The snow is virtually gone, the temps in the hoop houses are hovering around the 70's on sunny days. You don't even really need a jacket to go outside. The climate is just getting weirder. . . The temptation is to go out, get the fields plowed and start planting, but it is still waaaaaaay too early and who knows what March and April may bring.
It's fun to be around the farm this time of year. Things in both the hoops and the secret garden are growing fabulously. Many thanks to the facilities crew we were able to increase our lighting space and our start trays. Round two of the lettuce is getting ready to go into the ground (in the hoops) after we harvest round one. The sweet peas are standing at about four and a half feet, and we have been experimenting with growing pea shoots for the salad bar. We are expecting flowers any time now. The tomatoes. . . well. . . we aren't quiet sure what to think about them, but the carrots that grow beneath them are looking very carrot like.
As we look to the coming season we have started some flowers that we hope to sell to recoup some of our seed cost. They are up and looking fabulous. Hopefully they won't be absurd by market time.
The compost is cooking right along with one pile ready to go and one right behind it. The sheep are happy, though they did not breed as we had hoped so we will look into adding the not-so-old fashioned way so that we can offer some lamb in the autumn and we will try the breeding thing again in the autumn. But the real fun on that side of the field are the chickens. It has become the favorite past time of a few of our regulars to have their own "Easter" egg hunt. Maybe "Lent" egg hunt would be more appropriate. The birds that we have are all donated birds, so many are cross breeds. Today we found a green egg. No, not mold. There are a few breeds that have unusual egg laying characteristics, the Americauna is one. The Americauna is the result selective breeding of the Auracauna, a South American chicken known for laying colored eggs. Green and blue shelled eggs are the norm for these birds with an occasional pink egg finding its way into the mix. By the look our birds we don't have any Americauna chickens. . . But apparently we have one that is half Americauna. The question is, which one. . . .