I had an entire blog post outlined and ready to go that was all about how we've finally arrived at the "Season of Green" and ranted and raved about how beautiful springtime on the hill has been. My most sincere apologies, everyone, as I feel like my enthusiasm about the mild weather single-handedly ushered in the past couple of days of January weather. As it stands, our laying flock hasn't left the coop in two days, and the pigs have spent most of their time buried in a stack of warm, dry hay. Thank goodness we had the good sense to be choosy about which breed(s) we brought in, and that they are hardy as all getout! That being said, we have some pretty remarkable things happening on the farm in spite of the current meteorological state of affairs.
In the interest of saving time (read: chores to be done, dinner to be made, toddler just woke up from her nap, etc.), here's a bulleted list of what we have to look forward to over the next couple of months:
We currently have a couple hundred pounds of future food thriving under grow lights in our basement. It's one of our favorite things about springtime! We switched our seed starting method this year from cell trays to soil blocks, and the positive difference it has made in the overall health of our plants is staggering! We have pared back the amount of produce that we are growing in comparison to last year, as the plan is to grow enough just to feed our family. The idea of running weekly produce deliveries around the county with a toddler in tow and a new baby due in July is simply ludicrous. Pictured above is one of our lettuce seedlings that is headed out to the garden once the snow melts!
In place of the extra produce that we grew last year, we are growing MANY more flowers this year! A major focus for us is going to be working with some awesome local businesses to bring you guys some flower stand pop-ups where you'll be able to get your hands on some of our specialty market bouquets! This idea is still in the planning phase, but keep an eye out for more details coming down the pike.
We have the orchard location all planned out and ready to receive the apple and peach trees that are in our basement anxiously awaiting transplant. In addition to the fruit trees, we have blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries, and asparagus all coming in to be planted this year. We won't see much yield this season, but in the coming years there will be SO much amazing fruit to share with you all!
The pigs are getting HUGE. We could not have imagined how quickly they would grow! They are thriving on pasture, even though the quality of the pasture at this time of year is seriously subpar. They are thrifty and they never stop rooting. I have a blog post in the works that will go into more detail about how their first pass over the first few rotations has already made a tremendous difference in the look of the pasture.
The farm now has resident ducklings! This morning we welcomed day-old Magpie ducklings to the farm's new brooder. They are the sweetest little peepers I've ever seen. We will eventually have a multi-species coop set up in the barn with an automatic door that opens and closes at dawn and dusk. The chickens, ducks, and one guard goose will all share common space at night and roam free during the day. More on the function of ducks and guard geese later.
I think that list more or less covers what's new and exciting on the farm at this juncture. If you couldn't tell by the less-than-elegant formatting of this blog post, or perhaps by the lack of any posting activity at all for the past two months, we are SO BUSY. Farming as a full-time mother (need I mention the 7 months pregnant detail?) has turned out to be one of the most joyous and difficult things that I've ever done. At the end of the day, everyone falls into bed like we've just completed a day-long marathon. The days have become a complete blur of contentment, wonder, frustration, satisfaction, and perseverance, and by the time we check one item off of our to-do list, we've added three more. It is at once overwhelming and entirely satisfying, and we wouldn't have it any other way. Here's to good farming, good food, and (for HEAVEN'S SAKE) some good weather headed our way!
All the best,