Sunday, April 10, 2016

Spring Things

Spring is coming in fits and starts this year. It seem sot me like the usual order of things is a bit confused. Crocuses are almost done and Virginia bluebells are budded out. Robins galore,but the magnolias haven't blossomed yet. Garlic and rhubarb are well up (I may  make rhubarb cake this week!), and daffodils blooming. Frogs are peeping.
The lawns and pastures are green! Cows are antsy to get into the pasture,but the grass is not tall enough yet and the ground is too soft.
Our farmer-neighbor who tills the garden says he may be tilling later this week!
The Khaki Campbell ducks now spend all day every day in the pond. One tragic note: the three Pekin ducks took a crazy notion to crossing the busy highway, and the female was killed by a car or truck. Worrying that the males would also get hit, I found them a new home. I miss those characters.
All the pond goldfish, koi and shubunkin survived the winter healthily and are active and eating again. We haven't decided yet  whether to raise tilapia or catfish this year in the aquaponic system, but we need to get them ordered soon.
Our spring project list is v-e-r-y l-o-n-g. We were so grateful for several young men who worked very hard on the farm with us this weekend.  Anthony and Rog are working on the  greenhouse clay floor in this photo. Not shown are Gabe, who ran the cement mixer yesterday, and today, Ron, our bison farmer friend, helped level the cordwood (I am sure he had no farming projects of his own that needed doing!)
Rog let me insert a small sun mandala in the very center of the clay floor, with glass pieces...
which I hope will sparkle in the light and echo the round glass mosaic window.
The few plants that wintered over in the cold greenhouse in dormancy are now growing like crazy--we have been eating spinach in salads,layered in lasagna and on sandwiches. I cannot wait for the clay to cure so I can start moving more plants and seedlings in!!
The seedlings in the basement would love to see real sunlight.
While Rog and crew worked in  the greenhouse, my helper, Andy,and I took out ugly old  shop cabinets and  installed white beadboard walls on part of the barn solarium wall. The yellow cabinet will be hung to display breads and pastries. It looks so bright and fresh!
In addition, Eli,another young worker,  pulled the raspberry fencing out of the garden in preparation for tilling AND cleaned the chicken coop! Not only that, Ruth, her husband and their friend tackled the dishwasher repair.

Thank you Eli, Gabe, Andy, Anthony, Ron, and Ruth for a most productive weekend!