Monday, February 14, 2011

Spring? SPRING?

I love winter. Really, I love winter.

But you know what? Enough's enough. I would go into all the reasons why I'm sick of it, but, well, I'm sure you know.

Yesterday was a balmy, sunny 45 degrees. The farm jumped into action. I swear, it was like a switch had turned on. The bees came back to life (we were pretty sure they were dead) and were buzzing frantically around, cleaning out their house and starting up life again. The chickens were wandering around for the first time in a while. The goats were nibbling some grass that had come uncovered as the snow melted. Even the birds were chirping.

I saw our hated enemy friend the hawk, sweeping over the fields. I have to admit, he's a beauty. I just wish he would stop eating our chickens. I get sick of watching him dive after them.

Spring is such a frenzied time, even for a small farm like ours. Here's some of the things that need to be done this year:

  • Clean out the barn completely. Everything is going. All the bedding, stocked hay, everything. The goats are now corraled in the smaller pen and sleeping in the (empty) chicken house. The barn needs to be completely mucked, pressure washed, and set to rights.
  • Fence in the whole pasture with field wire fence, layered with electric lines. We've found that the electric-only works only so-so, and goats are natural escape artists anyway, so we're going to panel it all in field wire before we let the goats out into the main pasture. We'll use the electric lines to keep them from head-butting or rubbing up against the field fence.
  • Start up our berry patch in the back. We mucked out about 1/3 of the barn Sunday and all of that wonderful, crappy mulch and straw went back to the berry area. I layered it down nicely.
  • Get some grape trellises up and running.
  • At least experiment with cold weather crops - lettuces, broccoli, etc. I've never even attempted them, so I'm going to semi-blindly dive in.
  • Get some fruit trees going.
  • Construction: What I would like to do is construct a new chicken house, complete with roosts and a secure chick area. The chicken house we have now is tiny and not really suited in the way I want it to be (call me picky). The new house will be made of pallet wood and recycled wood as much as possible. I really want to build it myself...
  • That being said, I would also like to construct a goat shed with a kidding stall and shelter from the wind. This isn't going to be a complex thing by any means. It just needs to be built.
  • Lonnie-the-goat goes to butcher this fall.
  • I am on the fence about breeding the girls... I need to do it quick if we're going to do it.
  • We will be picking out some chicks from Tractor Supply and also hatching some of our own out here again. We will be butchering 5 or so in fall.
Sooo... yeah, that's it so far! LOL.