For a change this week, it is easy to forget that we are in fact one week closer to spring than we were last week. It surely doesn’t feel like it. But time marches on, and the calendar reminds us that it is now time to start seeding onions to be transplanted to the field late April if conditions allow. Our seedling house is currently in transition from lettuce seedlings bound for the greenhouse to flats of onions waiting to germinate along side tomato and pepper seedlings bound for the greenhouse in a few more week’s time. But for now winter persists, and on Saturday we had some serious winter driving conditions to contend with.
This Wednesday we are back in person at Montgomery’s Inn, so there will be no delivery route.
CSA this week we have Carrots, Potatoes, Parsnips, Garlic, Arugula, Rutabagas, and Parsley.
The manure spreader is finally finished and out of the shop. Well mostly finished anyway. We still need to bolt the floor to the new support bar, but it is for now out of the shop anyway. And one project out means space for another project in the shop. So now we are working on upgrading an old cultivator to better suit our current needs. And we’re painting at least some of it while we are at it so it looks better and lasts longer. It might still be old equipment, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t look ok again! For those of you more interested in the how and the why of these upgrades, the old unit (modified from an auction find five years ago) was set up to cultivate two rows in one bed, mounted on the back of a tractor. The nice thing about this unit is that each row has independent float from the toolbar riding on gauge wheel allowing much better depth control than any of our other cultivators. But I wanted to cultivate three rows in a bed, and it just isn’t set up for that and there isn’t enough space to add the extra row unit. The basic idea is to make a centre unit that can do both sides of the centre row out to the edges of the outside rows. So we’re taking it apart for parts, painting, modifying, planning on welding, and putting it all back together for it’s new purpose. It will be just another tool in our evolving cultivation toolbox, but getting that right in a variety of crop and field conditions makes a huge difference in weeding labour and the final crop.
Other than that we basically got through the normal daily work and dug out from two snow storms. Well after repairing the blade for the tractor that we use for pushing snow. Twice. Different parts each time, so it’s not that the first repair didn’t work. We are expecting a feed truck tomorrow, so we had extra reason to dig out well in spite of the difficult packing snow conditions on soft gravel. Hopefully we did a good enough job.
This week is sheep shearing time. This is a change from past years to get before lambing. It should keep the sheep cleaner for lambing and not as shaggy by the time it gets hot out. If we waited any later we would be into lambing season, and by the time that is done it is already hot, and shearers are too busy elsewhere and hard to schedule. Plus summer shearing puts the sheep at risk for sunburn so shearing early while they are still inside allows them time to grow back a bit of wool before they are out in the summer sun.
Well that’s the news for this week.
Until next week,
Nathan and Aleta Klassen