Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Walkabout 4-19

Sure, it's gloomy and cloudy...
but, look at the GREEN!
I can’t believe it’s already time for our little Sunday farm tour!

The recurrent story this week has been RAIN.  The total might not be overly impressive, just about 1 ½ inches, the ground remains quite wet and the creeks are running much higher than normal.  And, you know what’s in the forecast for this afternoon?  You’ve got it.  MORE rain.  We are beginning to think we will never get the potatoes planted! 

plantin' onions 2015
We did catch a break in the weather on Monday and got the onions planted.  All the little onion plants benefitted greatly from all the rain and we can look forward to big sweet onions around the end of June. The red onions and storage onions will mature a little later.

It doesn't look like much,
but, there are THOUSANDS of onion plants out there

We get the onion plants from a farm in Texas that grows millions of transplants for sale.  I must say, I wasn’t as happy with this year’s shipment as I have been in years past. The plants seemed rather small and there were lots of teeny, tiny plants this year.  We usually plant the very small plants in tight rows in the garden, allow them to grow for a short while and sell them as green onions.  That may be a problem this year as the garden remains too wet to plant anything.  Fortunately, onion plants can sit for quite some time prior to transplanting with few serious consequences.

Look at this!
The color on Bright Lights chard goes through to the roots
Since it’s far too wet to work outdoors, the hoophouses have gotten a fair amount of attention are looking pretty good.  A couple more intense weeding/cleaning days followed by some intense planting and we should have them in full production…just in time to pull the early crops and plant more.  The hoophouses are all about succession planting!  Which means that the greenhouses are full of flats of seedlings awaiting transplanting.  You know the expression…Life’s a dance…?  There is a great deal of “choreography” involved in keeping the cycle going in order to have fresh greens for Market. One mis-step can have long-lasting repercussions.  (so far, so good…) We did have one close call as I forgot to water the greenhouse one morning and by afternoon everything was looking more than a little dry and stressed.  Thankfully, a good dousing and the seedlings made a full recovery.
100% germination on first planting of Cucumbers!

The “April showers” do indeed bring forth the flowers. However, the blossoms aren’t waiting until May. The tulips, daffodils, and violets are simply beautiful. We even got the rosebushes planted in the side garden and if the buds are any indication, they are going to do very well. (and Gus didn’t feel it necessary to “help” by digging in them, either) 

The bright sunshine made everything SO beautiful...even Squeekie as she napped in the backyard.

Apparently, Squeekie doesn't like being a model!

I do hope we get some peaches from our one remaining tree!

 The fruit trees are covered with blossoms, although I won’t allow myself to get too excited about this.  All too often we have a late freeze here on the hill and lose any hope of tree fruit.  We have at least another month before we can stop worrying over frost.

apple blossoms

plum blossoms

The spring rains also bring out the SNAILS. 

Some years they seem to be everywhere…all sizes and colors.  The abundance always leads to a discussion of the possibility of “Mbrk free-range escargot”, more for hilarity’s sake than because there’s any real possibility of becoming snail farmers.  Because...well...ewwww...
What do you think?
Good advertising idea...?

The sheep have adapted quickly to the routine of being out on pasture.  The ewes can mow a paddock in a matter of hours and feel the need to “tell” me that they are done and would like to have fresh grass by complaining loudly whenever I’m within sight.

The lambs have finally learned to come when I call “SHEEP!” and I’m certain our close neighbors appreciate the fact that I don’t stand out in the field banging my feedbucket and calling loudly for long periods of time while the lambs look around blankly, completely ignoring me and all the ruckus I might be making. (no, lambs are not the brightest bulbs…)

All the rain and gloom makes us truly appreciative of the sunshine…and after the rains the skies are truly amazing. 

heading down the lane to Market

Saturday was one of those gorgeous spring days. Since there was also a downtown celebration for Earth Day, the Market was full of people.  We sold over 100 bags of salad greens in just 3 hours!  And, we could have sold far more. 

A good news/bad news kind of thing
EMPTY baskets at 10am

I’m pretty sure we will never, ever fully meet the demand. But, there’s not much I can do about it. This time of year we’re still playing catch-up from the cold weather of winter…and we can only pick and pack so much stuff anyway. I do hate selling out early in the day, but, it simply cannot be helped. 

The forecast shows MORE raindrops and some chilly temperatures. (what did I tell you about frost?) That should keep us on our toes.  This week is going to be all about chickens…we will process the first batch of broilers on Monday, move the mid-size broilers outside on Tuesday, and get the next batch of babies on Wednesday...(and take CHICKEN to Saturday's Market!)

Yep, Life IS a Dance!

In the meantime, here’s to a Happy Sunday!

I’m heading out to go shopping with Toughchick and GB#1…since we have a double birthday party coming up this week.  

Thanks for stopping by.  Do come back and “visit” again real soon!

Nothing finer than Spring on the farm!


  1. Looks as though it has been an up and down week for you on the farm, but selling out at the market early must be quite frustrating, I can see that. Good luck next Saturday - I do enjoy hearing about the market.

  2. Your tulips are gorgeous -- I'm particularly fond of the coral/orange
    color range. Even your snails are pretty.