At Swamp Creek Farm we believe in following natural rythyms to make the circumstances of our lives flow smoothly. My personal observations about gardening by the moon have shown me there is something to it, and by extending following the moon's position and sign to other areas of life, it seems to me that our lives do indeed seem easier. A lot of people say such things are pure hogwash, and I certainly accord them their opinion; however, I believe there is more to life than what can be seen. I suppose the reason I bring this subject up is because the moon was so bright tonight as it is waxing in the sign of Virgo. The night clouds were lit up prettily and the stars are bright where you can see them. It made me think of the passage of time -- and how I want to get my oats and wheat and peas planted tomorrow.
Tonight was the second Price Direct meeting and we had two guest speakers. One was Jasia Steinmetz PhD, RD, CD, from the UW-Stevfens Point. She is quite an impressive lady. She spoke about the importance of eating locally grown food and discussed different ways that we, as producers, can encourage customers to eat locally grown food. The other presenter was Enos Hoover of Sunnyside Meadow Farm in Dorchester, WI. He spoke about sustainable farming practices and showed us how he farmed using livestock rotation. It was amazing to see how (in his slide show) poor pasture was reclaimed without reseeding or using any kind of chemicals by simply rotating cows, chickens and pigs. He suggested having a "centerpiece" farm activity and then having "complementary" activities for farm diversification. All in all, it was a very enjoyable evening. The only problem was we didn't get around to discussing the actual Price Direct agenda, so we scheduled another meeting for June 7th at 7:00 p.m. If you live in Price County or a county adjoining Price County and would be interested in joining our group of small producers as we discuss ways to keep our group alive and growing, by all means come to the next meeting!
I had a busy week. Tom and I fixed the broken corner post in the northwest corner of the field fence at the orchard end of the field and tightened most of the fence wire. I'll keep my fingers crossed, but when I went to water the fruit trees and bushes today, I didn't see any sign of deer in the garden since we fixed the fence. I was so happy to see the rhubarb starting to green up and the currants and gooseberries starting to leaf. The garlic is about 4 inches high already.
I took down the agribon and wire hoops I had over the collards and we'll see if the roots send up seed stalks.This is my first attempt at getting seed from a biennial so we'll see what kind of luck I have.
It took two days (Tuesday and Wednesday) to clean out the chicken coop. Last year it took me a week to do by myself, but with Tom helping me it only took two days. We hauled all of the bedding to the compost bins. I wound up going to town to get some plywood to fix a hole in the floor. I think I fixed it pretty good. I hosed the whole place down with bleach water and aired it out. Then I put down a couple of plastic tarps on the floor and covered them with a couple of bags of new wood shavings. The chickens are very happy! I'm getting pretty deft with that cordless 18v drill.
Had not one, but two, groshawks yesterday in the front yard high in a maple tree watching the chickens. I stayed nearby and left the dog out and the hawks didn't try anything. No wonder Chin Lee kept his big beak shut and the chickens stayed in the little shelter I built for them at the south end of the chicken run while I worked in the big coop. I think I will firm up the chicken fence and think about a top cover.
Today after I watered the orchard, I finished turning over the soil in the high tunnel. Tomorrow I hope to take the BCS out and turn all the ground over so I can plant my wheat and cover crops of oats and peas, and prepare the high tunnel so I can move the seedlings from the basement to the high tunnel, and start new seedlings in the basement. Mary is going to pick up my elderberry plants and plum trees in Phillips for me tomorrow, so I hope to get those planted on Saturday.
I am sore and tired, but very happy. I send all of you Blessings and Peace!