Thursday, February 24, 2011

What's on my plate for Spring.

Besides laying out my raised beds, ordering seeds and planning from which unsuspecting friends I will wheedle plants, I have placed my Spring poultry order and am putting together my bee order.  From the looks of it, it will be a busy season.  This winter was pretty hard on the homestead and, besides the usual clean-up, I will have to take down what little remains of the greenhouse structure off the back of the house.  And clean up a lot of broken glass.  I also will have to finish the lattice house so the rabbits will enjoy a more secure three-season abode.  Hey, let's make a list!

* Take down greenhouse structure (rebuild same)
* Finish roof on lattice house
* Replace/repair roof of shed
* Sell red angora rabbits
* Move other rabbits to lattice house
* Set up big brooder by week of 4/18
* Build tractor for meat chicks/or find other solutions ;o)
* Check hive for signs of life/set up second hive/repopulate both if necessary
* Clean out hoop houses
* Clean/fill/plant raised beds
* Turn over compost piles (all 50 of them)
* Remodel small coop so it works better
* Cull chickens
* Finish bathroom remodel
* Etc.

I've decided to make my list in parts so I don't give up all hope.  I'll be selling two of my four rabbits, so that will make my life a bit easier.  Blue has to be groomed, but I can handle one.  Three?  Nope.  I am hoping to breed Chamomile this summer, if I get caught up.  I'm raising a few chickens for my sister in New Hampshire, I'll keep some, although I plan on downsizing my flock, and the rest I will sell.  I am planning on raising Red Rangers for meat, after the fiasco of last year's attempt.  No more feed store chicks!  This year I will be planting potatoes and onions in my quest to be more self-sufficient.  I'll plant a couple heirloom good eating tomatoes and a cherry tomato.  There is a farm north of me (Moses Farm, as in Grandma Moses) that grows acres of tomatoes and peppers that you can pick yourself.  Their Romas are to die for and it's only $18/bushel.  That's what gets me through the year.  I use a lot of canned tomatoes.  I am still experimenting with what grows well, what stores well, what makes sense.  Since this is only my second year of full-fledged gardening, I have a lot to learn.  I am lucky that I have skilled friends. 

Jasmine is due to freshen next month, so I will be up to my elbows in milk every weekend (poor me...snort).  I have had spotty success with cheesemaking, but I am determined to get it right.  Luckily for everyone, Marianne will have a whole passel of piglets to take advantage of my mistakes - and the whey when I have success.  It's going to be a very full year!


  1. 50 compost piles???? Goodness, you've been busy! Or should I say WILL be busy. Most of it sounds like fun, but not the part about cleaning up broken glass! Eesh, what a job....

  2. You have a very busy Spring in store. That is a good deal for the tomatoes and a lot less work. I think I forgot what a fresh tomato tastes like;)

  3. You're a braver woman that me -- I still have to write my 'to do' list -- the prospect scares me! See... it's that organizational challenge rearing its ugly head again! I'd like to hear more about your hoop houses... perhaps you've written about them already? (Looks like I should add 'catch up on blog reading' to my 'to do' list!)

  4. Wow, whadda list! Your 50 compost piles intrigue me. Are they piles on the ground or do you actually have 50 contained bins? Tell all, please.

    Wonder what would be the final price per bushel for those tomatoes if I drove out to your place to get them?? ;o)

  5. You have a huge list! If my boys were just 2 or 3 years older(read: more helpful) I'd send them your way!

  6. Sue - Okay, maybe a slight exaggeration. But I do have 7! It just seems like 50 when you have to turn them ;o)

    Jane - And they don't mind if you make it a heaping bushel-ful, either. I can heap with the best of them.

    Fiona - I cannot live with my lists. The hoop houses I have are really easy to set up. If you are going to use them year-round, it pays to put a little more effort into making them sturdy. They are basically six t-posts, 2 cattle panels and a tarp to fit.

    Mama Pea - Come August, you are invited for tomato picking! My compost piles consist of three bins (2 stationary, 1 tumbler), one large pile of cow manure, 1 large pile of chicken manure/leaves/etc.; 2 piles llama/rabbit manure-based. I experiment with various manure-based compost in different garden beds.

    Erin - You'd never get them back, LOL!

  7. Fiona - I can't live WITH or WITHOUT my lists!

  8. Sounds like an amazingly busy year ahead of you! You are one determined lady. Good luck, and can't wait to hear all about it! I'm just waiting for the snow to melt. :)