Tuesday, May 7th, 2013
It’s a sunny day (15C) with the wind continuing to blow: we welcome the warmth but like all farmers, are concerned the winds are going to blow the moisture out of the soil.
Our daily (morning and night) chores:
– Feeding laying hens and gathering eggs which also includes finding the odd duck egg from our 4 Muscovy ducks. Gathering eggs sometimes includes carefully removing the eggs out from under the one hen and one duck who have decided to set. They are setting side by side and often we find the chicken eggs under the duck and vice versa! Now that it is warmer we may leave them some eggs and see what hatches. (We have roosters and drakes around so the eggs should be fertile, but that’s a whole other post) We have now set up their automatic waterer so the chore of hauling water has been removed.
– Feeding our 2 gilts (pigs) and filling their water tub from the nearby hose… and adding some water to the mud hole so they can enjoy rolling in it. (Pigs can’t sweat so that is why they roll in the water and mud – to cool off) Our boar, Boris, is off visiting some other ladies right now at Fisher Farms.
– Watering and feeding our 50 Buff Orpington chicks (they are about 6 weeks old now) and our 40 goslings (they are 1 week today!) We’ve given the chicks a space to run outside but they are still a little unsure of their freedom.
– Checking on the 3 Jersey heifers we are raising as family milk cows, with the green grass now coming up – they are enjoying time on the paddocks just east of our house. They are pretty friendly and we are looking forward to next spring when we will have fresh milk.
What’s happening today?
Right now we purchase all of the feed we need for our chickens, pigs and geese but this year we are also making a start at growing all of our own feed.
The last 3 days Vance has been breaking up some old pasture (not native, we will never destroy native prairie, it is too rare and too important to the ecosystem we rely on) to plant wheat, oats, and barley. He’s using his granddad’s 3-bottom plough: it’s slow, it plugs up and it makes us glad we are only doing 12 acres like this (for now).
Brenda spent today working inside – communicating with investors, updating our accounts, and volunteering some time to the organizations she works with that are a part of building sustainable, healthy food systems: Friends of Food and GFSA.
After supper we moved our goslings to a bigger shed where they have the space all to themselves (before they were in a secluded area of the same shed the chicks are in. They also got their first taste of grass as we picked some of the green grass and brought it to them. It disappeared surprisingly fast! One little guy kept getting trampled in the pack so we brought him in to the house (along with a friend) and have set them up with their own little area. We want to build his strength back up so that he can keep up with the others.
With the warm weather here, all of a sudden, and 4000 trees arriving to be planted over May long weekend – the weeks ahead will be about preparing soil, laying mulch, and stretching our winter weary bodies as we garden, plant, and water.
In order to give you a better of idea of our farm and our operations, we’ve decided to write regular farm diaries that simply cover what we did today/that day. We’ll try to keep them to the 7th (or close to) of the month so that you can also see the changing tasks from month to month. We’ll try to write other posts as well but at least want to create this kinds of regular pattern. We hope you enjoy – do feel free to comment, ask us questions, and send your suggestions.