Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy Spring!

Hi all:
Happy Spring indeed! What an amazing day we had today. I wasn't keeping track but I bet it hit 70 degrees today. Today is Dave Mallet Day! That's something I made up so don't look it up. Dave Mallet is a Maine Folk Singer for those who don't know and I love his work. He has one song in particular titled "Greenin' Up Real Good" which is about spring. Each year there is always a first day like today in the spring that is amazing and you can get out and stretch away winter. On that day I always hear Greenin' Up Real Good in my head all day and whichever day it is I dub Dave Mallet Day. Today was it.
Spring has sprung and that means we're into the season now. No looking back until November! I'm planting onions like crazy and trying to find time to squeeze in a lettuce flat or two once a week or so. Above is a shot of our Pro-Gro 4 mat thermostat controller. Below is one of the Pro-Gro Heat mats we use to germinate seedlings. I'm trying an experiment this year to get away from them and have a good video to show you but the trusty Internet won't let me upload it! Pesky Internet.

I wasn't the only one out and about today enjoying the sun, warmth and garden. Here are some of the chickens doing what chickens do.

Over the past few days I've been able to finally get some of the plastic up over the hoops that had fallen off in the fall and then been frozen to the ground. Now I'm 'solarizing' the rows beneath them. This will allow me to go in and prep and plant much earlier than in the rows elsewhere that aren't covered.

And in the greenhouses we have,! Below is a shot of one row of Space Spinach. Our Member's Choice Share Holders will be selecting from this row this week (among others) for an awesome taste of spring. Lizzie helped me get some for lunch today and we may have eaten a few leaves in the process. I always love spinach fresh from the earth this time of year. It literally tastes like spring.

This is a before shot. I have another video that I cannot upload right now that is the after. These two rows are no longer. I put 12 chickens in here and fenced them into these two rows. My word are they efficient. I will probably take them out tomorrow evening after dark depending upon how much more weeding, tilling, fertilizing, pest control they do tomorrow. I love chickens and they are one of the reasons why everyone should have a diversified farm. Hopefully I can get Em to show me how to use her fancy camera and upload our videos soon. You won't believe what 12 chickens did in 2 days.

I love this photo Emily took of a baby carrot. 4 rows of carrots in the Quonset hut (my name for one of our hoop houses) are doing quite well. I planted them October 14th and weeded them on Tuesday. They are really coming along nicely now that they have space and heat.

Here is a shot of the hoop house panorama style. You can see the two rows of spinach fenced off on the right and the carrots in the next 4 rows.

Finally, a couple shots of one of my big projects from this winter. Here is our pile of logs that are waiting to be milled into lumber. All of this pine, hemlock, hackmatack and fir came from the farm, in fact from the woods you can see in the distance. I spent many nice days in the woods this winter felling, limbing and yarding these out and up to the top of the hill by the barn. The sawyer's mill is set-up and we're waiting for him to come out on a nice day and start turning this into boards for us. What you see here will eventually be a market trailer, passive solar heated, bale insulated seedling house, new stairs for the hay mow, market tables and more.

Another great shot by Em showing the lumber pile and one of several awesome views we have here at the farm. It's brown and drab now but if you look closely you can now see shoots of green between the thatch of winter.

"It's greenin' up really good,

Lookin' mighty fine,

Every little seed,

Every little vine,

Where the open field,

Gives way to the wood,

It's greenin' up real good.

It's greenin' up real good,

Lookin' mighty fine,

Every little seed,

Comin' right on time,

Up across the bay,

And up into the woods,

It's greenin' up real good."

Dave Mallet