We’ve got raspberries! Though all the catalogs say not to expect any fruit in the first year we’re already enjoying a small batch of berries. The plant schedules seem to be off. We’re getting late season raspberries before our mid season ones ripen. Not enough to pack and sell, but enough to conduct some tasty ‘research.’
It was a very wet July but August’s weather was more moderate. Still, the ground and the air hold a lot of moisture and in the morning when I set out to work it’s often in a blanket of fog.
The deer have become a problem recently. I noticed their prints and some nibbling on the tender new shoots earlier in the year but it was minimal. Since then they’ve done more and more damage. It got to the point where I had to do something. It’s amazing how much advise there is out there on how to handle deer: tall fences, radios and TVs hooked to motion sensors, dogs (mine is too mellow to be much help), human hair hung in nets between the rows… I asked a few farmers I know and they directed me towards a spray on product made with rotten eggs, rosemary oil and mint. It seems to be doing the job. The real test will be the autumn.
Lastly, this was a big month for Bramble and Berry Farm in terms of equipment. After attending financial classes, business counseling, writing a business plan and saving $1000 – all requirements of a program called Tangible Assets that I was enrolled in – my savings were doubly matched and I set off on a shopping spree. I got shovels, rakes, hoes, pruning shears, and all field tools I needed, plus new plants for next year, a tent and table for farmers’ markets, and a water pump so I won’t have to haul water from the stream by hand anymore. It was a lot of work but well worth it. Thanks go to CVCAC for offering this valuable program.
Oh, and we had a baby! Leland Phillips Swift arrived friday, August 21st at 1:29am. 7lbs 4oz, happy, and healthy.
Well that about wraps it up for this month. I guess I’d better go back down to the field and do some more ‘research.’