The sun has shone steadily for over a week, and we are now in full swing with our farming routines. We’ve figured out our harvest schedule and processes for CSA distribution on Mondays and also for the Farmer’s Markets on Thursday afternoons and Sunday mornings. Gloucester market has run three weeks now, but the Rowley market started only this past Sunday. This week was our first full week. It’s been hectic, but gratifying, this new life. In between, we’ve fit in succession plantings of new lettuce, kale, chard, choy, spraying all crops with organic fish and kelp emulsion, and believe it or not, irrigation (for a change.) It’s amazing, with all the June rain, how quickly things dry up.
On top of all this activity, we finally got most of the first cutting of hay cut and baled, and safely under cover, a feat that required at least three solid days of sun. This is the first year of cutting the hay ourselves, with the assistance of Dave Sanderson. His alpacas are the beneficiaries of all this grassy goodness. He and Bill had quite a time quizzing out the complexities of properly threading the baling twine through the new (to us) New Holland baler that Dave got from Connor Farm in Danvers. It’s about like threading a sewing machine, with similar results if not done right… Until they got it to work, instead of the neatly tied squares we expected, the baler kept spitting out great gobs of untied hay every third or fourth bale, which meant re-baling, much scratching of heads, and reading the manual. Persistence paid off. The baler works great, just in time for a second cutting in August. We expect this one to go more smoothly, provided the weather cooperates. Add to all this, teaching a jewelry class on Wednesday for Maggie and you get the idea of how busy our summer can get! (Oh yeah, there’s also all the September wedding planning details that are going on simultaneously, behind the scenes.)