Very excited......potatoes have arrived and are waiting to be planted!!! In 2011 we planted purple viking potatoes. They did great and were a big hit for eating.......so they will be back in 2013. We will also be planting white and red varieties of potatoes as well.......Can't wait for those first new potatoes which will probably be ready some time in April or early May. Our potatoes will go in the ground in approximately two weeks......weather depending!!
Spring has sprung!!! Have you noticed the elm trees are flowering adding a rosy hue to the horizon? Buds are swelling and certain herbaceous plants and grasses are greening up. What does this mean? It means that we are in the thick of the busiest time of year at 47 Daisies. Seed potatoes are sitting in the farm room waiting to be planted (hopefully Saturday). Strawberry plants are on their way as I write this!! They will be planted in the high tunnel (hopefully Saturday). We are also busy, busy, busy starting seed in the greenhouse.....warm weather transplants are starting to make their way into the greenhouse along side the cool weather plants that are doing well. In addition we are getting ready to do our first sowings of the year in the outside beds.........cool weather greens will get sown (hopefully Saturday) under low tunnels. Low tunnels are a new addition this year and will greatly expand our ability to get spring crops earlier and overwinter fall crops. Should be an exciting year!!!
I was sitting with Eilah last night right before bedtime and decided to get some input from her and Basil about the "priorities" of farm projects going into spring. I said to her "so Eilah, what do you think we should do first.....bananas in the high tunnel, pineapples in the plot by the barn, or work on your treehouse?" The unanimous answer from both Eilah and Basil was "THE TREEHOUSE!" This was followed up by the predictable question from Eilah "But can we plant bananas RIGHT NOW too?" From her standpoint this was the grand solution to everything!! Work on the treehouse NOW, and also plant bananas NOW! If everything were as simple as children make it out to be the world would be a grand place...........but as a sucker for childrens bright smiles.........I guess we will be tackling two projects simultaneously.......BANANAS AND TREEHOUSES!!!!!
Hurricane Isaac swept through 47 Daisies in September of this year. We didn't suffer much damage (could have been A LOT worse) but it did damage the front hoophouse beyond repair. So the iconic image of the front fields came down yesterday evening........We have used the hoophouse for many things during its residency at 47 Daisies. We have used it to start seeds, we used it as a coldframe for plants getting ready to be transplanted and we have used it for dormant season growing of greens. It was a sad day and we hated to see it go, but it had become an eyesore and a danger.......so down it came.
Seed starting is well under way!! We got a bit of a late start because of the
actual construction of the greenhouse, but with that behind us seeds are being
planted!! So far the germinants doing well include.....shallots, broccoli,
cabbage, swiss chard, kale, kohlrabi, chinese cabbage, collards, cauliflower,
lettuce, pac choi, celery, radicchio and fennel!! We are also trying some cool
new things this year......ginger will be planted in the high tunnel along with
the strawberries, citrus and bananas!! Warm weather transplants won't be far
behind.....especially with the updated forecast for the next three months from
the weather channel. Apparently once we hit March, temperatures will be well
above average.......better get growing!!!
Harmony was making an amish cheesburger soup recipe the other day and needed some ingredients from the garden beds. The list was carrots, onions, and parsley. She asked if we had any parsley and I said we did. We headed out to the garden area to get our veggies for the soup. First the carrots....easy enough!! Big tub full of carrots washed and harvested......then the green onions......also easy enough.....then on to the parsley. Harmony asked where it was and I pointed down to the grassy path in between two beds and said "there it is." She looked at me like I was crazy, but often times after I finish seeding a row or two I will toss the extra seed onto the garden paths..........this has taken somewhat of its own personality!!! As we were harvesting parsley out of the garden path, Kade walked up and asked "what in the world are you guys doing?." We proceeded to explain to him that we were harvesting parsley......he chipped in after registering that it was not a weed or grass that we were picking. The garden paths have taken on a new roll though, with patches of mustard, cilantro, parsley and random lettuce and dill plants popping up here and there!!! Its like cheating the system.....harvesting from places that weren't slated for plants!!!! Oh and by the way, the parsley and the soup were delicious!!!!
Dylan loves his tiller. It really is a pretty awesome machine, able to plow through the fields and make them ready for almost anything. He loves it so much he named it. :) This morning I received a text from him with this picture attached and the title of this blog underneath. Thought it would be fitting to share with you all that Big Blue has had his first workout (of oh so many) for the year.
Today, Dylan tilled the bed for the potatoes and started on the area for the onions and leeks.
IT'S GO TIME!!!!
For those of you who don't know, Cookie is a lamb. Duck and Chicken were born to Cleo in early December and then Cookie and Frost were born to Sunny in late December . Cookie is the only ram lamb and Duck, Chicken and Frost are all ewe lambs. Lambs typically don't rock the boat too much, they bound around the pasture, spend A LOT of time nursing on their mamas and sleep. They are also pretty good at knowing who their mom is and only nursing off their mom.
Over the past few weeks of observing the lambs and learning their personalities, it appears that Duck, Chicken and Frost are all very well behaved lambs. Cookie however, has decided that he is going to do as he pleases and not be the typical lamb. Of course he gallivants around the pasture cavorting with the others, but when it comes to nursing apparently he is not satisfied with just nursing off of Sunny (his mom).
We feed the sheep grain each evening when we do the animal chores. They are very trained to this schedule. Each evening as we start down the hill the sheep jump and leap in the air to show their excitement (Lewis especially, but the lambs usually join in). Once in the barn, they bleat constantly (and very loudly) until they are fed and then settle in to much their grain. Duck and Chicken are now old enough that they partake in the grain ration with the adults, but Frost and Cookie are still just hanging around as the rest of the flock eats. Frost is very polite and just waits patiently for everyone to be done, but Cookie has seen his chance to sample Cleo's milk. Ewes DO NOT like it when lambs which aren't their own try to nurse them.........thus the push and shove begins..........!!!!!
As Cleo is eating, Cookie will sneak up behind her and very tentatively edge in to her udder. He will quickly grab a taste and hightail it out of there before Cleo can turn around and very forcefully show him that this is not appropriate behavior for a young lamb. This continues the entire time the sheep are eating!!! Cookie slinks in for a taste and Cleo whirls around to tell him NO!! It is very amusing to watch! Whoever said sheep can't have personalities too!!!
Lots of rain has fallen at 47 Daisies! We love the rain, but it makes things a bit difficult when we get so much. This first storm system that moved through last week dropped about 2.5 inches of rain and we got more over the past few days, and it's still raining! November was dry, then a wet December and now it seems a very wet January. Usually not a problem, but onion plants and leek plants are on their way and the beds are in no way workable!!!
With all the first rain storm we also got warm temperatures!! It felt like spring for a few days! I know its only January, but it makes me excited for the season to come. With the warmth came the first debut of the spring peepers and folk lore says that when the spring peepers start to voice their calls, it is time to start working the fields!!! Unfortunately it looks we will be making a full return to winter though, with highs only in the 30's and 40's this week........I guess we will have to wait a little longer for the full return of spring :(
There is a new greenhouse being built as we speak. Dylan's dad, Wilson, is in town this week and they have been building a greenhouse since Saturday morning, hoping to get it done by this coming Saturday.
This greenhouse will be used for seed starting in the coming weeks. We outgrew the seed room in the barn, and this will also allow natural light for the plants.
We're very excited about the completion of the greenhouse!! It's coming along nicely!!
Dylan and Harmony, whichever of us have the time to sit down and write for a few minutes. : )