Ken has spent a good part of the last month felling trees and skidding logs out of the woodlot with our Suffolk Punch horses. He was ideally waiting for some nice snow cover for the log skidding. The logs get very dirty when they are pulled out in the mud. Today, on our Sunday farm walk/talk, he was saying that he should probably get a power washer to clean up the logs before cutting them or he will have a lot of dull blades in a hurry when he starts sawing. I was delighted with the idea, because we could also use it to wash the garden soil off of the carrots and other root vegetables. We purchased a “root washer” last year, but I have been very disappointed with it. It does a lovely job of washing peppers, tomatoes and zucchini, but in my opinion they don’t usually need much washing anyway. However, with the really dirty roots we had to pre-wash them for them to come out clean. I’m ready to try a power washer!
Ken’s farmer blood is starting to boil with all the warm dry weather in the forecast and he is ready to start spring plowing so he can plant some early oats. The earlier they get in the ground the better. It is unusual for us to be able to plant before the end of March, but it looks like this year it should be possible. The frost is out of the ground and it is starting to dry up! The good thing about doing so much logging is that the draft horses have kept in shape and should be ready to go with the plowing. It is hard on horses when they are out of shape and the weather warms up quickly. We have three new horses to work with this spring and it will be good for Ken to begin working with them before the apprentices arrive at the end of the month.
On the weekend we were delighted to have two of our past apprentices, Jonathan Bruderlien and Joilanne Demers, come to the farm for a stop over with their new team of draft horses, Molly and Bill. They are CSA farming in Quebec and have purchased their first team. Ken helped them hitch for the first time and they even did some plowing. It is very gratifying for us to have helped train this fine young couple who are pursuing sustainable farming with horses and we wish them every success.