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Spring In Motion

February 21, 2014

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhile many are just thinking February, some might be looking to March we’re thinking about…summer. Thanksgiving. Grilling. Preserving. Customer produce doesn’t just happen…and I started the first batch of (Beaver Dam)peppers yesterday.

With a couple months growing time that’ll mean summer peppers fresh from the garden. Popcorn will go in soon, and we’re working on some other options too.  There’s 3,000 “Wonder Soil” pellets coming and 300 coir pellets coming for seed starting.

We’ve used a mix of potting soil and compost in previous years, so these are new to us products that appear to meet consumer demand. The Wonder Soil for example, is USA made:

Wonder Soil® is an eco-conscious soilless potting medium that is made from renewable coconut coir fiber, worm castings, Biosol® natural fertilizer, mycorrhizae, kelp and water-saving polymer crystals.

The last couple of years I’ve heard many say they don’t want peat pots from an environmental standpoint. These half inch wafers expand up to seven times when exposed to water and we look forward to giving them a good trial! Similarly, the coir pellets:

• Jiffy-7C Coir Pellets are made from 100% coco substrate that is purified and stabilized, are peat free and provide a superior, aerated rooting media.
• Wrapped within a biodegradable containment material, Jiffy-7C is based on the proven theory of “container and media in one.”
• Stringent quality control guarantees that the physical and chemical properties of the coco substrate provide an optimum rooting environment.

Completely biodegradable, no peat and tested for outstanding root growth – and all plants need strong roots! Next project will be getting up a small greenhouse, hoop style. We have an extra panel, an will be putting it up greenhouse style, and planting some things direct in the ground under it. The initial thought is a run of popcorn, which can benefit from protection from storms that always seems to get it when it’s waist to shoulder high!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAlong with these things there’s breeding. Four doe rabbits were bred yesterday, and several today. With a little luck we’ll have a few litters sired by Ghost to choose some replacements from and feed our rabbit customers (get your order in if interested in rabbit meat!). We’ll also have, hopefully, a couple of litters of Giant Chinchillas, and a crossbred litter from a pair of miniRex bred to “Blueberry” (Champagne X Silver Fox).  We’ll see in about a month if the girls are as ready to breed as they appear! The brown doe in the photo is bred to Ghost.

We’ll also be working to add some turkeys, and some younger ducks and chicks this year as our older stock is getting on in age. Turkeys for Thanksgiving will need to be ordered in a couple of months, so they’re being set in the next month or so. Advance planning is important for seasonal mindsets!

It’s a little like a five ring circus.We rearranged cages this week to get everyone under a hard roof with the first storm blowing through last night. With multiple things happening it’s never dull, but can be overwhelming when we’re starting plants, building, breeding, getting other projects going, taking care of day to day operations,promoting, blogging, tweeting, talking with people, ordering supplies…whew! Even on a small level it’s busy!

With the spring garden focus, getting compost and manure customers is a focus right now. It’s a great time to put a base for soil nutrition all year long.The raised beds are being cleaned up.

Hopefully Scoutman will have some outside work next week as it’s been a very tight month, and with spring projects comes spring expenses! Breeding and bunnies means more feed use is projected, and that we need to plan for as if all 8 have 6-8 bunnies we could have 64 babies in the nest box. Of course, ideal seldom happens, and sometimes early breedings aren’t quite reliable too, but planning is important either way.

For those interested, there’s still shares available, including trial shares. Be a part of the SlowMoneyFarm year!

Unfortunately, we’ve not been able to get to Illinois to see nephew Jake and his bride Ling Ling. Disappointing, but fuel isn’t cheap either. One step at a time, as spring sets the stage for what we’ll have available all year long, but there are some things that can’t be done over.

These things take time but aren’t exciting – just a peek behind the scenes at what’s happening here!

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