Week #14

So Saturday morning I put the second load of croissants in the oven, and waited. And waited and waited; it took about twice as long as normal for them to bake, and I rushed off to market without thinking too much about why they were slow to bake. Fast forward to Tuesday morning, getting ready for the mid-week bake. I turn the oven on, and it gets lukewarm, but not hot at all. Oh no! I make some phone calls to family and friends to borrow their oven, and to several repair places. We were about to start loading the car up with the shaped loaves to take over to our neighbors, when the repair guys showed up. The two of them rushed around the kitchen for 15 minutes and had it fixed, just in time for me to pre-heat the oven to put the first load in. A close call, although I figured something like this would happen eventually. Now I will try to keep an extra oven element on hand in case this happens again.

The deer battle continues. Arden and I went out to the garden at dusk last week, hoping to spy on them and figure out how they are getting through the fence. My eyesight is so bad that I never actually spotted them, but as we crept up to the fence, Arden said they saw us. I snuck around to the gate and went into the garden, crouched and dodged around behind tall plants and trees, hoping they would enter and I would be able to scare them. No such luck, but maybe them seeing us more often is a deterrent. We also set up an electric wire 3’ tall and 4’ out from our tall mesh fence. The idea is to shock them a little ways out, and hopefully they won’t be willing or able to jump over both fences. Keep your fingers crossed!

Believe it or not, we are starting to plant winter cover crops this week. The first to go in is oats, which will grow into a thick stand of grass, then get killed by the winter cold. This will keep the soil covered and add organic matter, and the fact that it winter-kills makes it easy to prepare the soil and plant in the early spring. It always amazes me how far ahead you have to think in vegetable farming: to know where to plant oats, we have to figure out where our early crops like spinach, radishes, and peas will be next year. We have not done a complete detailed map yet, but we already have a general idea of where most of our crops will be planted next spring and summer.

Be well,

Michael

 

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