Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday Walkabout 4-28

I think Spring finally decided to stick around this week.  I must say, it’s about time!

Blossoms on the late-season apple trees

Teeny tiny peaches are evident in great number
As the grape leaves unfurl, you can see the beginnings of
the little bunches of grapes 

It always feels so good to get back to outside work after the winter.  We got the entire spring crop of broccoli/cabbage/cauliflower safely tucked into the ground. 
Yes, we DID do it all by hand.  That is what seems to work best in our hilly terrain. Now, we are praying for some gentle rains on a regular basis…and there should be fresh broccoli within 6 weeks or so.

We processed the first batch of broilers on Tuesday. They were quite large and our Market customers seemed quite happy with them.  I will be putting chicken on our own menu for the week.  Batch #2 of broilers will move outside tomorrow, just in time for batch #3 to arrive at the Post Office on Wednesday. 

The hoophouses got shaded this week, too.  We actually got a NEW piece of shadecloth for #2 that really fits.  The first piece was damaged by the Derecho (check this out).  It is wonderfully shady for growing lettuce and other greens during the bright, hot, sunny summer season.  Combined with the new side-rollers, it’s like a brand-new space.  Now, if we could just get the weeds to stop growing!

In garden news, we were both beginning to get a little concerned about the potato crop.  It seemed like those spuds had been sitting out there f-o-r-e-v-e-r…and there weren’t any little leaves showing.  Each of us, unbeknownst to the other, dug down to check on the taters.  Yes!  The sprouts were coming.  By week’s end, the little plants were popping up all the way down the rows. Hooray!

In the ongoing effort to keep the grass harvested, the sheep moved out back for a while. Here is what happens when we open a gate around here.

They’re loving the fresh, lush grass of Spring.  But, they have become very spoiled and some of them have taken to protesting LOUDLY when they determine it is time to move to greener pastures.  They don’t seem to get the fact that WE are indeed in control around here. It's going to get real noisy this week, as weaning will be starting soon.  Better buy some earplugs!

Wednesday afternoon, I got all the tomato plants potted up into larger pots.  The weather is still much too cool and unpredictable to plant them outside, so they will grow in the protected environment of the greenhouse for a while longer.  We have seen it freeze here as late as late MAY, so we are not in a big hurry to plant the tomatoes in the garden.  All the anticipation just makes us appreciate those luscious tomatoes in July and August!

This year, I did something different and color-coded all the pots.  A different color for each variety.  In the past, I used plant tags, but sometimes those pulled out and it’s really hard to tell the varieties simply by looking at them. We used to number the pots, but that had some drawbacks, too.  Besides, it was fun to spray paint all those pots!

I miscalculated and ran out of pots before I got to the pepper plants.  The Boss put in a quick order to the greenhouse supply store and the peppers will be first up in the coming week.

It was a beautiful dawn on Market Day…and the Market was hopping.  Lately, there have been a lot of special events in town, so the foot traffic through the Market has been pretty steady.  Maybe next week I will get to take pictures of the Market as well.

Sunday started off with rain.  We are really hoping that continues for a while. The broccoli crop would greatly benefit from some rain right now.  We love rain...especially on Sunday!

The sheep are enjoying a rainy Sunday in a new paddock

Those were the highlights of our week here on the hill. 
Hope you had a good one as well.
Thanks for visiting! 
Come back soon.

Happy Sunday!

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