Monday, March 15, 2010

Waiting for Warm and Dry

The middle of March is the time at the farm when we start making plans to plant in the field. This year things will have to wait a little while though, as the ground is still quite wet, and the soil too cold. In our early years we would try to push it and plant too early, but have come to learn that it is better to have your plants in the greenhouse than in soil too cold for them (same goes for seeds).

This year, some of those plants are going to be set with our new water wheel transplanter. We picked it up from Morgan County Seed last Friday, and will be assembling it in the next few days. More on it then, but suffice it to say that we bought it to help save wear and tear on the farmer's and apprentices. Organic farming is great exercise, but we do want to have working knees in our old age.
Water wheel transplanter

The greenhouse is filling up, and some plants (like the lettuce) are at the size you want them for transplanting. We are hoping that with a week of 50 and 60 degree temperatures, we can plant it out soon.

Also a' growin' in the greenhouse are the first tomato transplants (cherry and hybrid tomatoes), onions, broccoli, cabbage, Asian greens, kohlrabi, kale, herbs and flowers. We start the peppers and eggplant this Thursday. You may want to do the same if you are starting plants for a home garden.

Tomato starts

Onions


Lettuce


Broccoli

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Awakenings

While walking the fields today, doing some planning, Rebecca and I were chased by a bee. Several days earlier, Keith Stubblefield came out to check on our local honeymakers, put his ear to the otherwise quiet hive, and announced that he could here the buzz of thousands of bees.

So we quickly retreated to the house and made up a little food for the bees to supplement the stores of honey that got them through the winter. The video below shows just how active they have become---a true sign of Spring on the way.

video


Live bees flying at the hive entrance above a litter of dead bees cleaned from the hive.

Another sure sign of Spring is the migration of the snow geese. This last week they have been noisily moving over the farm, especially just after the sun comes up. These geese fly much higer than the Canadian geese we also see.



Below is the answer to the "Find the dog in this picture" photo. His body is hard to see, but you should be able to make out the black markings on his muzzle. Click on the image for a larger view of the photo.