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Archive for March, 2008


Wow – it’s been a while!  Even with the very nasty weather we saw a couple of breaks to get outdoor spring chores accomplished.

Fencing

We got a major portion of the fencing completed.  A new area for the Dark Cornish chickens gives them a new quarter acre of brush and grass with their tractors and dog houses moved for spring nesting.  In addition they can go through the holes in the fence to another acre of deep brush so they are pretty happy now.   The other acre has a perimeter fence of hog panels with smaller holes at the bottom.  It’s ready except for building a simply hog shelter for three weaner pigs and Daisy, T-Bone and maybe new calve(s)??   In addition Jake can now patrol safely outside at night.  The first few nights he would bark in the early morning hours at something but lately all has been quiet so I think he has claimed Deberosa from the predators!

New fencing

Gardening

Gardening season is starting.  The areas where I put down the annual supply of feed bags and cardboard boxes covered by bark mulch is now wonderful soil.  I put this down right on top of sod and it’s completely gone.  Soon will make the annual trip to Whitney’s gardens for more landscaping plants for this new area.   I am also moving herbs into the new area – Valerian, Oregano, chives, thyme and eventually many other herbs currently buried in the overgrown area will be moved.  I moved the Rhubarb, placing a nice big cow pie in the bottom of each new division’s hole.  The onions and garlic that I planted last fall and mulched with straw are now coming up very nicely and I’ve started to harvest from the bed of Leeks that I planted last spring.  I moved the Seedling Aronia bush,  allowing large pathways for the new tractor and wagon.  Also did the needed pruning of fruit trees and berry vines.   This year I am going to build another straw bale garden in the back yard but the weather has been too nasty.  The 28 bales of straw sit in the barn right now.  I am using lots more mulch this year to keep down weeds.

Starting Plants

March is also the month to start plants inside.  I have a chrome rolling rack that I got at Costco with two 4 foot shop lights.  That tends to be enough for me to start seedings.  So far I put in dozens of tomato starts and moved them from 6 packs to 4 inch pots last weekend and then they go to the outside greenhouse.  Unfortunately the weather outside has been perfectly nasty ever since to I’ve been running two heat lamps and one electric heater out there!  So far so good for Tomatoes, basil, chard and greens.  Now the next round are under the lights just germinating.  They include another round of greens, a few more tomatoes, zinnias, cosmos, more chard, a few kinds of head lettuce, okra, chinese lanterns and some other miscelaneous plants.   After this round will be the squash starts in the 4 inch pots, and the greenhouse will be at capacity with this new batch of seedlings.

Animals

It’s also springtime for the animals.  One dark cornish hen already hatched out her brood last week!  She hid them in the wood shed so she has 4 little chicks in all the snow and rain.  They are a week old now and doing very well, she is a good mother.  Daisy continues to get bigger so I am almost positive she is pregnant.  I just hope she waits till I return from a trip for my job!  I am letting the eggs collect with the Buff Orpingtons this week in hopes that someone will feel like setting so far no luck…  However the straw I put in the dog houses and tractors for the dark cornish have been thoroughly explored and there are many eggs in nicely rounded out nests in the straw.  The three piglets will be here by the end of April.

Gee – no wonder I didn’t have time to write!

 Daisy at the beginning of March

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They were doing spring cleaning at Kurt’s work this week.  He caught them just as they were about to chop up a wagon they had for grounds maintenance and throw it in a dumpster!  The next day we rented a uhaul to get that wagon to the farm because it’s just what I’ve been wanting for hauling stuff around here.

New homestead wagon

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