Just picked a gallon of wild blackberries at the peak of ripeness, and there’s more to pick! Wild blackberries are getting rare these days, and here no synthetic pesticides or herbicides are used. Blackberries are biennial; I won’t cut these down but will allow the nice stands in the west fields to continue to grow.
The chickens are enjoying the greenery and the warm temperatures, and humans here are busy! It is the season to harvest, weed and replant for that late fall harvest and there never seems to be enough time or light in the day. Farming for market and for a CSA brings the need to make sure nature hits deadlines–and I’ve come to the conclusion that nature does not like to be on a clock. Plants will produce, chickens will lay–but all in their own time and season. Understanding the rhythms on a farm takes time and patience.
This native perennial plant was used by early Native Americans. Potted some up for those interested in medicinal plants. Highly tannic, this can be used as a styptic and as a gargle for sore throat. Tons of it growing this year in one of the back beds. Great article on its uses here: http://www.twolanelivin.com/medicinal-properties-of-wild-geranium/.
Our blue eggs aren’t dyed 🙂 The North Stafford Farmer’s market opens Sunday and we’ll be there with our Non-GMO Project verified eggs, and live herbs, too.
The busy season is here!
Photo of herbs in the greenhouse — finally a bit of warmth! About a half acre tilled for planting, just waiting on a bit more drying after the last round of snow.
We may have at least one more snowstorm, but tell that to the bluebirds nesting near the greenhouse. The hens are enjoying being outside, and the fields around the farm are starting to green. The response to the NonGMO Project Verified eggs has been wonderful.
Bitter cold here in Virginia, with -1 degree yesterday, at 5 am, and 6 above zero early this morning. I’ve been busy working on the garden & growing plan for this year, plan A, plan B, and also taking care of the goats and poultry.
For the most part, animals here are doing okay in the snow and cold, but they don’t get to range with snow on the ground.
Not that any of the birds want to come outside when I open the doors to the coops!
Even the guineas have spent less time out in their outdoor run, in contrast to their usual fussing at me to let them out. (If you’ve ever heard a guinea, you would know what I mean.)
And the goats and donkeys are not happy in this weather, but are doing okay, except for one extremely old guy who is having a tough time. He’s blind and today he was limping, so I took Guy into the only really warm farm space, the greenhouse, just for a temporary stay to get him out of the weather.
Normally I would not do this, but there are no plantings right now except for a few pots of parsley which have been placed on high shelves, so it’s okay for him to stay in for just a bit until we get out of single digits. I put on my dupont tyvek protective coveralls There’s a run in on the farm with good shelter, actually three, but the other goats push him around so much that he doesn’t get the same protection.
Guy’s major goal in life is to eat grass (that’s his job here on the farm, too) and he’s now busy nibbling on the fresh green grass sprouting up here and there through the gravel floor of the greenhouse.
What a good feeling to be inside the greenhouse and feel the warmth of the sun.