Wednesday, March 3, 2010

What's New At The Farm? 3/3/10

Fortunately we got our fertilizer delivered last week as the road posters went up on Thursday and Friday last week. If we hadn't got our deliveries this soon we would have had to wait until mid May when the posters came down before we got our chicken poop. We could have had it delivered elsewhere and then trucked here but doing it the way we did was probably the best choice. It's here and waiting for us to use it. What with the weather pattern so far we may want it earlier than usual.

The fresh snow we got earlier this week didn't stay long but long enough. I've had enough of winter and am anxious to get back out into the fields. There isn't any frost in the ground this year so, barring any major snowstorms, we could be out in the fields in a month or so. Last year we got all our fieldwork done before the end of the season so we'll have a fresh start this year. Nothing worse than starting out the new year with work left-over from last year. Well, actually, there are worse things.

The wildlife report is sparse again this week. Saw an immature bald eagle at camp last Sunday but that's about it. Lots of bird traffic at the feeders; the usual and some Tufted Titmice too. I predict mud season will be a long one this year; that's probably a given. The next month we should start seeing lots of signs of spring: birds returning, flies on the window sills, wasps on warm days and woodchucks looking for the first few blades of green grass. Geese should be returning shortly. It's interesting to see what froze and what didn't freeze and die over the winter - the Brussels sprouts that were laying down before the snow look as good as they did last fall. I think I'll check them out to see if they're still edible. The ones in the fields here at JSS are standing tall, but dead and brown. There's some summer squash in the garden but they look rather petrified.

I was in the field last week and where I had planted turnips last fall they were still there with 3-5 inch roots intact. The deer could have eaten them all winter this year. In what was predicted to be a hard winter for the deer, a crop like turnips that they can graze on all winter, could be the difference between life and death. Unlike feeding grain to the deer, which is controversial and expensive, planting a crop for them can serve two purposes: provide deer feed and a good cover crop at the same time. I think this year I'll plant turnips earlier in the season, like mid August and see if we can get some bigger roots heading into fall and winter.

I was in the garden over the weekend and it was surprisingly dry. I rode through it with my four wheeler and didn't sink out of sight like I did last fall. I've got lots of chicken house litter to get on the garden this spring so want to get to it as soon as I can. I hope to get some of the chicken house cleaned out in the next week or so if I can. Half of the garden is getting a rest this season so it's going to get a heavy dose of organic materials before I seed it down for the season.

Next week I usually take off; before the busy season starts. I think I'll take two days this week and two days next week and call it good. If I can finish next year's fire wood and get the henhouses cleaned out, I'll be doing OK. Got to set some eggs for chicks soon - I can do that next week. The ducks are starting to lay so I can set an incubator full of them as well.

Until next week, Brian

1 comment:

Dan@SolGreenhouses said...

Things around Johnny's place sound about the same as around our place.Most of the snow has melted finally and we are dying to get out,but it is way to wet to do anything right now. The poor horses are standing in water even though we put tile and gravel in the barn last fall.Still it's not as bad as it was last year.I can't wait to get Gale's (my wife)greenhouse put together.It is a 8x8 but the way she produces plants we are going to have to expand before I get a chance to get it together.We are just starting in the nursery biz specializing in rare and endangered native spicies of Ohio.I also sell hobby greenhouses at and if your looking for natives we are at I built her a nice 10x14 timber frame style potting shed last summer and she can't wait to start using it.The Blue birds and Kildeer are back and thats a good sign of spring. Dan