Life on the farm – in the city.

Life on the farm is anything but layed back.  This week the well went out and last night the range maggots (deer) stopped by.  They were over due for a visit and quickly went to work on the apple trees, but nipping off the asters?????  Hadn’t seen that one before.  Must be a youngin still figuring out what to eat.  The veggies got off easy though so we will set up the motion sensor sprinkler tonight.  It really works.

For those of you who dont know, we used to live out of town on a couple acres and guess what?  Never saw a deer.  It was only after the city grew out to adjoin our property that the deer became a problem – a combination thats been around a long time.  Read any of the diaries from the settlers coming west to Oregon and you read stories of near starvation – very few deer.  Deer are abundant today because of mans improvements and once the green yards, water fountains and “ice cream” plants sprung up with the new housing the range maggots moved in.  So today I put the fence up around our vineyard and sprayed the apple trees with “deer out” ( a minty smelling, but apparently bad tasting product). 


Earlier in the week the well went out.  It’s something always in the back of your mind.  Rows of berry plants, 20 fruit trees, the vineyard and a huge veggie garden over an area of about an acre require water.  Even in the mild weather things were drying out.  It was putting the vice grips on my mental health, so today I called another company to come check things out because the first one couldn’t seem to be bothered.  Fortunately it was only a $200 fix, but the pump is old and he told me the bearings could go at any time.  That’s a $3000 dollar fix.  If you look for humor you can find it in most things and today when I was outside leaning against the fence, writing out the check to pay for the repairs he was writing up the receipt and said something that made me chuckle.  He was on the phone to his wife and in reference to the check I was writing said “Gotta go honey, this is the part I like best.”  Ya gotta love honesty.

I could be calling him again tomorrow or next year.  No way of knowing.  That’s farming.  Ok, so it’s small scale, but anyone who has attempted to grow serious amounts of food knows there’s a lot at risk and a lot that goes into it.

Speaking of growing things – been selling numerous raspberry starts and today the phone began ringing with inquiries for our organic rhubarb.  Our usual spring time sales. 

Spent the morning building “supers” for my beehives.  I enjoy the construction part, the painting not so much.  Had on the perfect music for building beehives too.  The group is from Tacoma Washington.

The BEE Report – The hives are looking good and needed some room to expand, so I added a super (a box with frames) to a couple of hives.  This gives them room to move up and build more comb for honey and brood.  Both are needed before we can expect them to store up honey for us Beeks.  I checked the hive with our new queen and saw that she was a busy bee.  The brood (capped larvae) from the old queen was scattered everywhere.  It should be a solid block more or less.  The new queen seems to be filling in the spaces so it looked good, even though its still pretty early to tell how well the new queen is doing.  Another week or so.

I so very badly wanted to look in the new hive taken as a split from Phyllis hive  but they say not to disturb them for three weeks.  Sometimes a good cigar (a rare treat for me) and a gin and tonic on the front porch is the better part of valor.  The tonic was perfect, drank from an iced pint beer glass.  The glasses all have different sayings and painting on them.  I always save a special one for my friends so if you ever stop by to visit you will get the glass that says “Yellow Snow”.  It’s actually a beer brewed by Rogue Ales.

Tomorrow I hope to plant potatoes.  Peas, beets, lettuce, spinach, cabbage and tons of garlic and onions are well on their way, compliments of my better half who specializes in those things.   Had better wrap this up and help her set up the deer sprinkler so we can keep those buggers out of the garden tonight.

Happy Gardening.


One thought on “Life on the farm – in the city.

  1. Amy

    Enjoyed your report from 2013. I am wondering if you have any ideas on how to keep the squirrels from clearing my walnuts trees of fruit before the nuts are even ready to harvest.


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