We have had so much going on here at the farm it is hard to know where to begin... Not only is it now planting season, but Farm Manager, Dave Campeau has been performing a juggling act of sorts, as we have had multiple infrastructure and construction projects going on all at the same time.
The project that has been most time consuming has been the build out of our soon to be inspected for certification, commercial kitchen in our timber frame barn. The kitchen is in the corner of the barn adjacent to the earthen oven which is right out the back door under the shed roof overhang. Right now Dave is finishing coating all the wood surfaces with urethane and is also finalizing the butcher block-style maple counters. The 3 bay stainless sink is in place and the used stainless frig and range will be delivered tomorrow.
|Wild Leeks - AKA- "Ramps" - a delicacy in restaurants|
Our asparagus is something truly extraordinary.
Not only does it grow like bonkers down in our silty river bottom soil, but the flavor is like no other asparagus - incredibly rich and very tender. We even enjoy it raw. Now that we have crop insurance, we plan on expanding this perennial crop that can produce for up to twenty years!
|A mix of white and green asparagus - same plant, just|
some has been shaded by our thick straw mulch
We've tried two rounds of eggs in our incubator this spring and the hatch rates have been abysmal. So far only 10 birds have hatched from close to 60 eggs. We are trying one more round. Our turkeys are another story. Our farmer friend and retired teacher, Dave Nonnemaker took a few of our eggs and had his midget white turkeys sit on them - so far 18 poults have hatched! We also had our first hatching in our coop this evening... we were hoping for this, as it means we don't have to keep ordering poults through the mail every year.
Our truck engine is shot. We are currently waiting to decide who will do the work to re-build the engine. This came at an inopportune time given the busy spring season.
We have been planting quite a bit in the garden - potatoes, broccoli, peas, and onions are all in. Tomatoes go into the high tunnel tomorrow.
|Broccoli transplants and snap peas with trellis|
Our one room cabin construction for our intern couple has been delayed until June. We made the decision to first complete the kitchen area, and for now these folks will be staying on a futon in the barn living area. We did level the building site with a mini-backhoe rental. We also trenched for a power cable along the driveway from the house to the springhouse. We will be installing a well pump down in the water basin to pump water up to our middle pasture for our sheep during summertime.
|Lifetime farmer, friend, and radio personality, Dave|
Williams drops off an old Ferguson "two bottom" plow
We've also acquired a couple of "old school" plows and disker for turning and breaking up soil for new planting areas as we expand our
growing areas in the river bottom area.
The sheep are doing great and our lamb "Mary" is as frisky as they come. She really enjoys hopping up on her mom's back for a better view ....
Until next time, enjoy all the photos and the great weather this time of year...
Your friends at Old School Farm
|The old shed being converted into a privy|
|Our very busy Spanish Black tom is looking very regal this time of year|
|Broody heritage breed turkeys will sit for days on a clutch of eggs|
|The mini-backhoe rental kept bogging down in our thick mat of leaves|
|Dave moves boulders and levels cabin building site|
|Trout Lily - note pattern on leaves|
|View from cabin site|
|Site for cabin|
|Owen and Coleman Benner & their grandparents, Sue & Dave prepare ramps|
and potatoes for potato leek soup.
|Coleman seems to have enjoyed his bowl|
|An unheralded, yet delicious weed - "Lamb's Quarters"|
|Dave turned an old snowmobile trailer into a useful farm trailer|
|Winter Rye -soon to be tilled under as green manure|
|Fly fisherman pay a visit|
|Rural roads are quite useful for tractors...|
|Mary standing atop Freya|
|Dave working hard to get the solar water pump back in operation|
|The first of the rhubarb - soon to be stewed and sweetened with Old School honey|
|These amazing cold frames slipped right over our rooftop beds and have produced incredible seedlings|
|Fiddleheads begin to emerge. Ostrich ferns are a sure sign of spring|
|Fly fishing the Dyberry - just prior to hooking a 3 pounder on a stone fly pattern|
|Tractor headlights at dusk|
|Outdoor shower with flagstone floor|
|The outdoor vegetable wash sink|
|Single bottom 14" plow with disker|
|Red Trillium in bloom streamside|
|Massive stand of ramps in gamelands - digging these is off limits|
|Winter can be cruel - deer skeleton in drainage ditch along road in gamelands|
|Wild Turkey feather|
|A lot of beaver work|
|Old homestead site (torn down years ago because of flood plain)|
|First harvest of Rhubarb|
|Al found this door that we thought had been lost in the flood last|
year, back along the small creek behind our garden
|Heads down and clipping grass -90% of their waking hours|
|vibrant spring yellow|
|Early May full moon over the Dyberry|
|trench for power line to springhouse|
|Dave bends conduit to follow curve in trench|
|The fun part - back filling with the grader blade|
|Dave Campeau and OSF intern, Sam|
|Dave and Al as stock runs low|
|One year after transplant - cherry tree flowering|
|The old disker|
|The pumphouse with high tunnel in background|
|A few sprigs of watercress thrown into the spring last year, and now ready for market|
|moss covered boulder with liverworts|
|Killer broccoli in mini hoop house cold frame prior to transplant|
|Transplanting in process|
|Healthy soil = delicious and nutritious food|