JANUARY 16, 2017 FARM NEWS

The usual garden view, snow all gone and looking quite spring like.

The usual garden view, snow all gone and looking quite spring like.

The Kale is now looking rather poorly.  too much wind being the main culprit .

The Kale is now looking rather poorly. too much wind being the main culprit .

This past week has been pretty good weather wise and for a time we have had warmth and little wind and have been pretty comfortable.  The animals do well, the chickens have been outside almost more this week than during all the last half of December, the horses appreciate the sun’s warmth as do the cows and sheep though the latter have been inside a bit more than usual lately.

Some of the hens inside on the roosts and some in the corner in the sun.

Some of the hens inside on the roosts and some in the corner in the sun.

Leucan having breakfast and thinking it's a fine day.He'll not like the prospect of rain later in the day.

Leucan having breakfast and thinking it’s a fine day.He’ll not like the prospect of rain later in the day.

We managed to get the replacement cover on the woodshed and it is firmly in place this time and should be able to stand up to everything short of a hurricane.  this will be of enormous benefit as we’ll have more room for wood both for lumber and for firewood and hopefully enough room for doing some woodworking too.  It is all very temporary as we intend to take it down when we can next year or the year after and erect a more roomy, better built structure with a more durable cover.

The herd of ducks

The herd of ducks

We have been looking at seed catalogues to try to get seed orders sent off as soon as possible.  we may need some seeds for seeding as early as next month but most seeds can wait until March before being planted. We have also been looking at what to get for poultry having in mind various chicken breeds for replacements and for different eggs and also to have some birds to be raised for roasters, chicken, duck and turkey.  Not a lot, we have to really figure out how much room we need for all of this and where they will all go.  we do have some big ideas.  We have mainly been looking at what Performance Poultry of Carrying Place, a wee hamlet just to the west of Trenton, has to offer and also Frey’s Hatchery in St. Jacobs.  Both of these places are very reputable places to buy poultry from.  Frey’s has day olds, started birds and ready to lay hens while Performance Poultry has only day old chicks. Both places have chicken, turkey and ducks and I think guineas though we are not looking to get guineas.

Cats in a bush.  No birds there.

Cats in a bush. No birds there.

We have also been looking at moving more towards a permaculture farm and to agroforestry.  This is something that we have always been wanting to do but just have not been able to do with the pressing needs of the day to day and preparations for each seasons harvest. The amount of grass, hay fields and hedge rows in rural Ontario has been steadily decreasing.  We would like to plant more trees of many species, with nut trees and fruit trees being predominate and with various berry bushes and lots of wildflowers.  All this means a considerable financial investment from us even when we are doing a relatively small area.

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2 Responses to JANUARY 16, 2017 FARM NEWS

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    I love the idea of more trees (Carolinian I would imagine), and would be open to helping to plant some of them.

    • devonacres says:

      Yes, a lot of the trees would be Carolinian or native to the area or SW Ontario but we would also be planting a large number of fruit trees, apple, pear, plum, peach, apricot, and domestic table grapes almost all of which are non-native and too we would be planting pine trees for pine nuts, all of which are non-native, and various hazel for nuts which would be non-native but also our native hazel and native nut trees such as oak, hickory, butternut, walnuts, both native black and the Eurasian variety. The idea is to have a very large number of tree species all mixed together and inter-planted with lots of different shrubs. It is a mix of food trees, trees for fuel, trees for their good looks and trees for wildlife habitat, which is pretty much all of them and they will likely be planted in a wide band, 25 to 100 feet wide not sure just yet which would be grazed occasionally by cows and sheep for short times.
      And we would be really happy to have help planting thank you very much for the offer.
      Robin.

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