Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Walkabout 4-13

Another week has slipped by and made its way into farm history. ...and here are just a few of the noteworthy happenings from the hill.

The broccoli survived the cold. …and the rowcover didn’t end up in Timbuktu. It looks like the rowcover won’t get stored away quite yet, though.  There’s cold and snow in the forecast again for the midweek. (seriously)

This doesn't look good!
Despite what looked like a dire situation (twice) the Boss finally got the Gravely running once again. We both felt a big sense of relief over that one and it looks like we will get another season out of the geriatric machine after all.  It might not sound like a big deal that the little mower didn’t work, but with today’s focus on huge mowers, it is increasingly hard to find something small enough to cut the grass between the garden beds.  Our incredibly hilly terrain doesn’t allow for big, flat fields for vegetable planting, so we have lots of small beds with grass in between.  Good for the environment (no erosion) bad for mower choices.  So, we’ll be hoping that the little mower will keep on mowing without too many difficulties this season.
fingers crossed that it keeps running

After a check on the perimeter fences and a little bit of repair, the sheep finally left the barnlot and went out to somewhat greener pastures.

 This year, there was no joyous cavorting.  After a moment of running about, they simply put their heads down and ate their way across the paddock.  …and ate back the other way…all day long.  We got them out just in time, too…we have 9 bales of hay left in the barn!

the sheep are still coming back to the barn for feeding
and for the night

look close and you'll see thousands of little onion plants
The onions got planted!  Incredibly, we were only one day behind schedule on that job.  

…and since toughchick stopped by, we had some extra help. It seems that I might have forgotten to tell her we had a big job planned for the day of her visit.  But, as a former farm-kid, she knows that if the old folks are workin’, you gotta pitch in and help. (we did give her lunch…’cause we’re just nice that way)  Thanks for the help, kiddo!
helpin' the old folks plant onions

might not look like much now...
just wait!

The countdown to the big, sweet onions of summer has begun.

The spring batch of layer chicks arrived and have settled into the re-purposed henhouse turned brooder.   We lost a number of little girls just after they arrived.  I suppose they got chilled in transit.  Hopefully, the remaining chicks will do well and in just 5 months, these little girls will join the laying flock in the henhouse. 
broiler batch #2 - 1 week

broiler batch #1 - 5 weeks

The hoophouse crops are growing well, and our customers were happy to see that our mixed lettuce had joined the produce line-up at the Market once more.  More seeding and planting continues to be the routine.
first lettuce of 2014

Last week for the Claytonia
(the ladybug was a bonus)

With an eye on the weather, we will be chopping seed potatoes sometime today in hopes of planting them tomorrow.  It will be a race to beat the rain, snow and cold weather that is coming in Monday afternoon/night. Maybe we can get some beans in the ground, too.  I was tempted to plant out some squash and cucumber seedlings, but I think I’ll wait a little longer.

kinda hated to leave the hill on such a pretty morning
We had another beautiful day for Market.  With Staunton’s Earth Day celebration in full swing, the downtown area was a vibrant, active place…lots of people and activities.

In other odd and random news...

Gus was caught having a "picnic" in the orchard.  Don't worry, he didn't eat the chicks.  He did, however, take the box out of the burn pit and rip it to smithereens.  We're trying to remember...he's a puppy....he's a puppy...

A large portion of Mbrook Road was freshly paved this week, making for an incredibly smooth trip to town. Paving might not sound like a big deal, but Mbrook Road the only way to go ...well...anywhere, so we're grateful that job is completed for another decade or so.

And, here's a reminder why it is not common practice to do ram pedicures alone, before breakfast. 
Ye-ouch! It looks worse than it really was once it was cleaned and bandaged.  And, thanks to the Boss, we tag-teamed Waylon and got the clods out of his hooves. Can't have a limping ram!

It looks like the bluebirds are nesting near the garden again.  Mr. Bluebird has been spotted nearly every morning. The missus is a little more elusive.

...and here's hoping that the apple blossoms (and the peaches, too) can withstand the upcoming cold weather.


Have a very Happy Sunday!

sunrise over Mbrook

Thanks for stopping by!  Come back and visit again soon.

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