Life here at Orchard Hill Farm takes on a rhythm with the seasons. We mulched the strawberries again in December. January has been spent continuing the interviewing process for apprentices, mapping out the CSA garden for 2011, putting in our seed orders and building wheel hoes to sell at the Guelph Organic Conference to be held the end of the month.
Our herd of Suffolk Punch Horses suffered the loss of Jasmin in December with colic. This was sudden, unexpected and very sad. Jasmin was our lead mare and has had six foals here on the farm. We will certainly miss her. Our vet once told me that horses intestines dangle loosely in their body cavity and are “an accident waiting to happen”! On the bright side, Gina and Gwen have been checked in foal and we look forward having new foals born on the farm again this summer.
In December we were in the process of a major renovation of our winter greenhouse (where we start our seedlings). Ken had the great idea that when we enlarged it we could fill in the ground under the greenhouse with all the rocks we have gathered up off the farm fields in the past 30 years. He had just finished taking down the old greenhouse and digging the hole for the foundation when we got our first snow of the year and freezing temperatures! I guess I will be starting my seedlings in one of our hoop-houses while we finish the greenhouse construction in the spring.
Mable is spending the winter in the middle barn with access to a winter yard for exercise. She is continuing to grow and has decided that hay is good to eat after all. She still likes to be rubbed under the chin. We hope to breed her in the fall so she will have her first calf in May of 2012.