This weekend saw the addition of a row of tomatoes (cherry tomatoes, Romas, and an heirloom variety, German Queen, that I just had to try), plus zucchini (green and gold), straightneck squash, and two types of cucumbers. I have to admit that I was a little excited that today’s forecast called for rain, which to me meant: a day off from farm chores! But this sunny, gorgeous day gave me the opportunity to weed the entire field, which it sorely needed. It also meant a check-in with the bees, and, as always, regular breaks to check on the chicks.
The potato hills were hand weeded to avoid breaking off any of the newly emerging potatoes. It is always exhilarating to see plants that were sown from seed (or, in this case, from tubers) emerge from the soil. It’s as if I never trust myself to get it quite right, but then their emergence elicits a surge of confidence and pride.
Thankfully, weeding the remainder of the field wasn’t quite so back breaking, and could be done with a hoe or push plow. The kale is looking great (not tooooo much longer until it’s ready to harvest?!?), and the first rows of broccoli and cabbage that were planted grew a lot this week too.
Given that I’m just short of petrified of bees, today’s hive inspection, which was supposed to be super thorough (look at all the frames, assess how much honey/pollen/larve is present, find the queen and assess her productivity, clean accumulated debris from underneath the hive, etc., etc.), consisted of taking off the outer and inner covers, seeing that there were tons of bees, removing the top super, seeing that there were also tons of bees in the upper hive body, then replacing the top super and adding a new one to give them more space. They look happy. Maybe they won’t swarm. But at least they do have an empty super to move into. And we saved last year’s honeycomb, so the bees won’t have to draw that out anew. Therefore, once the nectar starts flowing, we should quickly have a spring batch of honey to harvest.
The chicks continue to be a highlight of each day. It’s fun to “wake up” the chicks in the morning. Chickens don’t eat or drink in the dark, and even though they have a lamp on them for warmth, meaning they’re never truly in the dark, the chicks rush to their feeder as soon as the barn door is opened and natural light floods in.
All in all, another great weekend on the farm!