Is It Really Winter?

With the temps we are having here on the farm, I might have to argue that spring seems to be coming early thisyear.  Yet, with March just around the corner, I have to think winter is not finished yet.  The Bradford pear trees are blooming, the daffodils are up and budded, the crocus are blooming and the tulips are making their way through the ground.  The bees have been flying and I’ve seen dandelion blooms.  Tomorrow it might reach 80 degrees here in Hillsboro, MO! 

We’ve been busy this last month.  We’ve done some equipment maintenance – changing the oil in the Mahindra tractor and the Miller Bobcat welder.  We met with a metal building company about a quote for a barn.  Haven’t heard back from them.  Found out the representative left the company so now we are waiting for someone else to come out and look at our site and give us a quote. 

We started a 10 week class called “Grow Your Farm” and we are really enjoying it and learning a lot.  We attended a Saturday workshop on high tunnels.  We are working with the NRCS and the USDA to apply for this grant.  It is quite the process.  Probably won’t be considered this year, but hopefully next year.  We went to the greenhouse store and bought our 2’x4’ grow lights and a 4’x8’ tray and lots of seed trays and potting mixture to start our seeds.  We hope to get our table for that built to hold the tray and seedlings this weekend, if possible.  We have a vacant house on our property (not in good condition), but it has electric running to it and we want to create a growing area inside this house until we can erect a high tunnel sometime in the future.

Farmer Paul got the new garden area plowed up – we are expanding our current garden to about 1.5 acres.  We needed to cut in a ditch line around a couple of sides of it.  Then we decided we needed to level it.  We rented a John Deere 555G High Lift and have spent almost a week working on this.  Quite the project as we removed the top soil and then dug up the clay.  We have the top soil to put back in place now. 

We’ve chopped a lot of firewood and have filled 2 pallet containers that we use to stack it on.  I would say they are 4’ high each.  This entailed doing some chainsaw cutting on felled trees and then getting it chopped with the log splitter.  That was quite the workout!

We took 2 soil samples to our class so our extension agent could get them tested.  We will be anxious to see how our new garden soil compares to the garden spot that we’ve spent 4 years adding soil amendments to (all organic). 

As I write this tonight we are celebrating the matriarch of the family’s 101st birthday.  Although her birthday isn’t until later in the week, we are making it a week long celebration!  After all, this is quite the event! 

We hope everyone is making progress on their farm plans.  We are, but not as much and never as quickly as we want to.

Paul Trusty