Thursday, July 21, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - Fourth Week of July 2016

“Guineas for sale”

Our Guinea fowl have been especially productive, so we’ve sent this message to all the Massachusetts farm mailing lists and posted signs at all the farmstands

"Guinea Fowl Keets for Sale - 40 available now (born 7/6/16)
Sturdy vigorous baby keets, no stressful shipping involved. Locally bred hatch in many colors from healthy free range birds on a certified organic farm in Sherborn, MA
Contact Us at  Unity Farm LLC  ($5 each or $3 each if you purchase 10)"

At the moment, we have over 100 guineas on the farm - three mothers built a gigantic nest and hatched 40 healthy children this month.

Let us know if you want guineas on your property, keeping all your ticks under control!

We do everything we can to keep our birds healthy, including a nightly inspection to ensure they have not been injured during the daily frolics in the forest.   This week, one guinea returned to the keep with hay bale twine tangled around its legs.  Past owners of the property used haybales for erosion control but the  polypropylene twine never decomposes.  We’ve very careful around the farm to dispose of all metal, plastic, glass, and other found artifacts from previous generations.   The guinea was fine.

Our early blueberries have all been picked and sold, so we’ll take down the blueberry netting this weekend.   That’s a relief because birds, squirrels and rabbits have done their best to get into our netted areas by digging, clawing and chewing.   Every night I’ve been removing stuck creatures from our netted orchards.

We’ve been planning our Winter crops which will focus on lettuces, carrots, and spinach.  As odd as it seems, we’ll be planting all the winter crops in August so that by October they’ll be robust and healthy enough to tolerate the early freezes and diminishing sunlight.    As in previous years, we’ll harvest vegetables all winter long.

The heat in Massachusetts has been unrelenting and we’ll have 90 degree temps for the next 5 days without rain.    Every night I water the crops, fill the ponds, and ensure the animals are well hydrated.   We have a great 300 foot well which is supplied from a bog hundreds of years old.   On weekends during the Summer when I’m lifting/hauling/moving 18 hours a day, I have to be careful.   Since starting on a beta blocker one year ago to control my very occassional supraventricular tachycardia I find that I am less heat tolerant than in the past.   I’ve walked across Death Valley in the Summer at 120F without a problem, so you’d think 18 hours in a heat index of 100F in Massachusetts would not bother me.    I stay hydrated, take frequent breaks and try to stay out of the sun during the peak of the heat in the afternoon.  So far, so good.

We’ll be picking basil, cucumbers and peppers this weekend, bagging alpaca compost for sale to garden centers, and spinning honey.   Our new 21 frame  electic spinner arrives soon, so our productivity will improve immensely.

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