Farm Week: May 19, 2014

It has been an amazing week here, weather-wise. One day you’re looking for another sweater, and the next you’re reaching for the sunblock and floppy hat. Spring is here in full force - everything is green again! Fruit trees are blossoming, the dandelions are out, and color has returned to the world! It happens so gradually that sometimes you have to just stop and look around to soak it in. The cows are certainly happy to see the green again, and they’ve started their grazing rotation. Using portable electric fencing, they get a new swath of pasture every morning, forcing them to graze more evenly and completely, which improves the pasture while providing them steady rations. 

We’re also feeling the impact of all the new grass, with Frida, our little Jersey, actually producing even more milk now that she’s on grass. We feed the excess skim milk and whey to the growing pigs, so the wealth is shared all around the farm. We also welcomed another friendly face to our barnyard: a new cow by the name of Redtop. She’s a Brown Swiss-Holstein cross, which mean’s she’s much bigger than Frida and will produce much more milk, though with a lower cream content. She arrived at the beginning of the week, and by the end of the week, she had added to our little herd yet again! Ringo, a little bull calf, was waiting for us one morning, with legs almost as long as Frida’s straight out of the womb. I don’t have any pictures at the moment, but I promise to get a good one this coming week. 

The first farmers market happened in Green Lake this past Friday, and this coming week will see the first CSA boxes go out. As expected, the boxes are a little lighter this early in the spring than they will be in a few weeks, but the bounty of August and September will even things out eventually. My parents came up for a visit over the long holiday weekend, and we took that opportunity to go for a hike with Danielle and the boys in her family’s glen, where we found a few morels and some ramps. More spring delicacies! 

Thinking about: perennial planning, chlorophyll, vitamin D

Eating: even more asparagus, homemade pitas, homemade hummus, baigan bartha, some made sour cream, foraged ramps 

Reading: Bee Wilson’s Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, Steven Apfelbaum’s Nature’s Second Chance: Restoring the Ecology of Stone Prairie Farm, Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl