Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Is it super nice?

It depends who you ask. A week and a half ago, when the snow looked like it was going to make a hasty retreat, I decided to photograph its progression. You can see that progress is sure, but it is awfully subtle.



While I am aware that our pastures could be much greener by now, our chickens waste no energy on ideas like these.

Here they are taking a communal dust bath in the newly exposed soil. They are already foraging for a lot of their food. I put grain in their trough every day, but they are less interested than they were a week ago, preferring to roam broadly and nibble away at whatever they find. The difference is obvious. The yolks of our eggs have already deepened in color. I had one yesterday that would have rivaled an egg from the heat of summer.

Despite the fact that Spring is slow coming, we have begun preparations for the garden. Garth compiled a chart of everything we want to grow and divided our garden log by week. Every week in April begins with the question, "Is it super nice? consider planting..." It is wonderful to have the timing sorted out already. He seeded these soil blocks on March 13th with plants that require more time than our season allows: celeriac, celery, leeks, and cherry tomatoes. Everything has germinated now. Below are the leeks, bringing their heads up and out from under the surface.

Our 'Sweet Meat' squash, just days after harvest in September.

Our 'sweet meat' squash today.

And last year's garden is still giving. Apart from a softening collection of potatoes in our basement, these three squash are what remain of our haul. Their skin and flesh have changed drastically over the course of the last 6 months, but on the whole, they are still kicking. About a month ago we noticed that one had started to rot. Luckily, the undesirable parts are cut out quite easily, while the rest of the squash remains delicious. Perhaps this year's labors will go even further. That would be super nice.


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