I rediscovered my blog today when I saw a post that I did nearly 10 years ago show up on a Facebook post. I also found out that I could write in my blog again, having requested a new password when my old email didn't work anymore.I am taking a moment from an extremely busy summer to reflect on what has been done and what needs to be done, as time marches on.
The picture was taken on our island from a spot near the farm, and I doubt I will see that spot anytime soon. The only salt water I see these days are glimpses as I drive to South Pender, or when I am on the ferry which isn't very often.
Much of the work happens inland, within one of the narrow valleys. This week it is haying, for the next few weeks we need to squeeze in sorting sheep and sending them away to market. Then there are the chickens to feed and protect from the predators, the eggs to gather and pack, and the orchard which needs irrigation which needs to be scheduled in zones, depending on which trees need water the most. The drip lines need checking, valves opened and closed.
The heat wave added something new. I had never seen heat like that here, beating down so intensely all of a sudden, with little warning. I checked the thermometers, was up at 4 to water, make sure the box fan was on for the chickens, that they had plenty of water. The sheep adapted quickly, rising well before dawn to graze and hunkering down by mid morning in the coolest shade they could find. On the hottest day the chickens stood in front of the fan, wings open, beaks open, panting. Chickens can't sweat, they pant. Some dusted, burying themselves with just their heads showing. All survived, and by the next day they were back to normal even though it was still unseasonably warm.
The hazelnuts planted a few years ago did well, not showing any wilting. The newer trees were thirsty and struggling, on the hottest day - some suddenly had many leaves wilt miserably. Although they also seemed to recover once it cooled off a bit, the worst of the wilted leaves dropped off, sometimes leaving a single leaf. New growth started at the base.
A mixed farm is a bit of a juggling act. Add to that the two farmers' markets we are involved with - the regular Saturday one, and a new Wednesday afternoon food-only one that is really growing.
The heat wave was a definite wake-up call. I delayed shipping sheep because of it, and will watch the forecast even closer than usual in case a heat dome is headed here again.
I had lived in the US for ten years, right in the sun belt, where nobody says it is hot unless it is over 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And it can get hot here too, but not so quickly and so early in the season. And it was pretty intense.
Now it is time to check the livestock water again, get the corral ready for tomorrow's sheep round-up.
It is never boring here, that is for sure.