Savage Farming

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Slow Tuesday

Our landlord at farm#2 black-topped his driveway last weekend and until he gets the saw-horses and other barriers out of the way our customers are having to avoid them to drive in. Net result: a bunch of people are slowing down and then just driving off instead of pulling over. I'd guess I'm losing about 80$ a day because of that.

On top of it, today, ODOT was plugging pot-holes on the road; totally killing traffic. It was a Very slow Tuesday.

Gotta go get cleaned up and do some watering.

Y'all have a great day.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Working Sunday

Spent most of today putting down fertilizer and moving sprinklers. Needed to rest but that option wasn't available. Maybe next Sunday.

Getting up early to pick squash and move irrigation.

Hope you all have a lovely night.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bizee

Rhymes with dizzy. Feels similar too.

Posting will largely be suspended until Sundays due to extreme workload: harvesting, watering, selling etc. etc.

Hope you all are well and calm and happy.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Good opening day

Saw lots of my "regular regulars" today and a few newbies. A couple of "yearlings" stopped by too. All very happy that we were open so they could get their good munchies again.

Kinda tired from standing all afternoon. Gonna go have sloppy joes now.

Y'all have a fine evening.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Wednesday is Open Day

Scramble, scramble, no time to ramble.

Wodin's day we open.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday serenade

Crickets and cars racing the night's silence for each their own goal.

I've drawn a half circle, a sort of protection in the driveway outside my room. Mosquito repellent has more than one purpose. The night seems to throb and roll, warm and still outside the barrier I have risen.

Around the yard a few incense sticks burn, filling the air with a surreal perfume of nature and artifice.

The radio is playing Billy Joel's "Don't Ask Me Why"

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Cornfield Camera

Got some pics 'cause my public demands them. This first one is the cornfield at farm#2 and the second one is the big sprinkler gun running at farm#3, next door.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Wounded in action

It had been a great day. Watering was well under way, the fertilizer had been put down on the next two fields of corn. Dad was busy unhooking the fertilizer spreader from the Massey-Fergusun's three-point. I was cutting gladiolas to take home to mom. It was 4:45. I forgot that I had put a new razor blade in my pocket-knife. My thumb immediately informed me of what I had forgotten. The blade went in about 2/5ths of an inch. I staunched the flow with a paper towel and drove the truck down to get dad. Don't think I'll need stitches but you should-a heard me cussing. I freakin' HATE this sort of carelessness. Think I might need to get a prescription for my AADD, maybe I can get some Provigil which sounds like a pretty interesting substance albeit quite expensive.

So today I'm working with an extremely minor handicap, bandaged thumb syndrome. Still managed to get the base coat of paint on our "Opening Soon" sign.

Soldier on, and may your day be wound-free.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Weed

Technically, that's a plant growing somewhere you don't want it to. Rather an egotistical definition but there you go.

Since these (extremely odd) rains have blown through weed control has become our paramount activity. My least favorite work and one which I must pursue diligently for the next several days. Fortunately I have more machinery these days to help facilitate the procedure.

The higher humidity is accelerating our corn too so we are suddenly faced with harvest starting around the 25th. Luckily we've still got last years signage and of course the metal building which I still think of as new even though it's 3 years old. So we can just open with very little prep work.

Oh yeah, and I pulled off the first big tomato yesterday. So we should have corn, tomatoes, black berries, cabbage, beets, onions and potatoes for our opening. Not a bad line up for an early starting season (we usually open August 1.)

May all your weeds be easy to pull.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Are you part of the Long Tail?

Arnold Kling had a great article a couple years back, about the gradual atrophy of the right-left dichotomy which has dominated our American political system for so long. He was spot on and many of the trends he mentions are becoming quite visible. The 2008 election may well spin in unexpected directions do to this phenomena.

Lovely night of rain

Of course I wish it will last a while into the day, so I can have an excuse for taking the day "off" (I'll still end up working but at least not so hard outside)

It was so wonderful to wake up at 3am to the sound of rain and the site of puddles lacing the driveway. The yard lights from a number of neighbors illuminated just the puddles and silhouetted the fruit trees making for quite a picturesque scene.

This morning the dust is all gone and the air smells heavenly.

