What a beautiful day! This time of year is so full of possibility. Rhubarb peaking through the soil, bees busy flying after a winter of rest, baby animals being born, and new warmth in the sun's rays. After spending some time outside this morning, I am extra excited for the start of this season and the chance to get back in the fields.
While the fields are still too wet to do anything with other than observe, I do hope to be out in a couple weeks sowing the first peas and turnips and, shortly after, the first broccoli, kale, collards, and onion transplants will be planted. For now, I observe the fields and constantly add tasks to my 'must do' list.
This past month has been busy with lots of seed sowing and supply ordering. But of most interest is the birth of 5 lambs! The first two lambs were born on March 30th, another followed on the 31st and the final two on April 3rd. So now they are big and energetic enough to be chasing each other around, jumping on the backs of the llama and the ram, and generally showing enough spunk to stress their mothers out. It seems that all mammals have this trait in common ;) Of the last twins who were born, the mother rejected the second, smaller lamb. This is not unheard of and simply means that she won't allow the rejected lamb to feed and will sometimes demonstrate aggression when the lamb gets close to her or the other lamb(s). After a failed attempt to get one of the other ewes to adopt the rejected lamb, we resorted to bottle feeding. The lamb, affectionately known as 'Sheepdog' due to his tendency to follow us everywhere, has spent the last week living in the house with us. Yes, that's about as exciting (and messy) as it sounds. This weekend we are working on reintegrating him with the other animals and so far it seems to be working well. These sheep actually belong to our intern from last season and he will be retrieving them when he returns from his travels in Thailand. It will seem like a quieter place without them! In March, we purchased a Dwarf Nigerian goat buck so perhaps in the fall we will have more excitement with the birth of goat kids!
While working in the seeding room, I've been listening to farming podcasts which have given me some great ideas for improvements to our CSA and the farm in generally. Recently I was listening to one on the topic of enhancing the sense of community within the share members and now I have a list of exciting ideas to try out. I am going to save the details until we have all our share members but you can expect some new events like a members' book discussion group and recipe sharing events. It's going to be fun! I will be looking for a few share members in Guelph who would be willing to offer their house or backyard as a location for some of these events. Nothing will be required of the host other than to open their doors to other share members.
In addition to these Guelph-based events, we will also be hosting two events on the farm. On Saturday, May 30th we will be participating in the Spring Rural Romp, organized by Taste Real. There are many great agricultural and food based businesses in the north of Wellington County and this day is a great way to see many of them. Later in the season we will be hosting a share member harvest potluck supper/BBQ. I hope everyone will be able to make the trek up here!
We still have shares available and would love to sell as many as possible in the next month. If you haven't registered yet, please do so under the CSA tab. And if you refer new members you will get a $20 farm credit. The countdown is on!