around the homestead
February 25, 2016
A month ago in the Big Garden…
Mid-February in the Big Garden…
My husband took the boys up into the mountains to do a little snowboarding down a logging road. They rode for nearly 3km and despite falling lots, they had a wonderful afternoon. When Sunshine and I returned from ballet in town, the boys had cut some pussywillows for me. Pussywillows in February!!! This is a few weeks earlier than I’ve ever had them before and it is such a treat to have a freshly cut bouquet on the table…the season has begun.
And what a difference a month makes…the drifts of snow have melted away to reveal garden beds, with the sheep manure visible from when I mucked out the barn the last time in October or November. In the next while, I hope to muck it out again…before the shearer arrives at the end of March for sure.
Late February also means bringing the rubbermaid full of seeds out from storage. I dug around for some onion and leek seeds and Huckley, Sunshine and I were able to get several cells started on the ideal day, if you follow a biodynamic calendar, like Stella Natura. Sunshine is particularly enthusiastic, wanting her own flat of starts this year. While spritzing the seeds this morning, she told me that she loves to be gardening already, even with snow on the ground in patches outside. Me, too.
Our homemade hulking seed start shelf is just inside the front door and we will soon fill it with all sorts of seedlings…next up will be herbs and broccoli…
This is the time of year when we decide what animals will be arriving to the farm, when, and how many. We will have 8 or 9 piglets coming at the end of April and 100 meat birds will come in early May. We are going to try a dozen turkeys this year, which we are excited for. The cost of feeding all these animals is quite a lot, so we have slowly begun acquiring grain from our supplier when he does a shipment to our valley. The feed shack has begun to be filled, which is always promising.
The hens are glad for more bare ground, too. This is one of my favourite girls, a Speckled Sussex. They are such good-natured hens, and so pretty. While most other hens will get disgruntled and try and peck our hands, these lovelies don’t mind us checking beneath their bottoms for eggs. We only have two of them, and I think this spring we will find two more. Sunshine also has her eye on a Polish, like this one…so ridiculously cute!
And of course, there will be a kid or two born in June sometime, as well as several lambs. My girls are slowly swelling at 3 months, but I’m told it isn’t til the last month that 70% of growth happens for lambs. Not a day goes by that I don’t dream about what the lambs will look like!
And here sits Sugaree, filling up the dooryard of the barn. She is my most skittish sheep, but she was enjoying herself so much that afternoon, that I had to step around her to fill up water containers. She was busy growing a lambie or two!
What homestead projects are you up to right now? What are your plans for the season ahead? I’d love to hear from you!