Archive for March, 2010

Friday on the Farm

Well, it’s almost sunset on a Friday evening and I’m sitting on the front porch sipping a lovely glass of wine thinking about the contrast between 2010 and the history of this area.

My neighbor recently gave me a copy of an 1854 diary of a gold miner who lived very close to “my” land.  And here I am typing this entry on a laptop in luxury when once there was someone who followed his dream of making his fortune in an element as elusive as the spring butterflies.  History and Nature never fail to amaze me!

I’ve laid out the hen yard this week.  The posts are in place & all that remains is the chicken wire and the hens themselves.

The weather forecast is for Spring storms next week and my organic non-GMO seeds arrived in today’s mail.  The threat of frost has past so tomorrow will be planting day for carrots, radishes & beets.  I’ll get them in the ground so that they can take advantage of the liquid nitrogen from the sky.

I never thought I would be in love with an acre of land but I am at peace with this place.

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The work on the perimeter of the pasture fence is just about finished!  My friends, Mark and Paul, stopped by a few days ago to give me some advice on how and where to lay out the hen yard as well as an abundance of their research material.  Rather than ordering young chicks, I’ve learned of a person at the local ranch supply store who sells full grown hens that are ready to lay.  The idea of having little peepers running through the yard sounds quite appealing.  Then I think of the child’s book, “Are You My Mother?” and imagine myself driving down the driveway with a line of chicks following my car!  Not exactly what I have in mind…

I was relieved to learn that someone now makes an automatic closing door for hen houses that is photo-sensitive.  Sun rises, door opens… sun sets, door closes.  Let’s hope that it’s not affected by lightning storms at night.

Investigating the possibility of a bee hive in the orchard.  More on that soon.

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Sunset on the Farm

Sunset from the Front Porch of Millie's Farm

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And Away We Go

It’s happening… it’s really happening!  Today the orchard expanded with the planting of six new fruit trees.  The summer & fall bounty will consist of almonds, peaches, nectarines, Blenheim apricots, apples, pomegranates, black cherries, Bing cherries, pears, blackberries and two kinds of grapes.  I am not certain if the new trees will produce anything this year but they will get their roots settled and be ready for the 2011 harvest.

A dozen lavender plants were ordered today from Purple Haze Lavender Farm in Washington State (www.purplehazelavender.com).  Great name, don’t you think?   And seeds for the late Spring/early Summer vegetable garden are on their way from High Mowing Seed Company (www.highmowingseeds.com).  It’s been a long time since I’ve grown vegetables from seed so this will be an adventure of its own.  All of the seeds are non-GMO, of course… so sorry Monsanto!

Tomorrow I’ll be ordering some organic structured compost from Diestel Turkey Ranch (www.diestelturkey.com/compost.html).  Everyone who uses their compost swears by it so it’s a must-try this first year.

Exciting stuff going on this week!  It’s been so inspiring to have such great weather for a few days.

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Time is On My Side

I have nothing but time… yet there are so many things I want to do here.  Until now, it seems as if my life was spent waiting for something to happen.  But the decision to buy this lovely space was a decision to make something happen.  And now, I’m wanting to make things happen every day.

Signs of Spring are all around me here.  When I lived on the mountain, I felt like I was always waiting for it to arrive.  I started working the soil in the vegetable garden yesterday and realized that I have time to start my plants from seed rather than having to buy them as plants.  The growing season won’t be confined to just 90 days here!  So I’m off to do some online shopping from Seeds of Change and have started thinking about building a small hotbed that can be converted to a cold frame next winter.

Nice to have an extra hour of daylight… it buys me more time!

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My new mantra:  Things are moving along.

I have to keep reminding myself that one doesn’t turn a vision into reality overnight.  This week was about learning the workings of my well, replacing the outdated and inefficient furnace ducts, and the ongoing process of unpacking.  Fortunately, the rainy days have helped with the discipline of getting my house in order before I begin the learning curve of barn animals.

I know that Spring is just around the corner and it will show its lovely face earlier here in the foothills than it did in Twain Harte.  The blossoms on my fruit and nut trees are giving off an exotic fragrance and flowers are beginning to bloom.  Compost piles are ready for turning and soon it will be time to start the early vegetables.

It’s happening all around me.  Some boxes may need to wait…

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