Tropical storm Hermine is approaching New England this weekend and we can only hope we get some drought relief without too much wind. The ferns in the forest crunch like potato chips and the soil around the farm has become hard pack. All the alpaca compost we’ve mixed into our growing areas helps retain moisture, but with months of little rain, every non-irrigated area is drying out.
All of this dry weather has increased predator pressure on the farm. Coyotes now visit every afternoon and we’ve lost a few chickens. With very limited water and food sources in local forests, the farm has become their best source of sustenance. Over the labor day weekend, I will listen closely for every guinea fowl alarm and run toward the disturbance as fast as I can. I’m a vegan, a peaceful person, and have complete empathy for the food chain. However, if our animals continue to be threatened, we may have no other option but to consider hiring a coyote removal specialist.
Luckily, we’ve not lost any guinea fowl, ducks, or geese. The geese are very social but do not easily interact with a 6’2” person standing up. Here’s a glimpse of some quality time with geese at their level.
We’ve been doing Fall planting and that means all the raised beds have to be refilled with alpaca compost when the spring/summer plants are removed. Since we process 20,000 pounds of alpaca manure into compost every year, the alpaca compost screener we designed is working overtime. Peter, who helps us with farm chores, designed a new addition to the compost screener to automatically deflect rocks and sticks away from the screened compost. We call this new device, “The Peter”. Here’s a photo
This weekend we’ll continue our preparations for winter. Although it seems strange to touch up paint/varnish/stain, trim trees, add gravel to roads, patch hoop house plastic, and maintain all the cold weather equipment during the first week of September, “winter is coming”. The farm’s 15 acres have to be ready.
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