Saturday, May 21, 2011

Very Busy Time On The Farm

I have recently declared all out war here on the farm against all predators. Seems I have all kinds of problems, least of which are weeds! I have been on constant weed pulling patrol lately, tending each plant separately. Lets see, that's 250 blueberries, and 140 hop plants, and, 500 feet of butterfly nectar plants! My hands and knees are never without dirt on them.

I recently noticed a new problem with my new blueberry starts that I rooted from soft stems last year. They were whacked off at the base. I quickly contacted both Bill Cline, NCSU Blueberry Expert, and our very own Sue Collucci, dual Ag Extension agent for Henderson and Buncombe counties and small fruits and disease expert. Now these are people we can be proud to have as part of our agricultural community. Contact your state representatives to keep these jobs from being lost!

Yep, both agreed that varmints were to blame. Rabbits in particular. I got tons of rabbits. Seems that they just love to chew on soft hardwood tissue, just to piss you off it seems, cause it appears that they even leave the leaves? The incriminating evidence is the angular cuts on the stem as these two photos show.

Now, I will have to either cage the plants as they are put into the field, or, it's rabbit stew at the farm!!

My next varmint seems to be my neighbors now. They have increased traffic on my property and have diverted water breaks that lead to my irrigation system without my permission. It has caused me much headache and damage. They are city folk that don't realize what farming is all about or respect private property. I now have to repair my system and seek some retribution from these irresponsible actions. If I don't already have enough to do!!!

My first school group arrives this week. I will post the news from that later this week. Then the farm is booked for the most of June during the weekend, which is a good thing. I will have my annual family reunion, followed by a booked party, then the Family Farm Tour at the end of the month sponsored by ASAP.

Whooo, if you read all of this, think of how I must feel!

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