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Fresh Roots Farm Notes for Week 15

Well, I had planned that this blog post would be a rave review of the upturn in the weather, as I watched the five-foot-high snowdrifts in our yard diminish to puddles (before the thirsty ground sucked it all up). Mother Nature was about to get an A+ for finally gifting us Spring, but she’s unfortunately been downgraded to a C, after we received another dump of snow and subsequent record-low temperatures this weekend. Dear M.N. (as I affectionately call her): Throw us a BONE, please. You had better deliver on those ‘warmer than average’ May and June temps, like the meteorologists are telling me. Get ‘er done. (Please, and Thank You.)

Enough about the weather, though…I’ve grown tired of griping about that subject, it’s old, already. What’s been happening this week? I made the ‘big move’ of the seedlings out to the greenhouse, where they are being kept at a sane temperature by a construction heater, and the sun (when it shows itself). I love this time of year, when I can shut myself in the little 10 x 12 building, feeling the warmth of the sun, and zone out into a fury of transplanting. All it takes is one afternoon of transplanting cells of seedlings into 2-3″ pots to fill much of the existing space, it all ‘explodes’ before your very eyes. And of course, the seed sowing continues in my indoor office space, as mid-April denotes the crucial “6 weeks before planting out” time of year.

CSA orders keep filtering in, and we are welcoming more, especially due to our new promotion in the Killarney area. We are hoping that we can get enough interest in Killarney to make a go of the program there, and are generally optimistic and excited for the prospect of bringing our food to the doorsteps of the fantastic folks, there. Keep an eye out for a feature on us in next week’s wide circulation of the Killarney Guide!

Speaking of media, we made the cover of the Manitoba Co-operator this week, which was great seeing as the story brought to light the recent challenges that our farmer co-op group the Harvest Moon Local Food Initiative has been experiencing of late (see our last blog post for details). I kind of wish they hadn’t chosen the photo where our cow (who had birthed a set of twins just hours before) has some nice afterbirth hanging out the back of her. But whatever, that’s real life. Troy made it onto radio and in print, which was slightly strange, but he and other farmers from the group did a good job of getting the word out about the issue.

The calves are continuing to be born, and we are now at six, I believe, with our actual calving due date approaching this coming week. I can’t wait until it warms up and we do not have to be so paranoid about new little ones getting frozen.

The hens are sure stepping it up this past week. I’ve been letting them outside into their chicken run, and they clamour out there to eat delicious household vegetable refuse, their only fresh menu item until the grass begins to sprout. I think I did quite a genius thing the other day, when I placed some nice egg-shaped avocado pits into their nesting boxes, which encourages them to lay in that same location. I just hope they don’t spend too much of their precious energy trying to keep those seed pits warm…!

Life on the farm for this fifteenth week. My head is practically exploding with planning ideas and task lists. Must remind myself (as Troy does) to take a deep breath, remain in the moment, and put it down on paper so I will feel better.

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