Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Spring is here and it's 25 degrees!

So here's our new logo for the farm and I'll get a sign made up for use at the farmers market too. What do you think? I just wanted something simple and that would be easy to read.

Today was a busy one. We got the chicks their new waterer and feeder and I also got the plastic film for the greenhouse. It's 6 mil Poly, used in house construction as vapour barrier. Since it's not the UV protected plastic I should think we'll get only 2-3 years out of it but that's ok with me. It'll do for starters. Tomorrow some of the kids have early dismissal so we're going over to measure the frame and then we'll ct and piece the plastic into one big sheet before pulling it over and attaching it. After that I will have to construct an end frame for vents and a door and then on the weekend Steve is going to give the tiller a service and start digging over the garden area. I will take some pics tomorrow for you so you can see what we're working with. I'm getting my planting schedule sorted out because if I'm going to be in the market each week I need to make sure I plan to have a weekly harvest. The main things I'd like to have started to begin with are turnips, beets, greens, lettuce, tomato plants and radishes. I can have those ready in short order. I'm also going to get some peas and other cool weather veggies in the ground under row covers as soon as I can. The weather is so unpredictable in Spring and just because we're getting temps in the mid to high 20's this week doesn't mean it won't freeze and snow next week. Since I need higher temps for some of my seeds to germinate I'm starting my lettuce and tomato plants indoors and I'll later transplant them outside to the greenhouse.

I'm going to build a movable ark for my chickens so that they can clear the ground of bugs and grubs. Of course they'll also fertilize the ground too. I'm sure you've seen movable coops around and they are very useful. But I'll give you one tip: Don't use COB as a feed because those seeds can sprout in the ground and suddenly you're growing corn, oats and barley. Unless your COB is rolled of course, then it's not a problem. That goes for chicken scratch or any other feed that has a whole grain. The advantages of using this chicken tractor is that while you're digging up nasties from the ground, the chicken parasites stay there too when you move the birds onto a new patch of grass. The chickens love it because it's fresh food every few days or week, and it helps to naturally control pest levels, because of course when those eggs and parasites hatch, the chickens are long gone so it stops re-infestation. My chicken tractor or ark will be a small house attached to a 4x8 foot run. I'll plan my growing areas accordingly and have the door higher up so that if the coop is sitting beside the run and a raised bed, the chicks can still get out and into their little run.

I was working out how many tomato plants I'd have to sell to buy my own piece of land...it's a lot and I'm gonna run out of pots! If you're looking to buy some already started heritage tomato plants then just leave me a message or see me at the Greenwood Mall Farmers Market starting in April or May. I'll keep you posted.

Had a great time at book club tonight and a nice drive around some of the countryside outside Mt. Uniacke today because the highway was closed due to an accident. I forget sometimes just how pretty the side roads can be. Isn't life like that? We're so busy looking straight ahead as we zoom along the highway that we forget all the beautiful things just off the beaten track.

Anyways I'm off to bed now...long day of gardening tomorrow and working on getting my first sunburn.

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