Spring has arrived on the farm

 

After a seemingly endless winter, spring has finally arrived on the farm.  Maple season ended after a stretch of warm weather; the sap changed from clear to opaque, signaling the tree’s anticipation of warmer weather.

Ben has been busy finishing up a fencing project. Proper fences require ongoing maintenance and repair.  IMG_3898

Our chickens grew weary of the cold, wet weather, but were happy for the longer days. Their egg production increased markedly in March, and we occasionally find our free range eggs in rather strange places.

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PB finds a new place to lay

The pasture is starting to awaken and the livestock are happy to have fresh grass to graze after a steady diet of hay, haylage, and alfalfa pellets. We are happy for the arrival of violets. We make jelly from those pretty little purple flowers.

 

The perennials are finally starting to return. We love our asparagus around here. There is something magical about those pretty green spears appearing overnight. Sauteed or lightly roasted in butter or bacon drippings, the taste of fresh asparagus is simply unmatched.

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Spring signals the beginning of our lambing season. The red Tunis lambs are a stark contrast against the green grass. They don’t remain red for long, their white/cream fleeces begin to overtake the soft red hair after a week or two.

 

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Jewelweed

Many of our favorite plants are wild annuals and perennials that we forage. We spend time walking the woods to locate useful plants that we use for our family and the livestock.  Certain birds, insects, and reptiles are indicator species to determine when it’s warm enough for us garden in earnest. Gold finches, bullfrogs, and grasshoppers have all made their presence known over the past week.

The bees are happy for the warmer weather, too. Our hives are active daily now, harvesting pollen from dandelions, wildflowers, and the many fruit trees that are now in bloom.

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Many of our friend and family across the country are still struggling with cold temperatures. While we’re not quite out of the woods yet, it is encouraging to see the signs of spring on the farm.

-CW

 

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