Monday, April 28, 2014

I am glad for the rain, but . . .

We need to put in some new corner posts in the dairy cow pastures.  We had to special order them because they cannot be made of treated wood on our organic farm.  But the rain has softened the earth, and we are looking for some dryer weather to get them installed.

In addition, the deer did their usual number on the fencing over the winter months. Now begins the tedious job of replacing broken or missing insulators and repairing wire that was snapped by deer who didn't leap quite high enough.  Okay, I'll admit it, the cows can do a number on the wires too.

We are staying on top of planting by the biodynamic calendar (Stella Natura is our guide), both in the greenhouse and the garden.  Last year was a disaster, everything late and not because of the weather.  This is as much as I want to say about that. 

In addition, the rain is making the grass grow, and in spite of the cool and rather sunless spring, soon the cows will be milking even better once they are on their diet of 100% fresh, green spring grass.  I am swimming in milk, making a three to four pound wheel of hard cheese once or twice a week.  I've been making a lot of Cheddar, but made Caerphilly, a Welsh cheese, the last two times.  Today it is Colby.  Maybe then I will go back to Cheddar, since it is pretty awesome.  I broke open a wheel that went into the cheese cave on August 2, 2013, and it is very nice, very nice indeed!

Well, back to work schedule for next week.  Never a dull moment on a farm in the spring.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Turkey hunting - they are everywhere!

There is one less turkey on my place today!  Kim told me he would be turkey hunting before he milked.  I heard one shot and knew he was successful.  He doesn't miss!

Here are some pics over the last few seasons of wild turkeys invading my space.  They come right up to my back door!  People think turkeys are stupid, but they are not!  Very crafty birds, they are.  :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Busy, busy, busy!

I forget just how busy this time of year is.  Nothing ever goes without a hitch.  This year, it was The Invasion of the Seed Snatchers!  Mice took out about 85% of our first two plantings - about 1,500 tomato and pepper seeds.  I had decided not to buy any new seeds this year, instead running down inventory.  So when this happened, there were very few seeds left in the seed bins for replanting.

Seeds separated by Flower, Fruit, Leaf and Root

Thankfully I still had Brandywine tomato seeds.  Two of 30 came up the first time, mice taking care of the rest.  But we planted more, and the reseeded cells are popping with tiny plants.  However, there are still many, many empty cells.  You can see in the picture that we separate the seeds so that it is easier to follow biodynamic organic planting principles.  Thursday is a Fruit day, and we will be busily filling in more empty spots in the seedling trays containing peppers and tomatoes.  We will also be planting our Tom Thumb Pea Bowls.

Empty cells!

Second planting of Brandywine tomatoes - looking good
Unfortunately, I had to order many more seeds.  One of my suppliers has a wonderful selection, but they are slow to ship.  I finally got their seeds last night and found out they were out of Green Zebra, Green Grape, Hugh's and Hillbilly.  The big losses on this list are Hugh's and Green Zebra.  It is really getting pretty late to order more seeds.  I guess we will just do without this year.  My customers will let me know what they think of that!  :(

This afternoon and all day tomorrow are Leaf days, so we will be trimming and transplanting the last of the lettuces from the greenhouse.  That will give us a bit of a jump on the garden season.  We'll also direct seed lettuce into the garden with our seeding machine.

Red leaf lettuce ready to transplant to garden.

 If you live near Walkerton / South Bend, Indiana and are interested in joining our Market Basket CSA or want greenhouse plants for your own garden, give me a holler.  I'll send you information.  Contact me at and I'll get the information to you right away.

I do believe spring has actually arrived!  At last!!!

Addendum:  Okay, I did it.  I ordered more seeds.  So we are covered for Hugh's, Green Zebra, Hillbilly and Green Grape.  Fortunately I found a supplier who had all four of them.  And while I was at it, I had a request on Saturday for Black Cherry tomatoes, so I ordered those.  And I finally found Ancho chile peppers, which have been out just about everywhere, so they are on their way as well.  I have a seed addiction!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Sometimes things work out okay!

Tonight I lost my cell phone.  I had made a call to Kim when I got home from Purple Porch tonight, and I remembered telling him that my battery was about dead, couldn't talk long.

When I went to bed, I was going to plug the phone in to recharge the battery but couldn't find it.  When I called the number from my home phone, I didn't hear it ringing, so I assumed that the battery had gone completely dead.  I searched everywhere for nearly an hour.  I retraced my steps, or so I thought, but still it eluded me.

I just couldn't go to bed with the phone lost.  Every time I tried, I would lie in bed for two minutes, then pop out of bed and search some more.  Finally I went to my computer for a little help.

My phone is a Galaxy Nexus, and I was pretty sure I set it up with a locator app when I got it, but I had not saved any information on how to access it.  So I Googled how to find a lost cell phone with dead battery.  One person mentioned going to  I did and I followed the directions. 

I had to check in with my Google account password for an Android phone, which is what I have.  Up popped a map.  There was my pond, and my drive, and a big circle encompassing my house and barns, not really much help.  I clicked on the circle and now there was an arrow to the left of the end of the lane, not the right, which is where the house is.  So it WASN'T in the house!  What building is across the drive from the house?  The greenhouse!  I headed outside after setting the app to ring the phone continuously for five minutes. As soon as I walked out the back door, I could hear it ringing.  Yup, in the greenhouse.  And of course, then I remembered going out to check the plants while I was talking to Kim about tomorrow's work schedule.

The map was specific enough that I believe I would have found it even without the ringing. That is one clever app!  Consider activating it on your phone if you haven't already done so, while you still know where it is!  LOL