All of a sudden the days are crazy with lots of new animals and plants. For several weeks now there have been trays of seedlings going in and out of the cold frame. Laura has planted carrots, beets, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, flowers (forgive me please for not knowing the varieties), peas, cabbage, basil, peppers, and garlic. Potatoes went in the ground yesterday. For the first time this spring the focus of concern has shifted from too dry to the wet to come. It will be interesting to see what happens to the fields and gardens with this much needed injection of water.
For my part I have been working on getting spaces ready for new comers while moving fence for the resident farm ruminants to escape winter paddocks and hay. We recieved our first batch of chicks on Friday. 250 French Freedom Rangers arrived from Pennsylania. This is the most of any bird that we have ever gotten at one time. Lots of chicks in there. We love this breed and the hatchery where they come from. I can not underemphasize how nice it is to get such lively, vigorous chicks year after year. They are also prompt in communication and service. Not to mention that the birds are perfect for our sysytem.... slower growing, forage friendly. When we used to get the "white" ones with the huge breast it was always such a bummer to see them get tot he point where they would just hunker down byt he feed tray and do little else in the way of moving or scratching. Not very chicken like.
I also spent Friday traveling the state to gather spring supplies. I went to Newport to get our potato seed, then stopped in at FEDCO Seeds in Waterville to get some cover crops, and other seeds. Finally over to Avon to get our piglets for the spring and summer. Its was some nice country to travel and the thing that really stood out was all the tractors for sale along route 2 between Waterville and Farmington. No feewer than a dozen, amazing... all kinds. If you need a tractor head to Waterville and start driving west to Farmington on Rt. 2.
Yesterday was one of those days.... got out there at about 7am and didn;t actually finish until 8pm. Of course lots of interaction with kids and customers in there but still an amazing amount to attend to. We always try to look ahead to see what we should get ready or be prepared for in order to anticipate the weather. One thing that I thought had to get done before the rain was to turn the fall compost pile. It looks great, lots of worms... should be fantastic for spreading in the fall.
One very interesting development has been the increase in Clover's milk production since going out on the grass. She has jumped nearly 10 lbs a day. That is close to a gallon and a half! More for making butter!