Well, gotta get some breakfast and do some work. Y'all have a magnificent day.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Pretty Ok Sunday

Spent the morning working at farm#2, spraying weeds again mostly. Moving a little pipe and some other chores, getting just about ready for some corn harvest action, ate our first couple of ears of sweet corn today. I had forgotten how freakin' good that can be. Still a little young but I can tell I'm gonna have some happy customers when it is ready.

Wasted the afternoon in a delightful splendor of laziness, just catching up on some math reading I've been meaning to do. Really starting to enjoy my WebBlazer program which lets me chew through wikipedia entries quite quickly. Have started learning what I need to do to make it into a Firefox extension. Already have it coded to work as an Internet Explorer browser helper but want to get it working with at least one other browser and that'd have to be Firefox which I think works pretty great.

Well, gotta get to bed early for tomorrow mornings awakening struggle. I wish I could wake up early and energized like I used to do.

Y'all have a great night and lovely morning.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

But no subsidies for the Savage Farmer

Here is a great article about how the US government is throwing away millions of dollars subsidizing suburban lawns and farms owned by millionaires. The department of agriculture provides me with loads of informational resources and things like soil testing (for a fee) all of which I am grateful for. But our government unfairly provides subsidies to large farms while leaving people like me out in the cold. Nothing is offered or available. I just have to struggle on my own against the lower prices artificially created when a thousand-acre broccoli farmer in California (for instance) gets a big fat check.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Sunburned knees

Had a good start to the day spraying weeds around the watermelon patch. Everything is still pretty soaked from the big downpour Wednesday but we've been doing a little advance watering just in case it turns real hot again.

Spent the whole afternoon mowing the walk-ways in the first cornfield with the riding mower. My sunblock ran out about 2:30 and I was there until after 5. So now I'm nursing the subject in question. Ouch, thank goodness for Solarcaine.

Very tired. Long, hot, dirty day of work with little or no time to pursue my sidelines, leaves me spent and weary. The sunset was beautiful, high whispy clouds drenched in the colors of full summer.

Wishing you all peace, strength and mischief.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Storm/corn update

Hooray! The corn has suffered only a tiny amount of damage, less than 10% I'd guess. So we are feeling rather a bit UP about that. We've still lost some grapes and tomatoes but we can recover from that.

Loads of summer squash starting to come in and the beets have reached a delightful size. Think I know what I'll be having with dinner.

Gotta go wash off herbicide. Hope y'all have a super-duper day.

Whicked Freakin' Storm

I was typing in the first few words of a post yesterday when suddenly the lights went out. I had just warned mom and dad that a large thunderstorm was visible in the nexrad image, heading our way fast.

5 minutes later all hell broke loose. Huge drops of rain started splattering down. Withing seconds the ground was evenly wet and it really started to pelt. Dad dashed down to the greenhouse and pulled the sprinkler we had left in there so it wouldn't punch a whole in the deflating greenhouse. Air supported means no support without electricity. He got out as the wind started to heave and whip the greenhouse. He only made it into the north barn before lightning started to split and roar overhead.

Whirlpools of rain and huge walls of slate gray fury spun and crashed across the landscape. Drunken storm giants on a rampage!

Almost an inch of rain fell here in about 20 minutes.

The giants thundered off towards the northwest, no doubt taking time to linger on the edge of Grants Pass for one last drink.

This morning, the aftermath. Several of the neighboring tree tops have been smashed to the ground, thankfully none on our property. But dad and I will have to shift redwood branches just to get out the driveway.

Our grape plants have several huge "footprints" across them. I'm anticipating that we will have lost about a third of our corn.

Uhg, gotta go. Y'all have a wonderful day.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Blazing sun Baffled by Birthday hat

Looks sort of like a newspaper heading, doesn't it?

Water suddenly came swooshing back into our ditch. It had vanished sometime late last night. So I dropped my plan to rest in the afternoon and dashed out to move sprinklers. It was HOT! but the hat Bro gave me for my birthday and the sprinkler plume kept me reasonably alive.

Don't think I'll have any trouble getting a nap now, a little dizzy from the heat but plenty of fluids and an air conditioner will see me right as rain.

Take care.

Sunday in the Crunch

We've reached that stage in every year during which all the work piles up together. Planting, fertilizing, soil prep, weed control, watering are all due and harvest is imminent. Of course once harvest starts several of that list will be over with: soil prep and planting.

