Thursday, May 8, 2014

Sunny Spring Day in May

Well despite the cool overnight temperatures for the past few days it's been sunny and warm in the afternoons. Spring, I hesitate to say it, is finally here.

So what are we doing at the farm at the moment? Well, apart from the ongoing construction we're settling back into life as usual. The kids have school, Steve and Chris have work, and gradually life is returning to normal despite our still having no septic or additions. Steve and I are sleeping in the living room, The kids each have a bedroom or trailer, and we have a composting toilet in our bathroom beside the washing machine. So far it's working well and as long as the vents are properly connected there's no smell to speak of. It'll only be a few days before it will be emptied for the first time to go to a maturing compost pile in the garden to finish the process and then it's straight back on to the flower gardens and trees.

The water in our well ran very muddy for a few days and the settled into a slightly hazy colour but now seems fine. I think we've worked out any sediment issues. We're going to put a filter on as well but we've been blessed to find that unlike our previous place there's no iron showing in the water and so hopefully our white clothes will stay white now. I guess time will tell how the well works but so far we love it. The pipes are still running above ground but soon Steve will bury them and I won't have a 200 foot ditch running across my pasture. Before winter we need to build a cover for the pump and well head too so that it's insulated in the winter cold.

All our lambs have their tails done and are happily running around this morning. They range in age from 1 week to 7 weeks and are so fun to watch. It's truly the best sign of Spring to see lambs playing in the grassy fields. Beethoven, our sickly little lamb, still has his moments where I think he's injured or not doing well and the next day he's bouncing along with the best of them. He's growing at a good pace so I think he's going to be fine. But I'm very happy with one lamb in particular. I'm not sure he's been assigned a name yet but he's a magnificent looking ram lamb. Long straight back and sturdy legs, he's all muscle and proud attitude already at the ripe old age of 4 weeks. I'm seriously tempted to keep him, especially if continues to grow at the same rate. He's not as friendly as some of the other bottle lambs but he's a fine example of Cotswold Rideau cross.We're in a 'B' year so his name will probably end up being Brutus or some such. I think Bastion might be good for him too. His colour is sort of fawnish at the moment so it will be interesting to see what colour he matures to. His mother is white and his father is a black Cotswold. He's got golden brown legs and an off white body at the moment. If I can get him to stand still I'll see about getting some pics today.

Our friend Perry popped over and tilled our garden for us. It's approx. 100x300 feet so not a bad size for the main crops. 30,000 sq ft though is a lot of weeding if it gets away from us so we have some help coming for the summer and we're mulching where practical too. Our sweet potatoes will all be planted under black plastic and I'm tempted to do the same with some of our other crops too that are hard to hoe around. We'll see. The plastic is expensive and is one more thing I'd have to tidy up and recycle at the end of the year so I'd like to use it as little as possible. I'm going to plant the strawberries with straw and mulch the peas with straw too I think. I guess we'll make use of what we've got here at the farm.

This afternoon I want to pick the rocks out of the area the pigs cleared last year and then get a greenhouse up. We'll see how that goes with boy help. It'll be good to get the tomatoes in the ground. Many of them didn't make it through the move, having been left outside overnight but we can start again. 

I'll check in later.


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