An abundant diversity of life exists out on the farm. We see and interact with so many different animals, plants, and insects on a regular basis. While so many have not been photographed, this is our document of the few examples we have managed to capture on film.
Daisy and Buster found this little guy in a small den at the corner of our house, protected by the pine cones and rocks that Buster carries back from his walks. We are not sure what type of animal he is, but are suspecting he may be a weasel, due to the rounded ears and shape of his snout and eyes. If he indeed is a weasel, then he is absolutely welcome out here to control the large squirrel population! These photos were taken in April of 2019.
Sean and I spotted quite a long gopher snake as we were working out in the fields. My music was playing from my phone, so I grabbed it and snapped a few pics. Although startling at first sight due to its similarity to a rattlesnake, which we have also seen out here, the first thing to look for is the rattle at the end of the tail. No rattle on this snake! The head is also shaped narrow and rounded compared to the rattler’s triangular shaped head. We like these guys around to control the rodent population!
Rabbits were quite prolific this year! It is challenging to keep them from eating the young transplants in the fields. Some mornings we would see half a dozen at a time hopping around through the fields and later find the tops of the young plants had been chewed. We have tried electric fencing around the fields, but that is expensive in both labor and costs. We tried putting wire cages over the plants and that allowed them to recover and produce.
Here is a picture of the tomatoes with wire cages going down the rows of crops. The cages protect the plants from critters and provide stem support as the plants grow and start to lean over. We also tried the cages on eggplant and peppers this year with success!
It is always a race to harvest these delightful tart cherries at their prime before the birds get them. We allow for the birdies to eat from the tops of the trees, while we harvest what we can from the lower branches.
The Royal Anne tree is old and large and always seems to promise loads of cherries. We share these with the birds and squirrels and whatever other critters might happen to find them tasty and nutritious!
Meet “The Cat,” as we call this lovely unnamed creature who moved onto the farm for the 2019 farming season. The Cat is very obscure and tough to visually capture. These pics were taken with a Bushnell motion sensor camera placed at the side of Omi’s house. We were hearing critter sounds and wanted to know who was moving in. As depicted below, squirrels were the culprits and The Cat was a great champion at moving them out!
Next comes evidence of The Cat catching a squirrel for dinner…
These birds were captured on film by the Bushnell Motion sensor camera. Each bird has a whole flock of friends and family that also live out on the farm.
Mr. Toad is quite camouflaged in the moist earth of the planting trenches beneath the shade of the drip line!
View from corner of summer squash field, with onions and potatoes in sight. Zucchini, zephyr, and yellow squash were among the varieties grown in 2019.
Sweet white and red onions were planted in the same field as the potatoes. Alliums keep pests away from the potato plants on which the pests love to nibble!
We grew Russets, Yukon Gold, and Purple Viking potatoes this year!
This egg was spotted as we were hoeing the young cucumber field. It is most likely an egg of the low flying sandpiper type birds that buzz around the fields all summer.
Views from both ends of the cumber fields as the plants were getting ready to produce.
We supplied Berryvale with both Lemon and Marketmore cucumbers!
A typical Berryvale order of summer squash and cucumbers 2-3 times per week!
A diversity of crops are grown on our farm! Here are a few pics of the peach tree!
Small lizards like this little guy are abundant all around the farm!
Our three apricot trees were quite prolific this season! We shared the harvest with the black birds that lived in and protected the trees as the fruit ripened. They swept down over anybody that walked near the trees, but we just established our presence and let them know that we were sharing!
We grow both golden and red delicious apples.
Marachal Foch wine grapes! Although we did not make wine from these grapes, the juice we pressed was phenomenal! We also harvested an abundance of seedless table grapes for Berryvale.
Skye built this juice press, which works for pressing juice from all fruit harvested on the farm.
Loads of grapes this year!!!
Bird nests in the grape vines, nicely shaded from the summer sun.
Winter squash harvest with sorghum field in background.
Daisy and Buster hunt squirrels and rabbits every chance they get! Cleo is now 17 years old and doesn’t leave the house much anymore, especially since The Cat is stalking around outside. She has done her duty of catching mice and squirrels in her younger years!
Once again, this is why we’re called Mountain View Organics!