Thursday, March 26, 2015

Unity Farm Journal - Fourth Week of March 2015

The temperatures are finally above freezing and we can get back to the usual workflow of the farm.   There is only a foot of snow left on the ground and we can actually walk to all our buildings and paddocks.

We opened the bee hives and did a thorough inspection.   We lost 4 of our 12 hives over the winter, which is not bad considering the snow/ice/cold over the past 6 months.   There is no evidence of infection or stress in the remaining hives.    We’re learning how to support our bees.

The guineas, chickens and ducks can finally wander as they please because their hiding places (from hawks) are no longer covered with snow.    Here’s our “partridge in a pear tree”

The wild turkeys are once again able to roam the property, eating early spring greens and cleaning up the fallen birdseed

As the snow melts we’re discovering the damage one by tons of snow - broken gates, damaged fences, and cracked irrigation pipes.     Over the next few weeks, we’ll repair everything I have the tools, equipment and know how to maintain all of our farm infrastructure at this point.

We’ve spent hours in the hoop house doing additional spring planting.   All our lettuces are forming heads and the vegetables that grew slowly over winter are now bursting with life.

With each cycle of the seasons, we are getting more certain about the maintenance tasks to perform in the house and barn.   Here’s the current list

Daylight savings time changes  (March/November)
Change furnace filters
Change humidifier panels
Change house water filter
Change osmotic filter
Change clock batteries

Prep for Summer
Startup fountains and pond
Start irrigation/place garden hoses
Sharpen mower blades
Pressure wash mower/Terex

Prep for Winter
Change oil in mower, pressure washer, splitter
Fill gas tanks/fuel treatment
Service Terex
Place driveway snow stakes
Change thermostat batteries
Shutdown fountains
Shutdown irrigation/remove garden hoses

Planting calendar
  Spring planting in hoop house
  Plant seedlings indoors
  Transplant seedlings
  Inoculate mushrooms
   Plant outdoor beds
   Harvest blueberries
   Harvest apples
   Make cider
   Harvest mushrooms
   Fall planting in hoop house
   Order hay and chaff hay

The work of a farmer is never done, but it’s joyful work.   Seeing the tangible result of a year working the land is very satisfying.    As the days lengthen and the seasonal affective disorder wanes, the farm is reborn.    It’s time to move from indoor tasks to outdoor tasks.   May the growing season begin!

1 comment:

Aviva Furman said...

What beautiful spring greens growing under the hoop house. A wonderful March treat to enjoy as the snow melts.