We have enjoyed having another Logging Workshop today. Ken has been demonstrating how to safely skid logs from the woodlot to a snowy field. Gwen and Buttons two of our Suffolk Punch draft horses are behaving very well. We will cut up and split many of the logs for firewood later in the spring for next winter. Some of the better logs we will saw into lumber to be used for various projects around the farm.
Ken has also been experimenting this winter with sunflower oil to run diesel motors. He has added a bit of gasoline to the sunflower oil (see jar on the right). It keeps the sunflower oil from jelling up at cold temperatures (see far 0n left) and makes it so it will burn directly in a diesel motor without having to be first heated up or made into bio-diesel. Making bio-diesel is a complicated business and has some byproducts that are difficult to dispose of easily. Using our draft horses makes sense for many jobs around the farm, however we still use the tractor for front end loader work and to run a Power Take Off for our baler and bush hog. Ken is trying to figure out if he could grow an oil producing crop that would provide enough fuel to run the tractor and perhaps a diesel generator for some electrical needs.
I walked down the farm today with a potential apprentice and was happy to see that the irrigation pond is almost full to over flowing. Our CSA garden fields are becoming visible as the snow melts and I can feel my blood starting to stir as I anticipate the spring and the coming season. We will soon be starting our early transplants. Most of our seeds have arrived and I am feeling rested up and ready to go again. I enjoy having an occupation that is so closely linked to the natural word, where the work slows down during the dark time of the year and picks up again as the days lengthen out and my energy returns. We still have some spaces in our CSA for the 2011 season. We have a steady trickle of applications coming in and in March, when people are ready to think about spring again, I will contact all our past CSA members to remind them that it is time to save their spot!