shepard Cross. The dogs help monitor the property and bring a lot of joy. Never a dull day with our 2 farm dogs and French bulldog (City dog turned farm dog).
Another summer of farming is under almost our belt. Not that the season is over yet, but I think we now feel we have a handle on things. Another year of lessons learned. Successes and failures but still an exciting adventure. I’m learning more about pests as this year brought with it lots of grasshoppers, aphids and some wireworm. So we brought in troops of ladybugs, organic soaps and other vegetation as border walls.
We’ve had extra help from a local farmer, Riley Johnson, who assisted us with expanding our plot. The greenhouse got two extra rows of cucumbers, and the field doubled in size. Most exciting has been the jumbo English cucumbers some over 5 lbs. That’s a lot of juice!
We have fallen into a great routine of harvesting and deliver our kitchen in North Vancouver three times a week. It’s a very gratifying feeling to provide our own certified organic produce and have it juiced on the same day. At first it was back breaking- the planting, weeding and the harvesting, but our bodies seem to have adjusted finally. We are not burnt out yet but expect by November that we will be ready to close things down. We will rest in the peacefulness of winter.
The next challenge is to get all the apples off the trees before the bears return to fill up before winter. We should get 1,000 lbs plus off the old apple tree, and have ordered 50 young apple trees for next spring to expand the orchard.
From the farm,