Week 13 began with snow and brush clearing in the “North East Passage” a mystical place that connects to nowhere but with more work may provide additional pasture for the sheep this spring.
Inside, life is starting to thaw out as we’re getting a handle on the quirks of our wood-fired boiler.
Here is the satisfying product of many weeks and many sore backs: 5 cords of oak, ash and cherry stacked and seasoning. That leaves ONLY 15 cords to go!
This is my first total crop failure – Waltham Butternut Squash. We were doing germination tests this week on old seeds to determine their viability. We’ve been told that you should expect a 5% drop in germination rates for every year a seed goes unplanted. But based on our results, the germination rates drop much more precipitously. 98% of this batch of butternut squash germinated in 2011. In 2013 it was 0%.
We also spent an afternoon loading up the meat CSA shares for their monthly pick up. Pictured is a 2 and a half pound bone-in beef chuck steak. Perfect for the Flinstones.
Kim patches holes in our hoop house to try to get us through one more growing season.
Our hay guy showed up on Friday with 250 square bales and his Australian Shepard. I. Want. One.
In one full-throttle morning, our group managed to move hay, buck logs, burn brush and relocate the timbers of our timber frame structure from one farm to another. In the process, we hit an exhilarating rhythm that gave me a glimpse into what it might be like to be a part of a super organism, like a hive of bees. “I’ve never seen us work like that before,” Andrew said.
The flip side of exhilaration was a touch of exhaustion. This photo is the only proof I have that Kate actually rests sometimes.
My sunrise photo of the week, from inside a steamy kitchen where we were hard at work preparing breakfast for 15 hungry farmers.
And to top off a crazy week of castration and crop failure, my camera bag went up in flames after I left it too close to a burning slash pile. “Where is Erik? His camera bag is on fire.” had to be the quote of the day. Luckily Andrew rescued it and beat the flames out with a rock. No cameras were harmed.