Can you believe this weather?! It’s feels like June, but we’re not even at the end of March. We’re taking full advantage of this weather, though, and getting a lot of things prepped and ready around the garden. I’ve bought a ton of landscape fabric to cover the garden beds this year to help save us lots of time on weeding, so we’ll be installing that soon. It’s great to have labour-saving alternatives to the so-called “conventional” option of spraying herbicides, since that’s never an option at Our Farm. Mulch is great, and a wonderful soil-saver over the winter, but it’s not that effective in suppressing weeds – landscape fabric to the rescue!
We’ve been busy little bees with seed-starting as well. Mat will have to take some pictures of all the green stuff growing in our seedling room so I can post the pictures for you – cauliflower and eggplants got seeded last night, and that was after I worked outside in the garden until 8:00 p.m…. in March! (Still can’t get over this weather, can you tell?) Much more to come in the realm of seedlings, especially since I’ll be planting a little of this and a little of that every weekend until mid-August. It won’t be long at all until I’m planting a little of this and a little of that directly out into the garden.
We’ll be making more progress on the greenhouse this weekend, taking things step by step. The plan is to have it finished the weekend after Easter, so we can get lots of tasty, heat-loving plants like eggplants, tomatoes and peppers out there a bit earlier in the season and give them a head start on the season. Keep your fingers crossed!
So there’s your update on the vegetable front – on to the animals. I had already mentioned that the first batch of chicks have been ordered, and will be arriving on the farm May 2nd. We’re starting a bit later this year than we did last year, because when we tried to rush things last year and start our first batch at the beginning of April the temperature went down to -10 degrees the first night we got our little peepers! This year, we’re taking it a bit slower and stretching things out a bit. We’ve decided that our first two batches of chickens will only be 50 chicks each instead of 100, since this will be easier to manage while we get into the swing of things with the sheep.
And speaking of the sheep, we’re just waiting for the pregnant ewes to have their lambs sometime around the middle or end of April so I can go out and help with lambing. Then after the moms and babies have had a chance to get to know each other a bit and relax for a month or so, we’ll bring them all out to Our Farm for a fun summer on our pasture. We’re going to build a barn closer to the house for the ewes to shelter in over the winter, and you wouldn’t believe the amount of paperwork involved with building a barn and getting permits from the province and the city these days! On a positive note, we found out that the city doesn’t actually require us to get a permit if we want to put in a well to ensure we don’t overtax our house well with irrigating the garden and watering the livestock. With this being one of the hottest and driest spring seasons on record, we’re going to have to pay a lot of attention to our water needs on the farm this summer.
Bit by bit, we’re getting there. This time of year holds so much promise for the future!
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