Flirt

Solstice is generally a time of less sleep. The days are so long. They start early, and it doesn’t get dark until late. And there’s so much to do! There is a very flirtatious cardinal who likes to sing as loud as he can outside my open window, starting around 4:30 or 5 am. He has been joined by bullfrogs in the pond who are looking for a mate. Obie, the livestock protection dog, is sometimes barking to protect the laying hens from some intruder. Or the raccoons are fighting. Don’t get me wrong, life in the farm wilderness is great, but I hope you understand if I’ll be checking out around 9pm. Thing is, I really love seeing fireflies! How do you see them if you’re not awake when it’s dark?

While planting and weeding herb seedlings, trying to get everything planted before the rain, I noticed a dark insect with orange dots on it. Upon closer inspection, I saw a lot more of them and worried they might be a pest. So I posted a photo and asked for help with identification. Turns out they are fireflies! Not harmful to rosemary. AND, they have a quiet, but very flashy flirting style. They use bioluminescence. How cool is that??

In other farm news, we have just launched an online market for restaurants and others. We have spent about three weeks testing it and working out all the things that can go wrong. We hope it will be useful and convenient for our restaurant pals. We’ll have to add website design and e-commerce to the list of skills a farmer needs. Our wifi at the Warehouse Market and on the farm is not meeting our needs and we’ve been struggling with how to extend the range to where we need it for monitoring greenhouse parameters, solar panel activity, and provide internet for all the people on the farm who need it. At the Warehouse, we need to extend the wifi range for the Point of Sale system to work consistently, and for the employee time tracking system to work properly. We definitely don’t have wifi skills and will have to depend on others for help with this.

Happy Solstice everyone!

The dark beetles with orange spots are fireflies on a rosemary seedling. They are not pests! They attract mates with bioluminescence. That’s some flashy flirting going on.
David and Andrew discussing rye cover crop integration into these beds. This area has been in the rye cover crop since mid summer last year. Earlier this spring it was mowed and covered with tarps. When it was uncovered, it wasn’t broken down enough to prepare for planting. They decided to do a light tillage.
Ron picking up his farm share. It’s overflowing with green.
Getting the peppermint in before the rain. It’s pretty neat that David can plant peppermint, but can he get his abdomen to light up in the dark?
Pruning and trellising, lowering and leaning
Soon we’ll have tomatoes
This is primo arugula, protected from flea beetles by netting. Arugula is excellent for promoting good digestion because it has a slightly bitter taste.
Sarah, Capitu, Isabel, and Erin harvesting spinach

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