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Agrarian Harvest

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Spring??? Please!!!

It’s an exciting day at Agrarian Harvest! It’s 50 degrees outside and the snow is melting!! This is a great feeling for us after having cold temperatures and lots of snow to deal with this winter. We had 6 days this winter that we were actually snowed in. The wind blew and the drifts kept building up in our lane. There was no getting out. Which is fine for me, but the farmer goes a little stir crazy. Snow days are fun, especially when we get the whole family to go out to play fox and geese, sled or build snow forts. But after a month of it (or just one day for the farmer) we are done with winter. It can go away and bring on Spring.

And the farmer is getting ready for Spring. He has been busy filling trays with potting soil, planting shallots, leeks and celery. He’s also been getting the cold frame ready for plants. We had a duck nesting in cold frame. She managed to hatch a couple of eggs, but the ducklings didn’t make it. She was a first time mama and it was just too cold.

We are excited for another year of farming and very eager to get plants growing. By the way, our rock chucks didn’t see their shadows. I know this because it was cloudy all day. As I type this, they are busy running around the rock piles, telling me that spring is on its way. So we feel that famous groundhog way over in the East is wrong.

 

February Happenings & Plans

This month is going to be a full of getting seeds planted and started. We also plan to get lettuce, spinach and arugula in the ground for early cutting for farmers markets and CSA.

We have pigs ready for butcher. They will be going to the butcher as soon as can get the trailer back to the corral to load them.  If you want a whole or half pig, now is the time put your order in. We will have more pork by the cut available in early March. Until then, you check our pork page for the cuts we currently have available.      Pork

We will once again be offering a vegetable CSA this year. And we now have four pick up locations, we added Ketchum to our pick up locations.  Here is a link to our 2017 CSA application.   csa2017

 

Low Tunnels

We are getting the low tunnels up and cool weather produce transplanted in the field. We decided to use low tunnels this year to extend our growing season, being able to plant earlier and then to allow our produce to grow later into the fall. Although, this spring has been warmer than usual and so far have not needed the low tunnels covered. We only have one row covered, thinking we would not need to cover them this spring since the temperature has been warm and staying about normal. Then last night it freezes. But so far all the plants have tolerated the frost and are doing fine.

The low tunnel technique seems to work well and we are very excited to be using them. This will allow us to be way more productive, which makes life a whole lot less stressful and allows us to laugh more often. We have started thousands of cool weather tolerant plants like broccoli, cabbage and kale in the cold frame several months ago and are now able to plant them outside. This frees up space in the cold frame for thousands of more seeds to be started of our later season plants like tomatoes and peppers. This has allowed us to start thousands of more seeds than in previous years. We are getting them planted in a timely manner and in stages. This makes us feel so much more efficient. We are so excited about this growing season.

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Spring Fever

The warm sunny weather this week has made us very eager for summer.  Is this Spring fever or just plain craziness? We have spent our week planting more seeds. We have several flats planted in the cold frame, planning to put some in the house, and are even experimenting with direct seeding in the ground with cold weather plants. This beautiful weather at the beginning of March leaves me a little worried about what the weather will be like the end of March and April.

We had another litter of piglets born this week. That makes two litters so far this year. We have two more sows left farrow this Spring. The sow that farrowed this week had 10 live piglets and four born dead. That’s a large litter and they are all looking and doing good. Here is a picture of a few of the cuties.20160305_082308 (1)

It looks like the weather this coming week is going to be cooler and rainy. That will leave us looking out the window yearning for warm weather again. And making more plans for what to plant, when to plant, how much to plant, and wondering how soon can we get our hands back out in the soil. Just like how we spent our January.  Speaking of January, below is our blog post from January that I forgot to post. Sorry. I tend to get distracted with homeschool during the winter and that is what I focus on. Apparently, I wrote a post for January and then forgot to publish it. So here it is:

It is that time of year again. The time when the farmer gets restless and the itching to plant and grow things. Our highs were in the teens for over a week in January, so it’s hard to motivate yourself to spend the time outside to take care of the animals and no chance of getting anything to grow yet. That leaves the farmer with lots of time to plan. The farmer has been spending his days looking over seed lists, making plans and then spending time on the web reading and looking at pictures.

So, of course,  more ideas will pop into his head and he can make longer lists of things to grow, do, and change this year. This can be a scary time for the farmer’s wife. The unknown and new ideas scare her and she realizes that the longer the list is, the more work is involved.  It’s an amazing how we balance each other out. The farmer is the dreamer and idea person. The farmer’s wife keeps him in check, keeps things realistic and within reasonable means.

Speaking of new things for 2016, we are offering a produce CSA! We are very excited about expanding our CSA program. And now is the time to sign up for a share! Produce CSA

February Awakening

I like to do what I call human hibernating for the winter. I stay in the house, keep the fire stoked, homeschool, read several books, watch movies and go outside very little. The farmer on the other hand stays inside most the day too, but there are still chores to do and animals to care for.

. . . .  Then in February, it feels like there is a great awakening among plants, animals and people.  The weeds start to grow, the tulips and daffodils are peeking out of the ground, the fruit trees are pruned and developing buds; and we feel alive and full of energy again. It’s like the sun suddenly rose shining warmth and new hope for the first time in months.

 

Our seed orders start to arrive in February and the weather starts to break. A true change in weather takes place; the air is warmer and the precipitation changes from snow to rain, transforming into Spring. We started our February by working the ground in the cold frame getting it ready to plant. Then the exciting part, actually planting our first seeds of the year: arugula, spinach, lettuce, and onion. The arugula is up and the spinach should be soon behind it. Spinach has longer germination than arugula. The lettuce was planted a couple of weeks after the spinach and arugula so we are still waiting for it to come up too.

 

The first part of February also brought our first pig roast. We had a Super Bowl party/birthday party for the farmer and decided that was great time to e20160206_181331xperiment with roasting our first pig. Who doesn’t want to be invited to a party to eat an experiment?!!!  Be aware before you read on, how we cooked this pig may sound or actually be a little redneck-ish, but, hey, that’s just how we are. We started it the night before in a pit we lined with rock. We started wood pellets and 10 pounds of charcoal briquets on fire and got it hot and cooked down. We torched the hair off the pig with a weed burner and wrapped the pig in woven wire and put it in the pit. Then cover the pig and pit with a piece of tin roofing. It cooked and smoked all night. We checked it periodically and rotated it a couple of times. We thought it was done at noon the next day, but we didn’t take it out of the pit until 3:30. The Farmer put the whole thing in a large cooler and brought it in the house. When we were ready to eat, we started cutting it up and taking chunks off. It was good, although, I like my meat well seasoned. So I can’t say it is my favorite way to eat pork. But it was a fun experience and very neat to have a whole roasted pig for all the guest to see before we ate.

 

The sight and sound of new life really is in the air of our farm now. Our chicks have arrived and the brooder is full. This causes great excitement and happiness on our farm. Spring, hope, growth, energy and life are in the air and happening at Agrarian Harvest!DSCN7272

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