-and it's 70 degrees. The air is full of ladybugs, swooping around. Not that I am complaining, it feels lovely, but it can be very confusing for the plants, especially the fruit trees.
We had more seasonally appropriate weather earlier in the week. Amy and Bea came out for a visit, and we put them right to work!
They helped us break up garlic cloves to prepare them for planting. It is never to early to begin training future farm workers, folks.
We made a couple of scarecrows, as well. This is a dual learning opportunity-it could be that Bea has a future in the fashion industry!
The critters were all a little wary of this tiger, though. Even if it was just a tiny and sweet little tiger.
We got 40 pounds or so of garlic planted and mulched, which was about 600 row feet. The strawberries will be planted soon, and we still have 6 plum trees, and some blueberries and grapes to be planted. Then it's weed, weed, mulch, weed, mulch, mulch, mulch.
Things are at last starting to slow down for us, though. The short winter days are kind of a bummer, but we all need the opportunity for a rest. It is soon time to spend hours by the woodstove, reading books, knitting, looking through seed catalogs and planning for next year, sippin on a whiskey.
We have plenty of outside winter projects to keep us busy. Steve has worked hard on 'renovating' the pastures. They have been harrowed and reseeded in orchard grass, alfalfa, red and white clover, canola, and buckwheat, and I must say they do look fabulous. Now, we need to get some good paddock fencing up so that we can work on our rotational grazing system.
Steve is also planting barley in some of the farther fields. Feed costs are absolutely killing us right now, and they just keep on going up. We plant to cut and bale the barley when the seeds mature, and heap it up in the chicken paddocks. We did something similar earlier in the year with sunflowers and corn. The chickens pick all the seeds out of the pile, and then the vegetative material becomes a hospitable environment for crickets, grasshoppers, worms, etc, all wonderful and delicious sources of protein for the ladies. The critters crawl in the pile overnight, and the hens scratch up their breakfast in the morning. When the pile breaks down it creates a nice mulchy layer which adds to and improves the paddock soil. In certain paddocks, you can walk in, and your feet will sink an inch into the spongy, humusy, rich soil. Delightful!
We are looking forward to next season, and hope to have everything cleaned up, lookin good, and running like a well oiled machine when the light returns in the Spring!