Friday, February 10, 2012

Potential Energy

I feel like I'm teetering on the top rung of a ladder, reaching for more fruit while risking a fall that could crush everything I've picked so far.  My hope is that this potential energy will remain unrealized with the added support of my husband, daughters and neighbors.  Someone is holding the ladder down below so that I can abandon two arms for the harvest.

The spring crazies are here without much winter reprieve.  I won't belabor talk of the winter that was not.  Instead, I'm making preparations for a very EARLY and busy spring.   We have a continuation of projects past and new endeavors to report, in brief. 

We'll be raising two Berkshire/Tamworth piglets this summer, in collaboration with our neighbors.  They will have whey from our small cheesemaking operation, homegrown organic vegetables, and acorns from our mature oaks.  They will be slaughtered on our farm and then butchered at a local farm.  We wanted to do the cut-up ourselves, but without a cold-room I fear the outside temperature in October would not permit a proper hang.  

Maple sap started to run a week ago, so we will try out our new/used hobby-sized evaporator this weekend.  We have placed about 26 taps and hope to produce enough maple syrup for ourselves (and one neighbor) so that we can avoid cane sugar altogether this year.
We've started leeks and onion seeds in the basement.  Brassica are next up, followed by tomatoes/peppers in March. 

Our 2012 goat kids are due in less than three weeks, so the girls have had their hooves trimmed, CD&T vaccinations, selenium-E supplement, and a copper bolus administered.  We added black oil sunflower seeds to their usual fixin's a week ago.  They also enjoy kelp, free-choice loose minerals, baking soda, an increasing grain ration, 1st and 2nd cut hay, AND we will be adding yeast extract next week.  I'm pretty sure they eat better than I do, at this point.  But then I'm not pregnant again, thankfully.

We're also expanding our usual poultry (layers and meaties) to include guinea hens because from what I've read, the ticks will be worse than ever this season.  Last year, I had to pick them off of my daughters with all too much regularity.

Our garden is expanding to the neighbor's as well, so we are adding many new crops, including some for our four-legged friends.  Storage crops are getting a real boost with the extra space.  I'm so excited and terrified at the prospect of it all.

Cheers, for a spectacular spring! 


  1. I've considered Guineas too but not sure I could stand the noise. I've been thinking that perhaps this open winter has afforded the ticks, fleas and Jap Beetles less insulation and more exposure to the cold which might kill them.

  2. Last fall I read a NYTimes article that spelled out how a drop in the booming wood mouse population would lead ticks to seek another host (humans) in 2012. We had a huge acorn drop in 2010 and then nothing in 2011, so I can see how this could happen where we live. I was constantly picking ticks off my girls last season and will happily trade this for the extra noise. I hope you are right about less insulating snow exposing them! We have no snow but our temps have been way above avg. It's something to ruminate on.