HAPPY AUGUST TO YOU ALL

Well, it’s been quite an August so far. Today is the 26th and ten of those first twenty-six days were spent in a hospital by Bev’s side.  So my interaction with our urban farm took a serious back seat, and I feel a bit foolish writing about our August activities in farming.

But this is a blog, and the purpose of a blog is to inform/entertain/communicate, so I’ll move forward and tell you what I do know.

THE QUAIL ARE STILL ALIVE

Despite being somewhat ignored for ten days, the quail are alive and still laying eggs daily.  Obviously we were unable to partake in any farmers’ markets, but we still sold some eggs along the way and kept the birds healthy, so we have that going for us.  We do plan on doing two markets this week, so we will be up and running at full strength very soon.

The quail will stop laying eggs sometime in September and then it will be about five months of feeding them and keeping them alive with no financial return….but such is life.  We don’t believe in providing artificial light so they will lay year-round, so we’re left with this half-year approach to bird-farming.town_142

THE GARDEN

What we planted did quite well this year.  Potatoes, beans, peas, kale, tomatoes, peppers, squash, cucumbers, they all are doing very, very well, especially the things planted in the hay bales.  I have become a big believer in hay bale gardening and plan on expanding that next year.

Our weather has been about average for Olympia, meaning very mild with morning cloud cover and warming up in the afternoons.  We certainly have not had a hot summer but the lack of heat has not hurt the output at all.

Grapes and berries went crazy this year, far outgrowing my ability to keep up with them by constructing arbors and supports.  Sigh!  My winter to-do list is already quite long.

GREENHOUSES

I mentioned in an earlier installment that we are converting the old quail aviaries into greenhouses.  We know what has to be done. Now it’s just a matter of doing it.  Another winter project.  Double sigh!

Soon to be a greenhouse
Soon to be a greenhouse

THINGS TO DO IN AUGUST

Here’s a short list of things you probably should do in your garden this month:

  • Add compost to squash and cucumbers
  • Remove tomato flowers that have not set fruit
  • Sow fall veggies
  • Sow overwintering crops
  • Water, water and water again, but do it consistently.

 

HOW TO CURE ONIONS FOR LONGER STORAGE

Harvest those onions and then do the following:

  • When the tops of the onions fall over they are ready to harvest
  • Dust off the soil
  • Arrange onions on flattened cardboard in a dry place away from direct sunlight
  • Give them plenty of air space on the cardboard
  • Let them dry for a few week until the greens have withered
  • Pull off the tops of the onions. Keep in a cool, dark place for storage.

GETTING READY FOR NEXT SPRING

Now is the time, if you haven’t done so earlier, to start your own composting pile.  If you need instructions on how to do that, let me know and I’ll forward them to you.  Composting is so simple; it really is amazing more gardeners don’t do it.

GOT TO RUN

So much to do!  Happy Gardening this month to you all!

Bill

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10 thoughts on “Farming the End of Summer

  1. Your urban farm is booming. I’m glad you found a way to use the quail housing. Great idea converting them to greenhouses. So how long will onions keep in cool storage? I’ve stored apples in the basement cabinet where it was cool. They kept for about four months without any shrinkage or spoiling. Have a wonderful weekend and may your farmer’s market experience prove prosperous.

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    1. Dee, they can literally last all the way through the winter if cured properly. It’s’ all in the timing with onions.

      Good to see you, as always. Thanks for the visit and Happy Weekend to you!

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  2. Farming is unstoppable process, – obviously. Above all following you a yeararound I admire how flexible and adjustable to the circumstances you are, and that is very valuable lesson not found in other literature of urban farming.
    Besides, we know of you beeing a great, busy, popular and succesful writer, that is an indispensable gift my friend. Thank God for you and Bev.

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    1. Thank you, Michael my friend. If I did this farming full-time perhaps I would need so much flexibility, but juggling it with other pursuits means I need to adjust on the fly, so to speak. Thank you for your kind words.

      blessings always

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  3. Really, really glad Bev is doing much better.
    And the farm life: it’s never-ending, is it? Hehe. We learned that at our last house. It’s satisfying work, though. J does most of our farming over here. Between work and writing, I have no time for much else, so he works on the house, farms, helps his mom, repairs cars and makes me breakfast. Haha!
    Hope you’re well, Big Bro. 🙂

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    1. Hey, Lil Sis, I’d say J stays pretty busy in his own right….a nice balance you two have, or so it seems. Tiring at times? You betcha! But a fulfilling life should be tiring at times, don’t you think?

      Hugs lil Sis!

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  4. I’ve come to accept that I may never grow my own fruit and veg. The soil is clay based and produce doesn’t do well. At least we have an old-fashioned fruit and veg store now. They’ve got more variety than the local supermarket and the produce is brought in fresh every morning. It’s tastes so much better than the supermarket’s offerings and in some cases, it’s cheaper.

    I hope Bev’s feeling better now. We took my oldest daughter to the emergency room yesterday. She was complaining of severe pain in her lower right abdomen. We suspected appendicitis. Sure enough, it was and they operated on her last night. Times certainly have changed. When her Dad had his appendix out 20+ years ago, he was hospitalized for 3 days and off work for 6 weeks. She had keyhole surgery and was released this evening. She’s shuffling around and saying she’ll be back to work on Tuesday. Regardless, I’m still going to play Mother Hen and fuss over her even if I have to tie her to a chair.

    Have a good rest-of-the-day and thanks for letting us join you.

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  5. Sheez, I hope your daughter is feeling better, Rasma! Isn’t it amazing what modern medicine can do nowadays? An operation like that made so simple now. Well, Bev is fine. She gets tired quickly but she feels great….so we are all good on both sides of the Pond. 🙂

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