Friday, March 21, 2014

Preparing for Spring

After my wife and I made our seed lists we started searching for heirloom seeds.  This is more difficult than it probably should have been.  I had no idea!  We ended up getting heirloom of several varieties and chose open pollinated and organic where we could not find heirloom.  The last seeds we need to buy are for corn, peas, and lima beans.  Those I need in large quantity which I can't seem to find in organic venues.

We are about 4-6 weeks from planting right now.  That's the perfect time to start sprouting tomatoes and peppers.  We try this every year, and something different happens every year that forces us to purchase most plants at a nursery.  Usually life gets in the way - whether it be forgetting to bring the plants inside during a frost, or not giving them enough water when the kids get tired of helping.

We planted three varieties of tomatoes - Amish Paste, Cherry and Rutgers.  We chose these varieties based on how we use them.  We make lots of sauces, salsas, sandwiches and salads, and these three covered our needs.

We also added new animals to the farm this week.  We have had chickens for years and use them for both meat and eggs.  Lately we have only been getting 3 eggs a day since most of flock was decimated by raccoons before our move.  While at Tractor Supply my son asked to get a duck and while I had never considered them before, some research showed that the Campbell ducks lay between 250-300 eggs per year.  Our favorite producers have always been Ameraucana hens.  We usually have about 20 of them.  They only lay 250 eggs per year on average, so as long as we like the taste of duck eggs these seem to be a good idea.  We ended up getting 6 of them and can hatch out more in a few months if this experiment goes well.

Khaki Campbell Ducklings
Tasks are starting to pile up outside now that everything is starting to thaw.  Even with one more snow possible it's really time to start cutting wood that is lying everywhere from our ice storms, build a run for the new ducks, and start figuring out where the gardens need to go.  We also need to determine the type of gardens we will be creating, but that's a post for another time.

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