Spring Has Sprung!

on April 13, 2014
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Blossoming Red Maple
Our favorite Red Maple Tree
here on the farm with leaves
just breaking out
Red Maple Greening
The same tree just a few days
later.  It is even more filled
out now.

Spring is everywhere.  That means good and bad things.  I love all the different shades of green;  the beautiful wild flowers and the ones planted on purpose; the liveliness in the animals that have been bed up most of the winter; the clean smell in the air.  However, the pollen here in north central Louisiana is unbelievable.  I was traveling with my Dad one day and saw something up ahead.  I asked him, “Is that smoke or a mist?  What is it?” When we got to it, it was a pollen cloud!  Also, the thing I would say I like least about this time of year is that the snakes are starting to move and the mice are coming out of their hiding places!! Yikes! The rain this year has been unbelievable.  I have lost three tomato and two pepper plants to drowning!  Can you believe that?  The potatoes aren’t up yet so it may be that they drowned too.  Usually by now we have most, if not all, of the garden planted and so far this year we do not have it cut, disced, or planted (except for the potatoes and the plants in the mulched bed).  It seems we will never get it in the ground, but at least here in LA we have a long growing season and I have until June and even July to get most things in the ground. Let’s face it, by July or August we will be talking about the lack of rain and our need for it.  The farmer is especially dictated to by the weather.

We have had the chore of culling the chicken flock this week.  I understand and do not have a problem killing the farm animals to eat, it is just not, nor will it ever be, something that does not effect me.  We killed a rooster because he was serving no real purpose and, as you know, on a farm you either pull your weight or you are gone.  I got three meals out of him so that is nice.  The hen we culled we did not eat.  We had a very wet and cold snap about a month or so ago.  She began to huddle up in any kind of wind or coolness.  She was not eating as much and her cone turned pale pink.  We feared wild bird flu because we had a run of the that a few years ago and lost several birds to it. She did not have the wheezing and shortness of breath that comes with that, but we still isolated her for about a week.  She seemed to improve, but not to be like the other hens. We put her back with the flock since we were satisfied that she did not have something contagious.  After two weeks passed, with no improvement, we decided to cull her from the flock.  She was eating the food and not producing eggs…you have to pull your weight.  However, when you cull an animal that seems to be unhealthy in any way, it is best not to eat that animal, unless you pay a vet to examine the animal and tell you that it is safe to eat.  We do not use a vet unless it is absolutely necessary. During the processing of the hen, we saw that some of her internal organs were unusually large.  She obviously had some sort of developmental problem.  We were glad we culled her, for her sake as well as ours.

While we are waiting on the garden to dry up enough for us to get to work (yay!), I have okra seeds sprouting and asparagus seeds beginning to sprout too.  I will write an article on enlarging your asparagus bed with your own seeds.  It has been a learning experience and I can’t wait to share it with you.  We hope your spring time rituals are going as planned.  If not, relax and enjoy the wait.  Everything has a season, a time, and a purpose.

Safe and Happy Journey,

Rhonda and The Pack

 Our Dog Pack

Field Covered in Undisturbed Snow

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