Monday, May 16, 2011

May is finally here, again...

I am having a sense of de-ja-vu as I write this for the second time this month! For some reason the original blog entry had disappeared after it was published, so fingers crossed this entry stays up longer!
May & Lily hard at work
I am not sure if Spring is really here? We were busy on the field last week discing and cultivating with May and Lily who after having two months off because of the inclement weather did an amazing job, but this last weekend has brought another dose of cold wet weather to the farm and with this an abundance of grasses and weeds have already re-grown on the field.  My theory to this is you know that we do not use herbicides when you see the lush grass and weeds growing!
I am actually impressed that all the animals are doing really well but all of us would like to feel a little more warmth and see a little more sunshine.
Before the rain started on Saturday we did manage to plant the first 400ft of snap peas, get 300ft of potatoes in the ground and move all the white rock chickens out onto pasture.
Garlic Patch

The greenhouse is filling up rather fast with crops and all the succession planting we have to do for the CSA.  Everything is thriving and looking amazing but we would rather see all the crops in the garden than in the greenhouse.  Last year Michael and I built raised beds around the greenhouse and this allows us to plant crops out when we have seasons like this that stop us from being on the field.  The beds are filling up with Chinese cabbage salad onions, radicchio, shallots, Chinese artichokes, radish and top setting onions.  The garlic patch is thriving and fingers crossed for another good crop this year.

Soren & Eva
We have seen several new arrivals to the farm over the last few weeks including our day old Oprington Buff chicks who will become our new eggs layers. We have finally welcomed Soren and Eva our two Nigerian Dwarf goats.  They have been here for 5 days and finally Eva has learned the power of the inner voice.  For the first 24 hours she did prove for such a little thing she has a rather large set of lungs. After all the screaming we think she did give herself a very sore throat by Thursday. They are both doing really well and love attention, Soren has taken to sitting on our laps, and Eva likes chewing on all our clothing.  Eva will become our milking goat in the future and our founding goat for the "Knotty Ash" herd at Strattons Farm.  

Monday, May 2, 2011

Power Outage....

chicks staying warm by the stove.
Thursday brought a huge windstorm to most of eastern Ontario and for us a day without power and several days without internet.
The power outage brings a little bit of panic when you have day old chicks under heat lamps in the brood house!  We decided the best option for the Orpington Buffs was to bring them into the house and light the wood stove to keep them warm.
Michael chose a more Victorian approach when it came to keeping heat in the brood house for the older chicks. This was to place several metal trays on the floor filled with candles.  We were both surprised at how much heat tea lights can create.  It also smelt lovely as Michael used all my scented candles!
We where rather lucky as the electricity came back on at 17.30hrs. We are not sure what we would have done if like some of the homes in this area who reached today, Monday, 4 days after the storm and still had no power.