Monday, March 22, 2010

Happy Spring!

The spring equinox was a few days ago. We celebrated by doing lots of work outside, planting onions and preparing garden beds. We got all our onions planted, which is a relief. I put up a little Easter tree with the boys. It is just some willow shoots in a bucket with wheat grass seeds, hung with painted wooden eggs. My kids love any holiday decorations and traditions.

Brian brought home a new batch of chicks and three turkeys! Right now they are warm under a light next to the wood stove. Our four year old likes to carry them around. He showed me a fuzzy yellow one and told me it liked it's belly rubbed!

It seems like every surface inside is covered with trays of seedlings. It will be a relief when they are all planted in the garden in the next few months. We ordered a soil blocker, which I think will help streamline our seed starting.

We are trying to expand our garden beds, fence in new areas, and seed some pasture areas. Brian is on spring break and we aren't doing our full homeschool schedule, so I hope we get lots done!

Monday, March 15, 2010


Last year onions were one of best sellers at the market. This took us by surprise and we sold basically every onion we grew, including the storage onions I planned on saving for ourselves and using all winter! So this year we have planted enough to exceed our market needs and have tons for our own use. We are planting Mars, Ailsa Craig, Copra and Yellow Sweet Spanish varieties. Also we are growing some leeks. We love our alliums!

For Christmas this year our almost 11 year old got a digital camera. So lately all our blog photos are from her. She is doing a photography club for homeschoolers so she coming up with all sorts of neat pictures. Unfortunately because she is behind the camera, I don't have as many photos of her for the blog! It is really fun to look at her photos and see all the mischief the kids get into! Here are our boys:

Notice the baling twine so the wagon is being towed by the bike.
Once they harnessed the wagon to one of the goats!

Friday, March 12, 2010

A few nights ago after dinner, our seven year old said, "I'm cold. Could you make a fire?...Actually, I'll make the fire." And he chopped up some kindling (he has been taught how to use a small hatchet safely) and started a fire in the wood stove. I am so glad to have such self-reliant kids. I like the idea that if you need something, first see if you can do it yourself, and then ask for help if you need it. I think it helps that they see their parents constantly making things from scratch, repairing things ourselves when they break, and making do with the resources we have on hand.

This self-sufficiency helps our 10 year old take responsibility for her home education. Although I do spend a few hours daily working with her on more challenging subjects, a great deal of her "school" day is self-directed. She has all her materials and knows what she needs to accomplish each day; so she is able to get her work done by herself.

This week it has been more of the same on the farm: plastering, weeding, taking care of animals, working on the house, caring for seedling and Brian fixing our truck (again!). We have most of the seeds we need for the year, but we have been picking up some extra seeds to round out what we are growing. We are choosing many heirloom varieties from organic companies. Also our huge box of onion sets just arrived, so this weekend will be spent planting onions!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The last few days the weather has been really warm and sunny, so we've spent a good amount of time outdoors. Brian has been clearing out the chicken coop and working on our numerous fruit trees. I want to be done with the interior lime plaster coat by spring break so I have been plastering our mud room. It is the only room left and then I am done plastering lime

The kids have been spending lots of time outside running around, riding bikes and catching (and releasing) some early frogs!

Our seeds and seedling are coming up; this month we will be planting a lot more outside: swiss chard, arugula, onion sets, potatoes, etc. Also we will be starting more seeds indoors.

Here is a cold-frame with radishes:
Two days ago we had are first ducklings of the season! This time of year all the female ducks disappear and we find them tucked away in their nests. After a few weeks they come out with a line of fuzzy ducklings. Even though we have several batches of ducklings a year, it is so fun to see them brand new!