Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Spring is on it's way....

Well, the weather has still been mild and wonderful. This has officially been my favourite 'winter' EVER! It's raining right now, but I got lots done today before the drops started falling. I just planted a Yellow Transparent apple and a Lapins cherry tree. My orchard will be finished before you know it! The Y. Trans. is a heritage apple, and is apparently the best for cooking and baking. The Lapins  is a newer introduction, but is self pollinating, and I've had the fruit before, and it's delicious. Sweet and juicy. I've also now built 12 new garden beds... the count is now at 37 total. I'm getting there! I am going to have to break down and buy some compost to put in- it's getting too late to put in fresh manure, and I just haven't had enough years here to build up a good pile of usuable compost on my own.

I got a dumptruck load of driveway chip in this morning, and got it raked into the biggest holes in the driveway. The driveway was degrading fast after all the rain we had over the winter months. I was getting afraid I would start to lose customers due to the fact that it was so bumpy and muddy. I did, however, grossly underestimate how much driveway a dumptruck full would cover.... I thought it would do most of the driveway. Turns out I will need about 3 full loads to get it all done. It's a loooonnnnngggg driveway!! The worst is fixed, so I will let it rest for now and put my funds into my orchard and gardens.

I've also been working on fixing my coldframes, and am starting to plant a bit underneath them. Mesculin went in yesterday. If the weather holds, I should have fresh salad again starting in about a month or so!
I went to a couple of seminars over the last weekend on how to grow fresh veggies all winter long, and also on how to maximize the space you have for the greatest amount of yield. I learned ALOT, and feel much more confident about growing my CSA shares. Plus, I will have the added bonus of harvesting fresh veggies all next winter.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Catching up

Well, the turkeys were YUMMY. They are super-lean, not really any fat on them to speak of, anyway. I do have to admit that I was quite disappointed in the size of them. For the length of time it took the bloody things to grow, and how annoying they were, I would've hoped for a bit more. The one tom I had, Tasty, turned out to be not a bad size. All the rest were females, and were barely the size of a chicken. I have decided to hold off on doing any more turkeys this year, and just concentrate on the chickens. I am going to to both heritage and hybrids, so people can have a choice, and the hybrids will bring in a bit faster cash. Maybe I'll try turkeys again next year...

I now have 10 new garden beds built, and will be able to do a bunch more over the next week or two. I got my first couple of deposit cheques from my CSA members, and am just chomping at the bit to get planting. It has been so MILD this year, it is tempting to just 'try' a few crops early, and see what happens. But I won't! I know as soon as I put a few seeds in the garden, there will be a cold snap. I am trying hard to be patient, but for those who know me well, will realize just how hard it is for me to do! Patience may be a virtue, but it's not one of my virtues;-)

I am starting to expand my orchard a bit. I got an Anjou pear, made a raised bed for it (which is a good thing, seeing as the water table is only about a foot under the soil line these days), planted it, then realized I put it in the wrong spot, so had to build another bed, and replant it where it was supposed to go. I am also hoping to get another apple and plum in this year as well. Then I will be 3/4 finished the orchard, and will hopefully be able to finish it by the end of the year. Yay! Fresh fruit! Love it!

I had my busiest weekend EVER in the dog boarding side of things. It was insane. Luckily, almost all the dogs I had in I've had before, and they were all really well behaved, and everyone got along. I now know the limits of my little house... I had 14 dogs in on Friday nite, PLUS my own four. I truly could not have squeezed another dog in here if I had tried! I am now back down to a normal level- 6 dogs- and if I could hold steady at that, I would be really making a living, instead of just eeking out a living. It's very encouraging!!

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!