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Catch Up

May 19, 2014
Cover crop in field E. Between wet soil and not needing to plant until June, we could let the cover crop grow to a nice size. We'll mow it down this week.

Cover crop in field E. Between wet soil and not needing to plant until June, we could let the cover crop grow to a nice size. We’ll mow it down this week.

I think this winter/spring is giving us a more realistic picture of what will be a typical beginning of each season on the farm. Last year was unusually dry, but this year had more average rainfall. It looks like that rain will add a few weeks of waiting for soil to dry out before we can work the fields. Luckily, we opened up two new fields this year, on higher ground, that will be our driest, earliest fields. We started planting in them around the same time as last year. (Last year’s fields will be planted later this year.) Unless there is a particularly wet spring, we will likely be starting to plant in our main fields in mid-April.

I started the summer squash in potting soil. They are ready to plant out this week.

I started the summer squash in potting soil. They are ready to plant out this week.

The fields are getting planted. Some things are going in later than planned, some on time. That seems to happen. There is always some catching up to do in spring. I had a pretty big set back in the propagation hoop house this year. I had some trouble with almost all of my starts, and had to restart most of them. The best I can tell, I got a bad batch of coconut coir (the medium I have been using to start seeds) with high levels of sodium. The little seedlings did not like that. Some died and some just stopped growing. Once I transplanted the seedlings or restarted the seeds in potting soil, they did fine. I have decided I will start everything in potting soil from now on and not take the risk that that will happen again.

Spinach! That is lettuce beside it.

Spinach! That is lettuce beside it.

We lost two of our girls over the winter, and are now down to three chickens. One was killed by a feral cat. I heard a big ruckus outside and followed the trail of feathers to a cat sitting over our girl. It was a big cat, not one I had seen around before. It may have even been a bobcat, but I can’t be sure. Our other girl just slowed down and died. Old age, I’d say. The three hens left are 6 years old now. We do plan on getting new chicks and selling eggs, though I’m not sure how soon that will happen.

Despite what has seemed like a slow start, harvests and deliveries begin this week. The peas are blooming (just a few more weeks!) and the first lettuce and other greens are ready. Some things will be delayed, but that’s kind of how things go. Welcome to the 2014 season!

Snap pea blossoms!

Snap pea blossoms!

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Susan Kipp permalink
    May 19, 2014 10:31 am

    Wishing you a bountiful year!

  2. Geri Ethen permalink
    May 19, 2014 9:46 pm

    Thank you for the update and letting us know the differences between spring last year and this! It is good for your customers to be in on the early news. All the best as you adjust to this year’s weather and opportunities.

  3. May 24, 2014 4:56 pm

    Your chicken story reminded me…..
    When I was a kid, my youngest sister had a black and white cat named “Spotty”. Spotty was very affectionate and would sleep with my sister constantly. One day Spotty disappeared into the woods and we all assumed that she was eaten by a coyote. YEARS later, out of the forest walks this MASSIVE cat, rippling with muscles and built much more like a small cougar than a house cat. It was Spotty, who had obviously been subsisting on small squirrels and maybe peoples’ chickens. She was huge—- really.
    Sorry about your chickens.

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