Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Spring Update

It's a calm winter day out today. The snow is gently falling and melting in some places to form puddles for the ducks to swim in. The guys are down in the woods trying to fix our broken tractor. And, I've been playing garden in the basement, setting up the grow lights and seeing how much soil we need for starting our seeds.

We have pepper seeds in moist paper towels in ziplocs on the radiators to start them. We are starting about seven different kinds, some rare and requested. All in all, if we get all the plants we are trying for, we will plant almost 1000 pepper plants in the field this year. Crazy sounding, but it still probably won't be enough. We are trying a couple of new ones from Mexico this year and hopefully they will do okay so I can save seed from them. Some day I hope to have a fancy dancy seed starting contraption. But, the ziplocs work okay for now.

Yesterday the guys rearranged the pigs. They brought Tea (real name is Swee Tea, daughter of Swee) into the barn as she is due to have piglets around the 13th. But, in order to move her in to the best stall for farrowing, we needed to move Maggie (our new sow) and her babies out. We weaned her babies from her a few days ago even tho they aren't eight weeks old. They were eating on their own, really plump, and it was straining the mom and making her too skinny. So, they were moved to their own stall inside the barn with Maggie in a stall next to them. I like to keep them in just in case of a cold snap again.

Syrup is on hold and that is why we are catching up with the seedlings and the tractor. The sap ran for a few days, then stopped for 10, then ran for a few, and now stopped again. We have bottled around 21 gallons of syrup so far, into jars and gallons. But, we ran out of sap on Sunday at noon so are awaiting the weather to warm up again so we can get some more collected. It has barely been above freezing today so far, but maybe it will flow some. We hope for another couple of weeks at least and one great big flush at the end. The guys were
hoping for over 100 gallons. I'm more critical so just want over 50.

Well, good news! The tractor is fixed. We really rely on that old girl. This time of year it is good to have her for hauling sap across the woods and pulling the trailor to get firewood. The truck will work, but the tractor turns in tighter spaces between trees. Then it is always nice to have something to pull our truck out of the mud! And, mud season is here!!

Hopefully I can have some more pics later. I have found that the picture loading and the writing is all depending on signal...and unlike most of you - we hardly have a signal here. Yes, we live in the boonies. So...all for now! Happy Spring to you!!

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