Morning Emergence of Free Range Hens From Chicken Coop

The Laying Hens are very happy to have the land free of snow! They are laying again with the longer day length and we have eggs for sale at the farm. (Available in the breezeway of the house if we aren’t around.)

Big Pigs that Escaped!

Last week our two big “composting pigs” escaped! We had just mucked out the horse stalls and put the manure in one of our three composting areas. Two “Free Range” hens had made there way into the pen and we left the door open so they could get out. What we didn’t realize was that the door to the pen next door, where the pigs were, wasn’t nailed shut! While we were eating lunch and I was anticipating my afternoon nap with pleasure I looked out the window and saw two 500 lb. pigs rooting around in the horse paddock! Ken and I spent the next 1 1/2 hours chasing pigs before we got them back into their pens. They were out in the woods, in with Mable and finding nuts and grass roots to chew on – having a grand time!

Hoophouse Conversion to Greenhouse

On a good note we have our retrofitted hoophouse/greenhouse up and running with a wood stove installed. The little plants are looking happy. I have more sweet potatoes getting ready to send out shoots that we can plant as slips. Leeks, onions, and early lettuce and Pak Choi growing.

The end of February I visited our daughter, Ellen, in Portland, Oregon and enjoyed attending her graduation from a Chef’s Studio. She has written a blog she writes about her experience and adds recipes. I hope she can post some good ideas for using our produce when the CSA season begins. I also brought back a recipe book written by Robert Renolds, the chef she studied with, From a Breton Garden. I plan to share some of the recipes from it over the season as well.

CSA member Avery and toad in pcik-up room
We have had a very good strawberry season this year and many CSA members have taken advantage of our Pick-your-own strawberry option. Three full weeks of berries is about as good as it gets with regular season strawberries.

We are happy to have CSA members signing up to help with the harvest and the washing of produce for our pick-ups. The gardens are in good shape. It is always a relief to have the majority of the crops seeded, transplanted and mulched. We have taken off the row cover from the squash, corn, melons and early plantings and the pathways in the garden that we seeded down are growing. The garden looks its best in early July when the majority of the crops are still growing well. We got a bit of rain yesterday, but plan to start irrigating later this week and hope to finish our second cut hay. (That is if the weather forecast is correct…)

Chester, the stallion we bought a half share in, arrived yesterday. Ken is doing a bit of work with him in the round pen before he tries hooking him up to the stone boat. Jazz our new mare is adjusting to being here, however we don’t trust her in the barn with children. WE ASK THAT PARENTS KEEP THEIR CHILDREN OUT OF THE BARN. We would rather be safe than sorry. The horses we raise here become accustom to people from the time they are foals, however new horses are not so trustworthy.