All in all it has been a good summer despite the heat. We did a few family things, a few fiber things and a few farm things. Though where ever we went, whom ever we saw, the heat was the topic of many conversations.
It has been a real scorcher here at the farm. Everyone outside is miserable. The heat is taking it's toll on all of us. Milk production is down, chickens backed off laying, sheep, goats, dogs, cats...all panting and hiding in whatever shady, dark, cool spot they can find. I have been getting up at daybreak to do the milking, feeding and other chores. Go back out 2 or 3 times a day to refill and cool down water troughs, plus take a head count to make sure all are surviving. At sunset I go back out, refill troughs and check on everyone once again.
The garden basically burnt up. A few veggies here and there were all we could manage to keep alive this year, even though I watered. The blackberries and wild plums barely made it past the blooming stage, what did fruit burnt up if the birds didn't get to them first. Then there was the issue with a wild animal of some sort, the lettuce, spinach, kale, arugala... all the summer greens were wiped out in one evening. Oh and how could I forget... the tomato-sheep incident due to my total absent-mindedness. We sold this year's wether ramling for a pet to a very nice family. The day he was to be picked up I brought him, his mom and sister into the front yard. So they could see his family as well as not have to walk a mile down to and up from the pasture to load when they were ready to leave. Three of the other ewes wanted to join in the adventure so I let them in also. Oh yeah, not even giving a thought to the few tomato plants we had planted in those upside down tomato planters or the variety of peppers plants I planted in decorative pots. The sheep basically left the plants alone though ate all the veggies. The roses however did not fair as well. Have hopes for the pumpkin they seem to be hanging on.
I just couldn't tolerate the heat to accomplish many summer projects. I managed to paint one out building before the 100 degree temps set in. Oh, can't forget managed to paint half the propane tank. You do not know how annoying it is to me for it to be setting there half painted. I plan on finishing it first, as soon as the heat breaks. Did work outside a couple of hours each morning mowing, weeding, cleaning feed troughs, sweeping out milk room and stalls, trimming a hoof here and there, etc. until I could no longer bear the heat of the day. Have to say it was not a productive farm work summer.
The weekends the better half was home we ventured out in the mornings to the nearby farmers markets, produce stands and feed stores. At the Lebanon Farmers Market ran across a very nice farmer who had the most reasonable prices we had found all summer. Plus like us he uses no pesticides on his produce. Win, win in my opinion. We bought some of all his produce he had available. Will definitely be returning.
Speaking of the better half he has been sending a few photos of sunsets...he has been driving mainly at night lately. The first is in Texas, the second Kansas.
Happy to report the "Lamb Warmers" are finished and listed on the new website. Have it up and running though no online store for the moment. It maybe a few weeks.
Models and photos courtesy of Robin from Buffalo Creek Farm
I did say Lamb Warmers :-) though they also work well on kids too. For lambs & kids 15 lbs and under. Will have lambs modeling the warmers soon. www.southardfarm.com
Hope everyone enjoys the remainder of the summer, stay cool!