Red String & Chicken Tractors

The sun has been shining the past 4 days and it is unbelievable what it does to the spirit and the creative juices here at Schoolhouse Farms. The ground may still indeed be buried under 2 feet of snow but that is hardly a factor when the sun shines brightly. The temperature is hovering in the mid 40’s and it feels fine outside in just shirt sleeves. Thoughts of the approaching spring season bounce around in our heads and the shear volume of projects plastered on the vision board could be a tad over whelming, but when the weather is like this the projects seem far, far less intense.

The madness that is Odyssey of the Mind is reaching its frenzied peak. Days and nights become a blur as our generally balanced meal times have been replaced by a year’s intake of pizza and junk food. The first hurdle is Wednesday and then it's on with the show with mind numbing possability it could go on for 3 more months!!!

In the corner of the living room are piles of seed packages. The spring planting material has been arriving in a steady stream as winter has continued. The orderly grouping of seeds are patiently waiting for a little attention from the Odyssey of the mind crazied family farmers. It is not uncommon for us to have trays of seeds started by this time, but this year we are taking a different approach. We have not really decided what that approach is but it will undoubtedly be different.

It is also time to renew our chicken flock. Chickens only lay eggs for about a year and if you are raising them for the freezer 6 months is about the maximum you want to keep them. We are attempting to do both so it is requiring some new living arrangements to get the show started. We like our chickens to be able to range around so we are building mobile chicken coops known as chicken tractors. These little contraptions will allow us to move the chickens to fresh areas continuously and benefit from the manure as well as the elimination of bugs while they work up the soil between rows of veggies. The designs are a little well shall we say freestyle. We are attempting to build ours so they will not only be of benefit in garden rows, but in our raised beds as well. A proto-type is being assembled in the driveway at this very moment.

Exercise has and will continue to be a very important element in our lives. We have managed to keep a decent non-traditional regiment in place even when winter was at its worst. The clear roads and the abundant sunshine have allowed us to take to the pavement again for some vigorous walks. The scenic views on our walk are as good as it gets and firmly enhance this form of physical therapy. We have our best planning sessions as well on these occasions. If the sun keeps shining we may even have to expand our vision board yet again.

The red string is for our pole beans! We think the beans and the bees will be happier with the color. Plus we are hoping it will add a new visual dimension to the farm. We like to look at farming as a form of artistry and the red string just called to us. We can’t wait!


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