Spring has sprung, the grass is riz

I wonders where the birdies is?

Well it has been a year since I blogged last-let’s just say 2016 threw some serious curveballs, and I am not just talking about the election.  But, we survived, and here we are, heading into year three of farming.

Lots to learn still, but we continue to find the right tools for the job (including my new awesome Stihl weedwacker-that thing eats blackberries for breakfast), the right systems for what we are trying to do, and enough balance to spend some time enjoying where we are. The beauty of the farm never ceases to amaze, even as we find new dumps under the blackberries….like this one.

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Once again the dingo was indispensable-here we are using it to pull a drum full of unidentified liquid up out of the creek bed.  My husband built a custom cushioned cradle/sled for the drum so we didn’t rupture it dragging it up through the blackberries.drum removal.JPG

My husband has been relentless in his quest to clean up the farm-I am so grateful to him.  I am often so busy trying to figure out what I am doing on the vegetable and animal end that I fear I don’t help him as much as I should.

Osprey the mustang is feeling her oats-green grass goes to her head apparently.  I am starting to think seriously about finding her an equine or goaty companion.  She deserves a herd.  But we continue to enjoy each other and occasionally we even get off the farm for an adventure (I recommend wine tasting by mustang-very fun).  She has made it clear she has had enough rain-and I couldn’t agree more.  Napping in the sun is much nicer.P3257850.JPG

The greenhouse is planted up, starts are piling up on the tables waiting for some dry weather to get planted out-

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And I have been experimenting with occultation fabric on some of the beds using old billboard sign material-so far I am happy with how it is working-the beds under these tarps are clean of weeds (except for some wan yellow thistles), and dry enough that I will work them up with the rotary harrow today (for those of you not in W Oregon, it has been raining pretty much daily since October).  My first compost delivery is next week-I should be able to start planting these beds up as soon as they are amended!  There were some critters living under there-the dogs got one, and I saw another, but not too bad. I imagine timing with these will be critical-too warm and the voles will multiply-too cool and it will take longer to germinate and kill the weed seeds in the beds.  These collect water but are small enough (10X50′) that I can easily dump them out and move them by myself.  The water they collect also seems to drown a fair amount of slugs-gross, but another benefit.  And once they get rained on, they really don’t blow around at all. I put this tarp on about a month ago, maybe a little less.  Sure seems easier and nicer than tilling-and I am hopeful it will reduce weed pressure in the beds as well. Seems like a good way to prep early beds for spring planting-I’ll get back to you on how well they work during the spring and summer months.P3257852.jpg

Off to harrow… happy spring everyone!

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About spudlust

wannabe farmer, urban homesteader, small town girl itchin to move out of the city
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