February 20, 2014 Farm News

 

 

Real cold early Tuesday morning.  The first thing to be done is to get the woodstove started and begin the long warming process.

Real cold early Tuesday morning. The first thing to be done is to get the woodstove started and begin the long warming process.

 

Looking down the lane past the summertime CSA pickup area. The snow bank to the left has grown quite high and though it was cleared just two hours before this photo, the strong winds have already drifted enough snow across the track from the right that it will have to be dug again before a car can pass.

Looking down the lane past the summertime CSA pickup area. The snow bank to the left has grown quite high and though it was cleared just two hours before this photo, the strong winds have already drifted enough snow across the track from the right that it will have to be dug again before a car can pass.

 

Looking down the drive from the entrance at the road.  The lane was cleared not quite wide enough but still the cars were able to cut through.

Looking down the drive from the entrance at the road. The lane was cleared not quite wide enough but still the cars were able to cut through.

 

Green's Road and cars lend scale to the sizeable snow banks thrown up by the County plows.

Green’s Road and cars lend scale to the sizeable snow banks thrown up by the County plows.

 

The County snow plow on Green's road  near Robinson at times nearly obscured by blowing snow.

The County snow plow on Green’s road near Robinson at times nearly obscured by blowing snow.

 

At the edge of the snow bank along Green's road. They are probably about15 feet high.

At the edge of the snow bank along Green’s road. They are probably about15 feet high.

 

The horses are waiting for their morning grain ration on a real cold early morning.

The horses are waiting for their morning grain ration on a real cold early morning.

 

The chicken house real early on a cold snowy morning.

The chicken house real early on a cold snowy morning.

 

Wimpy waiting for grain and still sleeping.

Wimpy waiting for grain and still sleeping.

 

 

The weekly photo spot. the snow is now as deep as it will get since rain is coming later to-day.

The weekly photo spot. the snow is now as deep as it will get since rain is coming later to-day.

The weather was remarkably cold again on two or three nights the past seven days.  The warming trend that is now developing is welcome though we are expected to get quite a lot of rain on Thursday and that will not do anyone or anything any good.  It will certainly make a mess of our lane way.  The snowfall overnight Tuesday and into Wednesday morning, along with the wind, made for a plugged up laneway again which needed a lot of shoveling just to get the cars to the end of the driveway.  The snow banks along the road near us are higher than we have seen in many years and they extend much further along the road than I remember them having done in past winters.  Green’s Road is now a lot easier to travel than when I was young.  That is due to the road having been rebuilt about 40 years ago which elevated it slightly and filled in the valleys somewhat and also that the snowplows are around more often.  I personally would like to see less of the snowplows and would like to have the roads impassable much more often.  I wonder how much fuel and how much road salt is expended to keep roads as they are.  Municipalities, maybe, should set out a conservative limit to how many litres of fuel can be used annually and then work around that.

All the chickens, ducks, the goose, the sheep, the goat, cows and horses are coping just fine, and, we have one new lamb, a little ram, also doing just fine.  More lambs to come in due course over the coming weeks.

This past week was not one of our most productive as four days were taken up with the family Day weekend and that was well worth it.  But we have been doing a lot of work trying to figure out which chickens and which vegetable varieties to get for the coming season.  The intention is to get more chickens than last season and to have some hens that will give us a greater variety of egg colour.  Much darker brown eggs, blue and green coloured eggs, and the rich olive colour from Copper Black Marans, Americaunas, and a hybrid of those two for the last egg colour. We thought that  we might get some egg laying ducks, perhaps Campbells, Runners or Welsh Harlequins.  I am trying to find good photos of all these chickens and duck varieties but this is needing a lot of searching for good pictures.

Way too many seed catalogues to look through with way too many really intriguing vegetable varieties.  The trick is to stick mostly with what we know can do well for us and add a few new varieties that seem to be an improvement in certain aspects and to bring in other for trial that are quite different from what we have used in the past.  Not straightforward at all.  Then there is the difficulties arising when a variety is dropped from seed catalogues and we can no longer get it.  This is the strongest argument for seed saving, a task that adds another workload to an already impossible one.  We do save seed but for some we are not as careful we should be in order to maintain seed purity and we’ll often end up with hybrids, most of which are still useful, but not for maintaining a favourite vegetable variety with those uniform desired characteristics.

We are still looking for everyone that wants to participate in the 2014 CSA season.  Please let us know if you are considering and especially if you are certain of your intentions.  We really need to know as soon as possible.   Thanks all.     

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