We are having splendid weather now and for the past few days. The mud and the too wet garden have gone. There is now a lot that can be done. None of our plants are ready to be transplanted just yet, a week or two from now at the earliest but there are a lot of seeds that can go into the ground. The next thing for us to do is to go over the whole garden with the disc harrows and break up and turn under all the plant debris from last season as well as the germinating weeds. In most parts of the garden this will mean one or perhaps two passes with the discs and then the single row cultivators to prepare beds into which will go from one to three rows of vegetables. The horses will provide the power for both disc and cultivator. We have to get our mulch on the garlic and the broad beans and we’ll need a lot more for all the things we’ll be putting in the ground. We will need to get a lot of work done in a short time. We are also building a new and larger tool shed. Better organized and better built than the old quickly put up shed. The next structure is a shed near the road for egg and veggie sales and then we need some sort of shelter for the CSA veggie pick up at the same spot where we have had the pick up area in the past.
The chickens are laying better than ever now. The lay rate is now around 80%. That means that for every 10 chickens 8 will have laid an egg in a 24 hour period. Some of our birds are rather poor layers. An excellent egg laying breed of chicken might lay as much as 330 eggs in a year, a very good breed will average between 280 and 300. Our Barnevelder and Marans chickens will likely lay less than 200 eggs in a year. But theirs are the darkest eggs. We have 5 Marans hens and 10 Barnevelders and we will be hatching out their eggs so as to increase the flock sizes.
We have made new pastured runs for the chickens and are in the process of sorting out the flocks in preparation for the new grass coming and for when we have new chicks. We also moved the duck hut and have a new run for them off their wintering spot on the garden. there are more runs to be fenced and we will have to move the chickens from one run to the next often enough to prevent them from doing too much damage by scratching but leave them on long enough to allow the previous to recover.
All the new lambs have come now but we are still awaiting a calf. The cow made an udder very early on but that is alright, the calf will come when it’s ready. Still more than a month before the horses, cows and sheep can get out on the grass.