seeds and spring

FarmerKhaiti
FarmerKhaiti

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All of the beings at LTD are going a bit stir crazy. One day it is 25 out, the ducks are running around in the snow outside their hoophouse, the goats wander a bit further into the paddock, instead of huddling around the shed. Then BAMMMM, it is negative 10 degrees outside, and once again, we all retreat to the snuggness and comfort of our respective enclosures. Official stir-craziness has set in. At least the days are getting longer and it is still light out at 5:00 pm!

Our ducks continue to let us know spring is coming…they are laying eggs and remaining contended and happy. The pigs have seriously put on at least 100 lbs since we moved them into the hoophouse a couple months back. We can’t wait for everyone to be playing outdoors as much as they want, to see the pigs rooting in the fresh soil. Inside the hoophouse, it is noticeably warmer, very sunny and cozy. But being outdoors, once spring really comes, will be a relief for all of us.

Right now, we run from the house down the snow paths, to the various animals’ homes, with heavy buckets of water and feed. We’re known for bundling up in snowpants to just sit there, watching the pigs cavort, observe the interactions of the ducks like scientists, or mingle with the goaties in the snug shed. Andrew and I are very proud of all the work we did last fall, getting everything set up properly for the animals, and to sit and see this be the case is the ultimate reward, so very extremely satisfying. We’re honored that the ducks are blessing us with eggs so early in the season, one more indicator that we have taken supreme care of their needs. Yeah!

The only sane way to pass days in the country, when it is this freekin’ cold out, after chores, is to spend hours mapping and planning and scheduling all the gardening activities. We are growing ALOT of plants. Our garden is going to be 100×200, on a slight slope facing east. Following permaculture methods, we’re installing berms and swales to help with water rentention, and prevent erosion, but also to lift the plants out of the heavy clay to prevent waterlogging. We have made detailed maps of everything, when seeds go in, where and what follows each harvest. Some beds will go into cover crop first, then vegetables planted in when the soil warms. Some beds will have the cool weather crops, followed by different plant family crops, then cover crops in the fall. There are 58 beds mapped out. This is like playing dollhouse on paper. If you’re a garden-nerd like us, you know what we mean!

There are 6 kinds of tomatoes, 7 kinds of lettuce, napa cabbge, golden beets, cylindra beets, 4 kinds of radish, 3 kinds of summer squash, snow peas, sugar snap peas, green beans, beans for drying, sweet corn, ornamental dent corn for drying, arugula, 2 kinds of luscious chard, mache/corn salad, potatoes, onions, leeks, turnips, spinach, scallions, cucumbers, carrots, parsnips, amaranth, hot peppers, parsley, broccoli, winter squash, lemony sorrel, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower- purple and white, okra, sweet peppers, collards, two kinds of beautiful kale, chard, cilantro, lovage, dill, basil, nasturtiums, celeriac, kohlrabi, pea shoots, and lastly sea kale and belgian endive are our two experiments……

We’ll also be putting in stands of hazelnuts and some pear trees this season as well as building our barn, workshop pavillion and putting up more paddocks for the pigs, goats, ducks, turkeys, broiler chickens, and maybe even a cow.

There are 2 big news items: We’re getting married this summer! Khaiti is also leaving her day job. Now we’ll be able to focus all our energy of the farm, 100%. We’re going to be in a hardworkers’ paradise, together, seeing and being responsible for all that we succeed in and learning from any failures that are bound to come our way on the road of farming small scale.

4 comments

  • Congratulations to both of you! I’m glad that you have found happiness in both private and professional life!
    We’ve harvested our 4-yr old black Iberica sow last week… almost 300 kilos she weighed, with a 12cm layer of lovely fat on her back. I spent almost 4 days in processing the meat into sausages, curing and preparing for the freezer. And then 3 entire afternoons cooking the fat into snowwhite manteca, which I use mainly in the breads I bake. We will try for all this ‘produce’ to last us 2 years, supplemented by some free range chicken meat, so no new piglets this spring for us to enjoy. Have fun with yours and the other animals!
    Can’t wait for the garden season to start here. I’ve got some broad beans sowed and they are doing fine. So are the purple sprouting broccoli, purple cabbage and the rainbow chard. Chives, lemon balm and mint have shown themselves already and even a very early asparagus, alas frozen to pulp last week.
    Rain is predicted for all of next week, so after that I will start seriously preparing the beds for the summer veggies and sowing green peas and snap peas.
    Maybe I’ll even try some indoor sowing to give the summer veggies a head start.

    Enjoy the relative quiet times of winter while you can!

    Greetings from Andalucia, Spain

  • Congratulations on the job change and engagement! I can’t wait to see photos of your new garden- the plans sound fantastic.

  • Richelle, it is our dream to come visit you and your farm in Spain someday! Thank you for all the well wishes, and do you have a place we can see your farm photos?

  • we can’t wait either, man oh man, it will feel so good to be working in the dirt. Thank you liz!!!!!

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