From the Field
Green things are growing! Rhubarb is up and unfurling. Strawberries have been uncovered and mulch removed, so the plants can reach skyward and green up. Garlic and shallots are growing vigorously and up a bit earlier than last year. The beds are marked out and we are getting ready to start planting in the field in the next week!
We added a new "field" this spring. This new area is dedicated to herb production. The block was tilled, the raised frames filled and now they are under plastic for two weeks to help with weed and grass competition. Brooke is thrilled about this new project. We want to have more herbs available for CSA, Herb Boosters and market; also, we used dried herbs extensively for the natural health and wellness for our livestock.
From the Barnyard
Lots of excitement in the barnyard these days! The ladies are getting nice round, full baby bellies - they will be farrowing in a little over a month. When we place our hands on their bellies we can now feel the piglets!
The chickens are establishing a new pecking order, as we culled the rooster, then let the pullets meet the hens. Edgar was a dear, but he was a little rough with the ladies. We decided we needed to make the tough decision.
The great chicken integration of 2015 is going swimmingly! The hens and pullets are mixing well and the the pullets made it through their first night in the coop - there was quite a bit of confusion, but that should go better each night. We provide many different feeding stations to make sure the old ladies aren't being hogs, and everyone gets proper access.
Last Friday I went out with John on the annual Owl Monitoring Survey
. John goes out every year to do this. We made ten stops, where we listened - in the dark and silence - for five minutes. We heard one great horned owl and one barred owl this time. In 2014 there were 74 volunteers, in Minnesota, that did the owl survey.
From the Greenhouse
What?! The greenhouse?! Technically, in our organic certification paperwork the basement is our "greenhouse" (it does grow green things, and it is in a house!). We are also adding an outdoor greenhouse!!!!!! So excited. The boys finished the footing last weekend, so we are on our way! Thank you Larry and Andy for your help!!
The indoor greenhouse is full of abundance! Herbs, celery, kale, chard, two plantings of cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes, peppers and ground cherries. More seeds are waiting in the wings for their time to shine. The onions, leeks and lettuce have been moved outside, to make room downstairs and to acclimate to the sun and wind.