Monday, March 14, 2011

Spring surprises

Last month the Environmental Awareness Club sold egg sponsorships to students and faculty on campus. The donations support the E.A. Club and Pearson's Town pledged to save and incubate a chicken egg for each sponsorship (we are willing to hatch duck eggs too, they just aren't laying yet).
So here we are. The weather has turned, the maple trees are running and the morning temps are warm enough for us to do early egg collections for incubation. We loaded our first round of eggs into the incubator on Friday.We were stilling having some technical difficulties with the humidity, but as of this morning I think we have it worked out. Hopefully our first batch will be emerging the second week of April.

The great news is that the E.A. Club raised enough funding to keep our incubator full until the end of this school year! For those interested in checking out the early stages of poultry life without taking a trek over the farm, you can visit us in our temporary office adjacent to Student Life.

With Spring comes a whole host of activity over at the farm. Our volunteers from E.S. 300 (the environmental studies classes) have been helping us out planting some of our early cole crops, tomatoes, peppers and other yummy starts, and we are prepping the soil in the hoop houses that have been holding an average day time temperature of 70 degrees.The greenhouse on the end of Mercy Hall is up and running again (many thanks to our hard working facilities/maintenance crew). Between PTF's starts and the Coleus and Beans that the bio classes have planted it is starting to look lush and alive again!

We farm types are not the only ones who have noticed spring on the move though. Warm temperatures mean melting snow, melting snow means green grass is on the way. Some of our walkways are already turning green, and our sheepish friends in the barn are getting excited. This weekend, in fact, they got so excited that a couple of our smaller ewes, and all of the lambs found a weak spot in our gate and decided to take a walkabout. Nothing will give a farmer heartburn faster than discovering fresh foot prints and other sign outside of the fence! Alas, that is what I found when I came in this morning. Our sheep friends were on patrol in the early morning hours making sure that the property was secure (and I suspect looking for any bare patches in the lawn!).

In the end they all decided to return to the feed rack and were found lounging near the barn. . .

The next couple of weeks will be exciting. We are beginning to look into tractors!!!! and will be posting for internships for the summer just as soon as students return from spring break.

In the meantime, stay warm and grow happy!

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