We have officially entered the time of year known as Fool's Spring. Most days are mild enough to get out and start preparing the garden, but we've usually got at least a couple more hard frosts in store before it's safe to plant most things. If you're a home gardener you have likely started some of your seeds indoors already. Tomatoes and peppers like several weeks of growth indoors, and cool season veggies like broccoli and cabbage can be planted in the garden soon.
Here at the farm we are looking forward to our flowering spring bulbs. Tulips, Daffodils, and Hyacinth are starting to emerge and will be blooming before we know it!
We planted 3000 tulips this past fall and I'm anxiously awaiting to harvest beauties like this again.
We're in full spring preparation mode and are taking advantage of every bit of good weather that we've got to ensure that we can hit the ground running once spring officially arrives.
We try to expand our flock every year, so we hatched a batch of chicken eggs in February, and then decided to pick up more from the local feed store. These babies won't start laying eggs until the Fall, but for now they offer endless entertainment for the kids, who have affectionately named each one.
Cleaning out the brooder for the new chicks
Our spring meat chickens are arriving a little later than I planned, but should be here before the end of March. Due to the crazy demand for poultry last year and the fact that we sold out so quickly, we devised a plan to raise 4 times as many birds in half the amount of time as last year.
Yes, we might be crazy.
Thanks to a generous neighbor who is allowing us to use their empty lot behind our house we will be able to keep more chickens on fresh grass and rotate them daily using chicken tractors. This will also make feeding time significantly less intimidating. Meat chickens only have one thing on their mind at all times, and that's food. When there's no barrier between me and them, they will impatiently peck at my toes, legs, and anything else they can reach. So, I'm really looking forward to this new method. We will be able to raise 4 batches at a time in the spring and 4 in the fall, and take off June, July, and August completely, which is a huge relief. We won't be repeating the 'heat wave massacre of chickens' that occurred last summer. Thank goodness.
We took the winter off from Quail and will be welcoming a new batch in the next week. These little birds are so cool and easy to raise and they make a great alternative to chickens if you live in a neighborhood.
We have also been working hard on our new veggie plot. The space where we grew veggies last year has been converted into additional flower beds (we'll have twice as many flowers this spring!) so we had a lot of prep work to do for the new garden. If you have ever had an in ground garden in Oklahoma clay, you know it's no joke. It takes A LOT of amending to be able to grow anything in it. Since tilling is out of the question, we started work on the new plot last fall. Grass had to be killed (without chemicals), and lots of organic matter had to be slowly worked into the soil. I'm thrilled with the results so far, and can't wait to see how our veggies do in this new area. My favorite part of the new garden are the two 40ft rows of strawberries that we added. These future strawberries will likely never make it to the market, and instead be devoured straight off the plants by the kids.
We put up a couple of cucumber arches, new tomato trellises, and before I know it, it will be time to plant onions!
If you are interested in hearing more about our micro farm and how it's possible to feed not only your family, but others as well from a small space, I hope you'll attend the March meeting of the Weston A. Price Foundation - Tulsa Chapter. I'll be speaking to the group about our regenerative practices and methods for getting the most out of your garden space!
The meeting is on March 16th at 6pm. You can contact the chapter leader for more info at email@example.com
Are you planting a garden this year? Tell me your favorite veggie to grow!