It's been a very busy week on the farm. The approach of spring has us trying to finish last minute chores before planting season arrives, and in preparation we have already started about 100 trays of vegetables. We also spent Saturday afternoon building a new, bigger compost bin near the garden. These new bins will allow us to make a lot more of the high quality fertilizer essential for our farm.
On Friday a Charlet calf was born. It was the first of the year that we weren't able to tag right after birth. The mother was mean. Very mean. She would stare at us kicking her leg, and flinging her head side to side as if saying "No". When we attempted to tag her calf, she tried to jump in the bed of the truck in defense. After getting Thomas down off the roof of the cab, we decided to try again the next day. As we rode out into the field toward the calf early the next morning, the mother immediately began defending her ground again. This time we went in with the tailgate up, and I managed to scare her off while Thomas lifted the calf into the bed. As soon as she seen this, she turned around and bellowing at the top of her lungs, headed back our way. Somehow, in the commotion, Thomas got a black eye and a small cut on his bottom eyelid. I think the calf kicked him in the face, he thinks it was the pole we use to catch the calves. Either way, I am glad the job is done.
We had hoped to get the garden tilled this weekend, but it is still a little too wet. Being small, organic farmers, we have to work with nature, not against it. If we planted with it being so wet and cool, we would have to have gallons and gallons of fungicide to keep mold and mildews from "damping off" our plants. Damping off is a serious fungal disease that causes the stem to turn to mush, and the plant top to fall over and die. But alas, fungicides, herbicides, pesticides, and synthetic fertilizers just do not belong on our food or in our body. So, we will wait a few more days before planting, just to ensure everything is just right for the young, sensitive plants. The extra time we had from not plowing allowed us to walk down to the pond and check on it for the first time this season. Thomas managed to miraculously find the leak that has eluded us for so long. One carefully placed step on the dam, and his leg disappeared into the ground, sinking into large pool of water. The suction of the earth was so great, that upon breaking the seal, a huge current of mud shot into the water about fifteen foot from the bank. I am glad we finally found the leak, because nothing is worse than this big, beautiful pond all dried up and pitiful looking in the middle of a summer heat wave.
The trees have budded up and the grass is shooting out little slivers of green. Song birds are everywhere in the mornings, and the cows are trying to graze. Spring is here. Enjoy it...because it wont be too long before the heat of summer takes hold. That's about it, for this wonderful 10th week of the year.