February 2015

Lots of things happening around here, gearing up for the growy season.  It’s kind of been a tale of 2 months actually.  The first 3 weeks were dry, warm, and kind of weird.  Shorts and t-shirt weather several of those days.  Our pasture grasses starting coming in, surprising because it’s been so dry.

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Then on Feb 22 it started to snow, we got about 18″ in 24 hrs.  Everybody got confused.

Anyway, our pigs are still digging the gardens for us.  The video above is hilarious, pigs have such funny shaped bodies.  Not enough oinking, maybe next time.

Chickens are getting annoying, there is a certain group of them that refuses to stay with the rest of the birds.  They fly the coop each morning, then fly back in each evening.  Chickens are really destructive.  Mulch under our seedling shrubs…  Gone.  Mulch anywhere…  Gone.  Probably half of the garlic we planted last fall is gone.  Damn birds.

After the snow came, now we have some serious mud.  The cows aren’t too happy, we’re keeping them off the pasture to keep them from damaging it.  The area they’re in is future garden space, same place we grew squash and pumpkins in last year.  We put some whole corn on the ground, put a bunch of wasted hay on top of it, then it snowed.  So the corn is still there, but it’s very buried.  Eventually the pigs will get in there and they will dig like crazy to find that corn, loosening up the soil and tilling in all that old hay.  I love it, and the pigs do too.

On somewhat short notice, John got a ‘scholarship’ to a class being offered in town.  Holistic Whole Farm and Ranch Business Planning offered by the Holistic Management Institute.  It’s 5 full days, at this point 3 are complete.  It’s a business class, but not just any business class.  One simple different is the bottom line, profits.  In this class they teach a triple bottom line, biologic, social, and financial.  Is what you’re planning going to do going to harm the earthworms?  Then it fails the biologic aspect.  Will the public approve of what you’re doing?  If they do it passes the social aspect.  Can you make money at it?  How much time will it take and how much money?  Is it worth it?  Anyway, these are just a few simple examples but it’s a very interesting class.  One last thing I think is cool.  We all know Income – Expenses = Profit.  In this class they teach Income – Profit = Expenses.  Aka, plan your profit ahead of time, don’t just hope for it.

We have already started some of our seedlings.  Onions, and various greens.  We planted an apple tree, and a cool multi-graft apricot and pear tree.  These multi-grafts will give 4 different kinds of pear on the same tree, and 5 different apricots, peaches, and nectarines on a single different tree.  Each branch is a different fruit, grafted on to the main trunk.  Hard to pass something like this up.  We also have elderberries started, goji berries, black currants, and a cherry tree.  Perennial fruits and vitamins.  Of course we have comfry seeds to sow under many of these trees and shrubs too.

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