Fall is in the air!
by Jane Levene on 09/15/14
So, running 2 farms and taking care of family leaves little free time. But this week I promised myself some quality weeding and redesign of the perennial garden and berm. So I get to pull tons of grass that really should limit itself to growing in the pastures, and putting in about a dozen peonies and new day lilies. My goal is to keep moving towards that mythical self-maintaining perennial bed that just has lovely flowers and foliage. The focus is on attractive grasses (wait- didn't I just say I was pulling out tons of volunteer grass?? Why can't that be attractive grass??) and nice, hardy, water efficient flowers. One more afternoon of garden then back to the real world.
We've had tons of irrigation water, a bit too much actually. So the fight was finding more places to put the water. The Salida Farm is really improving as well, great strides have been made in improving the usefulness of the buildings there, storing the hay for winter, getting the chicken coop built and painting the house a beautiful new shade of grey that goes greenish then bluish depending on the light. The color change from plain stain to grey really makes the yard pop and the surrounding areas look so pretty. Our Third Annual Salida Fiber Festival was a huge success, all the vendors had record sales and the town was really hopping. The local businesses have us ranked in the top 3 events of the year in terms of the revenue the Festival brings into the entire town! And it will only keep getting better. For our winter preparations we put up our greenhouse panels to get more solar gain into the barns, the animals really depend on their line-of-sight, and if an area of the barn is dark, it just won't get used. Our pasture rotation program is going gangbusters, tremendous improvement is all pastures and plenty of forage is being banked for late fall/winter grazing. Now we are using strip composting application along with our aeration program to continue to improve regrowth and also to direct the grazing. The beauty of alpacas and PVs is they won't graze around their poop piles, so by applying compost to the graded areas we can push them back to eat the longer grasses towards the rear of the pastures. They do like to mill around the gate areas, and have a tendency to meander back to the barns. But sunshine and fresh grass is much better for them, so the little lazy critters need to spend a little more time out on pastures. Our yarns and rovings are now exclusively offered at the Recycled Lamb yarn shop, in Golden Colorado, and we have a fe more exciting events added to the calendar. Biggest for us is the Brand-New Yarn-Fest, put on by Interweave Press. This will be April 16-19, in Loveland Colorado. So I don't need to drive cross-country and stay in motels, yay! Not that I don't love a good road trip, but it really adds to the cost of the event. The PVs have started having the fall babies, we have 2 on the ground now, and plenty more coming. I will get busy and post photos soon, I promise. But they kinda are like photos of your grandchildren, best appreciated by those that love them the most. So- weeds and dirt are calling my name, off to finish in the garden then mull over what to make for dinner. Always hard to decide when I"m not hungry! Take care, Jane