Early Spring on the Farm

The following photos come from a farm walk on March 18, 2015.  The day was cool and damp, misty, and one of my absolute favorite kind of days.  There is hope and renewal everywhere, the signs that spring is well on its way, though it’s not here yet.  As I finish writing this in the first of April, it’s amazing how much has changed since these photos were taken.

The other farming -- Pleasant, meandering cow paths on our side of the fence; rigid, imposing tire-tracks on the other.

The other farming — Pleasant, meandering cow paths on our side of the fence; rigid, imposing tire-tracks on the other.

The creek, just before it flows onto the neighbor’s land.  Our first summer here, in 2012, was a summer of historic drought, and the creek was dry for much of the year.  With more moderate years in 2013 and 2014, the wet-weather creek has had water almost year-round.

The creek, just before it flows onto the neighbor’s land. Our first summer here, in 2012, was a summer of historic drought, and the creek was dry for much of the year. With more moderate years in 2013 and 2014, the wet-weather creek has had water almost year-round.

Grasses and clover, greening up.  A few short weeks and the grass will be tall enough to graze, and the cows will be turned back out to pasture, much to their delight.

Grasses and clover, greening up. A few short weeks and the grass will be tall enough to graze, and the cows will be turned back out to pasture, much to their delight.

There’s a lot of nice seasoned oak firewood tied up in this handy bridge across the creek in the woods.

There’s a lot of nice seasoned oak firewood tied up in this handy bridge across the creek in the woods.

The first green leaves in the woods, tiny though they be, belong to the wild gooseberry bushes.

The first green leaves in the woods, tiny though they be, belong to the wild gooseberry bushes.

Clustered buds of the blackhaw tree, which open up into broccoli-like flowers come mid-spring, before yielding to dark, sweet fruit clusters by fall.

Early buds on a yet-to-be-identified tree back in the woods.

Multiflora rose, an introduced species originally intended as a hedge plant for a ‘living fence,’ is one we must fight nearly continuously.  It does, however, have a certain beauty about it.

Multiflora rose, an introduced species originally intended as a hedge plant for a ‘living fence,’ is one we must fight nearly continuously. It does, however, have a certain beauty about it.

The old, worn-down wooden gate covering the ‘water gap’ where the old creek bed enters the farm from the back.

The old, worn-down wooden gate covering the ‘water gap’ where the old creek bed enters the farm from the back.

The surprisingly purple canes of the wild black raspberry plants.  It’s always a pleasant surprise to stumble across the ripe berries, so soft and tender they nearly fall apart in one’s hand.  They are, of course, best eaten on the spot.

The surprisingly purple canes of the wild black raspberry plants. It’s always a pleasant surprise to stumble across the ripe berries, so soft and tender they nearly fall apart in one’s hand. They are, of course, best eaten on the spot.

Showing the paths two chicken shelters took during the last batch of 2014, the value of chicken manure as fertilizer now readily apparent as the grass turns greener.  Our hope is that after a few years of improving the fertility of our soils via rotational grazing and multiple livestock species, such sights will be rare indeed, as the soil will be so fertile the difference the chickens make is not nearly as apparent as it currently is.

Showing the paths two chicken shelters took during the last batch of 2014, the value of chicken manure as fertilizer now readily apparent as the grass turns greener. Our hope is that after a few years of improving the fertility of our soils via rotational grazing and multiple livestock species, such sights will be rare indeed, as the soil will be so fertile the difference the chickens make is not nearly as apparent as it currently is.

The pigs have certainly done their job this winter, clearing, manuring, and generally preparing the garden for the next year’s crops.

The pigs have certainly done their job this winter, clearing, manuring, and generally preparing the garden for the next year’s crops.

View of the homestead, overlooking the fledgling orchard.

View of the homestead, overlooking the fledgling orchard.

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