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Farm Update 12/6/2019

Farm Update 12/6/2019

Let me start off with an apology.  Yvonne and I have been traveling in Italy and France and have just returned.  I am sorry for not having an update sooner.

While in Europe we wondered how the tea bushes were doing and fortunately on our return they all appear to be doing just fine.

 Tea rows with mulch in November 2019

Tea row November 2019 San Juan Island Tea Farm

I spent a day or two cleaning up leaves and unclogging potential runoff water.  The oak garden is going to be amazing.  The work we did on the seasonal creek is making quite an impact on the overall look of that area.


 Oak garden at San Juan Island Tea Farm

It was dry while we were away and there have been a few showers since our return, but things could use a good dousing. 

I mixed that last of the biochar with horse compost and it is sitting awaiting some heavy moisture to charge the overall mix.  Once that is accomplished we will finish the holes that were dug last fall and let it sit waiting for the new plants to arrive.

 bio-char at San Juan Island Tea Farm

Holes awaiting tea planting at San Juan Island Tea Farm

I have loosely set many of the shu sugi ban fence posts and will hopefully finish that project in short order.  The long fence run between us and our neighbor (who wants to pasture cattle) will mean us putting field fencing on the lower portion and then top that with deer fencing.  This should be strong enough to curtail the cows, deer and encroaching fauna. 

 shu shugi ban wood posts at San Juan Island Tea Farm

In the garden things are looking good.  The male deer are now heading for higher ground so their rubbing on the trees is over for the year.

 Japanese garden In November at San Juan Island Tea Farm

So far the critters have not bothered any of the tea plants and they appear to be in great shape. 

Donna’s pond has been a source of concern as we were not sure what to do about the depth and recirculation.  The decision has been reached that it will remain the current depth and solar fountains will be used.  This leaves us with the dilemma of where to get the soil for the final mound, but I believe the cost of having it delivered outweighs the cost of bringing power down to the area.  As for the waterfall, I think that a dry fall will be the direction we will go. I have done some extensive reading on Japanese Gardens and there is a lot of precedent to go this direction. 

 Donna's pond at San Juan Island Tea Farm

Yvonne has been busily snapping photos so please take some time and enjoy the winter progress of San Juan Island Tea Farm.

And lastly (from Yvonne), thought you might like to see how Matcha and Oolong have grown.  My what big horns you have....

Matcha, Scottish Highland Cow at San Juan Island Tea Farm

Oolong, Scotish Highland Cow at San Juan Island Tea Farm