May 15, 2017 FARM NEWS

The Monday morning garden view and still a little hard to see any changes from last week.

The newest hens at breakfast. Apple trees in blossom in the background.

The spring planting is going along quite well.  We have not yet put a lot into the garden as mostly it has been too cold but what is in is growing well and there is a lot growing in trays.  The plants growing in trays are started in the house and yurt and moved into the green house, usually when they have their first true leaves.  When they are growing good the plants are then moved outside near the garden, slowly introduced to wind and sun and carefully grown until they are big enough and sturdy enough to be planted out in to the garden. Many of these trays are now outside and some are now ready for transplanting into the garden.

These are the trays with the newly germinated and rapidly growing vegetable plants. each tray is about 12 X 22 inches.

This is a tray of Chinese cabbage, O142 in the William Dam Seeds catalogue. These are the cotyledon or seed leaves. The first true leaves are yet to come but that will be quick.

These two trays have lettuce plants which are now sufficiently large to be planted out.

The catalogue number on these is 273, a white sweet onion with the exotic sounding name, Sweet White Wing F1. The F1 means hybrid, first finial I think it is meaning if we were to save seed from this we would not likely get much which was White Wing but be getting the parent stock instead.

Aerron has been using the horses on the single row horse cultivator to work up the beds in the garden for seeding and transplanting.  The horses have not been used, have not been in harness much, since the fall. They were pretty well behaved once hooked to the implement and working but as usual for them they made for a difficult time getting the traces hooked on the double trees. They do not back straight and do not like to stand still.  We need to work the horses more regularly and more often. But all that is ok. Much better to have horses as the power on the farm.  No noxious stench from the exhaust, horses do have their own noxious odours but quite a bit less harmful, they are pretty quiet when working and they set a nice pace. You cannot be tempted to work to long because when the horses are really tired and have had enough then they are going to tell you, they get to refusing to move, not doing things properly and stopping quite a bit when they’ve not been asked too.  They also need frequent breaks and this gives the teamster time to look about, contemplate things. A little slower than a tractor perhaps but then there are always ways, no matter how fast you are going. An older small tractor would come in real handy though for tasks needing the bucket at the front. Tasks such as loading manure or compost or, with a spear attachment, loading and unloading the large round straw and hay bales on the wagon. So we have for a couple of years been on the lookout for an older tractor, a Cockshutt 20, 30 or 40 would do the trick as would some of the smaller McCormicks, the Farmalls.

Aerron with the team. Photographed by his son William Kirby aged 6 and a half years. An excellent photo I thought.

We have made a huge dent in the wood pile compared with last week we have also stacked a good lot of it too.

We have gotten a lot of wood lately, branches and small trunks that needed to be cut to stove length and stacked to dry for a month or two then moved into the woodshed to finish curing for next or ideally the season after. So that is an ongoing lot of work that is far better done now than in the fall.  We should also be doing that in the fall for two seasons in the future … again, ideally. But the wood has been free to us and that is always good.  We also need to go to two of our neighbours to cut small trees and bring the wood back.  The truck is still not working so that must go in. The front tire on the manure spreader will not hold air for longer than two minutes so that needs fixing right away as we need it to draw composted manure to the garden.

Checking out the magnolia. Sniffing the flowers?

So no shortage of things to be done.

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2 Responses to May 15, 2017 FARM NEWS

  1. Robert Feagan says:

    The feeling of spring and a new growing season really comes across well. Thanks Kirby’s for lifting my day!

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