Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Making Hay While the Sun Shines

Here are some of the latest pictures from around the farm.

We had 4" of snow that melted the next day. The chickens didn't seem to mind the white stuff.

The trees are finally starting to break bud so I know that Spring is finally here.

Even the rhubarb is starting to grow.

Here is a picture of the pot I planted the blueberries in yesterday and the apple trees I grafted using the Antonovka root stock I bought from Fedco and the unknown heirloom apple scions GeorgeW sent me (George is from the heirloom Yahoo group I frequent) that he rescued from an abaondoned farm demolition. Way to go, George! I really hope those grafts take -- it's the first time I've tried grafting.

I finally pulled the winter mulch off my herb garden. I thought it would be nice to see the garden before the herbs grow. I'll take another picture this August when everything is in bloom. I'll be adding more herbs to it soon like tansy, summer and winter savory, elecampane, calendula and bergamot. After supper last night I spent some time hauling rock from my "dirt hole" -- I'll have to get you a picture of that LOL -- and putting it around my herb garden for a border. I almost have the garden ringed with stone. It will look very nice when I am finished.

Of the three garden boxes, only two have I covered with Agribon to give them some additional cold protection at night. I am delighted to see that all the seeds I planted are already sprouting. Don't know if I'll have anything for Opening Day at the Farmers Market or not. I planted as soon as I could.

The chickens are getting big. Now that I have my scale back from the certifier, I'll start weighing some of the bigger ones.

Here's a pic of my potatoes chitting on top of my piano. There is about 50 pounds of Red Cloud and Katahdin. After the Feast of the Three Chilly Saints (May 11, 12, and 13), the dandelions should come into bloom and that is when I plant potatoes and corn. (Two weeks after that I plant beans.)

This is Tom's new tv. Now he's all set for football! (Sigh -- no wood shed, storage shed, feed bin . . . .)

Tom and Eddy have been busy cutting firewod. Once the pile is big enough, they will get out the log splitter and start stacking. I would like to see them do a spiral wood pile, but Tom isn't one for aesthetic touches.

The last two days have been hectic while we've tried to capitalize on the good weather. I hauled some fence posts and twelve trays of seedlings from the basement out to the field and high tunnel. I planted the Nugget hops and marked locations for the hops poles (which I still need to cut). I planted the three low bush blueberry plants in a big pot that I placed beside the garage door. Yesterday, Tom and Ed helped me plant the 20 Swamp Oaks and 25 Yellow Birch tree seedlings around the creek bank and big swamp. Today I planted the 6 grape vines (three vines in a row) and sank poles for two trellises; I'll staple the wire to the posts when I get a chance. And all this on top of cleaning the house, taking care of Lara and the chickens, and working on my seed saving presentation. Tom and I were going to till the field and plant the oats and wheat but it was too windy.

This morning while I was taking care of the chickens, a lady called and asked to come out to the farm. Normally I would not allow this because the farm isn't at the stage of development I would like it to be before I give farm tours, but she was a care giver of an elderly woman who wanted to come see my chickens so I decided to let her come out. They will stay on the driveway and I'll bring the old woman out a chicken to pet. It's too bad I don't have the skid built yet for the roosters (I'd like to show her that), but I will explain my chicken operation to her and tell her a bit of farm history. Tom says it's embarrassing that we don't look like a farm (i.e., no barn, sheds, tractors, etc.), but this is the new age of farming and picturesque barns with gobs of machinery belong to another era. If I had my druthers, instead of building barns and sheds, I'd like to build domes -- I read that domes are extremely strong structures and that tornados jump over them for some reason and don't destroy them as they do traditional buildings. I think the shape would make them easier to heat in the winter, too, but I'm not certain of that. Anyway, I think domes are just cool; they make me think of hobbit houses. I hope the ladies like my chickens.

Hey, it's raining pretty good outside. We need the moisture! That's it for now.


  1. I love spring snows. My grandmother used to call them the poor man's fertilizer. As they melt they keep everything moist so things can sprout. We usually have snow well into May here in northern NH but this year we've had an early spring. Of course it could still snow so we can't count on anything yet. Been really rainy lately but we're hoping things will dry out soon. My barnyard is a quagmire. -Sandy

  2. Sarah4:53 AM

    Hi Mom, I see you painted the living room a nice yellow and got a new TV!!