It would not be honest of me to claim that farming is easy. In many ways it is work that is evokes physical strength indeed, but there’s an emotional tone that can often claim the day when dealing with animal ailments and death. I have been playing nurse Grace with our hens as I try to understand why some of them are compromised. It’s been time consuming but I’m committed to solutions and passionate about the well being of all the animals that come to Buxton. I owe it to them.
I joined a wonderful organization APPPA American Pastured Poultry Producers Association (apppa.org). Here I found a team of people who have been through similiar challenges and are committed to raising poultry on pasture with success. If you join at the $60 annual level you can get the professional advice of Jeff Mattock from Fertrell Fertilizers when dealing with complicated poultry situations. Jeff has been terribly prompt answering my concerns questions. Clearly, we are on a learning curve as we peel away at the symptoms the hens are revealing. We’re getting closer to some answers. I am so pleased I found this awesome organization and highly recommend them to everyone raising poultry.
Upon dealing with the frustration of the unknown, I am pleased to turn to our garden where I can put my worried heart to work cultivating new life, planting seeds. I like to get down and dirty in the garden, it soothes my anxious mind and satisfies my appetite for physical exercise. Garden work always empowers my mood. The cows haven’t come home to Buxton yet so Michael has time to help me in the garden. What a treat! Air quality at this time of the year is cool but supreme!
We’re rotating the planting of seeds this season. With the exception of the perennials already in the garden, we’re planting from north to south rather than east to west this season and we’re not planting anything where it was planted last year. Just like the animals, the garden gets rotated.
So far, I’ve planted peas (fertilized with wood ash from our wood burning stove), spinach, onions, lettuce, radishes, cilantro, sunflowers, turnips, fava beans, marigolds and poppies. I intend to plant pak choi also this week but after the full moon. Inside, I started some tomato seedlings, broccoli and cabbage. I’m really fond of companion planting. Turnips go well with onions, spinach goes well with radishes and lettuce. Planting with companions saves me a lot of space. I’ve been using the Vegetable Gardeners Bible for years for this purpose.
The worms have multiplied from last falls sheet mulching where we used our chicken manure from the brooder to build the soil. We layered it with cardboard. It’s a sight to see! Soon the days will be lighter and Buxton will be in full steam !