Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Wildlife abundant

Apologies for the lack of updates. Between the blueberry season and my trip to Edmonton with the kids, I have not had time to write.

The season is starting to draw to a close. We are coming up on the 20,000 lb. mark for berries. We have started to offer U-pick for the first time in a few years. There are just too many berries to pick. Our biggest challenges right now are finding space for freezer bags, keeping pickers on staff (as many are returning to school soon), and generally finding time to get everything done in a day.

This past month, we have seen an increased challenge from the wildlife. Prior to my vacation, we discovered a younger deer that was just curled up in our creek. It had clearly been sitting there for a few hours and it did not bolt when we approached. It appeared to have injured itself and it was unable to move. Several of us went down and we put it down and removed the carcass to a more suitable area so as not to attract the wrong sort of wildlife. Given the circumstances, this was the best thing to do for both the farm and the deer.

Last week, while I was away, Laura had to contend with a mouse, a bat, and a mink that all made their way through our part of the house. The mouse met an untimely end. The bat was captured and released outside. The mink was a whole other story.

Prior to our last batch of broilers going in we had spotted a few around the layer area. We were a bit surprised to discover that they had gotten access to the broilers and killed six of them. Fortunately, that was all they got.

While I was away, they got into the coop prior to it being closed up and took out two laying hens before they were startled off by someone hearing the commotion. We went out and picked up a trap and set it out. Within a day we had captured one of the mink. Knowing that relocation was not advisable, we put it down last night as quickly and humanely as we could. We expect to capture the second mink this week, with luck, and send it off to join it's companion in evil weasel heaven.

Farm life has it's challenges and having to take a life, even that of a pest that is preying on your livestock, is not something to be taken lightly. At the end of the day, we do what we felt was right.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A Stampede of Two

Cows are big animals. They aren't the most nimble creatures so we often take them for granted when fencing their area. Last night it almost cost us some blueberry poundage when our pair of cattle escaped their pasture and spent a bit of time wandering the blueberry field, whose rows are overflowing with berries and whose branches spill out into the rows.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Woodwynn Farms

This entry will be a bit out of the ordinary from my usual topic choices...

For those of you in the area, recent news articles may have drawn your attention to a local farm in our community: Woodwynn Farms.

This farm has been in operation for that past five years in Central Saanich. Their goal is to get people off the streets and rehabilitate them back into society through programs, work, and community living. They have boasted some great success in this area.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

The season is upon us...

Blueberries are coming a bit earlier this year. Traditionally, we have started our picking around the third weekend of July. The recent rain combined with the amazing sunshine this past week have given our crop the last boost it needed to ripen.

Picking has officially started today. Our storefront will not be open until next week when we ramp up into production. For now, we will only be picking for our markets tomorrow in Sidney and Saturday for Saanich Peninsula Market.

For those who did not pre-order, fear not. Stop by any morning for some of our blueberries picked from the previous day.

Now the work begins...

Monday, 7 July 2014

New neighbours, old friends

Our old friends Mark and Carissa moved into our second house with their two little ones this past week. So far they are loving the change from city living. The peace and quiet is definitely a nice change.

Mark has popped out a bit to help with the odd farm item. We have had them down to the meadow for a few camp fires. We're hoping to have a few more get togethers in the meadow before summer's end.

Welcome to the farm you two!

Happy Cow Happy Pond Project: Break Time

Well not much has been happening with this as we have been pushing through the last legs of our pre-blueberry season prep. The idea that I might step away from that to work on a project that we have until the fall to complete is a bit off.

Not much has changed...

So here is where I am at...

PVC Pipes are run and everything save the tank and pump are in place. The game plan is to wait until we bring in the excavator in the fall and use it to dig the tank foot print down. Right now we are working to iron our our budget for the coming year and depending on cash and work availability, this might not be possible.

So in the next coming weeks, I will be looking to get out and start digging my hole. I am to have it done for the fall so we can get the tank and pump and put this project to bed.

I also still need to cap the pipes and fill it all with water to check for major leaks. One of these days...

Friday, 13 June 2014

More mouths to feed

This week heralds the arrival of an animal we have not had on the farm for the better part of a year.


We have ordered another batch of bacon on legs and will be setting them up in their new home this week. Look forward to some pictures of our cute little bacon factories. Don't get too attached though. We all know they are destined for your breakfast plate!

Their arrival further cements the importance of my rain-water project. The project is in a holding pattern until the fall when we can get the excavator in to dig a hole for the tank that all of our market and blueberry efforts will help fund.


EDIT: It turns out our pig order got shorted so we never did receive any. We are still working on obtaining about a half dozen pigs, but nothing has arrived yet.