And it is also getting quite hot these days which means a split shift, morning and evening with a rest episode during the hottest part of the day. With so much on my mind it has been hard to sleep but that's ok, I use the time to read and work on programs if I can't sleep.

Gotta go get some lunch, y'all have a great day.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Hot Friday

Man! the sun was just Blazing out there. But at least there was a pretty nice breeze and the humidity wasn't too high. Dad jumped into the pond shortly after we got back from planting beans, pumpkins, winter squash and the yearly flower patch. Only one planting of corn, cukes, squash and watermelon left. After next week, glorious! done with at least one job.

I would've gone swimming too but I had some reading to do plus I'm still working on some gnarly programming design problems. Pulled out my old WebBlazer project and started dusting it off. I think people might like it, it's sort of like reading on speed. It allows one to stream the content of web pages through a single focused window in a different fashion than usual, much faster albeit a considerably different experience. I find that my reading and retention rate go up about 50% when I use it. It is really awesome when used with wikipedia which didn't exist when last I was working on it. Hopefully I'll have a version back up for people to try by fall.

Well, gotta go soon to brave the heat and rising humidity of evening. Hope you all have a delightful night.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Independence

Happy Birthday America !!

Yesterday dad and I were setting up the big gun sprinklers at farm#2 when Gary the neighbor stopped to chat with me. He said "What are you guys doing working on the 4th, don't you know it's Independence Day?"

"I don't know" I replied "I feel pretty independent. No body is telling me to be out here working and if they did I'd probably punch 'em in the nose."

Yesterday afternoon we went to my niece Charlie's annual fourth of July barbecue/luau.

What Fun! Great food, great company and all the independence you can stand. My great niece Kaycee was a riot. She kept the great grandparents fully entertained the entire evening and brought everyone else sodas between her escapades. Lainey Joe (great niece#2) is still quite small but showing her first signs of play and wonderment. At least wonderment to me. It is a delight to see her with her grandparents (although thinking of my sister as a grandma makes me suddenly a little more weary...) who clearly love her and her sister so much.

Afterwards we went to the Glendale fireworks show at the high school. Simply super. I love just about any form of pyrotechnics and between all the youngsters setting them off around the track, a few illicit ones brought from mexico no doubt and the huge display that the mill and local firemen put on it was a visual smorgasborg. Kaycee was an absolute riot, she loves fireworks too and did the classic kid thing: running in circles and spinning until you fall down.

Wishing us all another fine year of independence and fireworks.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Hot Day, cool spray

Spent the noon and afternoon hours working beneath the full on blazing sun. Removing weeds from corn fields is hot, difficult work. The only thing keeping me from getting sicky was the delightful, rainbow filled plumes of irrigation drift which blew my way from the big sprinkler. Probably catch something unpleasant from the river water anyways but at least I didn't cook in the infernal solar gaze. Even with SPF50 on my arms still got a little red.

Only 2 more rows of tomatoes to stake and one last planting of corn. Flowers, pumpkins, winter squash and a few other miscellany and about next week planting season will be over.

Of course, the 65 day corn has fully silked ears already which have even begun to lean away from the stock, a sure sign they are going to sprint to ripeness. Either that or they are going to be really huge ears which is unlikely with an early corn but would give me a couple extra days until the pressure of harvest kicks in. Wishful thinking sometimes give us the courage to dog it out...

Hope you all have a courageous day.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Some politics

This was sort of a mind-blower. After El Presidente Bush pardoned Scooter Libby today I found a link to Clinton's pardons, just to compare. Whoa! He sure pardoned a lot of pot-heads and rum runners. Ol' Slick Willy, those were the days. When no one inhaled and the muslims still loved us.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Let's see if this works

Been working on my "Shores of other worlds" software in my rare and precious few minutes of spare time (usually eating into my sleep time unfortunately...)

Along the way I needed to test some sine wave subroutines and I wrote another simpler program which with a little modification and some extra controls made an interesting little package. Reminds me of some of the whacky sound makers I designed on the ol' TRS-80 model 3.

Anyhow, if you'd like to play with it, you can download a copy here: http://www.4shared.com/dir/3131504/1813f8fc/sharing.html or HERE I put it in both .exe and .zip formats so as to make it as easy as possible for someone to download. If you don't have the right files to run this, leave a message and I'll hook you up with fresh copies. Most people with win98 and darn near anyone with winXP should be able to run this. I think young kids will find it especially amusing.