As seems to be the weather lately, we have a really nice warm spell and then another cold snap. A week ago we were sharing about having planted out our first cabbages, but in the week between it has been more of the cold side of that swing holding us off from doing as much in the field. More prep work of course, getting a few patches plowed where there was sod that needed to be turned under, and more places disced to work the surface layer before planting. It feels like we are always saying it is go time, but then the weather says not quite. The rhubarb and asparagus also thought that last warm spell was good enough to start growing – rhubarb really starting to leaf out, and asparagus showing just enough short tips for us to have a bit with Monday supper before everything froze. We mulched the rhubarb with straw, and so far it looks like it made it through this time. We are forecasting two weeks until the Asparagus is ready. We’ll see how close we are.
This week in CSA we have Bok Choi, Green Garlic, Carrots, Onions, Parsley, and Parsnips.
As we’ve often done this spring, we thought the sub optimal planting conditions provided a good opportunity to put in a few more fence posts. We got one in, but then the tractor decided that we were done when the PTO clutch stopped working and put a stop to our fun. Oh well, it keeps us humble. With or without new fences, it is almost time for the sheep to go out on pasture. The grass is starting to grow, and they are chewing through hay faster than we’d like, so they can go harvest it for themselves for the summer. Hopefully our supply looks better next year with the new planting of hay, which is so far looking good.
For a couple weeks now many of the sheep have started looking close to lambing, and experience says that about two weeks after they look like that, there starts being lambs. By the calendar, from when the ram went in, we start lambing this Friday. But sheep aren’t super reliable about due dates, so really any day now. At least this time they are planned, so we have some idea when they should be expected.
This week we plan to forage ahead with planting in the faith that spring is truly coming. Onions are the biggest item on the agenda. We prefer to get them planted by the end of April, but baring that, when the weather is less cooperative, the first week of May is fine.
The chickens on pasture are doing well. Granted, with a little extra effort of heat lamps and straw bedding around the edges of the pen, but well all the same. The little ones in the brooder are off to a slightly better start temperature wise than the first ones, but it’s still been a challenge keeping everything at the temperatures it should be.
For those of you planning your gardens, we are slowly adding plants to our online store as they are ready. There will be more coming, but it’s still too early to be planting tomatoes outside anyway, so be patient!
That’s all for this week.
Until next time,
Nathan, Aleta & David Klassen