Wow – Been awhile…
Wow – Been awhile…
Yikes! We haven’t been staying up to date with our blog posts but that doesn’t mean we haven’t been busy… Bear with me as I try to touch on what we’ve been up to and some plans for the upcoming growing season.
Birds, Birds, Birds!
We are finally seeing more production from the hens after the long dark days of Winter. We’ll be breeding them soon and people have been asking about fertile eggs for sale. The plan is to start breeding the Black Copper Marans , Cuckoo Marans, Rhode Island Reds, and Cream Legbar this year. We will also be breeding the ducks and turkeys.
We have been rotating the Turkeys across the pasture, working to improve the soil. We can already see a huge improvement in the fertility. They were over-seeded in the Fall and we are looking forward to seeing how they grow once the rain stops (it will stop, right?)
We inventoried all of our seed, and ordered what we needed to fill out the garden. This year we will be planting all four sections with a goal of having ample harvest for both food and next year’s seed. We did great last year with potato and garlic, and are hoping we can have more veggies for storage this year, including dry beans.
This year we hope to win the war with weeds. We bought a Hoss wheel hoe which hopefully will make life easier and save some time. We also bought an Earthway precision seeder to make planning some of the crops easier. The irrigation should need only minor maintenance so we can focus on other areas, like improving the soil and drainage.
Weather Station Up
Speaking of weather, we have installed a weather station that is available at www.endlessraindrops.net. We’re hoping that having more data will allow us to plan better when it comes to planting and planning other projects around the farm.
Goats! (and sheep)
Our goats have been moving around the property and we’ve been using them as brush clearers. We mob graze them in areas where we plan to make improvements. This Fall we (and my we I mean the goats) cleared an area of heavily overgrown blackberry brambles that we want to use for future livestock housing (goats or pigs). They have done a great job and we continue to put them to work on clearing. Another group of goats is clearing an old fence line in preparation for a fencing project that has been on the to-do list for two years now… We have been using electric netting and this has worked well but we want to add sheep and livestock protection dogs, so fencing in a larger area would be best. This would also allow easier sectioning of the pasture for rotational grazing. Once we have a perimeter, it will be easy to connect temporary lines to the fence, making smaller sections that will allow better management/movement in a controlled fashion.
Our little guy Cooper was with our neighbors’ doe Daffodil (shout out Honeybrook Homestead!), and she is due this Spring. He seems quite proud of himself. We are considering breeding Hazel, our doe with him as well.
The improvements we’re making to the pasture are in preparation for grazing sheep. We won’t start with sheep until we get the fences in order…
Fruit and Herb Garden
The Elk have figured out how to get into our fruit and herb garden and have done a number on the strawberries and fruit trees. We are making some changes to prevent them accessing the garden. We are removing a hedge of boxwood and will be putting up another 8′ high section of fencing to cut off access. Where the boxwood were we will be planting additional herbs and fruit. In the fruit and herb garden itself, this year we are adding pear, cherry, and apricot trees, as well as currants and gooseberry. The old diseased peach stumps are gone now and we’re moving two young apple trees for better access. The plan is to get more permanent pathways finished this year in time for harvest.
As for the perimeter fence, we will be removing trees and brush to allow access for installing posts. The plan is to have high-tensile electric fencing in at least some of the property by Fall.
OK that’s enough for now. As always, check out our Instagram or Facebook for updates. We hope to be more active on the blog and are available to answer any questions through email or text/phone.