The Year of the Bean

The Summer is starting to turn towards Fall, but still no rain. It has been a long dry season, and the spring that flowed all last year despite a very hot dry season last Summer too, has stopped. This is scary. The 7600 gallons of rainwater in our barrels was used up on irrigation long ago. Now I am irrigating with well water, which I worry about getting low. 

The big (huge) project this Summer was putting in an extensive drip irrigation system throughout all the gardens and orchard. It uses rainwater barrels and gravity until they run out, then is easily switched to the well water. This project was made possible by Darby, Shady Grove's Summer intern. She did a marvelous job researching, designing, and putting into place this immense water and time saver. Now I just hope our water hold out!  In the meantime, the produce is coming in and I am looking for more work-for-farm-products helpers to help us eat it all! 

 Purple beans in the bowl.

Purple beans in the bowl.

 Farm kitty Scodai…she loves the barn and the orchard gardens.

Farm kitty Scodai…she loves the barn and the orchard gardens.

 Solar drying berries earlier in the season.

Solar drying berries earlier in the season.

 These beans just won't stop! I need to buy a chest freezer!

These beans just won't stop! I need to buy a chest freezer!

The Summer started with little kids and shearing sheep. Now Seegersong's kids are off to their new homes and Esmerelda is almost grown up. The sheep are getting a little wooly again, and have been extremely affectionate ever since shearing, wanting me to rub their chins and behind their ears for as long as I can. I have been getting a lot of burrs off them. Darby got here right before shearing and got to participate, experiencing both us and my friends Debo and Leela shearing Ordu ourselves which took a long time, and having Orwen done by a professional at Debo's in only a few minutes. Their fleeces are beautiful and I am trying to get caught up enough to start spinning them. 

 Orwen after shearing

Orwen after shearing

 Ordu after shearing

Ordu after shearing

 Goodbye sweet girl

Goodbye sweet girl