It’s been a busy fall

…but the pond is still not built, super sad face. Today we were notified that the new set of inner panels were completed yesterday and shipping is being set up. It’s too much to expect them to be here next week – maybe the week after that. So no progress on the pond but I did purchase two new decorative lantern statues for the pond area at a recent koi show.

The koi show season is coming to an end and I attended two koi shows over consecutive weekends. The first show was in South Carolina where I showed four koi – two Showa variety and two Budo Goromo variety. One of the Showa koi was past its prime but I decided to take it – her first and last show. The other Showa received a best in variety award and the larger budo goromo received Mature B champion.

Now the best part of this show was that I came with four koi and went home with only three!! My fabulous friend Felicia said ‘let me send a video of the koi you want to rehome to ___.’ Less than an hour later, she had sold the koi, agreed to transport it to her home that evening for the buyer to pick up. I was thrilled to move the koi along! There are a few others in the garage pool that need to go for a variety of reasons. I’ll save the discussion about koi that need to go for another post.

Last weekend I was the head judge at the Atlanta Koi Show. I felt a little stressed but grateful for the support and coaching of a senior certified judge on the team. We had 143 koi to judge and the award structure dictated a different pattern of judging that I had not experienced. We would have liked to have started judging earlier but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. There is a slightly tedious process of classifying the koi, photographing it and then entering it into a database. Then the computer program does its work and spits out the sheets we use for judging. Over 60 koi had to be placed into the show database on Saturday morning and it’s just not a quick process. After five hours of judging some of the major award winners are below.

I hope to enter some of my koi in the Atlanta show next year but competition near me is pretty stiff. I think I may need some more koi. If only the koi budget was unlimited. This is the time of the year the U.S. koi dealers will travel to Japan to buy new koi. In Japan, the breeders are bringing in the koi from the mud ponds. There will be many photos and videos being posted on Facebook groups of koi available for purchase. I’m hoping to find at least two new koi this winter.

A small side point but Japan is now open for individual tourists. Japan has had very strict protocols for reopening with long quarantine requirements and limited tourist options. Travel requirements are now closer to pre-COVID standards. For the hobbyists who have not been able to travel to Japan for the last two and a half years, it’s exciting to be able to attend the All Japan Koi Show, visit breeders, and seeing the sites again. Pond builder and I hope to travel to Japan in 2023.

Our hay harvest has been improving. In 2020, 95 medium round bales were harvested over two cuttings. (I’m not too sure about that number since I feel our hay guy at that time was somewhat unreliable.) In 2021, our new hay team harvested 71 large bales over two cuttings. This year, they harvested 121 large round bales and over 150 small rectangular bales. It’s nice to see the hay fields improving.

Our chickens are growing nicely and the pond builder is busy making a chicken run for them. We are thinking about making a different coop for them because the current coop does not do a good job keeping the rain out. The floor of the coop becomes a nasty mess of water, poop and pine shavings during significant rain showers.

video: chickens in motion…

I’m looking forward to cleaning up the vegetable garden this weekend. I plan on rearranging the raised beds (again) so that it will be easier to set up the watering system. I end up wasting a lot of water with the current layout. There are also a lot of trees and branches to clean up, weeds to pull, preparing the greenhouse for winter – it never ends. We always have a hundred things that need to get done, some more fun than others. I might add a new project – an axe throwing spot. At our annual company sales meeting, we all went axe throwing one evening. While he doesn’t throw axes on the farm, the pond builder is kind of a natural. I was lucky just to get the axe to stick into the wood. While it’s not really a needed skill on the farm, throwing an axe could be handy once in a blue moon.

I am crossing my fingers that the next time I think about posting to this blog there will be some progress on the pond!