Saturday, May 09, 2009

Spring Time Happenings

Well, spring time has been full of activity for 2009. Nine lambs born as you can see in the previous posts.

The maple syrup season turned out to be a good one. It was on again and off again which made for a good long run. In all we got over 5 gallons of syrup from just 11 taps. That's a record for us!

Good friends Ken, Dawn and kids came up and got in on the syrup making. They made a couple gallons themselves and I think they are now hooked on making maple syrup and are making plans to come back next season. We had a great time while they were here and are looking forward to next year.

My dad got a plow and tiller for his Ford tractor and plowed us up a large section. We figure it's just under an acre. We plan to plant corn. I thought we would put the whole thing in corn, I got some Painted Mountain corn that I first learned about over at Northern Farmer blog, but after the spot got tilled up it's obvious we didn't get enough seed to fill it up, so we are putting in other things like sunflowers, potatoes and maybe some pumpkins. We already planted potatoes. Four, 160 foot rows of them.
Also we took an edge and planted some fruit trees and berries. Kelli, Shalea and I took a class a few weeks back on how to graft fruit trees. So we wound up with a dozen little trees that we grafted onto root stock ourselves. Five apple, three plum and four pear. And we put in an assortment of berry plants. Red, yellow and black raspberry, blue berry and currants.
Here's some more pictures of Dad having fun with his new toy.

Also he tilled up our regular garden area. We took out the raised beds and tilled the whole thing so that we can get alot more planted in there this year.

The raised beds we had were spaced to far apart so now we've added quite a bit more square footage of ground that we can plant.
So far in this area we've planted a couple hundred onion starts, some leeks and a 4' x 28' bed of spinach.

In the green house our experiment was successful. We are now eating various kinds of lettuce and radishes from there. The garlic we planted in there last year is growing like crazy.

We have tomato plants started in the house that we plan to put in the green house soon. Also we started installing a new irrigation system. Last year we found it difficult to keep everything well watered. We ran sprinklers which were kind of a pain. They didn't cover everything so we had to move them around to get everything done evenly. And a couple times we forgot about it and it ran all night. Of course when that happened the places where the sprinklers ran were VERY well watered.

The Three Amigo's are no more. The one in the middle said adios to his brothers as we had our first lambs butchered. And, we weren't going to but, we did have Shadow done too.
Actually these three (pictured), had to be separated recently, as one day they decided it was time to try and kill each other. They were pounding the daylights out of one another. I've never seen anything like it. You could have sworn they were going to split their skulls wide open. Then the two here on the outside started ganging up on the one in the middle. First I took him out, then a couple days later I had to separate the remaining two.
And well Shadow. He was no longer the sweet little thing that we raised in the house, who used to follow us and chase the dogs around. He got real ornery. He got to where he'd butt anything and anyone.
We didn't get alot of meat but, the butchers raved at how nice the meat looked. So we gave them a little as kind of a tip.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the price of lamb is currently pretty high. There are farmers in our area who are getting around $10 to $12 per pound for lamb meat. At those prices we don't have to have big sheep to make a decent buck selling the meat.

These are some of the things we've been up to this spring. It feels good to have some things being planted already which is quite early for us. The weather has been good and we got some decent rain. Though, we're still behind on rain but, some is better than nothing. It's been enough to green up the grass anyways. The sheep are enjoying it as we now have them on pasture.
Until Next Time


Blogger Lynn Bartlett said...

Hi Russ,
Thanks for the update. We've been kind of busy, too. Tomorrow we should be able to move our last cabin, but in the meantime this past week we got our bees, broilers and pigs! Hopefully things will go at a slower pace soon. I think we planted our tomato seeds too early, as they are about 18" tall, and we ran out of room in our hoop house for planting. Hope it warms up soon. Looks like your Dad is doing very well, if he is out running a tractor!

11:19 PM  
Blogger The Strong's in Kansas said...

what kind of tiller is on the back of your dads tractor?

11:02 AM  
Blogger RL said...

Hello Lynn,
That’s quite a project moving those cabins. I saw the posts about it.

Yes, my Dad is doing good. He even went on the trash route with me this week.

The tiller on my Dad’s tractor is a Montana. It’s 6’ wide. Don’t know the model. The man he got it from thinks they’re made in Louisiana.

9:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Russ!

If there is a chance of racoons raiding your corn patch, plant your pumpkins and winter squash in among your sweet corn. For some reason, the racoons don't like the vines and won't go in---but will raid any corn not surrounded by vines.

A lifetime of growing corn in racoon country testifies that this really works!!!

May the Lord continue to guide your steps!

Mountain Firekeeper

6:09 PM  
Blogger RL said...

Thanks for the tip my friend. What a good trick to pull on those pesky old racoons!

Plans are coming together for our trip out to Prairie Days! However we just had some unexpected break downs on not one but, both of our work trucks. We're hoping and praying for no further set backs. Lord willing we're going to make it out there.

11:26 PM  

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