Thursday, March 26, 2009

Brief Update

Life is getting really interesting around here and I apologize for being so behind in blogging. Between work and farm, I have little time for quiet reflection, and even less time for frantic blog typing.

So to sum up:
1) The greenhouse is almost complete. Expected completion is this Saturday where we will tighten down the plastic film, install the ventilation system and hang the doors. Benches, paving, 3 yards of soil and beds to come later.
2) The horse sacrifice paddock is on its 20th ton of stone dust. Oh yea, that's some serious work on the ol' tractor. We'll be driving posts and taping off the paddock this weekend. Once we get the horses off the "forest pasture", we can clean it up: logging, rock removal, raking, and seeding.
3) More tractor goodies in store: fence post digger and logging forks. Gotta get those on Saturday.
4) Another tray of seeds started: Cabbage, Brussels Sprouts, and Kale. I can't wait until I can take the trays to the greenhouse for day trips to get them some protected sun.
5) Two weeks or so until we break ground on the outside garden. In the meantime, we need to pick up last fall's leaves, drop a few trees, measure and plan it out and borrow a hand tiller.

I'm tired just typing all that.

On the chicken front, I was able to surmise that the sick chicken succumbed to an infection of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG) due to the crazy weather. She did recover after 10 days and is symptom free. Since MG is omnipresent, I am not worried about the general health of the flock (unless she makes this a pattern). But she will not make the cut for next winter and is obviously not part of the breeding program.

I'm glad I was too busy to include you, my dear readers, on my chicken angst. I need to think of the collective like a farmer, but I don't want to lose compassion for the individual. I opted in this case to not cull the chicken after she recovered and she's back out with the flock. Time will tell whether I made the right call, but trust me, I spent many sleepless moments agonizing over the "right" answer.

The picture of the chick I posted earlier is a week-old Speckled Sussex pullet. I picked up five at a chicken swap locally, although I suspect one of them is a little cockerel. I've got 25 chicks coming in April 14th and that should round out my laying flock. There will be a lot of birds around this summer, but the intent is to get down to 20 by winter (18 pullets and 2 roosters) that will form the foundation of my sustainable flock going forward. Then the meaties arrive in July. I need to build two chicken tractors by then.

There's lots going on from the Brego front, but I will just need to post to that blog soon.


Alex said...

fhewww. im tired just reading! Don't you find that after you adjust to the time change (which seemed unusually hard for me this year for some reason) you can get so much more done?! In my opinion that extra hour of daylight at the end of the day makes all the difference in productivity this time of year! No more 5:30 dinners- the Europeans sure have us on that one... when we can eat later I feel like I can accomplish quite a bit more.

sylvia said...

You and the SO have been busy! Can't wait to see pictures of the finished greenhouse!

Austen said...

I must come clean. I'm an NPR addict. Yesterday, the Diane Rehm Show had a great discussion about food/farming/gardens/going organic.

Here's the link You can also download it on i-tunes for free. Put it on your mp3 and listen while working on your greenhouse. It's worth checking out.

Daun said...

The extra hours make a huge difference. Now if I come home and don't work for three hours, I feel like I am slacking. I just need more of those hours to be on the back of a (fat) horse.

Thanks for the linky. I am going to check it out this week during my commute. Also, I forgot to mention that your wild onion post was awesome!!!