Autumn is upon us. No, the calendar doesn't say that autumnal equinox has happened but the the Pacific Northwest things have changed. What does this mean for the farm?
Mud! We've got 2 1/2 inches of rain in the last week and a half and we've got mud. This isn't just your ordinary mud, it's a barn yard! So use your imagination. Mud! Mud! We'll call it fud.
This summer I bought a pair of crocs, a cheap version anyway. I have been wearing them in place of my big heavy mud boots out to the barn all summer long. If you know what these are they are soft, rubber (I really don't know what to call the actual material) shoe with lots of holes all over. Well, last night I discovered that I no longer can wear these to the barn now that we have received 2 1/2 inches of rain in the last 2 weeks.
It also means that as my garden stands right now, being a month late as it is, that very little in it will be allowed to come to fruition. Oh yes, there are some green tomatoes, but my 14 saucing plants (variety, Heinz) have just now begun producing fruit. Lots of flowers and just a few little tiny tomatoes. I have them all covered under plastic but the plastic isn't tight as in a greenhouse so it won't hold the heat it might produce. If I could get it to be tighter I might be able to get the sun to heat it up inside and therefore help some. My green bean plants have lots of flowers and are now starting to produce lots of little beans but I have yet to pick any. Same with the cucumber. And my corn, well bah humbug!
All I know is that we are NOT ready for this weather. It's very disappointing. August is suppose to be one of the driest , if not the driest, month of the year. This is the second year in a row it has lost that status. If it just rained and the temperatures still stayed summer temps I wouldn't be complaining as much but it doesn't work that way here in Western WA. No, our high yesterday was 66 and the low yesterday was 47!!! We might see a 70 this weekend. I really hope we get some sun.
Time to go feed let the chickens out and feed them. I heard through the grapevine that giving your chickens cayenne pepper will help increase their egg production. Our test starts today. I've been getting anywhere from 18-22 eggs a day! NOT a good number from 46 hens. Today I put cayenne pepper in their feed and we'll see what happens. I have a friend who did this with his THREE chickens and he says their production went up. He used to have days of no eggs and he hasn't had a day of no eggs since he started this. I'll let you know what happens.