Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Spring is Finally Sproingin'!

It's been a very long time since we've posted anything - sorry about that!

Spring is finally showing up in The Bog, with all the attendant fanciness and fertility that a little bit of sunshine and a lot of raging hormones bring out in both plants and critters alike.

We've had our first broody hen - Athena - who gave herself away when, upon being let out of the coop first thing in the morning, instead of following the crowd directly to the water pan and flock block, ran for all she was worth in the exact opposite direction toward the bog. Hmmm... sumpin's up! Sure enough, I follow her hasty course down to the tree line just before the bog and, viola, she's got a secret nest in a little hidey-hole amongst the roots of a mid-sized madrona tree with 5 eggs already in it. Sneaky monkey!

The ducks, however, seem to have no interest thus far in motherhood. Our Muscovy pair, Speckles and Nausicaa, are still in their honeymoon phase and seem to have eyes only for each other (and worms, and naps), so, no baby action there yet. Squirt and his harem of Khaki Campbell girls also seem interested only in hanging out. Our newest pair - adopted from our local animal shelter, if you can believe it! - are Ashitaka and Fujiko, a mated pair of Pekins. Fuji is rather high-strung, and Ashi spends most of his day just trying to keep up with her.

The quail are just kinda maintaining. They aren't particularly exciting birds, but man, are they productive! We're planning to incubate some eggs starting next week, with the hopes of getting our egg production up by the time Summer rolls around.

That's the fauna. Now for the flora side of things.

Nothing is really producing much yet except some perennial herbs (sage, thyme and horehound, mostly) and our indefatigable Victoria rhubarb. The plum tree and pear tree are already loaded with blooms, and the pie cherry tree looks to be next up.

This year is supposed to be a banner year for morel mushrooms, but I've yet to find a single one. Alas, we do have a vigorous crop of the NOT edible Amanita Pantherina growing like gangbusters in the chicken yard. I guess morels on my doorstep were too much to hope for? ;)

The garden is/will be late going in this year, as the monsoon rains didn't even slow down until nearly the end of March. Everything is still sopping, so I'm hedging my bet and holding off for another week or so before starting to plant seeds in earnest. I'd rather have late veggies that waste my time and money plugging seed into the ground only to watch it rot.

That being said, when we finally do plant our garden, here's some of what we'll be growing -

*Ho Lan Dow snow peas
*Jack Be Little pumpkins
*Danish Flag breadseed poppies
*Resina Calendula
*Bodegold Chamomile
*Goosebumps pumpkins
*Red-cored Chantenay and Royal Chantenay carrots
*Cocozelle zucchini
*Yukon Gold potatoes
*Assorted red raspberries
*Grosso lavender
*Lemon Balm

I'm looking forward to getting out and working in the yard and garden without looking like I've just come from a mud wrestling smackdown. Someday... ;)

Farmstand Days and Hours - Saturdays & Sundays 10ish - 7ish. This month's offerings will/might include - Eggs (chicken, duck & quail), Rhubarb, Fresh Herbs, Beeswax and hand knit dishcloths, coasters and other assorted goodies. :)

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