Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Warmer Weather

It seems we are heading for some warmer weather this week with the overnight lows staying a few degrees above freezing. If this keeps up we will be able to leave the seedlings out in the greenhouse overnight which will save hauling them in and out every day.

More veggies are starting in flats today and I'll let you know how everything else goes. The alpacas are due to be moved over here this week too. Yay! Maybe pigs too.

The hens tractor is going up today so I'll take some pics to show you how we did it and maybe you can make your own. The great thing is they're so flexible you can make them bigger or smaller depending on what you need. For backyard chickens you don't need to go out and buy a shed and dog run, that would cost you over $1000. You could construct a 4x4x4 box with window, door and some ventilation for under $50 and then an attached run for say $40 more or less depending on your wire choice. You can use the plastic poultry netting but please remember that while the chickens can't get out...critters like a dog or raccoon could certainly get in.

Plowing is going well, or should that be 'ploughing'? I like the 'gh' spelling but must have a US spell check on the blog here.

We have some new members to our CSA so if you're reading this...Welcome! It looks to be a good productive year and we're trying some new varieties of melon and tomato this year. Don't worry, we'll still have the tasty heritage ones available too. We're going to try cucumbers both in and out of the greenhouse to see what gives best results. I'm going to have some pickling cukes I think this year too for anyone interested and salsa peppers too. We are still growing our california wonder peppers with the addition of a yellow variety and also a bulls horn pepper which is similar to a calif. but is longer and better suited to our local climate. Same for our heritage tomatoes. For spuds (potatoes) we're going to have red, white, blue and the regular russet ones. They're going in starting next week though I have to tweak our planting schedule a bit but it looks good for the peas and some of the cool weather beans can go in this week to the main fields. Our salad gardens are sprouting and with a few days of light rain in the forecast should be getting well under way by next week. Ditto for the cabbage and spinach which is going to be put under row covers out in the main garden. We use row covers to keep out the insects and avoid having to spray or use chemicals. The fabric gets buried in the ground along the edges so no cabbage moths can lay eggs...simple yet effective. It takes more materials of course but the fabric is re-usable for many years and we don't mind the extra work. Floating row covers are great for many different crops both for insect exclusion and to protect from a light frost. They aid in germination by creating a mild greenhouse effect and the few extra degrees can make a difference of upto 4 weeks in the growing season. An extra 4 weeks of planting and harvesting...we'll take it!

Our trip to the Vancouver Temple was Heavenly! It's so peaceful and quiet there and it was nice to get away from the hustle and bustle even for a few hours and wonderful to be able to take the kids inside for the free guided tour. It's open to the public until April 24th so if you'd like more info I'll post the free invitation on the blog if I can figure out how. After all, it's not everyday you get to see inside a Mormon temple.

Time to get going for the day. The kids have fed all the animals but the hens, they're still in their pen but I can hear the roosters crowing so I know they're awake. Ruminants like cows and sheep eat in the morning and evening and then use the daytime to digest. That's why if you're here in the afternoon it's common to see the sheep all lazing about having a nap and chewing.

Have a wonderful day!


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