the merry month of may

Things are unmistakably moving right along on our farm now that May has arrived! Seedlings are emerging after a rainfall, and the Garlic is showing some nice growth as I walked the beds today. I will need to tend to my Rye Grass experiment that I planted before winter, as it now looks to be growing at a rapid pace. I will chop it down and turn it under the dirt, hoping for what the old timers call a “green manure” The leaves and roots of Rye soak up nitrogen that will release into the soil, while also serving for a mulch to plant into. Our broiler chickens are doing well in the great outdoors, enjoying the fresh air, pasture and sunshine of the land. I also tried my hand at building a couple of Mason Bee houses in order to attract our native bee population. They are excellent pollinators! Stay tuned, Summer is around the bend… 😉

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out to pasture…

Today was moving day for the Broiler Chicks…onto greener pastures outside in the custom built ranging pen.  The pen is moved twice a day so the birds always have fresh grass to roam.  The chicks are now 2 1/2 weeks old and already seeming to love exploring the grasses in the field.  It is so nice to see them outside in a more natural environment.  The only concern was today’s heat (36ºC)! I was worried about the chicks over heating but with the shade and breeze they stayed comfortable (perhaps more than we did).  Tonight as I watered the garden…again…I watched the sunset across the sky over the chicks new home and listen to them peeping away.  A nice end to an eventful day! -Julie 🙂

June is busy

All the hay that was cut has been dried and baled. I stored it under cover for safe keeping. Weather has been hit and miss as far as haying is concerned. The forecast says rain next week (yet again!) I’m glad and thankful to get what I had in so far. Our sweet corn is looking good, and the beans have come up as well. It will almost be time to harvest that Garlic plot I planted last Fall. The leaves are starting to yellow, and scapes are now emerging. Next week is also time for the meat chickens to be processed. June is busy!

“go time” is starting again..!

Here we go again with another busy season! Seems like everywhere we turn there is something to do these days around the farm. Whether it is to get ready for our new plans or just keeping up with the ones already in place, we are on the run with many fine projects. Seedlings and hatchlings have begun again, and I’m glad to see my custom brooder box finally up and running. I am hoping things grow well this year!

the chicken tractor

On the weekend we took a drive to see about something I’ve been very interested in doing – pasturing poultry. There are great and many benefits in having chickens graze on pasture, and we are going to be adopting this system this year! The chickens basically graze inside a floorless pen, which is moved around daily over new ground. They benefit from having all the fresh grass, bugs and everything else the pasture has to offer, while in turn fertilizing the areas they move over. The pen has to be lightweight for moving, with good ventilation and security from predators. After mulling it over, we decided to invest in a state of the art pen that we think offers these benefits for years to come! Here’s a pic of some of the frame panels before they are welded into the final structure:

Click here more information about pasturing poultry.