Work in the garden has increased as the weather is warming up quite a bit. We have had a few rain showers, which is so wonderful in our drought area, and it looks like that trend will be continuing. A wet spring would be such a blessing!
Lambing season is officially over. Our last ewe gave birth this week. All the lambs are growing and thriving. We are working our way through the dairy ewe lamb waiting list currently – we will definitely not be making it all the way through the list this year. We do have wool lambs still available though, and dairy ram lambs.
Our first goat kids of the year were born this week. Our yearling doe had a beautiful little single doeling, and one of our adult does had twin bucklings. They are so adorable with their big Nubian ears on their tiny bodies. Photos coming soon! Our last doe is due this coming week, and that will end our birthing season for 2023. She is looking huge, so we are expecting triplets from her again.
We are headed into summer #3 on the new farm and we are starting to see a difference in the pastures due to our intensive rotational grazing in an effort to bring life back to the soil and fields. Not a ton of progress yet, but enough to keep us going.
The rams got out on pasture this week. Previously we have only been able to pasture the ewes and lambs due to a lack of shelter and fences. So we are excited that the rams are able to get out this year and work one of our fields that hasn’t been grazed before.
We have about 6.5 acres of pasture that have been grazed 2 years now, about 6.5 acres that have been grazed 1 year, and 9 acres that have never been grazed. The entire property was mostly thorny weeds and tumble weeds when we arrived, with very little perennial grasses. There were a lot of bare patches of sand throughout the fields. The acres that have been grazed 2 years are showing a lot more perennial grasses this year, plus their “bare” patches have a grey mulch of dead vegetable matter over them. The ones that have been grazed 1 year have a little more grass this year with sandy bare patches, and the ones that have never been grazed are showing no difference at all.
It is encouraging to see a difference. It makes us eager to press on with the work, even though it is very time-consuming to have to move the electronet fences daily for the intensive grazing. And this year we have another set of fences to move with the rams out on pasture now. But – it is worth it!
We are brainstorming ways to get the poultry safely out to follow the grazing of the hoofstock. One step at a time!
Mama turkey hen, Scotch, is doing very well with her 13 little chicks. All 13 have survived their first week of life, which is such a blessing! They are still pretty impossible to get a photo of – Mama is very protective and calls them to her and blocks our view whenever we go near.
Our second mama hen, Bourbon, is due to hatch this week. We are very excited to see how many she hatches out – especially after this large hatch of 13.
We have been harvesting chives for a few weeks now, and this week we were able to start harvesting oregano and rhubarb. I made a delicious batch of rhubarb bread and the family was very pleased.
We have small sprouts coming up all over the garden – all sorts of leafy greens, plus the carrots and peas have sprouted too. The onion sets are not growing much yet, but they also don’t look like they are dead either. Hopefully soon we will see some growth with them. We should be seeing some garlic scapes coming on and getting ready in the next few weeks – we LOVE eating garlic scapes.
I am hardening off all sorts of warm-weather seedlings in preparation of putting them out in the next week or two. I am watching the weather predictions to see if we have seen our last frost. Once I feel confidant about it, and the plants seem hardened enough, we will get them out into the garden.
It seems like the garden is doing much better this year with the new boxes and soil. It is exciting and hopeful.