Friday, April 23, 2010

April on the farm. . .

Not April L., but the month of April. The "growing season" is barreling in on us even though in many regards it has already begun. The maple trees, at least the small ones, have full leaves on them and the birch are magical this time of year. The pastures are starting to look green which is most appreciated by our friends the sheep. Pearson's Town is growing. We have begun remodeling "our" wing of the barn to make it more efficient for the up coming summer (and years to come). The space is good. It gives us the ability to do so many more things. Many, many thanks to Don, Walt and facilities crew! These guys are awesome. Make sure that you thank them when you see them - much of the beauty of our wonderful campus that we so enjoy is built on the back of their hard work!
As we expand the biggest change, and that which has caused the loudest buzz on campus is the addition of our new shepherd. . . (I was going to insert his name here but the "Unbiased Llama Naming Committee" has not completed its selection) the llama. After a 13 hour trek our friend the llama (who was formerly named Louis) joins us from Limestone, Maine. Many thanks to the Snell family for providing us with such a fine animal. "Our friend" has spent the last week acclimating to his new environment and more so to the farm crew. His view isn't as vast as it once was in the land of potato fields, but I believe that he will find the company nice and the work fulfilling.
Why a llama you ask?
Simple, "Our friend" watches over the sheep while the farm staff can not. He keeps them safe from things like coyotes, coy dogs and the occasional stray neighborhood dog. He is the ultimate form of organic pest control.
Across the green our friends in the "Slug Patrol" have decided that they need back up and Mumma Duck is brooding a nest of about a dozen eggs.Why they think they need back up I will never know. There has been no significant rain ergo no slugs. . . yet. Maybe they know something that we do not.

We the bipedal mammals, on the other hand, have been planting like mad to get a jump on the start of the growing season. Many thanks again to Rippling Waters Backyard Organic Farms for letting us use some of their seed house space again this year!
On campus, our hoop houses are planted with greens, beets (Sorry April), carrots, shell peas, and radishes. With the blue skies, and direct sun light we have been finding needs to open the roll up sides more often and longer for ventilation as the internal temperatures creep into the 90's and 100's during the heat of the day.
Alyssa D. - our work study (well, technically she is Prof. Gulnik's, but she has been on loan to us - Thanks Jeanne!) had an opportunity to talk on camera about her time on the farm. I hope she said nice things about the compost!!!!!!
As April winds down (can you believe that?!?) the farm is definitely up and running. We are actively growing things and working around the farm (not just on the compost). We have seen a huge influx of visitors since the weather has turned. Many thanks to all of you who made it out to the farm last Wednesday to celebrate Earth Day. We will be making the big llama name announcement very soon. In the meantime, we would love to have you come out for a visit and experience all the growth.

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