Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Snowing and Blowing

Well, we can't go fishing yet like Greatgrandpa Matias (in the middle) and his son Ed (the tall guy on the right) yet, but I sure would like to catch a fish like they got! Today is April 4th and what a difference a day makes! Woke up this morning to snowing and blowing. Had a foot deep snow drift outside the garage door when I went to check on the chickens. I'll have to wait till this melts before I can get out to the orchard. It looks like a couple of the trees are bent down. I can't tell if deer were at them (the ground is too hard yet to fix the broken corner post at the orchard end) or if the wind blew the wire guards over. Anyway, that needs to be checked out pretty quick.

Overall, the seedlings are doing well. I have some eggplant coming up now. I do have trouble with the sweet peppers though -- no Cal Wonder seedlings yet. I have plenty of hot peppers. The new pack of Buttercrunch seeds sprouted ok so I figure I am only about 2 weeks behind. I am disappointed though in the Riesentraube tomato germination. This is the second year I've tried this variety and the germination has been poor both years. I think I will try to find a different seed source next year, and if germination with the new source is as poor as it is now, I will switch to a different variety for cherry tomatoes.

I was looking at MOSA's organic certification web site and debating whether or not I should bite the bullet and send off for the certification packet, but the prices for everything just seem to be going up and up. I think I will be better off waiting at least another year and continue to work on building my infrastructure (read water well and field cooler) and production.

There are some good learning day trips being presented through the Ag Extension soon. I wish I could go to all of them, but with the price of gas on the way up I will have to pass on most of them. I have decided to go to Ashland on April 20th for the poultry testing certification class as that will not be offered again until 2009, and there is a great conference in Appleton in June that I want to try to go to; the full conference is very expensive, but I whittled it down to just one day to check out the community kitchen. I want to see what all is involved with starting something like that.

The County has started cutting away the trees from the road shoulders in preparation for the upcoming road work. They were really nice guys and even took the wood over to my Dad's for me. There was a lot more wood than I thought! Now Dad can cut the wood down in the yard and his wood pile is nearby, and I can use the trees on the field side for fence posts when I move the fence line.

You know how I have been thinking about doing some agroforestry? Well, I got The Mushroom Cultivator from the library. Holy Cow! I had no idea growing fungus could get so involved! This is a book for people who want to seriously get into mushrooms. I just want to buy my spawn and plug logs on a small scale. Still, the book is very understandable and teaches you everything you ought to know about mushrooms.

I finally finished sewing the last hair piece on my knitted farmer boy dolls. I will work on the overalls for them. I have two pair of brown overalls that need to be sewn together, and I have to get a skein of blue yarn to knit the third pair. Haven't decided yet whether to make the suspenders the same color or not, and I don't know yet if I want to just give them neckerchiefs or hats or both. Decisions, decisions -- at least the girl dolls are done. I have 9 ecru jar toppers finished. I think when we go to Minocqua to take Lara for her neurologist check up I will stop and see if I can get some different color thread for jar toppers and the skein of blue yarn. Maybe I can get that nice dark grey Coats and Clark yarn, too. I want to take that one hooded sweater I made apart and double the yarn to make it a bit warmer. The gray will go well with the oatmeal color I think. It would be nice to be able to make a couple of shawls and have those to sell, too, at the end of the year at the Harvest Festival in Phillips.

I've been babbling long enough. Think I'll go look at some catalogs and engender some creativity!

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