William likes to surprise me with little treats every time he's off the farm running errands. Often, he'll show up with something delicious to eat or a new bottle of wine or ten. Every now and then he surprises me with animals. Last summer you might recall a cute little biting donkey came home for an anniversary present, a couple years ago he gave me chickens for Valentine's Day, and yesterday, on the Eve of Cinco de Mayo, he brought home a new flock of chicks! In preparing and making predictions for the farm, it is a given that the oldest of our hens are at the end of their egg-laying years. We got new chicks last summer and they are laying right now, so by the time they slow down, these new little sweeties will be ready to take over the loud resonant farm cackle of the laying hens. When it comes to farming, predictable is nice.
Making predictions on the other hand is less comfortable. Right now we are busy planting, burying seeds into dust, looking at the weather forecast far too often and wishing for rain. We can hope that the trade off will be for one of those cold wet Junes when it's impossible to get the first crop of hay up, but the resounding farmer prediction for this summer's weather is "1987. 1988." Those summers were blistering hot with very little precipitation. Maybe some collective rain dancing is needed - come on people - wiggle those hips, bob the head, call attention, and shake up the rain gods!
Despite the worry, this is a blissful time of year when the greens unfurl, unfold and reach for the sun. We marvel at its beauty, the mind's eye unable to recall the grays and muted browns of winter. With what seems like a click, the View Finder slide goes from gray to green in an instant and the brain cannot recall the black and white of our scenic pastures covered with snow just a few weeks ago.
I've got the Dirt Farm permanent raised beds all prepped and ready for planting, but it's just too cold yet for much of the outdoor stuff, so instead, I am keeping busy in the greenhouse. A few things that I direct seeded are coming up and my seedlings are bursting at the seams ready for a nice sunny warm garden to tuck into. This is my first experience growing in a greenhouse and I really dig it! I told William, "I love planting in the greenhouse. It's more like interior decorating than gardening!" A room to design, decorate and keep clean. Definitely Ms. Flossy parameters for fun! Once the weeds win, I'll likely change my tune, but for now, a sunny sauna in the cool mornings is quite lovely!
A couple of days ago, I got off the farms for a bit of tourism. The blueberry queen and I visited some of the new stores in Stockholm then William and I went to Lucette in Menomonie for beer and pizza! I'd like to predict that life will return to a bit more of what we consider normal, but in the meantime, continue with caution. Here is a great itinerary full of fun things to see and do in our Tiny Town - Maiden Rock - Great River Road Area!
Sending love from the farm,