It’s been a busy week, which considering the weather should be a surprise to nobody. Monday morning started with getting the guys going on harvest, then breakfast and chores with the plan to get right on to harvesting the parsnips and spreading manure after that. But about as we were done chores the guys working on the new ramp at the front of the house wanted to borrow an extension cord, and then the feed truck was here with feed for the chickens. Shouldn’t have been a big job, but the mill was over a bit on quantity so the one tonne that just fits in our bin turned out to be one and a quarter tonne, so we cleaned out a second bin that was mostly empty into bags so we could split the load. I don’t remember all what happened next, but before we knew it we were having a late lunch, and no parsnips had been loosened for harvest yet. Later in the afternoon we did manage to harvest the last of the parsnips, and tested the manure spreader. After some adjustments we thought it was field ready, but were at least smart enough to start with a half load. Well it’s parked back by the shop to address more problems. We got parts in on Friday and it’s partially reassembled, but we’re not even convinced we have found the actual problem yet. Anyway, that was Monday.
This week in CSA we have Lettuce, Baby Kale, Radishes, Carrots, and Parsnips.
We are still forging ahead towards upgrading our greenhouse ventilation. This week we made a bit of progress cleaning up the outside edges of two greenhouses to better manage weeds so they don’t interfere with the automatic rollup sidewalls. We are soothing things out a bit, removing some of the existing weeds, and screwing black landscape fabric to the side to hopefully block the first few feet of weeds. We hope this will provide a better mowable edge for the future for easier maintenance. No word yet on when the parts will be ready for pickup, but that’s no reason to not make progress where we can.
It’s been a busy week for harvest. Beyond the parsnips we already mentioned we harvested, washed and packed over 90 Kg of lettuce from the greenhouse this week as well as smaller amounts of kale, spinach, arugula, radishes, parsley and more. Everything grows too well right now that it feels like it is all ready at once.
I was starting to think I would be writing that the sheep were making us wait another week for lambs. Thursday was officially supposed to be the start of our lambing season, but as of Saturday night there were no lambs and not even any ewes acting as if they would be lambing overnight. Then Sunday morning we checked and there was a set of twins already half dry standing by their mother. Easy enough. That’s our favourite way to do lambing – no problems and they look after themselves. We get them in a pen with still plenty of time for breakfast, the rest of chores, and opening greenhouses before hopefully making it to church on time. But it’s always worth one more check that everyone is ok before leaving. And good thing too. There was another ewe clearly in the early stages of lambing already calling to her unborn lamb. And after a bit we notice a second ewe has separated herself into a corner as they often do just before lambing. Well, change of plans. We are thankful for the option to join church online that we have had since early in 2020. Nathan had to go turn off sprinklers in the greenhouse and before he was back to the barn with the computer for church the second ewe had already had one lamb. Then one from the first, another two from the second, and the second from the first. Four lambs born during church, three needing some help and we went from no lambs to seven in one morning. Lambing season has begun!
Somehow between all this the van is working again. Aleta’s Dad came over to look at it and the manure spreader on Tuesday. Nathan tried to work on it on Monday and by the time we put it back together on Tuesday it worked fine. We’re guessing some corrosion was causing a bad ground connection on the starter, but regardless of the reason we are back on the road. Our other equipment good news story is that we added the extra plumbing for a third row on the transplanter. It is now nearly field ready when we are ready to plant onions.
This week is supposed to be quite a change from last. Not that seasonal is a problem, but the swings in temperature are hard on everything, us included. Heat in the high 20s outside when we aren’t acclimated and are still busy in the greenhouse even for us is hard. The rhubarb is just peking through the ground and the garlic has grown substantially just since last week. They should be fine, but if we get a hard freeze which seems worth expecting the rhubarb will need covering. We’ve had too many years recently where the Asparagus is up before the last freeze and then we need to wait another week for it to recover. Hopefully not this year, but not much we can do about it regardless. And with how dry it was last week we recall last summer’s drought. Everything just seems less predictable than it once was. But for now, if weather and equipment will cooperate at the same time, we’ll try to keep getting the fields ready. Maybe even pull the seeder out and plant some seeds if it’s not too cold and wet. There is still too much to do inside anyway, and another 60 Kg of lettuce to harvest before Wednesday so we won’t be bored.
Until next week,
Nathan and Aleta Klassen