Wednesday, April 21, 2010

What's New At The Farm? 4/21/10

Busy, busy, busy.

Now that the weather has warmed up and perhaps straightened out for a while we can get some field work done. We've completed some projects around the farm that needed to be done before we start in the fields this spring. Always fun jobs including trimming trees and bushes around the fence, picking up strips of plastic in the fields that got missed last fall and modifying the poly tunnel so more light gets in. Other projects done are the raking, cleaning up piles of road sand and cleaning out the flower beds.

The cement has been poured in greenhouse # 2 and is set up. In a couple of days the contractors will come in and do some final work and then that will be ready for the new benches. It will be a real greenhouse then. New concrete and new benches and it will be a real pleasure to work in this house. Now I'll take aim of Greenhouse 1 next. This house we built around 1990 and we are thinking about replacing it or at least pouring concrete and installing new benches; something to think about for next spring for sure.

The wildlife report this week includes the heron I mentioned last week. Actually on my way to work on Thursday last week I spied one heading south; perhaps he knows something I don't. Other than that, the fiddleheads are up - early this year, the White suckers are spawning and the alewives are start their spring migration. Turkey vultures are showing up; cleaning up what died in the winter and what got hit in the road this spring. Tree swallows are back but I haven't seen the barn swallows yet. Black flies are out but not too bad right now.

On the home front we have two ducks sitting on nests; one Muscovy and one Call. Each has ~ 12 eggs, so we should have plenty of ducklings. I bought a dozen day old ducklings two weeks ago and have 41 in the incubator. I think soon ducks will outnumber chickens. The guineas aren't laying this year; I think we lost our only male last year and they're not interested in laying. My summer projects include a couple of "summer cottages" for the ducks; seasonal use with a nice view. Broilers due Thursday or Friday this week to further fill up the henhouse.

Back to the farm: Planting in the greenhouse continues with Greenhouse 3 rapidly filling up. We've moved some peppers to GH # 1 as the electrical load from many heat mats was causing breakers to trip. Not something you want to happen over the weekend when no one is really here.

I expect much field work will commence in the next ten days to two weeks. It is nearly dry enough to work all but the lowest fields so we should be good to go. We've got 200 yards of compost and 31,000 pounds dehydrated chicken manure to spread and work into the ground in the upcoming weeks. Much of our time will be spent spreading and incorporating these fertilizers to prepare for planting. We've got 47 acres to prepare this year; both for crops and for rotation plantings, so I guess we'd better get busy.

Until next week, Brian

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