July is over. Where did it go? Who knows. But up on the hill July always seems too short. Solarfest breaks up the month into two parts and that probably has something to do with it. July is also the month when the weeds start laughing at me. In June I have everything weeded and looking really good. But then with what seems like an over night conquering, the weeds take hold. Galinsoga is the worst offender. 21 days from seed to seed. Those little seedlings that I missed, jump up with the new light and spread all over. And by the time I get back to rip them from the ground, I can see the little seeds dropping from the flower starting the game all over again.
The annual weed game is one reason I am so excited for our larger perennial farm projects. Once the trees and bushes are big enough they can mostly fend for themselves. And if the grass gets too tall around them we can send in the animals to take care of it for us. My Dad and Stepmom are out back mulching the newly planted trees. The mulch will help shift the soil wildlife to ones more suited for the trees. In a normal field bacteria tend to dominate the soil scene. But our trees and shrubs would like a fungal dominated soil. The woodchips have been aging for about a year and have started to break down a little bit. The fungus and bigger critters that are living in the mulch will start to spread. The broken down mulch will increase the organic matter in the soil and increase it’s ability to hold water and maintain a healthy balance of good and bad soil organisms.
The goats are enjoying our new tree removal technique. We have many areas that were once old pasture that are now over grown with mostly poplar and birch trees. We’ve started moving the goats into areas with some larger trees that need to come down. While they are off being milked with Meadow I cut down 5 or 6 trees for them. When they come back to their grazing area they are so excited to find this brand new treat laid out for them. Most of them are excited at least. Two of them start complaining the second they get back in. I’m never sure what it is they want. These are two of the goats that we got from our friend. We probably don’t spoil them as much as her.
Our older dog and cat have really started to enjoy their new buddy. Depending on the time of day the cat is wrestling with the puppy or Louie and her are playing tug of war. The cat and dog both seem happier now that they have a new play toy. Ania is still learning the ropes of her new life, but is catching on pretty quick. We leave her on a leash nearby while we milk and harvest. She’s figured out that we always come back to get her, and she will mostly just relax while we do our work. Louie and the cat sometimes torture her by sitting just outside the range that the leash allows. When she tries to get them you can almost see the laughter in their eyes. So cute yet so mean.