Monday, March 28, 2016

Christ is risen, and spring has sprung: a farm update in pictures

It has been awhile since our last posting, and spring has now sprung here in North Carolina. What is going on here at Kleinshire during Easter week? After a weekend of adventures in Balitmore, we are back at the farm and getting to work. Here’s an update in pictures:

Spring planting is currently underway. There are three rows of peas beginning to appear, and just today we put up some string for the peas to climb.

Three rows of peas

One little pea plant contra mundum.

We also have a nice row or two of lettuce and mustard starting to grow.

A little tang of mustard for the summer salads.

There are several rows of onions establishing themselves toward the middle of the garden.

We are hoping that the mulch helps to keep the weeks from choking out the onions, as happened last year.

There are also some carrot, radish, and cucumber seeds in the ground that have yet to make their appearance. By the end of the week, melons, tomato seedlings, and more cucumbers will be in the ground. We are off to a good start so long as we can stay ahead of the weeds.

On the animal front, we have nearly two dozen broiler chicks who just moved from the garage to their coop. There is one little Speckled Sussex as well, the lone survivor of the heritage breed chicks after this most recent batch of chicks spent an extra day in transit. 

Chickens checking out their new surroundings.

The three-month-old doelings were separated from their mothers today, a traumatic occurrence that also led to some emergency fence repair. Alas, the two escapees practically drained their mothers of milk within minutes. The fence appears secure now, and tomorrow we should have all the milk for ourselves.

Eva and Ruth, the two of Caroline's doelings that we retained.

Neither mothers nor babies are very happy with the separation.

Ouch, that udder doesn't feel so good without a kid on it during the day!

Lucia and her doeling, born a few weeks ago, are doing well. She is a spunky little thing who still needs some taming. Her legs straightened out very nicely, and now we’re trying to decide if she might be one we keep for our own herd.

Lucia and her beautiful doeling. Still no name.

Dreamer and Belle, our two full-sized goats, are both due to kid within the next week or two. Dreamer’s ligaments are nearly gone and her udder is starting to fill, so she might go any day now.

Dreamer and Belle, mothers-to-be

Dreamer's udder is filling out nicely. She alone should be able to produce as much milk as we drink.

Oreo is still for sale. This is probably due to a combination of factors, including his age and the glut of bucks currently on the market. It certainly isn’t a matter of quality, as Oreo has nice genetics and a superior kidding history behind him. In any case, we’re considering whether to lower his price all the way down to $150. He was already a steal at his original price of $250, and currently he’s listed on Craigslist at $200. At $150 he will practically be a gift that we’re begging someone to accept. It’s either that or freezer camp, as he’s done his job for us and is too much of a buck to keep as a pet.

Will anybody save me from feezer camp?

And this guy, one of the straight-run heritage roosters from the last order of chicks, is definitely headed to freezer camp within the week!

Tread softly, dear sir. Your days are limited.

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