We’ve been asked how we are weathering all the snow, and we’re happy to say all is well. Starts are coming along nicely, the greenhouse is standing in spite of all the snow, and somewhere under the new snow, there are little green daffodil shoots!
19 Mar 2013 1 Comment
18 Dec 2011 Leave a Comment
“tis the season to renovate the greenhouse and prepare it for next season’s crops. We haven’t done anything with it for a month or so since we finally had a hard enough frost to freeze it. But even with the waning daylight hours and cold weather over the last couple of days, it was nice out there for a while. Dad is putting in a bigger, better hydroponic system to grow lettuce, spinach, watercress and what-not. We are lining and will be flooding the trough under the central path. This will help keep the greenhouse from freezing, as the water retains the heat from the day, releasing it in the night slowly.
We also set up a shelf for start trays, as we will begin starting seeds as early as late January. Under that is a series of glass-covered cold-frames. Greenhouses within greenhouses to give us an even earlier start. The greenhouse isn’t heated, although Dad does have a nifty solar exchange system that forces hot air under the beds from the top of the tunnel, heating the soil.
19 May 2011 Leave a Comment
Because it is still rainy – although not cool, at the moment it’s like a sauna out there! I have been feeding the bees sugar water. We use quail waterers to give the hives a solution of one-to-one sugar and water. I did notice that the bees were flying today, which is a good thing, and they aren’t going through the sugar as fast. Today I spoke to our farmer friend who leases them every year and he told me he wants them for his big pumpkin field next month. The bees will increase his yield enough to make our lease fee well worth his while. Beekeepers like the arrangement where they can get honey and get paid for the girl’s works.
We took a closer look at the baby bunnies today. Michael moved fluff and I took a picture, and we were delighted to find we have six in there. As Michael says, they have wee little ears, and round tummies. Although we never see Mama in with them, she’s obviously feeding them. She’s a first time mother and doing pretty well, considering. They are half New Zealand but they are all black or dark grey.
We have a number of apple trees on the property, but most of them are seedling apples, which usually means the apples are small and very, very tart. We have one tree by the house that actually has sweet apples. They look beautiful in the spring covered with pale pink blossoms. I like to stand under them, inhaling the sweet scent and listening to the bees humming in the flowers. If we pay attention perhaps this fall we can harvest some to make apple jelly with, or to mix into the apple cider. We normally let them go and concentrate on the orchard up at Toad Hall, but they are planning to sell this year.
We have much work to do in the greenhouse, it’s only about half-ready for plants, but the tomatoes and herbs in there are doing really well. The decked center path will be lined with plastic and filled with water eventually. Dad says that will hold about 1200 gallons of water and may extend our season to almost year-round with the thermal mass. The little wood stove just visible in the foreground will help with that, too. We may try to grow fish in there, eventually. Long term we want to try a polyculture of fish, crawdads, and plants. Dad plans another trough on the North side of the greenhouse that will be pumped up into gutters full of plants. The fish poo will fertilize the plants. We might not manage it all this year, but most of the infrastructure is in place, I just have to follow Dad’s plans. Along with about a dozen other projects. It’s good, though. The farm is happening, inevitably as the grass grows.
20 Apr 2011 Leave a Comment
My popovers didn’t “pop” but they still tasted awesome, especially with the blueberry jam that we put up last summer on it. I think next time I will use a metal pan, the silicone muffin tins didn’t work well for this!
The little golden ones are Golden-Pencilled Hamburgs, and the black and white ones are Cuckoo Marans. The Cuckoo Marans will lay deep brown shelled eggs. Once they are laying, with the green egged Aracaunas we already have, and the Hamburg’s brown eggs, we will have very colorful boxes of eggs to sell! Right now they are just gosh-darned cute.
Ok, it’s not really hatching, but it’s cool to see that leaf crumpled up in the cup that forms the base of the stem. They will grow like mad now, and by May we will be harvesting rhubarb. I plan to make rhubarb jam soon!
Finally able to take the starts out to the greenhouse. It’s freezing at night outside, but they will stay warm enough in there, and we’ve got a huge head start on the growing season. We are harvesting lettuce out of the cold frames at the far end of this bed already.