One of our early winter jobs is always to mulch the strawberries so they over winter well. The mulch keeps the ground from freezing and thawing so the shallow roots of the strawberry plants don’t get broken off. It also holds the plants back a bit in the spring. If they grow and bloom too early the blossoms often get frozen by a late frost, hence no fruit. We usually wait to uncover the plants until it is so warm that they have started to grow under the mulch (that we don’t want either)…then the mulch goes between the rows to keep the weeds down and keep the berries clean of mud when it rains. It also makes the ground softer for kneeling on. We have put electric fence around the strawberry bed to keep the deer from grazing on the strawberry leaves. In the past few years they have developed a taste for strawberries. We are hoping the fence will be enough of a deterrent to keep them out.
We now have four new little pigs to help with the composting of the horse manure. They started off their lives in a hedge row at an organic farm and are a bit wild. Michelle has been trying to decide on names and has chosen “Dot” for the spotted one. Ken has amended it to .com.
Ken has begun training Buttons and I got some action shots this afternoon. She is coming along well. Whinnie, one of our young mares, was sold earlier this week to a young couple who have a CSA in Eastern Ontario and have just bought a farm. Whinnie will be teamed up with Jazz, who is a daughter of Jethro Tull, our first Suffolk stallion. He is also Whinnie’s grandsire. We hope they will make a good team and are thrilled to have another CSA horse farm in Ontario with Suffolks.
Ken and I went down to the 2010 CSA garden plot this morning a remeasured the area to ensure that I have the proper row lengths for garden planning and ordering seeds. The area has been prepared with compost and is seeded down to rye. The rye has come up well and will give good cover to prevent erosion over the winter months. Previous to this the field was in Christmas trees for many years. This is the first time in 20 years that we haven’t sold Christmas Trees. It seems a bit strange, but it is nice to have our December back to do some other things. Have a Happy Holiday Season.