Monday, March 20, 2017

Spring tasks

Here's a list of the things that are happening on the farm in the next month: 

Apple tree winter prune - go over the trees before they start waking up, thin them and shape them.  

Plant more trees:  purchased another 10 fruit trees; prepare the orchard area, level it, prepare the soil,
lay the orchard organization out, and then plant the trees.   I'm planting nectarines, apricots and cherries.  

Order bee packages for pickup april 2nd or so:  Going to order 5 new packages today to replace
winter loss and add another 2 hives to my bees for the 2017 year.  

Order personal garden seeds; I love homegrown tomatoes, so some heritage tomatoes.  I like to
eat fresh carrots and beets, so a decent quantity of both of them.  Carrot seed in pelleted form because  the seeds are sooo tiny!  when they arrive in a few days I'll get the tomatoes started immediately.  

Prep a barn for a new concrete floor; my 100' x 30' calving/farrowing barn has a mix of dirt and concrete floors, and I'd rather have a sloped concrete floor, so sand, gravel, dirt, compaction and then laying out a slab and ordering the line pump and concrete.  And gullible relatives.  :)

Final grape pruning, and grape arbor fertilization and cultivation.  placement  of compost/manure between the rows and then rototilling it into the ground to kill the weeds and mix the compost and manure into the ground, and then a cover crop between them.  I'll be running chicken tractors down the rows, so I'll plant something that chickens like to eat.  

Fencing inspection, repair and construction:  I'll be walking the entire perimeter fence to make sure that it's in good, servicable shape after the winter storms and floods, repairing what needs it and then making some changes for utility.  I'm going to start to rotate the cows through various areas of the farm, so I'll need some cross fencing and an aisle to make that easier, so that's on the list.  

As far as animals go I'll be selling last years calves for feeders in a month or so - I wait until people have grass to feed the steers, the price gets better.  I will retain one of them for personal beef, and the rest go to market.  

I'll also be culling 20 to 30 sows based on their performance as mothers, leaving me with around 100 productive older sows, and I'll select 20 piglets as replacement sows.   Our piglet production this year needs to be around 2000, and I may make it with the sows I have on hand.  we've hand some challenges with weaning numbers in the winter, but it usually improves as the weather improves.  This has been a cold, wet, windy winter.  Looking forward to some warmth and sun myself.


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