For the record – it was 80 degrees today. Jen’s pulled 4 ticks off the dog, Nate’s been bitten up by Mosquitos, the Spring Peepers are chirping away by the pond, the peach trees are budding, the daffodils are popping up and it’s only March 21st! What’s happening with this weather? Of course, weather is hard to predict but, coming from a farmer, some stability would be nice!
Lynn has been busy working in the high tunnels, aiming to get an early crop of greens in and harvested before we need to plant tomatoes for the summer season.
Nate’s kicked it into high gear with the oven – it’s coming along quite nicely. The weather has been so pleasant, he spends the evenings working on the stove, under lamplight, after a long day of wrangling chickens, herding sheep and milking cows. Nate has also been trying out his sourdough recipes, resulting in us eating lots of tasty bread and pizza. The functional part of the oven is complete (we had our first loaf of sourdough bread from it today!), now he needs to finish the facing. It’s really a fantastic addition to the farm.
Greg took off for Paris, France the past Thursday, the world traveler that he is . . . . He was invited to speak for the French National Organic Agriculture Federation about CSAs and what we’re doing on our organic farm. You can read about the conference here, but it’s in french, if you need to translate, use “google translator”. We’re super proud of Greg – it’s great to know that he’s getting the word out there about how great our farm and CSA are and how important it is that folks start growing and eating locally grown organic food. He’ll also have the opportunity to visit a few organic farms around France. He’ll come back with new friends, good ideas and lots of pictures!
Before he left for his international tour, Greg was busy on the farm. In typical Greg fashion, he’s got several projects going at once. He’s becoming an expert small engine mechanic and has completely rebuilt our Troy Bilt Rototiller (which has been used and abused since 1990). It now starts on the first pull and runs like a work horse! He’s moved onto bigger and better engines and has now completely re-fabed the wiring on our biggest tractor (an Iseki White, from sometime in the early 1980’s). He’s getting the machinery back into action and ready for another busy growing season, as it’s really inconvenient to have a tool break down in the middle of a project.
On top of that, Greg has installed twenty 275 gallon water tanks in the greenhouse. We’re going to fill these with rain water and use them as temperature regulators. The water will act as a heat sink and keep the greenhouse temps higher, allowing us to keep the thermostat set lower and use less propane (besides the mortgage, fuel is one of our biggest expenses on the farm).
We’ve already got the greenhouse half way filled up with spring seedlings. Lots of broccoli, cabbage, kale, onions, leeks, eggplants, herbs and other crops are enjoying this warm weather and are sprouting up in just a couple of days flat! It’s so nice to see life popping up everywhere!
Not only are the seedlings new life on the farm, but so is our little Lucy! Ella had her calf about 4 weeks ago. Lucy is so cute, friendly and lots of fun. She hangs around while we milk Ella and then comes eagerly into the stall to get a little for herself.
Zander and Evelyn are growing fast! They both are gabby little babes and like to keep everyone hopping. They go with us everywhere on the farm and learn about the numerous chores and tasks necessary to keep an operation like this running. Zander has a good grasp on what it takes to milk Ella….
While Evelyn knows the drill for gearing up to spend the day in the Greenhouse.
Although farming is already hard work, and raising children has its own daily challenges, both jobs have significant and tangible rewards. We all agree, there’s nothing we’d really rather be doing. It’s a good life here on the farm!