Friday, February 27, 2015

and finally!

Last fall we finished our regular growing season in November. Our season includes planting, harvesting, feeding, watering, processing, washing, packing, freezing, loading, unloading, deliveries, driving, bill paying, collecting money, maintaining mailing lists, communications, updates, website, abiding by federal, state, county and township laws, coordinating deliveries, watching weather so that things can be covered or uncovered as needed, chasing things in or out of where they belong...well, it can be a lot if all that has to happen in the same day!

Last fall we added another hoophouse in the fall, while our regular season was still under way. Sweet friends helped or really managed the entire project, and once completed the beds were filled with seeds and garlic.

And then the daily amount of light decreased with ferocity. Dark. Dark. Ugh.

And now the sun is up. And those seeds...the kind that withstand cold, just waiting for warmth, are finally starting to sprout!

And sprouting they are! This year we are offering vegetables weekly, but not via a CSA. You can select what you want, and in August we will be able to replant the hoophouse so we can harvest green stuff all of next winter! There are only 52 weeks in the year, and things can be harvested weekly...

And this is happening too.

Garlic sprouting. Homer the grower hanging out in the 90° hoophouse while its 22° outside, happy as can be.

3 weeks until spring. We start weekly planting to be able to harvest weekly beginning in May! Its almost on!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

and here we are

We purchased this property in August of 2009 with the plan of farming. We have grown tons of chemical free vegetables, grass fed and finished cattle, pastured pork, chicken, eggs and turkey too! Most years we slip in plenty of flowers too.

We did not plan on home renovations. The property was owned by a real estate flipper when we got it, so we were pretty certain that things would need to be addressed, sometime down the line.

Year two we had a fire that did a good bit of damage. Every winter we are reminded just how poorly the entire house and heat system/heat retention methods work. And today: this...

We took what we thought would be a quick trip to Baltimore yesterday. But an under predicted snow forecast surprised everyone in the area as snow fell thick and fast. We quickly decided to ditch return plans and sleep in a hotel. We drove home this morning on clear roads with no traffic.

We opened the garage door to find a bit of water on the floor, and more in the mud room. It had not been running long, and Homer shut the valve off and shop vacced up the rest of the water.

The local hardware store had just the pieces needed. A mesh connecting pipe. A valve so we can switch it off if needed. And a new thing that replaces solder, flux, flame and tubes with a sort of expanding/clamping thing. 

Fixed and back in use. There is new technology in home construction and repair and we are using it!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

why our pens are heavy

Our first mobile pens, 12? 13? Years ago were impossible to move. It took 4 of us to move the thing each day.

Many redesigns have occurred, especially to the wheel structure. The pens get lifted on the wheel structure and balanced can move over rocks, divots and large grass tufts.

We have been in possession of some smaller pens, used only for holding birds ready for auction. These older pens just kinda drag across the ground and are a real challenge to move. Yesterday they held roosters and a couple of 5 year old laying hens who are no longer producing eggs.

Yesterday I posted pictures of the pens as the sun was setting.

The pen to the left in this group: painted green and orange, small, rectangular was relocated over night.

Winds of up to 60 miles per hour happened over night. The redesigned pens stayed in place. But the old pen, that we had realized did not work for us, proved again how much it did not work for us.

If you look closely you can see the pen off in the distance. The wind relocated it. Only the roosters were visible this morning. Its currently 1° with ridiculous wind chill factor. All our trees stood, the roof on our house and all other buildings held, and all other livestock are good. These are the days that test farm infrastructure, and what we design to withstand.


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