Once again, some other farm has gotten our web address mixed up with ours on some website, so we are getting referrals from that website from people looking for produce.
This has been a huge year for us in terms of family life events– two of our children graduated from high school, and two of them will be going off to university this fall. Our disabled daughter will be learning to help in the farm, but also possibly attending a day program for disabled adults. And, of course, we are still homeschooling the three youngest children.
We took a huge disastrous vacation in June, the absolute worst timing for our plants. The guy who watched the Hellhound and cared for the plants left much to be desired– he picked about 2/3 of the onion crop and left the rest in the ground, then he took the onions in without aging them and stripped off all the skins and washed them! Then he put the skins and stems down our garbage disposal. Boy, my oldest son was pretty ticked off when he had to spend an entire morning trying to get the pipes cleaned out after we got home.
The caretaker also mowed down my entire crop of sweet pea plants and the watermelons, plus allowed the Hellhound to destroy half the squash and zucchini plants. So we didn’t come home to a very encouraging situation, let’s put it that way.
We did, however, come home to about ten pounds of ripe cherry and grape tomatoes in red and yellow, which made delicious fresh pasta sauce, salsa, and salad fixings. We haven’t gotten any more since, however, since Miss Austism takes any opportunity she can to go out to the tomato patch with the Hellhound in tow. The girl just wants to eat those fresh sweet tomatoes right off the vine, and the Hellhound is hoping that she’ll stir up a mouse or a rat or a rabbit for the Hellhound to kill. I’m terrified that the rattlesnakes that live in the mesquite brush behind our place will migrate in and she’ll get bitten. God love her, she would probably try to pick the darn thing up to play with it. So we are keeping a close eye on her and also planning to pull most of those tomato plants out and mow and till the area again. It’s nearly time to plant chard, kale, sugar snap peas, peas, and carrots, cabbages, and broccoli, and we’re going to need the space.
I grew a bunch of fall garden stuff from seed and transplanted it out into the garden last week. This brutal heat wave has made it really difficult for the plants to get established. I went out today with the sprinkler and just soaked it all down until there were puddles standing on top of the soil. (They disappeared pretty quick, alas.) The little squash and pumpkins and cucumbers are still hanging in there, but we’ve lost a tomato plant or two. I may even “cheat” and stick a nursery-grown tomato in a couple of spots. Depends if I find one on sale. It’s really too late to start from seed again. There’s a few eggplant plants holding on, some basil, and I sprinkled about four packets of flower seeds into the spot behind our sole remaining watermelon plant. We’ll see what grows.
But, like I said, it’s been a rough year and we’re not producing enough to sell. Maybe next year will be better. If I can find a Hellhound-proof way to do it, I was hoping to raise a few quail as an experiment. Finding anything that’s Hellhound proof has proven nearly impossible, however. She destroys everything just on principle– plants, tools, toys, fences, you name it. We’ve been keeping her indoors more, but it hasn’t really slowed her down. She has an agenda, and its name is Destruction.
Anyway, if you see someone marketing produce from Black Fox Farms, it’s not us! We’ve been using this same name for 20 years, but never on a large scale and we never bothered to copyright it. Our homeschool has been named Black Fox School since 1995 at least, lol. Yes, we hope to expand to the Waco area Farmer’s Market next year. Yes, we hope to provide fresh produce to our neighbors. But, man, this was NOT the year to do so!
Blessings be upon you all!