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Signs that spring is just around the corner

February 12, 2010

I ordered my meat chickens yesterday, a sure sign of spring.  And on the spring cleaning front – we sold our egg washing machine, and some bundles of egg cartons.  It feels nice to have the extra space.

The first nettles are poking their heads through the duff, meaning pesto and nettle tea isn’t too far off.

In the orchard, rhubarb is starting to show too.

The cows are enjoying their hay.

Although, I’m always Nervous Nelly when it comes to the status of the hay supply.  Mid-February is one of the hungry months.  A long time since the past growing season, and a ways until ample growth starts in the pastures.

The temperature has been moderate enough for the earthworms  – castings are visible everywhere.

A quick walk in a nearby pasture reveals some of the effects of the high impact grazing last August.  It feels like we are getting over the hump.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. Marcia in WY permalink
    February 12, 2010 8:04 am

    ENVY — I long for the sight of SOMETHING green outside – it’s still very brown and gray here – even the snow that’s left is dirty. We are fortunate though to have a passive solar greenhouse where I spend some time – have a good crop of greens growing for fresh salads. I won’t see my rhubarb for at least 2 more months.

    • February 12, 2010 11:55 am

      Marcia, I am sure – this has been an unusual winter for us too – I was worried in December when we were in the single digits. The cows are shedding, too.

  2. February 12, 2010 8:07 am

    You are so right! Spring is just around the corner, even here in the Midwest, where we’ve still got snow and more on the way. I noticed some spring bulbs peeking out of the ground around the shop just a few days ago, and my goat kids are due to start arriving in a couple weeks. I’m ready! 🙂

  3. February 12, 2010 8:46 am

    my asparagus is starting to come up…i’m very excited.

  4. peacefulacres permalink
    February 12, 2010 9:14 am

    Are you trying to tick me off????? I can UPS some of this snow to you my friend! Back to back blizzards…we will be sunbathing on these snow mountains in July!!! Unbelievable! I’m convinced more and more that your valley is the place to retire, if it weren’t so far from our family on the East Coast. I am so impressed with your mild climate and did you tell me NO humidity???

    My only signs of Spring are the seedlings growing inside. And that brings me to a question for you….I know it will come as a surprise that we’ve had an incredibly wet YEAR, but the tomatoes in the entire region suffered from blight last summer. I read that if blight was an issue to not allow any volunteer tomato plants in the garden and to plant in a new area. If that’s the case, are the saved seeds also “bad”? Thanks for being my go to gardener! Hope you are all well. I know that you are obviously warm!

    • February 12, 2010 12:06 pm

      Diane, nah, that’s ok, we had 5′ last winter and that was enough to last me for a while.

      I think while the mild climate sounds inviting, most people don’t care for the endless gray & rainy days. SAD is pretty common in these parts.

      Blight isn’t a seed borne disease, so if you prepared your seeds properly you should be OK. Roguing out any volunteers of the solanum family is a good idea. As is NOT composting the plants.

      It is warm – we are panting at 50 degrees 🙂

  5. Comma Queen permalink
    February 12, 2010 9:47 am

    Love the composition of the nettle photo! I can’t wait for spring and all its warm weather to come. =)

  6. February 12, 2010 10:16 am

    What kind of egg washing machine did you have, and why did you sell it? I don’t see any other mention of it on your blog.

  7. February 12, 2010 12:03 pm

    my rhubarb is poking thru, too.
    Nettle tea. never tried it.
    I got stung so many times by nettles as a kid playing in the fields — – –

  8. February 12, 2010 12:11 pm

    Lee, it was a 60’s H & P model, with a water bath, brushes and dryer tunnel. We never did use it, and it found a good home at Azure Farm. I never mentioned it because we never did use it, we were only were dealing with 45 to 50 dozen eggs a day, and it was easier to keep them clean with good management than it was to let management go and plan on washing eggs. I washed a few each week, but any soiled or floor/pasture eggs went to the pigs.

  9. February 12, 2010 1:22 pm

    I have been reading your blog for a while now. Came here by way of the co-op blog and Down to Earth. I have been researching root cellars and would love to talk to you via email if you have the time/interest to answer some questions. 🙂 I looked for a contact email on here and didn’t find one so leaving the comment here. The reason I am asking you is because I think we are relatively close location wise. My questions are related to humidity and straw bales among other things. lol I entered my email into the box above if you have a spare minute I would really appreciate it. Thanks, Allison

  10. February 12, 2010 3:52 pm

    I am so ready for spring! I am trying to convince my hubby we need chickens. He is not being very cooperative. 😉

  11. February 13, 2010 1:03 am

    Thanks for including that link to your grazing post. Very, very information rich and incredibly useful to me.

    My next goal: learn how to use our electric fencing unit so I can start dividing up my paddocks.

    (And today had to be one of the hottest days we’ve had this Summer. I wouldn’t mind a little peek of Autumn)

  12. February 13, 2010 5:40 am

    Do you make nettle pesto and nettle tea? I had heard that you could use nettles, once you blanched them? Interested because I always have nettles and I would love to try something new to use them instead of just rooting them and composting them.

  13. February 13, 2010 8:53 am

    my folks used to make nettle soup, and it was delicious, kind of like spinach soup. apparently it’s chock full of the goodness our bodies need.

  14. February 13, 2010 12:37 pm

    This is so encouraging. Spring still feels so very far away.

  15. Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm permalink
    February 14, 2010 6:34 am

    Serious spring envy here! We still have several feet of snow on the frozen ground – about another month to go…

  16. Doris permalink
    February 14, 2010 12:03 pm

    Hey, Lady, you’d be proud of me! I got on Craigslist the other day and right there at the top of the list right there in the FREE section was 100+ canning jars!! I was so pleased to find a whole slew of the kind you freeze butter in. No Jar Nazi to lecture me, lol.
    If it weren’t for you, I’d be oblivious to the treasure I found! Thank you.

    • February 14, 2010 8:40 pm

      Doris, good job! I was just admiring my stash today – a person shouldn’t be so enamored with canning jars 😉

      Now you have to fill them up!!

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