Getting ahead of ourselves to keep up with Mother Nature

Warm and dry April weather like the first 2 weeks of 2010 are not completely unusual. Last year for example April started out on a similar note with a warm dry pattern. (But if you recall that was really it for the season) This year seems to be even farther ahead of normal perhaps by as much as a month so we decided to attempt to keep pace with what Mother Nature was supplying. We are a bit wary as it is still capable of winter conditions so we are still cautious and keep the option of central heating in the ready mode for those unpredictable wild swings in temperature.

Our small sun porch is jammed with seedlings and new sprouts are emerging daily sequestering the kids to a even smaller space. The starts are tomato and peppers, plus a generous variety of specialties to many to name. The indoor seeding game is not new to the family farmers we have always started seeds in any and all available sunny locations. This indoor season has met with unusually early success in germination and leaf development. We believe that it is largely a result of the copious sunshine and unusual warmth April is providing.

Meanwhile in the recycled workshop the farm has managed to produce a couple of chaise lounges to be used by the schoolhouse farmers for quiet reflection and for day dreaming about the up and coming 25 days of Swiss chard. The chairs (like much created at Schoolhouse Farms) were assembled from 100% salvaged pine and cedar based on a simplistic borrowed design. We did the same thing when building our mobile chicken coop aka “chicken tractor”.

The melodious sound of tweeting chicks can be heard mixed amongst the trays of seedlings. The postal service delivered chicks arrived on Friday just a few short days after hatching. This year the volume of people raising chickens in the backyard has increased so significantly that the hatcheries are all back ordered by weeks and in some cases months. We are still awaiting our next installment of chicks. The next group of chickens, when mature, will lay beautiful chocolate colored eggs. Start lining up now if you want to get your hands on a dozen of these!

Our seed potatoes arrived at our doorstep by the box load on Thursday. We never really get a specific date when to expect delivery they just show when our potato lady thinks we should get them. Usually we try to get them planted as quickly as possible. This season presented a new potato growing challenge not yet experienced in the previous eleven seasons. The ground so rock hard that the big blue tiller just bounced on it refusing to break it up and attempts to hand dig holes futile. The complete lack of moisture had made usually workable soils into virtual concrete. After a couple of fruitless hours we realized that the tractor less farm needed the service of a tractor and large tiller. Talk about a feeling of complete helplessness and failure! And then it decided to turn rainy and cold! Well at least that will be a benefit to the peas, arugula, field greens, turnips, beets radishes and carrots. You got to love farming if it was so darn easy everybody would be doing it.


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drooz studio said…
i love the loungers! beautiful!
came across this blog and thought of you.. she has some good links

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