Our days are now starting earlier and with our animals out on pasture, chores are stretching into the early evening. As the work load steadily increases, so too does our interest in downtime. Nora took advantage of an apple tree in one of the most beautiful spots on the farm…
…While Damiana took a second to relax in a pasture where we were putting up fencing.
Much needed rain finally returned to the farm this week. We have no irrigation in our fields and rely mostly on good soil health to retain whatever moisture falls from the sky. But this is the driest spring on the ridgetop in years so we’ve had to run up and down the beds with watering cans to save some newly planted pea and cabbage plants.
A good friend of mine, Jonathan, joined us for a day and we immediately put him to work with two of the most inglorious jobs on the farm – wrestling a tangle of dusty Remay row covers into place and moving bags of rocks around the farm (seen here). I drove the truck.
Since November, our animals have been living in their winter yards and eating dry hay. So, as warm weather has returned they’ve been watching with excitement as the grass grows up lush and green just outside their confines. This week, the pastures finally reached a grazable height and so we were finally able to turn the animals out.
We section off our pastures with portable electric fencing and move our animals daily from section to section. It is a lot of work but keeps the pastures healthy by controlling how long they rest between grazing and by distributing the cow’s manure more equitably.
But beyond pasture health I also think it is good for my mental health. There is something supremely peaceful and satisfying about happy grazing animals.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, our least zen animals, the pigs, have spent this week tipping over their fresh water water and bathing in it, rather than use it for drinking.
Damiana turned 27 this week and to celebrate Andrew gave her a bottle of beer – Nitro Milk Stout. But since she doesn’t drink she was a bit suspicious until she poured it out and found it was filled with her favorite drink, milk, instead.
And in the category of random cool facts, did you know that chard is just a beet selected for it’s leaves and a beet is basically chard, selected for it’s roots?! These are chard transplants. Notice the colorful, beet-like but skinny roots.
We are very close to finishing the foundation on for our timber frame structure. Here Sarah is moving the final stones into place to shore up the building’s footing. It should be ready just in time for my paternity leave, which could begin any day now…