I have been sadly neglecting this blog for some time now, and keep intending to come back to it but life has gotten very busy for me here at the urban farm. This morning, however, I have some quiet time and a few thoughts rolling around inside my head so I decided to post an update!
First, my two girls (Eek and Eve, the dairy herd) are both pregnant and due to kid in about a month. It is very exciting and requires a bit of preparation. Mucking the pen, making sure the girls are healthy and getting enough to eat, and building a separate birthing pen are all on my list of things to do. They both seem happy, although Eve reminds me very much of myself in the third trimester…she radiates an attitude of “get these things out of me!” Lots of groaning and waddling!
The chickens are doing well in the cold, and are enjoying their new coop immensely. We had a fully insulated coop build before the winter snows came and they seem much happier. They are now right up next to the goat pen and have free reign of that area. They are no longer allowed in the main yard due primarily to the havock they wrecked on our gardens this year. Sadly, we have lost one of them to an unknown illness, but the other nine are happy and healthy and we are still drowning in eggs!
Our fruit trees suffered a bit this last season, the combination of the extreme cold and the dry summer was very hard on them and I have a bad feeling the cherry will not recover and will have to be removed. One of the apples was completely devastated and has already been taken out. I am hoping to buy some local heirloom variety trees to replace them this spring, but there is still work that needs to be done in the orchard before then. Primarily, we are looking into cover crops and the possibility of building a wall in order to help the micro-climate out. We will see what happens when the weather turns!
Due to some poor yields last year with a few plants we have really simplified our garden plans for this year. We are going to stop trying to grow potatoes and some of the root veggies (carrots and beets seem to do very poorly in our gardens), and we will focus on more native plants. Tomatoes, flint corn (for cornmeal), beans, squash if we can manage to avoid the vine borers, maybe some melons depending on what we can find seed for, and some chiles. We are hoping that if we move to just a few crops we will get more of everything.
Aside from that, all is well here on the urban farm. I am hopeful that baby goat pictures will be coming soon! The girls are both due around the 20th of March so hopefully I can get some photos shortly thereafter. Happy Spring to all of you!