Winter Break?

We will be butchering our boar this week, and making sausage. We will be making Bratwurst and Sweet Italian, both in links, and we’ll be selling them in 5# units at $6 per pound. Email me if you are interested, shelley@whistlingtrainfarm.com.

Have you noticed? The days are getting longer. Just those three minutes a day, but they add up, don’t they? Already our days are 45 minutes longer than they were on December 21. In another month we will have 90 extra minutes each day to see and soak up energy outside. Of course, February is usually the coldest month, when we have the most freezing. But, it’s usually sunny!

The rain is blowing sideways today and Teo just called to find out if he had to work today. There aren’t many jobs that can be done outside like this. He has been working hard lately though, anxiously trying to get the last of the garlic planted. He’s a half-box away from having 250# of hard neck garlic varieties planted. This year we put in 50# of Musik (the huge, delicious variety with big, easy-to-peel cloves), 50# of Purple Italian Easy Peel, 25# of Spanish Roja, and 25# of German Red. There are still 75# of Italian White, a soft neck variety, left to go, and the shallots.

It is most important to get the hard neck varieties planted early, because they simply won’t form bulbs if they don’t experience a good spell of cold weather. The softneck varieties are more suitable for warm climates because they don’t need that cold spell. If we don’t get them planted until spring, the bulbs might not get as large, but they will bulb. Same with shallots. We are planting extra soft neck garlic this year because we want to make garlic braids this summer. Braids are a handy way to store garlic through the winter (and the softneck varieties DO store better) and we can make extra for selling at farmers markets in the fall.

Hopefully it will not be as wet tomorrow, and he can finish planting before the snow falls.

Also on the to-do list before we start planting next month:
• Clean all the greenhouses and prepare for planting
• Build CSA/Farm brochure and CSA application
• Organize seed-starting supplies and order seed
• Clean chicken-houses and move hens
• Fence new chicken/cow pasture
• Order March chicks for fall egg production
• Get tractors and machinery serviced
• Put together cultivating tools so we have less hand-weeding and less crop-loss
• Decide if I want to commit to offer meat chickens (fryers) this year
• Take down pole bean supports
• Pull up plastic mulch
• Map out the new, larger CSA u-pick area
• Invent the Budding Farmer Club, for CSA kids
• Invent the Gardening/Self-Sufficiency Workshop for CSA adults

And, for our 15th Farm-iversary this year:
• Update the farm website
• New farm sign for the street
• Order T-shirts
• New signage around the farm
• Hopefully, paint a mural on the wall of the walk-in cooler/shipping container

Is it all do-able? I hope so!

It’s only January, but spring is just around the corner.

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