May 2013- snow?!?

well this is something to see on May 2nd! We just had dinner out there the other night!

well this is something to see on May 2nd! We just had dinner out there the other night!

spring finally sprung!

After a good foot of snow less than a week ago, we’re sitting here with grass greening up & absolutely gorgeous weather. We’re working on projects like the fences coming down, getting re-situated into the new turkey grazing paddock, general farm clean up and setting up the pigpen. The garden is still too wet to work, but all good things in time. The sugar snap peas I put in the hoophouse are about to sprout, and we have radishes, spinach and arugula seeded in there as well. The wild ramps will probably emerge right on time for our CSA boxes this year too. They go for $8/lb in the stores, so our members love to get them in their boxes. So delicious, I cannot wait!

Our basement has been flooding big time, first time ever for us in our 3rd spring here. The sump pump, an odd prehistoric thing that sits in a hole in the floor has been needing encouraging to do it’s job and meanwhile the basement freezer got flooded and is probably broken now. I got everything out of there today, still frozen, but this showed me what a food hoarder I am! Note to self: you don’t need to freeze so much veg! There’s this thing with putting food away- you don’t think of it if you don’t see it. In the deep recesses of the basement I have to admit I just looked at my canned goods and totally forgot what was in the freezer down there.

Meanwhile, I am totally in LOVE with the goslings!!!! Aren’t they just precious? image

In the kitchen brooder, we have 11 now, and another batch on the way, hopefully. They are so talkative and very different than any other type of baby bird I’ve experienced. When you open up the brooder they are start peeping but also stick their necks out in this special (super adorable) goose way. The 1st three are much bigger already, they say their first 3 months are when they grow to nearly 80% of their weight. Amazing life.

All 10 of the baby goats are doing really well, amazingly. The older goatlings are nearly 30 lbs now! Andrew picked up some milk replacer powder at the feed store, it smells like vanilla ice cream when I mix it up. I’ve never had to use it before, but the quads need it, and I’m not going to make them go hungry.  I have to admit something- I am getting a bit exasperated with the goats. Might be downsizing time. I’ve had a long run with goats running my life, and this year, not milking every 12 hours (the kids are nursing their mommas instead of me milking) is absolutely heavenly. This morning as the various spring birds’ extremely vociferous singing woke us before dawn, I realized I had no super urgent need to rush out of bed to milk goats. And I smiled and covered my head in the blanket.

We’re both up to do chores in the morning now, no more of that “one of us sleeping in” jazz. It feels good to be working on things outside again! I bought a few pairs of mud boots at Fleet Farm on Saturday, as each and every year our boots develop cracks and are worthless unless you like slopping around in mud outside and inside your socks. Now they are nearly unnecessary as the thirsty soil greedily absorbs all the melting snow. Simple pleasures.

image

achey

Yesterday we had snow AGAIN! Not the deluge like last week, or whenever that was, but it was shocking nonetheless!

The sun proceeded to come out and field garden, at it’s highest point, has been dry enough to till up and begin to get stuff in. Hallelujiah!

We’ve been planting onions & potatoes, seeding radish, lettuce, arugula, spinach. My legs feel like rubber and HURT, kind of in a good way though. I forgot this part of getting back into the game. Sheer madness to try and catch up from a whole month’s worth of delayed gardening!

Sadly, it’ still too cold to get our warm weather plant babies out into the garden. And the soil in our main garden is way to wet to try to till up. Gotta figure out some better drainage situation there. The forecast for the next week is showing really chilly nights, too chilly for the tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, and green beans. The peppers might be a good candidate though, since they can handle cool (not below freezing though) nights and it actually can help them blossom sooner. We’ll see how the forecast treats us.

Last night something awful happened- one of our adult geese was killed. In the paddock. The evidence says raccoon, and we’ve seen them creeping around on the country roads nearby at night. What are these dogs good for anyways? I guess their range isn’t as far reaching as we’d hoped- an entire farm perimeter fence and a Great Pyrenees or two are definitely in our future. Meanwhile, I installed 2 lengths of electro net around them, gifted after one season’s use, from our dear friend Heidi. Hoping for no tragedies tomorrow morning. We have two mothers staunchly sitting on their nests now, and we need to keep them safe. I don’t know how any animal in the wild can be so vulnerable and still successfully hatch out offspring.

Tomorrow we’re moving the Bubsters and Rouen ducklings out of the brooder into their shared electronet paddock, as well as finishing up potato planting and beginning to harden off the tomatoes, eggplants and peppers. They’ll have  to be moved back indoors, but we can start the process of introducing them to actual sunlight. Have to be careful, the shock if not carefully managed can kill them really quick.

I’m starting a series of photos called “animals in the sky.” Here are some of my first attempts.

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