Late Winter Greetings from The Farm at Long Lane!
We hope that your 2012 has begun with fair weather and plenty of sunshine. Strangely, that’s what our first months of the year have primarily brought. We were loving the mild temps, fair skies, and plenty of foreshadowing about spring. We didn’t understand it, but we were happy to take it! Thanks to the kind weather, it’s been a great winter for tackling clean-up projects and outdoor chores galore. We rented yet another dumpster, cleared a path through the woods, and cleaned out the ancient white barn – what a job! Apple and pear trees were pruned in January and garlic was planted on a balmy day in December. We harvested lettuce into late November – without row covers, I might add. It’s just been pleasant with a few short bursts of arctic blast sprinkled in to keep us sharp.
Last year was an exciting start to this work-in-progress that we coyly call a farm. Our chickens babies are now full-fledged hens, laying on average about four eggs each a week. They are beautiful eggs and the taste is superb. The greatest challenge has been devising a system to keep their water from freezing. Thanks to a double-walled galvanized waterer and heated base (plus about ten feet of PVC piping), problem solved!
Our vegetable production has been a mix of great success and great challenge. The successes included tons of late season green beans, spring and fall lettuces, and kale that wouldn’t quit all season. Plus, we had loads of mid-season tomatoes before a shockingly early frost in mid-September. On the flip side, our biggest challenges were squash bugs, cucumber beetles, and cabbage “butterflies.” Oh, and flea beetles. Let’s just say that there were some strained moments surveying the damage . . .
Well, new year and new plans are in the works. We’ve reviewed the journal notes, re-drawn the garden plot plan, gotten some education about beneficial insects, strategized row cover options, and ordered seeds. In fact, this week we planted our first few trays of seedlings. In short, we are ready to start again, but not exactly from square one. I hope that it will be a real building year, and a productive one at that!
We really appreciate you interest in The Farm at Long Lane. Thank you for all of your feedback! If you’d like to automatically receive our regular blog updates, be sure to also sign up for our RSS feed. The RSS feed is different from the general farm mailing list that this message is being delivered through. Best wishes to you as we enter into the 2012 growing season!
Enjoy the seasons!