It has been a tough winter break on the farm. Our oldest ewe died, face down in a bowl of sheep minerals. Our favorite chicken, a little old bantam with feathered chaps named Phyllis has gone missing and two colonies of bees failed to make it through to the spring thaw.
When we pulled them out of their boxes, they were still in a protective ball surrounding the queen, but dead and frozen in time. Many were deep inside their comb, looking for honey that was just a few inches to their right. The cold and something else, a factor that we’ll probably never know, did them in.
At the begging of the week, we spent some time spreading bedding in the barn, preparing it for the cows who would soon huddle there sheltering against the rainy/sleety weather that was in store.
And I’m happy to report that all patients from the last blog post are just as full of pluck and vigor as before our clumsy castration work.
The potting soil for our greenhouse starts arrived this week in massive gunny sacks. I’m embarrassed to admit, but there is more soil in these bags than what’s it in all of our various home gardens combined.
We also spent some time clearing space in a our winter hoop house for the last of the season extension plantings. Here Andrew hand seeds some cilantro, which if you didn’t know is the same as coriander.
Also, the famous Mr. Marbles (AKA JR) came back from the slaughter house while we were away. In case you don’t remember, Marbles was an intact (still has his balls) feisty ram who picked a good fight with me back in the fall. Ram meat is rumored to be terrible because of all the male hormones. But I couldn’t tell a difference between him and normal lamb. Maybe it tasted a little sweaty, but maybe it is just because I remember how he smelled.
We also got to make some pegs out of red oak that we will eventually use to hold our timber frame structure together. They went from this…
And finally, we checked on a row of carrots we mulched heavily in the fall. Despite all the harshness of winter, when we dug down through the snow and straw we found them unfazed by the snow above their heads and ready for snacking.