August Farm Update

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Well, I’m back from traveling and flew into SEATAC airport to find the whole of Puget sound engulfed in smoke. When I arrived back at the farm a film of grey haze lingered around the property. This air quality issue stems from large forest fires burning up in British Colombia. My weather ap shows “smoke” as an actual meteorological event. Wow!

Here’s a view of the farm from the front porch:IMG_7038

It may be hard to see, but the smokey haze is lingering in the trees. My throat became quite dry later in the day and warnings on air quality abound. I’m making sure the animals are well watered and in the shade as we struggle to combat the heat. One chick was lost during the heat wave, but we’ve now got them in a cooler situation and all is well. IMG_7036

Our pollination stations are working great, bees love the poppies, borage, teasel, and yarrow. Our humming birds are thriving on bee balm too. I hope to see these self-seeding species return next year to continue our flowering plant expansion here at Leafhopper Farm. IMG_7039

Flower boarders around the garden help encourage plant reproduction and habitat for benificial insects to stave off pests like cabbage moths and aphids. The kale crop is looking good! Our beans were picked this week, and blueberries were harvested, giving us a good two gallons of fresh yummy fruit. IMG_7040IMG_7041

The hops are going buck wild! I’ll be moving the root systems to better locations this fall after harvest. I knew the hops would be tenacious and hope now to have enough root mass to really cultivate my Cascadian Hop natives for future brewing. IMG_7042

In other news, the kittens are growing up healthy and just had their second vet visit. The babes are now hunting and bring me mice, young rats, and a vole on occasion.

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There were some new animals on the farm, living under my house, which I had to trap and remove to avoid issues. You can see one of the little feral friends below:

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These wild cats are an issue around the world, and I trapped 3 kittens to be relocated to another home where they will be pampered by a friend in need of rodent control. No babes were harmed in this relocation, and Leafhopper is happy to be back down to two resident cats once more.

The farm also got a visit from our farm planning friends at King Conservation District to discuss funding for stream buffer fencing we plan to put in next month. With their financial support, we’ll install good fencing along out salmon bearing stream to make sure native plants and the water are kept free of livestock to promote healthy fish and riparian zones around Weiss Creek.

I’ll be taking a Forest Stewardship class this fall to finish writing a forestry plan for the land. This plan is about cultivating healthy trees and native plants on the land to enhance wildlife productivity with a focus on native edible and medicinal vegetation. We’ll develop a food forest while continuing to steward the forest already established on the property. Many people think a forestry plan means timber management. This is one method of forestry stewardship, and I do plan to harvest a few trees for building timber, but only trees which need to be culled to keep the other trees happy and healthy. You can plan your forestry stewardship any way you like, providing you maintain the canopy and enhance native diversity on your land. This fits perfectly into the vision at Leafhopper Farm, and I look forward to sharing the plan once it is in action next year.

A special shout out to all the people who helped take care of the farm while I was away! You all did a great job in keeping the birds alive, kittens well fed, plants watered, and the land humming with joy. I am so happy to have such great tenets and friends here at Leafhopper. Thanks to the people for sharing and caring!

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