Thursday, July 14, 2016

Unity Farm Journal - Third Week of July 2016

It�s the peak of summer with 90 degree temperatures and humidity that pushes the heat index to 100F.   We�re also in a drought, so we�ve had to aggressively water the orchard, berries and hoop house.      When we built all our agricultural areas we installed drip irrigation or microsprinklers as appropriate for the type of plant.    Around the farm we have 64 irrigation zones.

The cucumbers, peppers, blueberries, and basil are all ready to harvest and we�ll be bringing them to the Tilly and Salvy�s farmstand this weekend.    Our blueberries are divided into 3 separate zones - early, mid and late.    Each is covered with netting and the ripeness of the fruit is directly related to the motivation of birds to get through the netting.   This little guy - a sharp shinned hawk  got into the blueberry patch by digging underneath the netting and could not get out, so we had to carry him to safety.

There are always many raptors around Unity Farm - here�s a Cooper�s hawk watching for voles in the meadow.

As a rescue farm, we often take in animals that cannot stay in their current home.  This week, Bob arrived.  He�s a kind, gentle rooster that has such an endearing personality that the other roosters do not considering him a threat.

We�ve been finishing up the compost screening machine.   It�s very frustrating that no commericial devices to sort and screen compost are available for the small farmer.  Our finished design uses a 1725rpm motor and two sets of reduction pulleys to turn a bicycle rim at 30rpm.  It works perfectly.  Here�s a picture and a video.   The key was a lego-like Powertwist V-belts that adjust to any length.

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