Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 2-23

What a difference a week makes!

Last week’s snow has disappeared from the landscape. Well…mostly.  There are still piles in the shady spots and wherever the drifts were especially deep. 

Cool icicles on the barn
the icicles mean that the gutter is broken and needs repair
but, still...COOL ICICLES!
This week, we battled the melt and the mud.  As 18+inches of snow melts, it makes for LOTSA water…  

While it’s great fun to make little rivers in the mud with sticks when you are a little kid…it’s not nearly as fun when the ground is frozen, you’re using a pick and a shovel…and your age is no longer 5, but 5-0 (or more).
...and the barn was flooded

"skating rink" in front of barn

We had a skating pond in front of the barn and some sort of muddy water theme park out behind.  Fun times down at the barn. (not)
muddy, icy barnlot

Some quality time was spent with both a pick and a shovel…and several tractor buckets of gravel.  

Unfortunately, the mud has developed an insatiable appetite and has swallowed most of the gravel, so it will be time for a repeat performance this week.

the dumping gravel made the sheep nervous

half of them flipped out and ran outside

and then complained that they were not in the barn with the rest of the flock!

except my "helper"
if I could just teach him to use the shovel!

We took a little trip to Staunton Lime a week or so ago…I was amazed to find there is a whole lexicon to gravel.  There are all sorts of types and sizes, and they all have different uses.  It was actually an amazing trip. (I wish I could have stayed longer, taken pictures and asked more questions.   But, that would have just been a little weird...even for me) Later, we had ten tons of #10 delivered.  That sounds like a lot, but it’s not going to last long in our battle with the mud.

at least she's not sinking in the mud

We put some gravel in the chicken yard as well.  The pullets have finally begun to come out of the henhouse and we can’t have them swallowed by the mud. I have never seen mud like this before.
pullets consider the outdoors

fountain at Milmont

Since the mud and snow and gloom of February were really beginning to get to us…and we needed to run a few errands, we took a little trip to Milmont, a greenhouse over in Draft.  I love to go there when it’s cold and dull outside.  It feels so good to be where it’s warm and bright, and you can smell the damp earth.


The Boss took pictures and I bought a couple plants to put some color back in our lives as we endeavor to endure the rest of the winter.You can check out his photos HERE.

the Clocktower
Staunton, VA

Saturday was beautiful. (a far cry from last week when it was still a struggle to get out of the driveway) It actually felt good to stand outside and talk to our customers who met us downtown for pick-up in the morning.  Have I mentioned how much we appreciate these folks?  We do!  Tremendously!  While the weather has not been kind to us this winter, we’ve missed getting to town…and this is the first year that we have NOT had greens for weeks on end… our customers have been very supportive and ordered/come out every time. 
Thanks y’all…you make this all worthwhile.

When we got back, the Boss took the opportunity to clean out the brooder. (we should be getting the first broiler chicks of 2014 this week) and I organized the barn to accommodate the next wagon load of hay.  With bad weather headed this way AGAIN, we have a small window of opportunity to get some hay this week and we needed a clean spot to store it.  All the waste hay was hauled to the backyard to help re-seed a big bare spot that was becoming another sea of mud.

The Boss also put a light in the greenhouse for me this week.  While this may not sound noteworthy…I have needed a light in there ever since we built the thing.  It’s bothersome to work by flashlight and the porch light isn’t much help.  I kept thinking I needed a light, but never really asked. When I mentioned it to the Boss and ASKED him to fix it…it was a done deal within a couple days.  I learned something on this one...
ASK and ye shall receive. Guess I should have ASKED 15 years ago!

The new light is a wonderful addition and makes my evening rounds (when I shut down all the greenhouses) so much easier.

It doesn’t seem like much is going on right now. This time of year is a real lesson in patience. The lambs are eating and growing.  The seedlings in the greenhouse continue to thrive.  Things aren’t quite as dismal in the hoophouses as I had thought.  …and we’re inching closer to Spring.

bottle babies found the feeder!

the sheep can go outside

these girls are SO cute!

And, it’s only 40 days until Opening Day of the Market.

 …only 40 days ‘til Opening day…? 


Excuse me…I’ve got to go talk nice to the plants in hopes of having something to sell.
come on....GROW!

Thanks for stopping by…

Happy Sunday!
Have a great week!


  1. Great blog and pictures. I'm looking forward to another year of the market!

  2. Thanks, Mark! We're looking forward to Market, too!

  3. Oh, I'm so sorry to see all that mud in your barn. May warm weather and sunshine come soon- and stay! Tom, your photos are breathtaking. Staunton should hire you as photographer-in residence (in your spare time....!).