Saturday, June 22, 2013

Summers here......

Hail at the end of May! 
Holy smokes did the first day of Summer roll in with a bang! We have had cold, wet, windy, hail and late frosts this spring but yesterday as the first day of Summer arrived the heat kicked in and it was a hot, hot, hot! With the humidity we hit 30! Which meant sprinklers on the meat chickens who are out on pasture, wallows needing to be made for the pigs and even time out for us as we are not used to such heat!
Within 24 hours we had gone from toques to sun hats, welly boots to flip flops! To be honest we are all grateful for the warmer weather as some of our heat loving vegetables have been slow to grow and have very much sat dormant in the field
We have actually enjoyed the colder and wetter spring this year, it allowed us to get ahead on several different chores and allowed us time to implement some changes to the farm. 
We have had our moments of worry about crops not germinating due to the cold nights, not being warm enough to transplant and would the high winds ever stop and also if we would see our garlic as it took an age to grow! 
As ever this spring like last year has created another learning curve which will mean we will look at doing some things slightly differently next year. 

While doing all our field work for the CSA, we have seen Eva and Elly's kids leave and go to their new homes, we have been milking twice a day and getting about 3 litres of milk, thanks to the Henry milker, this has meant lots of milk being drunk on the farm.  Michael originally said he would not drink it as it would taste to goatee but he has been converted! It is now in his morning coffee and afternoon tea and you can also catch him with a glass before bed.  I think someone may be enjoying the fresh milk!!
We have also been making cheese, ice cream and also freezing some for winter for our soap making. Milking has lead to me now having to get up at around 5.15am to milk which I am not sure how it is going to work when the mornings get darker again in the fall, might be out in the goat house with my head torch on!

A happy Nigella!
Nigella one of our Berkshire sows gave birth in April and has been an excellent mum, very patent and attentive.  We have recently weaned her piglets and she has moved up to the summer paddock for a well deserved rest after raising nine very healthy and chubby porkers!  
We are due to farrow again in August and September so watch this space as we have more piglets running around the farm and more piglets to sell.

Our CSA vegetable baskets have just started and the pace at the farm changes from not just seeding, transplanting, weeding and mulching but also to picking, washing vegetables and doing deliveries.  All the hard work of spring starts to pay off when you see happy members come out to the farm or meet us at our pick up point in Belleville with happy faces and excited about fresh vegetables again.  Lots of chatter starts about different ways to cook the vegetables and how to enjoy this weeks bounty from the farm. Lets keep our fingers and toes crossed for a bountiful year with warm weather, and enough rain to keep the veggies and farmers happy.